Kamenetzky Bros. Power Rankings: The Phil Jackson Effect … On Both Coasts

Earlier in the season, San Antonio’s record vs. top competition could be criticized. Now, they’re slapping everyone around.1
The wins keep coming – 11 in a row – but while the Thunder are vulnerable, the Spurs show no signs of giving up the top spot. (LA has gained a grand total of 1 game during the streak.)3
A good week against the three of the league’s worst, but a four-game run against Chicago (twice), Memphis and Miami looms and will be more instructive.6
Ray Allen blows up for 47 over his last two games after notching only 49 in his previous six. The Heat badly need help from the other guys.5
5THUNDER(48-18)Lost four of their last six to winning teams, including Sunday at home to Dallas. Those footsteps they hear are the hard-charging Clippers.4
Consecutive losses at OKC, Chicago and Miami take a little shine off the apple, but the Rockets have proven their bona fides in the West.2
Sunday’s huge comeback against the Blazers not only ended a bad streak but also put Dubs in prime position to nab a five seed.8
8GRIZZLIES(39-27)Since Marc Gasol returned January 14, Grizz are second only to Chicago in defensive efficiency. In related news, they’re 22-8 over that stretch.9
Blazers fans can’t be happy with their slow drip down the West standings. Then again, had you said in October they’d be 43-24 in March, they’d have happily taken it.7
Point differential (+2.3) doesn’t scream powerhouse, but smacking Thunder in OKC – even without Westbrook – on Sunday says they’re not to be trifled with.10
Picked up big win Sunday in Toronto, but it’s looking more and more like they’ll be the unfortunate West team on the outside looking in. Does that make trade deadline strategy a smart one?11
In 14 games since the All-Star break, Joakim Noah has averaged 14.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.9 blocks while anchoring the league’s best D. Da-yum.12
A top 10 group in efficiency on both sides of the ball. And in assist percentage, true shooting, turnover ratio, and free throw rate, among other things.13
In eight March games, John Wall has posted 18.4 points and 9.6 assists on 47 percent from the floor and 51.5 percent (!) from distance.15
Six Nets are averaging 10 points or more in eight games this month, which include wins over Chicago, Memphis, Toronto and Miami.16
Have we collectively reached a point where nobody reacts to Ricky Rubio shooting 37 percent from the floor? Because that’s not a good sign.14
Understanding the Suns, Blazers and Raptors have all surprised, at what point does Steve Clifford get some COY love for the near-.500 Charlotte Freaking Bobcats?17
Six straight wins and Phil Jackson. A good week for any team, but given how this season has gone in NYC, it qualifies as an out-of-body experience for Knicks fans.23
Friday’s win over Miami was nice, but the Nuggets have only four others since Feb. 7, and three were vs. Milwaukee, the Lakers, and Orlando.18
Three straight wins stops the bleeding in time to keep a hold on the East’s 8 seed. It helps that for most of the last month, nobody has actually been chasing them.19
Lest you think the Cavs have been victimized by bad luck, via Basketball Reference Cleveland’s expected record is actually three games worse than their win total.23
Basically a bottom-five team all year in defensive efficiency, despite the threat of Anthony Davis inside. That ain’t good.21
Over second half of the season, Josh Smith (41 percent) and Brandon Jennings (36 percent) account for 30+ shots a night. Andre Drummond (64 percent) gets 9.3.22
On the one hand, Rudy Gay has displayed career-best efficiency with the Kings. On the other, they’re still losing a bunch. Just 13-21 since Jan. 1.24
Kris Humphries is averaging 12.6/8.3 with 1.14 blocks in only 25 minutes a night in his first seven March games. Unheralded but productive.25
After a mid-season bout with competence, the Jazz seem determined to finish how they started (1-14, on the odd chance you forgot).26
Phil is gone. A missed opportunity for sure, but at the very least the franchise, and the fan base, can move on. Had to happen.28
Remember in early February when the Magic beat OKC and Indy in consecutive games? We don’t really, either.27
Four wins since the start of February? Four? Can’t expect to hold off the Sixers for the top lottery spot with that type of success.29
20 and counting! All the gory details in this post.30

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

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

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