Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 27
Blakely's NBA Six Pack Power Rankings: Feb. 27
BOSTON — Most of the NBA's elite teams stood pat at the trading deadline, and for good reason: The buyout market for players was far, far more robust.
The Los Angeles Clippers have already cashed in by picking up Glen Davis who received a buyout from the Orlando Magic.
Danny Granger, acquired by Philadelphia from Indiana, is the next big name on the move with several playoff-bound teams like the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs - both title contenders - in the hunt.
It makes for a far more interesting stretch run as the NBA's best try to arm themselves against any and all situations they might encounter in the playoffs.
For the rest of the NBA, this time of year is about evaluating talent with an eye more towards the future than the now.
And with that we have this week's power rankings:
THE FLAT PACK
30. (29) Philadelphia — Thaddeus Young one of the few vets who didn't get a "Get out of jail free" card at the trade deadline.
29. (30) Milwaukee — Buying out Caron Butler wise decision. A return to Miami makes a lot of sense for both sides.
28. (27) Los Angeles Lakers — Kobe, you sure you want to come back to ... this?
27. (28) Orlando — Glen Davis gets to reunite with Doc Rivers, and the Magic continue to enhance their chances at landing the No. 1 pick in the draft.
26. (25) Boston — Jeff Green's scoring on the rise. The Celtics and victories? Not so much.
25. (26) Sacramento — DeMarcus Cousins continues to show his tremendous potential, both as a talented player and tumultuous presence on the floor.
BACK TO THE PACK
24. (24) New York — The struggles continue for the Knicks, losers in six of their last seven games.
23. (20) Denver — Defense major issue still with opponents shooting 48 percent (fourth-highest in the NBA) over the last nine games (eight resulting in a loss).
22. (19) New Orleans — Losers of five in a row by an average of 8.6 points per game.
21. (18) Detroit — New coach, same old problems. The Pistons can't win, losing six of their last seven games.
20. (22) Utah — Winners in five of last eight games, shooting 47.7 percent which ranks fourth in the NBA in that span.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
19. (14) Atlanta — With a steadily depleted frontcourt, teams are picking apart the Hawks' downsized frontcourt with small forwards playing some center.
18. (21) Cleveland — One of the league's hottest teams with victories in seven of its past 10 which includes a double-digit victory at Oklahoma City.
17. (17) Brooklyn — Up and down West coast trip, down at the moment after 44-point drubbing at Portland.
16. (19) Minnesota — Important stretch coming up with five of next six against teams with losing records.
15. (16) Charlotte — Bobcats bolstered their playoff portfolio with the additions of Gary Neal and Luke Ridenour.
14. (15) Washington — Nene out for six weeks, expect the Wizards (8-33 without him) to struggle in his absence.
13. (10) Phoenix — Important four-game homestand coming up after having lost three in a row and now down to the eighth and final playoff spot.
12. (13) Golden State — The hottest video out there has to be the Chicago's 20-point win over the Warriors from Wednesday (it snapped a four-game winning streak) in which every Golden State starter failed to score in double figures.
11. (12) Memphis — The trade for Courtney Lee continues to pay huge dividends for the surging Grizzlies.
RUNNING WITH THE PACK
10. (11) Chicago — Here come the Bulls, the team nobody in the East wants to see in the playoffs.
9. (7) Dallas — Dirk Nowitzki's iconic one-foot, fade-away still going strong after all these years.
8. (9) Toronto — Only Miami has been better over the past 10 games than the Raptors, who are allowing opponents to shoot only 43.6 percent (eighth-best in the league) in that span.
7. (8) Portland — Showcasing their depth by continuing to win in LeMarcus Aldridge's absence.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
6. (1) Oklahoma City — Three straight losses, all at home, has to set off a few alarm bells in O-K-C for sure.
5. (6) San Antonio — The Spurs' offense continues to hum along, averaging 103.5 points per game, which ranks eighth in the NBA.
4. (4) L.A. Clippers — At this point, it looks like the only thing that'll keep the Clipers from making some noise in the postseason is the injury bug.
3. (3) Houston — Chandler Parson remains the best bargain in the NBA. #notevenclose
2. (5) Miami — Players often blow off talk of games sending messages. That 22-point win at Oklahoma City last week? #messagesent
1. (2) Indiana — Too soon to tell what kind of impact Evan Turner will have, but his addition only enhances a roster that's arguably the deepest in the NBA.