The NBA: Power Rankings: Week 6

Three teams from the West have winning streaks of 5 games or more while three teams from the East have losing streaks of 5 games or more.

The LA Lakers and their thin bench continue to struggle while the LA Clippers and their deep bench have helped them win their last 2 games. If the playoffs started today, the Lakers dont make it since they are 12th in the Western Conference.

The New York Knicks continue to impress and surprise at the top of the East. They took Round 2 of the "Borough Battle" and last week the Knicks manhandled the Heat without Carmelo Anthony. That game has to be among the most astonishing games of the season so far along with the Wizards beating the Heat and the Magic and Cavs beating the Lakers.

Meanwhile, the Western Conference finalists from last season have a combined record of 35-8. The Spurs and Thunder are the #1 and #2 teams for Week 6.

The standings are current up to December 11. The rankings from last week refer to Week 5.

Tony Parker had his first career triple-double to
lead the Spurs vs the Rockets on OT
(Image by: Getty Images)

1. San Antonio Spurs | 18-4 | Last Week: 1 | Same
The Spurs have the best road record in the NBA at 11-2. They are second in winning margin at +8.6 without 2 rotation players. Tony Parker has been amazing lately getting his first career triple-double. His last 5 games: 24 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder | 17-4 | Last Week: 3 | +1
The Thunder has the current longest winning streak at 8 games with 5 of those games won by double digits. They continue to lead the NBA in winning margin and Kevin Durant has leapfrogged LeBron as the #1 player to win MVP. Kevin Martin continues to play well as Harden's replacement.

3. Los Angeles Clippers | 15-6 | Last Week: 6 | +3
The Clippers have won 7 straight after losing 4 straight with 4 of the wins coming in blowouts. Their second unit has been amazing lately, finishing the games and helping them win. The last time the Clippers have a winning streak this long was 1991.

4. New York Knicks | 16-5 | Last Week: 4 | Same
Melo continues to show that he is worthy for MVP talk. He is shooting a career-high from three and defending better. Jason Kidd has been an important part of their rotation including hitting a three in their comeback win against the Nets. The Knicks are 2-0 vs the Heat with blowout wins in both.

5. Memphis Grizzlies | 14-4 | Last Week: 2 | -3
The Grizzlies played terrible in a loss to the Hawks at home. They have struggled lately in their last 4 games going 2-2 but their defense has been top-notch. They now lead the league in least points allowed. Zach Randolph is still a beast on the glass, tied for first in the NBA in double-doubles.

6. Miami Heat | 14-5 | Last Week: 5 | -1
The loss to the Melo-less Knicks at home by 20 points was embarrassing. Bosh has cooled down offensively (13 ppg in his last 3 games) but D-Wade has picked it up offensively going 20-25 (80%) in his last 2 games, both wins. Their defense is still lacking (22nd in NBA).

7. Atlanta Hawks | 12-6 | Last Week: 9 | +2
The Hawks have won 8 of their last 10 games with impressive wins over the Clippers and Grizzlies over that stretch. Horford has been hot of late with 5 straight double-doubles while Smith has been scoring well averaging 22 and 9 in his last 5 games.

8. Golden State Warriors | 14-7 | Last Week: 8 | Same
The Warriors have won 4 straight and are currently 4-0 in their 7-game road trip. Next game is against the Heat. Stephen Curry has been sizzling of late: 25 points and 8 assists with 50% on threes in his last 5 games. Curry is 3rd in threes made. David Lee has had 4 straight games with double-doubles.

9. Philadelphia 76ers | 12-9 | Last Week: 11 | +2
The Sixers split their home-and-home series with the Celtics. Evan Turner has been great lately including hitting a game-winner over Paul Pierce. Turner has been playing heavy minutes in their last 5 games (41) and he has delivered decent numbers: 18 ppg, 7 rpg and 5 apg.

10. Utah Jazz | 9-10 | Last Week: 20 | +10
The Jazz have won 3 straight including a blowout win vs the Raptors without Jefferson and Favors. Then, they went on to beat the Lakers in LA. Al Jefferson has 3 double-doubles in his last 4 games. Enes Kanter has been impressive in his last 2 games: 16 points and 7 rebounds on 13-24 shooting.

11. Dallas Mavericks | 11-10 | Last Week: 18 | +7
The Mavs have won 3 straight with OJ Mayo erupting for 40 against Harden and the Rockets. Mayo is 2nd in threes made and 1st in shooting percentage at 53%. Derek Fisher looks comfortable now after starting the last 5 games. Dirk is still targeted to be back around late December.

12. Boston Celtics | 11-9 | Last Week: 12 | Same
The Celtics are last in rebounding and 3 of their next 4 games are against teams in the Top 10 in rebounding (Rockets, Bulls and Spurs). Rondo had a triple-double vs the Sixers and he now has 3 straight games of 10+ assists. Pierce is averaging 19 a game but shooting 41%, the 2nd lowest of his career.

13. Chicago Bulls | 11-9 | Last Week: 16 | +3
The Bulls have 2 players at 40 minutes or more a game: Deng and Noah. They are 1 and 2 on that category. Will playing too many minutes affect their durability and stamina later on? Rip Hamilton has missed the last 5 games with a foot injury while Marco Belinelli has stepped up playing 42 minutes and scoring 20 a game.

14. Brooklyn Nets | 11-9 | Last Week: 7 | -7
The Nets have lost 5 straight games and they miss Brook Lopez. The Nets are 1-5 without Lopez even if Blatche has played well. The Nets also lost Round 2 of the "Borough Battle" after they mishandled a 17-point lead early in that game. They allowed the Knicks to claw back and then Kidd saved the day for NYK.

15. Milwaukee Bucks | 10-9 | Last Week: 17 | +2
Luc Mbah a Moute is back from his injury. In his first 5 games: 9 points and 5 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy continues to miss games while Ersan Ilyasova continues to be inconsistent. Meanwhile, Larry Sanders has finally accepted a starter role but has struggled in his last 3 games: 6 ppg, 8 rpg and 3 blocks.

16. Denver Nuggets | 11-11 | Last Week: 14 | -2
The Nuggets have alternated wins and losses in their last 5 games. They are 2-2 on their 5-game road trip. They have already played 16 road games (most in NBA) going 6-10. The Nuggets are 29th in free throw shooting which has definitely cost them games. Just ask the 30th team in FT%, the LA Lakers.

17. Indiana Pacers | 10-11 | Last Week: 13 | -4
The Pacers are superb defensively: 1st in rebounding and 3rd in least points allowed. On offense, they are atrocious. They are 29th in points scored while 27th in assists. Roy Hibbert and DJ Augustin are perfect examples of players performing below expectations.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves | 9-9 | Last Week: 15 | -3
Bad News: Kevin Love is unhappy with management and management is unhappy with Love's recent hand injury. Love has not been shooting well due to his injury but the rebounds and the points are still there. Good News: Ricky Rubio is expected to be back on the court over the weekend.

19. Houston Rockets | 9-11 | Last Week: 10 | -9
It's great to see Kevin McHale back to coaching after his family tragedy. Too bad his presence did not result into wins. The Rockets have a 3-game losing streak even though they are 3rd in scoring and Jeremy Lin had a 38 points in a loss to the Mavs.

20. Los Angeles Lakers | 9-13 | Last Week: 19 | -1
The Lakers are 1-10 when Kobe scores over 30. This is not indicative of him shooting too much. It's more on the Lakers lacking ball movement and overall team scoring. Pau Gasol is still hurt with knee tendinitis and Steve Nash wont be back until 2 weeks. Which lose hurt more, the Magic or the Cavs?

21. Portland Trailblazers | 9-11 | Last Week: 22 | +1
The Blazers beat the Raptors in a blowout without Batum and Matthews. Beating the Spurs without their full starting lineup is a different matter. Batum and Matthews average 38 minutes each and have a combined scoring of 32 points which the bench will be challenged to fill.

22. Orlando Magic | 8-12 | Last Week: 21 | -1
Glen Davis has 9 double-doubles already and Jameer Nelson is getting back into game shape averaging 13 in his last 5 games. Nikola Vucevic has continued his emergence as a decent starting center in the East with 9.7 ppg and 8.9 rpg.

23. Sacramento Kings | 7-13 | Last Week: 29 | +6
The Kings are no longer the the worst in the West thanks to 3 straight wins over other below .500 teams (Blazers, Raptors, Magic). The Kings are last in assists which comes from the lack of ball movement and players who are shoot first, pass later types (Jimmer, Evans, Thornton, Thomas).

24. Detroit Pistons | 7-17 | Last Week: 25 | +1
The Pistons have played the most games (24) so far and they just had 2 back-to-back sets of games in a span of 5 days. They went 1-3 in that stretch. In contrast, the Grizzlies and Heat have both played less than 20 games and are both at the top of the standings.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers | 5-17 | Last Week: 28 | +3
Amazing win by the Cavs over the Lakers on Irving's first game back from injury. He toyed with the Lakers' back court and even went against Kobe on a few occasions. The Cavs might have 2 legit all-stars for a team that is close to the bottom of the standings (Kyrie & Andy).

26. Phoenix Suns | 7-15 | Last Week: 24 | -2
The Suns had a "guaranteed fun" event in their game versus the Mavs that they lost. How many fans will ask for their money back? Michael Beasley has been reported as "toxic" in the locker room and the Suns are now trying to trade him. Beasley was their prized free agent acquisition. Yikes.

27. Charlotte Bobcats | 7-13 | Last Week: 23 | -4
The Bobcats have now lost 8 straight games and are still stuck at 7 wins. Still, they are not the worst in the league with 6 teams still having worse records than them. Their schedule wont help them end the losing streak with games against the Clippers and Hawks next. Maybe they can sneak by the Magic.

28. New Orleans Hornets | 5-15 | Last Week: 26 | -2
Anthony Davis is finally back from his injury but the Hornets could not beat the lowly Wizards at home. Ryan Anderson continues to lead the NBA in threes made he leads them in scoring. Meanwhile, Austin Rivers has been horrible with his 33% shooting and PER of 6.4 (league average is 15.0).

29. Washington Wizards | 3-15 | Last Week: 30 |+1
The Wizards are a decent 2-2 team in the last 4 games and still without John Wall. Jordan Crawford is averaging over 20 points in his last 4 games and rookie Bradley Beal at 15 ppg. They are still last in scoring with the likes of Ariza and Okafor underachieving. Okafor was benched and lost his starter role.

30. Toronto Raptors | 4-18 | Last Week: 27 | -3
The Raptors have lost 5 straight with 3 of those in blowouts. They lost to a Jazz team missing Jefferson and Favors then they lost to the Blazers without Batum and Matthews. To make things worse, Bargnani and Lowry are hurting plus Kleiza is injured and Amir Johnson suspended for 1 game. The losing streak will continue.

Biggest Rise: Utah Jazz +10
Biggest Fall: Houston Rockets -9

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