Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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The Amico Hoops power rankings through games Sunday, Feb. 24.
1. Milwaukee Bucks (45-14): Giannis Antetokounmpo and the gang keep rolling, having won nine of 10.
2. Golden State Warriors (42-17): Home loss to Rockets proves Warriors not always engaged and focused, but playoffs a different season.
3. Toronto Raptors (44-17): Kawhi Leonard, improved wing play making all things possible.
4. Denver Nuggets (41-18): Nobody predicted this, but Nikola Jokic and overall depth have Nuggets flying high.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (38-21): Paul George putting forth an MVP-type season and Russell Westbrook as good as ever.
6. Portland Trail Blazers (36-23): Everything continues to revolve around Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but Blazers just seem to have more this season.
7. Philadelphia 76ers (38-22): Lots of talent added since start of season; now just waiting for it all to come together like it can.
8. Indiana Pacers (40-20): Figuring out life minus Victor Oladipo as winners of eight of nine. Can they keep it up?
9. Houston Rockets (34-25): Still not consistent enough, but watching James Harden score has become must-see TV.
10. Boston Celtics (37-23): Inconsistency and bad losses continue to plague a team that was originally favored in East. The Kyrie Irving effect?
11. Utah Jazz (33-26): Donovan Mitchell remains dynamic and Rudy Gobert remains perhaps the league’s most underrated difference-maker.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (33-28): Playing as a team in every sense; may be Doc Rivers’ best coaching job yet.
13. San Antonio Spurs (33-28): Still seeking some consistency and a reason to believe they’ll be more than first-round fodder.
14. Sacramento Kings (31-28): Looking more and more like they’re a year away from really good things; but having fun today nonetheless.
15. Brooklyn Nets (31-30): Play the right way, always determined and fun to watch. All that and Caris LeVert is still working way back.
16. Los Angeles Lakers (29-30): LeBron James and young teammates still a clunky fit, with just 23 games to go.
17. Detroit Pistons (28-30): Blake Griffin and coach Dwane Casey haven’t been enough to get Pistons to next level. New pieces needed.
18. Charlotte Hornets (28-31): Will they win Southeast Division with losing record? Will Kemba Walker return? Still lots of questions.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves (28-31): Should be better, but still only one game back of Lakers and four out of final playoff spot.
20. Orlando Magic (28-33): Noticeable positive steps being taken under coach Steve Clifford. Offseason should be interesting.
21. Miami Heat (26-32): Falling further out of playoff race in Dwyane Wade’s final season. Perhaps just make it even more about him rest of way.
22. New Orleans (27-34): Scrapping and not letting turmoil get them down. Have won three of six games minus Anthony Davis since trade request.
23. Dallas Mavericks (26-33): Thoughts of Luka Doncic and a healthy Kristaps Porzingis make Mavs dream of downright scary team — starting next year.
24. Washington Wizards (24-36): This hasn’t gone well from the start, and it’s likely time to just focus on the lottery and lots of summer changes.
25. Atlanta Hawks (20-40): Trae Young and John Collins two huge reasons for hope, with two lottery picks likely on way next season.
26. Memphis Grizzlies (23-38): Started strong and finished with a massive whimper for the second straight season. What gives?
27. Chicago Bulls (16-44): Playing especially well lately, but will need at least a minor makeover in the offseason.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (14-46): Kevin Love is back and the youth is improving. Schedule gets considerably tougher in March.
29. New York Knicks (12-48): Just waiting for offseason, when their dreams of Zion Williamson and Kevin Durant can maybe come true.
30. Phoenix Suns (11-50): Landing No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton has yet to pay off so they’ll just try for the No. 1 overall pick again.