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The NBA Playoffs are upon us, and it’s time for the basketball junkies here at Sports of Boston to bring you our final NBA Power Rankings for the 2010-2011 season.
After sitting atop the SoB NBA Power Rankings for the last three months, the San Antonio spurs were dethroned by the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, led by MVP-candidate Derrick Rose, jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 this week, and clinched the No. 1 overall seed entering the playoffs.
The Spurs (No. 3) struggled down the stretch after losing Tim Duncan to injury, posting a 4-6 mark over their final 10 games.
The Miami Heat climbed four spots from No. 6 to No. 2. After finishing the season on an 8-2 run, it appears Miami is playing its best basketball at just the right time.
The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (No. 4) posted a 16-1 record following the All-Star Break, but put it in cruise control down the stretch, going 5-5 in their last 10 games. As a result, the Lakers fell from No. 2 to No. 4 this week.
The Boston Celtics have struggled after trading starting center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The C’s stayed locked in the No. 5 position.
The Dallas Mavericks (No. 6) missed out on clinching the West’s No. 2 seed because unlike the Lakers, they failed to win their division. As a result, Dirk Nowitzki and company will face a formidable Portland Trailblazers squad in the opening round.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 7), Orlando Magic (No. 8), Denver Nuggets (No. 9), and Portland Trailblazers (No. 10) round out the top 10.
|1 (30)||Chicago Bulls||62-20||The Bulls come along and steal home-court advantage from San Antonio in the season’s final day. Tom Thibodeau WILL be coach of the year and Derrick Rose WILL be MVP. (John Scullane)|
|2 (27)||Miami Heat||58-24||The Heat finished 8-2 in their last 10 games, and the Big Three look better than ever. But…as for the rest of the roster…(KC Downey)|
|3 (23)||San Antonio Spurs||61-21||The Spurs really struggled without Tim Duncan, and will be without Manu Ginobli in Game 1 of its opening round series with the Memphis Grizzlies. (Andrew Kipp)|
|4 (21)||Los Angeles Lakers||57-25||In Phil Jackson’s final season, can the Lakers win their sixth title in the Kobe era? (John Scullane)|
|5 (16)||Boston Celtics||56-26||Celtics: Considering the injuries, back-to-backs, and roster changes, it’s amazing they finished with 56 wins. (KC Downey)|
|6 (15)||Dallas Mavericks||57-25||Dallas has to be kicking itself for not locking up the No. 2 seed as a first round series with LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and the Portland Trailblazers looms. (Andrew Kipp)|
|7 (15)||OKC Thunder||55-27||Oklahoma missed out on the No. 3 seed out West, but no matter. The Spurs appear ripe for the picking. (John Scullane)|
|8 (8)||Orlando Magic||52-30||The Magic just don’t have the talent this year to compete. Sorry Dwight. (KC Downey)|
|9 (5)||Denver Nuggets||50-32||The Nuggets finished the regular season strong. They’ll be matched up against the OKC Thunder in what is one of the more intriguing opening round series. (Andrew Kipp)|
|10 (4)||Portland Trailblazers||48-34||If the Trailblazers can continue to get a productive 25 minutes off the bench from Brandon Roy every night, they could be poised to make a deep postseason run. (Andrew Kipp)|