NBA Power Rankings: Will Rockets keep momentum going post-All Star break?

NBA Power Rankings: Will Rockets keep momentum going post-All Star break?
Oklahoma City

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-12; last week's ranking: 1): Injured guard Russell Westbrook could return to action against the Heat on Thursday. The Thunder were 22-8 without him.


2. Indiana Pacers (40-12; last week's ranking: 2): Source said Larry Bird asked newcomer Andrew Bynum if he truly wanted to be a contributor before signing him. Bynum answered yes.


3. Miami Heat (37-14; last week's ranking: 3): There was little rest for All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they flew to Dallas late Sunday night and practiced Monday.


4. Houston Rockets (36-17; last week's ranking: 7): Houston would love to trade center Omer Asik, and a source said it is actively shopping Jeremy Lin as well. Both, however, have pricey contracts.

Los Angeles

5. Los Angeles Clippers (37-18; last week's ranking: 4): Their three-game winning streak will be tested with games at home against San Antonio and at Memphis and Oklahoma City.

San Antonio

6. San Antonio Spurs (38-15; last week's ranking: 5): San Antonio entered the All-Star break splitting its past 10 games. It doesn’t get easier with games at Clippers, Portland and Phoenix up next.


7. Portland Trail Blazers (36-17; last week's ranking: 6): Kudos to Damian Lillard for completing all five events during NBA All-Star weekend without showing any fatigue. To be young.


8. Dallas Mavericks (32-22; last week's ranking: 10): The Mavs are gun-shy about making a big trade since it could add losses as the team adapts, thus affecting hopes of making the playoffs.


9. Phoenix Suns (30-21; last week's ranking: 8): So what is the key to the Suns’ success? Goran Dragic says they have the best team chemistry off the court of any team he has ever been on.

Golden State

10. Golden State Warriors (31-22; last week's ranking: 9): Golden State executives have told forward Harrison Barnes that, barring a blockbuster offer, he will not be traded before Thursday's deadline, sources said.


11. Memphis Grizzlies (29-23; last week's ranking: 11): The improving Grizzlies have the ninth-best record in the West, but entered the All-Star break having won seven of the past 10.


12. Toronto Raptors (28-24; last week's ranking: 12): Source said coach Dwane Casey, in the last year of his contract, has strongly impressed first-year general manager Masai Ujiri.


13. Chicago Bulls (27-25; last week's ranking: 14): The Bulls were probably disappointed to hear the news that the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony would prefer to re-sign in the offseason.


14. Washington Wizards (25-27; last week's ranking: 15): The Wizards are desperately seeking a veteran backup guard. Denver’s Andre Miller could be a great fit behind John Wall.


15. Atlanta Hawks (25-26; last week's ranking: 12): The Hawks’ organist stole the show at the All-Star Game by playing hip-hop. It’s a happy listening medium for young and old fans.


16. Minnesota Timberwolves (25-28; last week's ranking: 17): The Wolves have interest in acquiring a backup point guard, but are more worried about improving their defense than a trade.


17. Brooklyn Nets (24-27; last week's ranking: 18): Oakland native Jason Kidd makes his first return back home as a head coach when the Nets play at Golden State on Saturday.


18. Denver Nuggets (24-27; last week's ranking: 17): The Nuggets will be one of the teams to watch as the trade deadline approaches with veteran point guard Andre Miller still waiting to be dealt.

New Orleans

19. New Orleans Pelicans (23-29; last week's ranking: 19): Source said New Orleans could be trading guard Austin Rivers and the rights to hot-scoring D-League guard Pierre Jackson.


20. Charlotte Bobcats (23-30; last week's ranking: 21): What NBA commissioner Adam Silver should do is push Bobcats owner Michael Jordan to have a presence at All-Star weekend.


21. Detroit Pistons (22-30; last week's ranking: 20): Thunder coach Scott Brooks was very disappointed in the Pistons' recent firing of his ex-assistant coach Maurice Cheeks.

New York

22. New York Knicks (20-32; last week's ranking: 22): New York is trying to make a deal before the trade deadline to show Carmelo Anthony they’re serious about improving.


23. Cleveland Cavaliers (20-33; last week's ranking: 27): Won’t be surprised if interim general manager David Griffin makes a trade before the deadline. Keep an eye on Jarrett Jack.


24. Utah Jazz (19-33; last week's ranking: 25): Need a veteran player with an expiring contract that can produce? Utah has two in guard Richard Jefferson and forward Marvin Williams.


25. Sacramento Kings (18-35; last week's ranking: 24): The Kings are in the market for a veteran backup point guard who pushes the ball, a source said.


26. Boston Celtics (19-35; last week's ranking: 26): Source said Kings and C's discussed a deal involving Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a pick for Rajon Rondo, but Rondo wasn't interested in re-signing with Sacramento and the Kings strongly value McLemore.

Los Angeles

27. Los Angeles Lakers (18-35; last week's ranking: 23): Ex-Lakers center Dwight Howard makes his first return back to Los Angeles to play his former team on Wednesday.


28. Orlando Magic (16-38; last week's ranking: 29): Expect NBA teams to make a run at guard Arron Afflalo this week, but it will take a lot to pry him away from the Magic.


29. Philadelphia 76ers (15-39, last week's ranking: 28): The Sixers will be looking to move Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes and also could be a third team in a big trade, a source said.


30. Milwaukee Bucks (9-43; last week's ranking: 30): With several teams looking for backup point guards, Bucks veteran reserve Luke Ridnour could be on the move.