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SoB NBA Power Rankings 3-22-11

After posting a 12-1 record following the All-Star break, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers came in at No. 2 in our rankings this week. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The San Antonio Spurs continued their dominance of the SoB NBA Power Rankings this week, coming it at No. 1 yet again.

The Spurs still have the NBA’s best record, but they may sputter down the stretch after losing Tim Duncan to a sprained ankle Monday night. The All-Star center is expected to be out for at least two weeks.

The red-hot Los Angeles Lakers jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 this week, after posting a 12-1 record following the All-Star break. With a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Lakers are starting to look a lot like the team that won the last two NBA Championships.

MVP candidate Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls continued their climb up the rankings, sliding up from No. 4 to No. 3. The Bulls are battling the Boston Celtics (No. 5) for the No. 1 seed in the East.

The Miami Heat maintained their hold on the No. 6 spot, while the Oklahoma City Thunder passed the Orlando Magic for the No. 7 position.

The Denver Nuggets, 10-4 since trading Carmelo Anthony, moved up from No. 10 to No. 9, and the Portland Trailblazers moved back into our top 10 for the first time since November.

Previous Power Rankings: 11/7/10 | 11/30/10 | 12/17/10 | 1/9/11 | 1/24/11 | 2/14/11 | 3/7/11

Rank (points) Team Record Comment
1 (30) San Antonio Spurs 57-13 The Spurs still have the NBA’s best record and should be able to hold off the Lakers for the West’s No. 1 seed, but it will be interesting to see how they play without Tim Duncan for two weeks. (Andrew Kipp)
2 (25) Los Angeles Lakers 50-20 The Lakers appear primed for another defense of their NBA title after winning 9 of 10. (KC Downey)
3 (24) Chicago Bulls 50-19 Chicago is on pace to get the East’s #1 seed if they can win their remaining home game against Boston. (John Scullane)
4 (20) Dallas Mavericks 49-21 The Mavs are having another solid regular season, but the question remains: Can this team carry the momentum into the playoffs? We’ll see. (Andrew Kipp)
5 (19) Boston Celtics 50-19 The C’s have suffered some ugly losses as of late in the East…but besides Chicago, who hasn’t? (KC Downey)
6 (16) Miami Heat 48-22 A 30-pt drubbing of the Spurs followed by an uninspiring loss to the Thunder. Can you figure this team out? (KC Downey)
7 (12) OKC Thunder 45-24 At 8-2 in their last 10, Oklahoma has been reasonably tough to deal with lately. And they’ve shown the prowess to be able to pick off a road game or two. (John Scullane)
8 (9) Orlando Magic 45-26 The Magic are the team nobody is talking about, but with Dwight Howard continuing to play like an absolute beast, they’ll be a tough out for anyone in the playoffs. (Andrew Kipp)
9 (7) Denver Nuggets 42-29 Carmelo who? The Nuggets are 10-4 since trading the superstar forward to the Knicks (Andrew Kipp)
10 (3) Portland Trailblazers 40-30 As Brandon Roy continues to get stronger, LaMarcus Aldrige continues to show why he should be considered one of the best big men in the NBA (22.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG). (KC Downey)

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