NBA Power Rankings: Red-hot Hawks facing some serious tests

Marc J. Spears
Atlanta
Atlanta

1. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 40-8; last week: 1): Atlanta was 17-0 in January and has won 19 straight games, but next are games against New Orleans, Washington, Golden State and Memphis.


Golden State
Golden State

2. Golden State Warriors (Record: 37-8; last week: 2): The Warriors visit the Hawks on Friday for what should be a dynamite matchup.


Memphis
Memphis

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 35-12; last week: 3) Even with six straight wins and nine of 10 overall, the Grizzlies are still three games behind the Warriors for the top spot in the West.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

4. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 33-15; last week: 5): Western Conference All-Star point guard Chris Paul is averaging 20.6 points in his last five games while shooting 55.4 percent from the field.


Houston
Houston

5. Houston Rockets (Record: 33-15; last week: 4): The Rockets are surprisingly 11-5 without center Dwight Howard this season. He is out again indefinitely with a right knee injury.


Cleveland
Cleveland

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 29-20; last week: 10): The Cavaliers have won 10 straight games, winning by an average of 12.9 points while holding foes to 42 percent shooting.


Toronto
Toronto

7. Toronto Raptors (Record: 33-15; last week: 11): Toronto has won a season-high six straight games and are three wins from tying the longest winning streak in franchise history.


San Antonio
San Antonio

8. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 30-18; last week: 7): Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is three victories from 1,000 career wins and in typical fashion is shying away from any spotlight.


Portland
Portland

9. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 32-16; last week: 6): Since not making the All-Star team, Damian Lillard has missed 27-of-39 shots the past two games, including 17-of-19 3-pointers.


Dallas
Dallas

10. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 32-17; last week: 8): Guard Rajon Rondo has an orbital fracture in his left eye and a nasal fracture and is out indefinitely.


Washington
Washington

11. Washington Wizards (Record: 31-17; last week: 9): All-Star John Wall has played in 180 consecutive games, but migraine headaches have his status in question for Monday night’s game against Charlotte.


Phoenix
Phoenix

12. Phoenix Suns (Record: 28-21; last week: 13): The Suns would like to trade reserve forward-center Miles Plumlee, but are not getting much interest, a source told Yahoo Sports.


Chicago
Chicago

13. Chicago Bulls (Record: 30-19; last week: 12): The drama between Bulls management and coach Tom Thibodeau seems similar to the San Francisco 49ers’ situation with ex-coach Jim Harbaugh.


New Orleans
New Orleans

14. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 25-22; last week: 14): All-Star forward Anthony Davis is expected to be back against Atlanta on Monday after being out with a left groin strain.


Milwaukee
Milwaukee

15. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 25-22; last week: 16): So why didn’t the Knicks re-sign Bucks forward Kenyon Martin during the offseason? New York didn’t think he fit its new triangle offense.


Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 23-24; last week: 15): As crazy as it sounds, we’re now to the point where it doesn’t appear to be a given that the Thunder will make the playoffs.


Miami
Miami

17. Miami Heat (Record: 21-26; last week: 17): Heat center Hassan Whiteside had a breakthrough January, averaging 13 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.


Charlotte
Charlotte

18. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 20-27; last week: 19): The Hornets are 4-1 without guard Kemba Walker, who is expected to be out at least six weeks after knee surgery.


Denver
Denver

19. Denver Nuggets (Record: 19-29; last week: 20): While the Nuggets have had their share of injuries, guard Ty Lawson perhaps best described his team as “consistently inconsistent.”


Utah
Utah

20. Utah Jazz (Record: 17-30; last week: 22): It’s good to see that the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league will be returning to Salt Lake City. It was last held in 2008.


Sacramento
Sacramento

21. Sacramento Kings (Record: 17-29; last week: 24): The Kings are still actively trying to acquire an athletic big man to play alongside All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, a source said.


Brooklyn
Brooklyn

22. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 18-28; last week: 21): Keep an eye on the struggling Nets, losers of four straight, as the Feb. 19 trade deadline approaches. They could be the most active team.


Detroit
Detroit

23. Detroit Pistons (Record: 18-30; last week: 18): The Pistons are 1-3, including a 20-point loss to Philadelphia, since losing guard Brandon Jennings for the season because of a torn Achilles’ tendon.


Boston
Boston

24. Boston Celtics (Record: 16-30; last week: 23): It’s unlikely the Celtics will be able to trade veteran forward Tayshaun Prince before the trade deadline, a source said.


Indiana
Indiana

25. Indiana Pacers (Record: 17-32; last week: 25): Even if Paul George could return from a severe leg injury this season, would it be worth it if struggling Indiana can’t even complete for a playoff spot?


New York
New York

26. New York Knicks (Record: 10-38; last week: 28): A source said the Knicks are actively trying to unload guard Jose Calderon’s contract. Calderon is owed $7.4 million in 2015-16, and $7.7 million in 2016-17.


Orlando
Orlando

27. Orlando Magic (Record: 15-35; last week: 26): The Magic could be waiting to fire coach Jacque Vaughn at the All-Star Break to give the team more time to adjust to the change, a source said.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

28. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 13-35; last week: 27): The Lakers have lost nine of 10 and appear to be on their way to protecting their 2015 top-five draft selection.


Philadelphia
Philadelphia

29. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 10-38; last week: 29) Veteran guard Jason Richardson is taking part in five-on-five scrimmages and is expected to make his season debut soon.


Minnesota
Minnesota

30. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 8-39; last week: 30) Guard Ricky Rubio, who averages 10 assists per game, is expected to return from a severe ankle sprain Monday against Dallas.

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