Kamenetzky Bros. Power Rankings: Thunder, Clippers Buff Up in February Free Agency

LeBron is rolling, Bosh has been fantastic, leaving us to wonder whether the bit players (Greg Oden, for example) can provide what Miami needs come springtime?1
Still sport the NBA’s best point differential, and five straight wins restores confidence among the chattering classes. This week – GSW, @CHA, HOU, and DAL – is another set of tests.3
3THUNDER(45-15)A tough stretch for OKC (three straight losses!) evened itself out with wins over Memphis and Charlotte, but not before reviving all the standard “Russell Ruins Everything!” narratives.2
They keep rolling, impervious to injury and age. With Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup, the West’s top seed is still very much in play.4
We’ve spent the season wondering what the Rockets would look like as a top 10 team on O and D. We’re finding out now.5
This Danny Granger isn’t that Danny Granger, but if he plays well enough to push Matt Barnes to the bench to bolster the second unit, the Clips come out ahead.6
Just when it looked like the slip was in, the Blazers go 4-1 without LaMarcus Aldridge, then win in his return. D and bench play are still worrisome, but for now they’ve stabilized the ship.7
NBA’s 3rd best defensive efficiency since February 1 (97.8). If the Dubs can sustain that success into the playoffs, they’ll give a top 4 squad the heebie jeebies.8
Still quietly piling up wins, but after a visit to Denver on Wednesday, they get Portland, Indy, Golden State, Utah, and OKC in succession.10
They’ve won 9 of 10, and are again the team that will punish either Miami or Indy for having to play them en route to the East finals. In other news, Joakim Noah piling up assists (14 on Sunday) like Derrick Rose.12
11GRIZZLIES(33-25)They’re 18-6 since January 7, healthy and starting to score. Memphis is playoff quality, but the teams in front of it aren’t fully cooperating.11
Goran Dragic shot 56 percent in February. As a point guard. The A/TO ratio isn’t great, but he’s been a near-elite level player without the near-elite level name recognition.9
Anything short of a full collapse gives them the Atlantic, and with the NBA’s second-easiest schedule going forward, that seems unlikely.13
Six straight wins has the Wiz firmly out of Indy/Miami first-round danger (that’s good), though a potential match with Chicago ain’t a picnic. Ariza: 15.3/7.6/2.2 in February before popping for 40 on March 1.15
Over his last five games, Kevin Love has gone for 33/12.2/5.4. That’s about what it takes for the Wolves to win four times over that stretch.14
Having worked their way out of a first-round matchup with Miami and Indy (save some big backsliding), the Nets have a shot to give Prokhorov a couple playoff series. Not exactly bang for the buck, but better than nothing.17
Only six teams allow fewer shots inside five feet, and only four allow opponents to convert at a lower percentage. Helps explain the NBA’s sixth-best defensive efficiency.16
The post-Grant quasi-rally continues, and with Atlanta’s slide the Cavs are a plausible candidate to snag an 8-seed. A lot of work to get bounced in… let’s be generous, five games.21
Denver is 26th in defensive efficiency since Feb. 1. In related news, they went 3-9 last month, and have lost 9 of 10.18
See Nuggets, Denver.19
Efficiency wise, still the worst team in the NBA. Plus, they don’t generate turnovers, taking away one source of easy offense at the other end.24
Three bad weeks has removed them from the fringe of the East playoff race, which isn’t easy to do. It’s been 10 games since Brandon Jennings shot 50 percent from the floor.22
They held on for a while with a bunch of injuries, but no more. Losing Ryan Anderson could go down as among the more quietly impactful injuries of 2013-14.20
The answer is always, “Yes, it can get worse.” Which for Knicks fans in the wake of the Ray Felton news can only be a terrifying prospect.23
An ankle problem slowed him down early, but Tobias Harris is finally heating up. 20.6/5.6 on 53% shooting over his last five games.25
Friday, they hit 19 3-pointers (70 percent), shot 60 percent overall… and still only beat the Boogie-less Kings at home by four. Yikes.27
Ben McLemore’s 36.6 percent mark from the floor before the All-Star break looks stellar compared to his 28 percent mark in six games since.26
Rajon Rondo has posted 10-plus dimes in 8 of his last 9 games. No easy feat on one of the NBA’s worst offensive teams.28
Again, they’ve won three times since January 22nd. Do not confuse their lofty power rankings perch with any semblance of competence. We can’t emphasize this enough.29
Finally the full expression of the team everyone expected them to be in October, the Sixers may not be able to overcome those inspirational-though-pesky early season wins.30

OTHER RANKINGS: MVP | Rookies | Most Improved | Sixth Man

Andy Kamenetsky is a frequent contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him and his brother, Brian, on Twitter.


  1. isaac says

    Clips go undefeated in the week, Clips beat the Rockets this week AND are now 3-0 against them this season.

    Rockets ahead of Clippers in the rankings. =|


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