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NBA Power Rankings: February Edition

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The trade deadline has passed, All-Star rosters have been selected, and the NBA schedule has now turned its attention towards playoff and draft positioning. So with the deadline behind us, let’s turn our attention to the leaders of each conference, a team on the hottest streak in their history, and another that isn’t willing to stay at the bottom of the NBA standings.

Morry Gash, Associated Press

Bucks Still Running the East

Could there be any other team? The Milwaukee Bucks (45-7) continued their blistering pace with a 4-0 record last week, dismantling each of their opponents by double digits. Did you know since December 25th, the Bucks have only lost two games? Two games! The Bucks did not make any trades at the deadline, but they did add Marvin Williams to their already dominant team. Williams did not last long on the market after his buyout agreement with the Charlotte Hornets (16-36), and will be looked upon for spot duty during the playoffs.

Nothing less than a championship will expected from fans around the league, and we learned that from the 73-9 Warriors that went on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-40) in the Finals. So while we are in this current moment, we should relish in the consistent dominance Milwaukee has displayed.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Lakers Still Leading the West

The Los Angeles Lakers (39-12) continue to stay atop of the Western Conference standings. The Lakers were 2-1 last week, averaging 127 points in their two wins against the San Antonio Spurs (22-30) and Golden State Warriors (12-41). Although the Lakers did not make any trades, they will be buyers on the on buyout market, most notably Dion Waiters.

Nathan Denette, The Canadian Press via AP

Streaking in the East

The Toronto Raptors (39-14) have the longest current winning streak in the NBA at (14) games. Their 3-0 week came against two playoff teams in the Brooklyn Nets (23-28), and two wins against the Indiana Pacers (31-22). The Boston Celtics have won seven in a row, as Jayson Tatum has scored 20+ points in the last nine straight games.

Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press

Thundering Ahead

The Oklahoma City Thunder (32-21) were looked at as sellers during last week’s trade deadline. They didn’t make any moves, kept Danilo Gallinari and have won eight of their last ten games. Their three-guard trio of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder has propelled them to more than just a gritty young team. Contributions from Nerlens Noel, Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley has been helpful in bring energy, defense and getting to the basket.

Brandon Dill, AP

Grizzlies and Blazers Battle for Positioning

The Memphis Grizzlies (27-26) were a nice story with their young talent and top-flight point guard. It is not just a nice story anymore, as the Grizzlies look to be serious contenders to take the 8th seed and hold off the Portland Trailblazers (25-29) in the process. Both teams have won seven of their last ten games, with the Blazers being led by Damian Lillard’s historical offensive performances. Since December 16th (27 games), Lillard has led the team in scoring in 23 of those games.

Michael Owens, AP

The Knicks Are Not Tanking

Many things could have been said about the New York Knicks (17-37) this season, a four-game winning streak may not have been one of those statements. Though they lost on Sunday night, the Knicks were sporting a four-game winning streak that had two wins against Indiana Pacers (31-22) and Orlando Magic (22-31). The Knicks who most think should tank the rest of the season, are 5-5 in their last ten games.

February Power Rankings: 1-30

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Los Angeles Lakers
  4. Denver Nuggets
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Los Angeles Clippers
  8. Houston Rockets
  9. Utah Jazz
  10. Oklahoma City Thunder
  11. Dallas Mavericks
  12. Philadelphia 76ers
  13. Indiana Pacers
  14. Memphis Grizzlies
  15. Portland Trailblazers
  16. Brooklyn Nets
  17. Orlando Magic
  18. New Orleans Pelicans
  19. Sacramento Kings
  20. San Antonio Spurs
  21. Phoenix Suns
  22. Washington Wizards
  23. New York Knicks
  24. Chicago Bulls
  25. Detroit Pistons
  26. Charlotte Hornets
  27. Minnesota Timberwolves
  28. Atlanta Hawks
  29. Cleveland Cavaliers
  30. Golden State Warriors

Photo Credit: Stacy Revere – Getty Images

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