1. 76ers (11-0, last ranking: #1)-
Coach Pete Mirabile’s team continued their dominance over the rest of the league last weekend, beating up on the both the Magic and the Mavericks. The 76ers were thought as a middle-of-the-pack team at best prior to the season, and they have proven everyone wrong since. A roster complete with underrated players—like David Driscoll, Matt Kadlick, and Jack Lavanchy—has taken this league by storm, excelling on both offense and defense. Let’s see if the undefeated streak continues this weekend when they face the Lakers (7-4) and the Knicks (4-7), two of the hottest teams in the league at this point.
2. Nets (10-1, last ranking: #2)-
The Nets keep pace with the 76ers, winning both their last two games against the Spurs and the Sonics. The Nets have a new concern with an injured Jimmy Smith Jr.; however, Colin Murray has stepped up and put the team on his back in the past couple weeks. Also, young talent in the form of Nate Porack and Joe Smith have provided a nice boost for the Nets. Let’s see if they can keep pace with the 76ers when they take on the Rockets (5-6) and the Nuggets (2-9).
3. Wizards (8-3, last ranking: #3)-
The Wizards split their games this weekend, defeating the charging Knicks and losing to the improving Rockets, but it was not enough to knock them off the three spot. Their win over the Knicks who are turning things around midway through the season was quite impressive, with star players Drew Stanton and Zack Rogers taking over late to secure the victory. The loss to the Rockets was a bit of a letdown, yet with the Lakers suffering a loss as well, it does not hurt their rankings at all. Their next two games are against the Nuggets (2-9) and the Celtics (6-5).
4. Lakers (7-4, last ranking: #4)-
The Lakers also split both their games last weekend, beating the Celtics and losing to the Knicks. The Lakers have been pretty consistent this season, so the loss is not too worrisome. Especially with stars like Mike Rando and Steve Phelan at the helm. This team has seasoned veterans who can turn a simple loss around in no time. Let’s see if they can do just that this weekend when they play the 76ers (11-0) and the Spurs (3-8).
5. Celtics (6-5, last ranking: #5)-
The Celtics begin the middle-of-the-pack rankings with their seeding in the 5th spot. Last weekend they beat the Magic and lost to the Lakers. This team has some talent but they struggle to string multiple wins together, hence the fifth spot. Maybe they can find some consistency this weekend when they play the Knicks (4-7) and the Wizards (8-3).
6. Rockets (5-6, last ranking: #9)-
The Rockets move up three spots this week, due mostly to the efforts of key player Brendan Donovan in their win over the Wizards ,where he scored 40 points, and the Nuggets. Donovan and company are peaking at the right time and they should be a team to be feared in the coming weeks. Their next two games are against the Nets (10-1) and the Mavericks (2-9).
7. Knicks (4-7, last ranking: #7)-
The Knicks split their games this past weekend, beating the Lakers and losing to the Wizards. They have some issues with constancy but leader and star player Tom Demarais is always ready for the challenge. Let us see if he is ready to lead his teams to victory this weekend when they play the Celtics (6-5) and the 76ers (11-0).
8. Magic (4-7, last ranking: #6)-
The Magic continue to slip down the rankings with two more losses to the Celtics and the 76ers this past weekend. They have now lost four straight games; however, they can turn it around this weekend when they take on two weaker teams—the Spurs (3-8) and the Sonics (4-7). This team needs these wins desperately in order to stay competitive in the League.
9. Sonics (4-7, last ranking: #8)-
The Sonics are a team stuck in mediocrity, splitting their two games this weekend with a win over the Nuggets and a loss to the Nets. When they acquired big man Chris Collins after the start of the season, everyone thought the Sonics would be a team to be reckoned with. That just has not been the case. Maybe Collins and company can change that perception with wins over the Mavericks (2-9) and the Magic (4-7) this weekend.
10. Spurs (3-8, last ranking: #12)-
Possibly the most inconsitent team in the league, the Spurs split their two games last weekend—beating the Mavericks and losing to the Nets. This team jumps around these power rankings more than any other team so far. Their record shows they are not very good, but they have three losses of less than five points, so this team is decent. Frontman Mike Cabral is typically without a supporting cast out there, so there is only so much one person can do on his own. With some luck they can change their fortunes this weekend when they play the Magic (4-7) and the Lakers (7-4).
11. Nuggets (2-9, last ranking: #11)-
If it was not for the Mavericks, the Nuggets would be in the bottom spot, especially after losing to the Rockets and the Sonics this past weekend. This now puts them at six straight losses, currently tied for the longest losing streak yet this season. The leaders of this team, Harrison Berkland and Colton Mitchell need to bring up the intensity on this roster or their season will be over nice and early. Maybe a turnaround is in their future when they play the Wizards (8-3) and the Nets (10-1) this weekend, but then again probably not.
12. Mavericks (2-9, last ranking: #10)-
The Mavs drop back down to the 12th seed with two losses last weekend to the Spurs and the 76ers. After defeating the Magic two weeks ago, it looked like this team was ready to turn their season around; however, last weekend proves this is not the case. This team still has a long way to go, and hopefully they can begin to put some wins together when they play the Sonics (4-7) and the Rockets (5-6) this weekend.