The NBA: Power Rankings: Week 14

Kevin Durant made sure that the MVP award will probably be given to him at the end of the regular season. His OKC Thunder dismantled the Miami Heat in South Florida even without Westbrook. Miami is still playing lackluster basketball but maybe they will pick up their intensity already. This time last year, the Heat began their journey to 27 straight during Superbowl weekend.

The Pacers decided to sign Andrew Bynum to strengthen their front court which already has Scola, Mahinmi, Hibbert and West. If Bynum is dedicated and willing to sacrifice, this could work for the Pacers. If not, they really don't need him.

The Blazers will send 2 players to the All-Star game after Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge were named to the Western team. Meanwhile, the resurgent Raptors will only send one (DeRozan) after some dubious voting from the coaches. The All-Star weekend will begin on February 14, 2014.

Hero team of the week: The Suns have won 5 straight including beating the Pacers for the 2nd time in 2 weeks.

Sucky teams of the week: The Lakers, Bucks and Kings have lost at least 6 straight games

The standings are current up to February 2, 2014 and the rankings from Last Week refer to Week 13.

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Sophomore stud, Damian Lillard will be playing in his 1st All-Star game
after helping the Blazers eclipse their win total from last season

1. Oklahoma City Thunder | 38-11 | Last Week: 2 | +1
Kevin Durant scored at least 30 points for 13 straight games and the Thunder won 10 of their last 11 games. KD dominated his match-up vs LeBron and OKC came up with a win in Miami which solidifies KD's hold as the MVP.

2. Indiana Pacers | 36-10 | Last Week: 1 | -1
The Pacers lost to the Suns again, this time in Indiana. That was Indy's 2nd loss at home in 24 games. The signing of Andrew Bynum could work for them but I doubt it. That was probably done to keep Bynum away from others.

3. Portland | 34-13 | Last Week: 4 | +1
Damian Lillard will join LaMarcus Aldridge in New Orleans to represent the Blazers in the All-Star game. Lillard is shooting 41% from three (better than Steph & Klay). Portland already has more wins this season than last season.

4. San Antonio Spurs | 34-13 | Last Week: 3 | -1
The Spurs are getting ravaged by the injury bug. This time, Manu Ginobili could miss a month with a hamstring problem. They've lost 3 of their past 4 games and just barely beat the Kings by a basket.

5. Los Angeles Clippers | 34-16 | Last Week: 6 | +1
The Clips are 12-4 without Chris Paul and CP3 is expected is be back later this week. Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford have carried them offensively. Crawford averaged 20 points and 5 assists in January.

6. Miami Heat | 33-13 | Last Week: 5 | -1
Miami was a no-show after the 1st quarter vs OKC. Their defense has been a step or two slower in January where they finished a pedestrian 8-6. They started their 27-game win streak during Superbowl weekend last year.

7. Houston Rockets | 32-17 | Last Week: 7 | Same
James Harden missed 2 games last week with a thumb injury but the Rockets managed to win both games. The Beard came back vs the Cavs and dismantled them with 28 points. Jeremy Lin also got a triple-double in the same game.

8. Phoenix Suns | 29-18 | Last Week: 9 | +1
The Suns have won 5 straight games and beat the Pacers in Indiana. They already have 4 more wins than last season plus they are doing this without Eric Bledsoe. Unfortunately, Goran Dragic did not make the All-Star team.

9. Golden State Warriors | 29-19 | Last Week: 8 | -1
Steph Curry had 44 points vs the Jazz and the win. That was his 2nd 40+ outing which puts him 3rd behind Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in that category. Curry leads the NBA in threes made with Klay being the 2nd.

10. Memphis Grizzlies | 26-20 | Last Week: 13 | +3
"Grit N Grind" seem to be back in Memphis. The Grizzlies have won 6 straight and they kept their opponents below 91 points in all 6 games. That streak will be in jeopardy since Mike Conley will miss a week due to a sprained ankle.

11. Dallas Mavericks | 27-21 | Last Week: 10 | -1
Dirk coincided his selection to the All-Star team with back-to-back games of 38 and 34 points. He even had a season-high 17 rebounds vs the Rockets. Devin Harris is averaging 10 points in his last 5 games.

12. Toronto Raptors | 25-22 | Last Week: 11 | -1
Kyle Lowry not making the All-Star team is a complete joke. Lowry has been arguably the best PG, even the best all-around guard in the East. Lowry's exclusion somewhat dampened the celebration for DeMar DeRozan's 1st All-Star nod.

13. Atlanta Hawks | 25-21 | Last Week: 12 | -1
The Hawks are 9-8 since Al Horford was lost for the season. They have remained competitive in the East due to the improved play of 1st-time All-Star, Paul Millsap whose numbers this year are better than last year.

14. Washington Wizards | 23-23 | Last Week: 17 | +3
John Wall, rightfully so, was named to the All-Star team for the first time. The Wizards are in playoff contention due to his brilliance. The Wizards have beaten the Heat, Suns, Warriors and Thunder in the last 2 weeks.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves | 23-24 | Last Week: 16 | +1
Kevin Love has three 40-point games this season, trailing only Durant. Oddly enough, all three games came in losses even with Love averaging 15 boards. Nic Pekovic has a foot injury that will keep him sidelined for a week or more.

16. Denver Nuggets | 22-23 | Last Week: 14 | -2
Tough blow for the Nuggets as backup PG Nate Robinson suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the season. Ty Lawson has been in and out of the lineup with minor injuries. Could Andre Miller play again for the Nuggets?

17. Chicago Bulls | 23-23 | Last Week: 15 | -2
Who would have thought that DJ Augustin would be their 2nd leading scorer at 14 ppg? Joakim Noah was named to the All-Star team for the 2nd year in a row. He is averaging 12 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists in the last 4.

18. New Orleans Pelicans | 20-26 | Last Week: 20 | +2
The Pelicans have won 3 of the last 4. Anthony Davis has been huge all year and his shot blocking leads the league. The Brow averaged 6 blocks in his past 4 games. Unfortunately, AD was not named to the All-Star team.

19. Brooklyn Nets | 20-25 | Last Week: 18 | -1
The Nets quickly lost 3 straight games after winning 5 in a row. They established a record-low 17 rebounds vs the Thunder in a blowout loss. Joe Johnson was named to the All-Star team after having lower numbers in points and assists this year.

20. Charlotte Bobcats | 21-28 | Last Week: 19 | -1
Al Jefferson is averaging close to 20 points and 11 boards this year but the Bobcats are just 16-24 in the games he has played. Consequently, Big Al was not added to the All-Star team probably because of that.

21. New York Knicks | 19-28 | Last Week: 23 | +2
The Knicks won 4 of 5 and are within a game behind the 8th spot. Iman Shumpert joined Andrea Bargnani on the injured list with a sprained shoulder. JR Smith has averaged 17 points in his last 5 games.

22. Detroit Pistons | 19-27 | Last Week: 22 | Same
Andre Drummond leads them in rebounds, FG% and PER although, he is only shooting 41% from the foul-line. His front court partner, Greg Monroe has been wildly inconsistent all season.

23. Cleveland Cavaliers | 16-31 | Last Week: 21 | -3
The Cavs have lost 4 straight and now are trailing the Knicks and Nets for a playoff spot. Rookie bust, Anthony Bennett scored a career-high 15 points in a loss to the Pelicans. He is averaging less than 3 points a game.

24. Utah Jazz | 16-31 | Last Week: 25 | +1
At one point, the Jazz was at the bottom of the standings. They now have more wins than 5 other teams. Alec Burks is playing his best season in his third year with Utah. He is a vital cog off the bench with 13 points per game.

25. Sacramento Kings | 15-32 | Last Week: 24 | -1
The Kings have lost 7 straight and DeMarcus Cousins has missed the last 6 games with a sprained ankle. DMC was not included on the All-Star team even after averaging close to 23 and 12, plus 8th in double-doubles and 6th in PER.

26. Los Angeles Lakers | 16-31 | Last Week: 26 | Same
The Lakers are on a 6-game losing streak and now Pau Gasol could miss the next few games with a strained groin. More bad news, Kobe Bryant will miss an additional 3-4 weeks recovering from his leg injury. He should not play more this season.

27. Boston Celtics | 15-33 | Last Week: 27 | Same
Rajon Rondo played his best game of the season vs the Nets with 13 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds. The Celtics still lost that game. Gerald Wallace is averaging less than 5 points in 23 minutes. This is his lowest average in 11 years.

28. Philadelphia 76ers | 15-33 | Last Week: 28 | Same
Evan Turner is having a career-year even with all their losing. Turner has two game-winners at the buzzer this season. MCW has had a myriad of minor injuries this year and his most recent one includes a shoulder problem.

29. Orlando Magic | 13-35 | Last Week: 29 | Same
Nic Vucevic has played their last 2 games after missing 14 of their previous 15 games due to a concussion. He had a double-double in their win over the Bucks. Tobias Harris has been their best player since coming back from injury.

30. Milwaukee Bucks | 8-39 | Last Week: 30 | Same
The Bucks have lost 6 straight and are 4-18 at home. This was not a rebuilding year for the Bucks but their pathetic play forced management to give up the season. Look for them to start unloading players (Mayo, Ilyasova).

Biggest Jump of the Week: Grizzlies & Wizards +3
Biggest Drop of the Week:  Cavs -3

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