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The top-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers and the LA Lakers maintained their stranglehold on the top two spots in the fifth installment of Sports of Boston’s NBA Power Rankings. Once again, the Cavs were unanimously voted the top team in the league by our NBA experts, with the Lakers sitting just three points back.
The Orlando Magic, 8-2 over their last 10 games, jumped four spots from No. 7 to No. 3. Meanwhile, the free-falling Boston Celtics fell from No. 6 to No. 9., and the streaking Utah Jazz jumped from No. 9 to No. 6.
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder made their SoB NBA Power Rankings debut, replacing the Memphis Grizzlies as this week’s surprise team.
|1 (30)||Cleveland Cavaliers||43-11||The Cavaliers have the best record in the NBA, and LeBron James leads the league in PPG. Coincidence? I think not. (Andrew Kipp)|
|2 (27)||LA Lakers||41-13||Step-for-step with the Cavs despite Kobe’s injuries. (KC Downey)|
|3 (23)||Orlando Magic||36-18||Orlando, despite being six games behind the Cavs, is beginning to stake their claim on the 2 seed in the East. (John Scullane)|
|4 (21)||Denver Nuggets||35-18||A big win at home over the Lakers and the return of Carmelo Anthony have the Nuggets in great shape heading into the break. (Andrew Kipp)|
|5 (17)||Atlanta Hawks||33-18||Atlanta deserves big props for dominating the Celtics all season. (KC Downey)|
|6 (15)||Utah Jazz||32-19||Utah had a nine-game win streak going before it was snapped by the Lakers, but there’s no shame in losing to the defending champs. (John Scullane)|
|7 (9)||Dallas Mavericks||32-20||The Mavs have struggled as of late, yet still sit atop the Southwest Division. (Andrew Kipp)|
|8 (8)||OKC Thunder||30-21||Winners of six straight games, the Thunder may employ the NBA MVP in Durant. (KC Downey)|
|9 (7)||Boston Celtics||32-18||The C’s are struggling. Three games on the west coast next week, including back-to-back showdowns with the Lakers and Trailblazers will test their mettle. (Andrew Kipp)|
|10 (6)||Phoenix Suns||31-22||Phoenix, after coming dangerously close to losing their hold on a playoff spot, have jumped back up to #6 in the West after going 6-4 in their last 10. (John Scullane)|
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Power Rankings, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz