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NBA Power Rankings Have Been Updated As of 04-15-13

We’ve updated our 2012-13 NBA power rankings. Little surprise near the top, but things got more interesting with the Nuggest and Pacers playing out of their minds. The Knicks are also making some serious noise.

Here are the Top and Bottom five:

TOP FIVE

5. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets could be the first 55 win team in NBA history to be completely overlooked.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles is looking to build upon their first division title in their history. Will it translate to further success?

3. San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio is 35-5 at home this season. Their opponents will need to bring their very best to beat them in San Antonio over the course of a seven game series.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are right back where they were at this point last season. Kevin Durant wants to finish the job and win his first NBA title this season.

1. Miami Heat

A six game winning streak when there is nothing to play for shows how good they really are. They will most likely be in the finals for the third straight year.

THE BOTTOM 5

30. Charlotte Bobcats

At least Kemba Walker is playing up to his status as a first round pick.

29. Orlando Magic

They desperately need the first pick in the draft to start rebuilding the franchise.

28. Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving needs to stay healthy if the Cavs want to make an impact in 2013-14.

27. Phoenix Suns

The Suns look like a team that wants the season to be over and have played like it for the last 20 games or so.

26. Sacramento Kings

The only burning question for the Kings at this point is where they will be playing their home games next season.

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Five Sleeper Teams To Watch Out For In The 2013 NBA Playoffs

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Most experts who follow the NBA have the Miami Heat advancing to the NBA Finals to take on the Spurs or the Thunder. However, there are some other teams that are worth keeping your eye on. These five teams are worth watching to see if they can create some unpredictability this spring.

1) Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies love to play defense. Teams have averaged only 89.4 points per game against them this season. Without Rudy Gay, Memphis finally came together as a team and started to play up to their potential. At 55-26, the Grizzlies have shown that they have the talent to compete in the west. It will be fun to see how far they can go if they can get past the Clippers or Nuggets in the first round.

2) Indiana Pacers

Indiana will have the number two seed in the east this year. This means that they will most likely draw the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. In previous years, this match-up would have meant Boston advancing in four or five games. This year, Indiana will most likely advance past Boston in four or five games. In fact, they may not face a formidable challenge until they meet the Heat in the conference finals.

3) Denver Nuggets

Everyone knows that the Heat won 27 straight games at one point this season. However, did you also know that the Nuggets had a 15 game winning streak going at the same time? Denver has the size, speed and depth to contend with any team in their conference. If they get past Houston or Golden State in the first round, they will be ready to take on Memphis or another top team in the second round. Don’t be surprised to see Denver playing Oklahoma City to earn the right to play in the NBA Finals.

4) Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn has been improving on the defensive end as of late. Reggie Evans is averaging over 11 rebounds per game while Brook Lopez is blocking over two shots a game. Additionally, Lopez is scoring almost 20 points per game. This means that the Nets have the big men needed to make life difficult for smaller guards who may try to drive the lane. If you don’t have good outside shooters, it is hard to score against a bigger team.

5) Houston Rockets

Jeremy Lin knows a thing or two about playing his best on the big stage. James Harden knows what it will take to make a deep run into the playoffs. The two players combined could fuel a magical playoff run for the Rockets this year. Although there are many talented teams that Houston will need to overcome to make this run, it is not beyond the realm of possibility to see it happen.

Although everyone is getting ready for LeBron to defend his title in June, don’t be surprised if the Nets or Pacers play for a title instead. In the west, the Rockets, Nuggets and Grizzlies will be doing their best to make sure that the Spurs and Thunder won’t have an easy path to a potential championship. No matter who wins the title this year, the fans will win because they will have drama and excitement right to the bitter end.

NBA Playoffs Resources:

NBA Power Rankings Updated as of 03-27-13

Just an update on our NBA Team Power Rankings. We did update the rankings yesterday during the day before the lineup of games, so it will not have the Heat’s snapped winning streak being taken into account. Regardless, it doesn’t change their status much.

Not too many surprises with the Western Conference rounding out the top 5 teams. We still believe the Heat are RUNAWAY favorites to win consecutive titles. The Heat probably don’t mind being in the weaker conference as long as they’re tops in the league, which they most certainly are. We definitely wouldn’t bet against them this year, unless a major injury occurs to LeBron or Wade.

5. Denver Nuggets

Quietly ripped off a 15 game winning streak that was snapped by New Orleans. This is one of five teams that could legitimately win the west this year.

4. L.A Clippers

The Clippers desperately want to play Golden State in the first round instead of the Grizzlies.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

A potential 2 vs 7 match-up featuring Durant against his former teammate James Harden would make for some good TV.

2. San Antonio Spurs

If it weren’t for the Heat, they would be the favorites to win the NBA title this year. Their depth and veteran leadership is unmatched.

1. Miami Heat

Winning 27 games in a row is impressive. Can they take it the distance and break the record held by the Lakers?

View the complete rankings here.

Comparing The Winning Streaks Of The Hawks And The Heat

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The Chicago Blackhawks have set an NHL record having gone 24 straight games without a single loss in regulation to start the season. In the NBA, the Miami Heat are currently on a 18 game winning streak. While both are impressive feats, which winning streak has been the most impressive?

How Miami Has Done It

The Heat have scored at least 98 points in 15 of their 18 victories during this winning streak. They have topped 100 points 12 times while topping 110 points six times. Miami has held their opponents to under 100 points in thirteen of their victories. In other words, they have been able to score while also playing solid defense.

How Chicago Has Done It

The Blackhawks have the fourth highest goal total in the league so far this season. They also have allowed the fourth fewest goals in the league and lead the league with a goal differential of plus 27. The second best goal differential belongs to Anaheim at plus 23. In other words, they are dominating their opponents like no one else in the league.

Star Players Have Risen To The Occasion

Patrick Kane has risen back to prominence so far this season for the Blackhawks. During this streak, he has 27 points including 12 goals. This puts him in the top 10 in each category. Goalie Corey Crawford has been stellar in goal posting a 1.41 goals against average in his 10 starts this season. Not bad for a backup.

For the Heat, LeBron James has proven why he is the best player in the NBA. He had a streak of six straight games of shooting 60 percent from the field while also scoring 30 or more points per game. That has never been done before in league history. Even with an aging Dwayne Wade playing beside him, he has still been able to carry the Heat on his back.

The Tie-Breaker

Both streaks have been equally impressive and will not happen again for a long time. However, the edge has to go to the Heat in this debate. This is because the Blackhawks have the luxury of not calling an overtime loss an actual loss. They still get one point for it and get to keep the zero in the regulation loss column. If the Blackhawks were playing by the same rules as the Heat, they wouldn’t even have the fewest losses in the NHL. Therefore, the Heat get the edge in terms of who had the better winning streak.

Sports fans ultimately don’t care how a team wins when they are playing as well as Chicago and Miami have played this season. They just like to sit back and enjoy the show. It isn’t every season that a dominant team emerges that can crush the competition on a given night. However, fans of the two teams know that these streaks mean nothing if they don’t win a championship this season.

NBA Team Power Rankings Are Updated as of 03-04-13

We’ve updated our NBA team power rankings and they reflect all games up until 03-04-13. No huge surprises here as the Heat are still well on their way to repeating as NBA champions. Sort of feels like the days of MJ and the Bulls when you just get the feeling that a dynasty is just getting started with not many other teams able to do anything to provide any suspense as to who will be hoisting the Championship trophy come June. Here are the top 5:

5. Indiana Pacers

The number two seed in the east? Did anyone see that happening at the beginning of the year?

4. L.A Clippers

Unlike the Warriors, the Clippers are the one surprise team in the west who are not fading away as the season progresses.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

Despite a recent stretch of just average play, they are still among the teams to beat in the NBA.

2. San Antonio Spurs

Why does an 8-2 stretch of play seem just ho-hum for this team? Truly one of the best franchises in all of sports.

1. Miami Heat

If only LeBron would participate in the dunk contest. That is the only thing that has gone wrong for the Heat in the past 14 games.

Click Here to see the remainder of our updated 2012-13 NBA team power rankings.