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Power Rankings
Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Warriors recover from road woes to regain top spot

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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Mar 20, 2017 12:13 PM ET

1:06

The playoffs are just 26 days away, but is there a team out there that would like to get them started right now?

The Golden State Warriors have seemingly righted the ship, but are still missing Kevin Durant. Maybe the Houston Rockets are feeling good about how they're playing, but do they like being matched up with the Oklahoma City Thunder (winners of five straight) in the first round? The San Antonio Spurs, meanwhile, are 0-2 against their most likely first round opponent (Memphis).The Utah Jazz are still missing a key piece and the LA Clippers need time to get that 4 seed back from the Jazz.

In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers just got Kevin Love back, but are missing Kyle Korver and need to flip the switch defensively. The best players on the second-place, fourth-place and fifth-place teams (Boston, Toronto and Atlanta) are all hurt. Clearly the Indiana Pacers would be happy with the 6 seed, but they'd be playing the one healthy team in the top five.

So, as anxious as we all are to get the postseason started, these last 188 games could be important in regard to preparation. Heck, we still have an MVP race to sort out too.

  • Hero team of the week: Portland (3-1) -- The Blazers' week started with an ugly loss in New Orleans, but they recovered to win in San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back and then sweep another back-to-back in Atlanta and Miami.
  • Zero team of the week: Phoenix (0-3) -- The Suns at home lost to two other teams - Sacramento and Orlando - that are out of the playoff picture, and no mascots dove on the floor during game play to make things interesting.
  • East vs. West: The West is 228-189 (.547) against the East in interconference games after going 17-12 (3-0 against Atlanta) last week. Every team still has at least one game remaining against the opposite conference.
  • Toughest schedules through Sunday: 1. L.A. Lakers, 2. Brooklyn, 3. Sacramento
  • Easiest schedules through Sunday: 1. Washington, 2. Golden State, 3. Indiana
  • Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
  • High jumps of the week: Memphis (+5), Portland (+5), Sacramento (+4)
  • Free falls of the week: Atlanta (-4), Minnesota (-4), Phoenix (-4), Washington (-4)
  • Team to watch this week: Washington -- Having lost three of their last four games, the Wizards have the ability to turn things around quickly when they visit Boston on Monday for one of the most important games of the season. If they don't win that one, Wednesday's game in Atlanta becomes critical. And Saturday's visit to Cleveland is their last chance to get a win against the champs, having fallen just short in the last meeting.

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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)

The league has averaged 98.8 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 106.1 points scored per 100 possessions this season.

* * *

NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.

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1
Last week:
2

Record: 55-14
Pace: 102.6 (2) OffRtg: 112.9 (1) DefRtg: 101.3 (2) NetRtg: +11.6 (1)

Stephen Curry may or may not have his rhythm back after hitting six of his eight 3-point attempts in Saturday's win over the Bucks. But some rest and home cooking has the Warriors in a groove defensively. They held all three of last week's opponents - Philadelphia, Orlando and Milwaukee - under a point per possession and lead the league in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break (even though they've been the league's worst defensive rebounding team since the break), having allowed less than 95 points per 100 possessions in Draymond Green's 392 post-break minutes. A two-loss week for the Spurs has given the Dubs a two-game cushion in the West, with Kevin Durant making progress toward an eventual return.

This week: @ OKC, @ DAL, vs. SAC, vs. MEM

2
Last week:
1

Record: 53-16
Pace: 96.8 (27) OffRtg: 109.6 (6) DefRtg: 101.0 (1) NetRtg: +8.6 (2)

The Spurs got LaMarcus Aldridge back after just a two-game absence, but proceeded to lose two straight games for the first time since January and allow three straight opponents to score at least 100 points per 100 possessions for the first time all season. A non-injury-related starting lineup change (Davis Bertans instead of Dewayne Dedmon) didn't work out so well against Sacramento on Sunday (Bertans was a minus-17 in 15 minutes), but they got good minutes from their bench frontline of David Lee and Pau Gasol to keep the race for the No. 1 seed in the West somewhat interesting. After Tuesday's visit to Minnesota, the Spurs play seven of their next eight games at home, with the Warriors in town for the final regular season meeting next Wednesday.

This week: @ MIN, vs. MEM, vs. NYK

3
Last week:
3

Record: 48-22
Pace: 102.1 (4) OffRtg: 112.2 (2) DefRtg: 105.6 (14) NetRtg: +6.5 (3)

Though his teammates have been inconsistent, James Harden has four straight triple-doubles, averaging 34.3 points over the four games. While we all know that Oscar Robertson is the last to average a triple-double, it should also be pointed out that he's the last guy to average 29 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists in a season, which is what Harden is doing (for the No. 2 offense in the league). The Rockets are still pretty locked into the 3 seed in the West, but have had just one good offensive game in three meetings (all decided by three points or less) with the sixth-place Thunder, who they'll host on Sunday.

This week: vs. DEN, vs. NOP, vs. OKC

4
Last week:
6

Record: 46-23
Pace: 98.6 (15) OffRtg: 111.0 (3) DefRtg: 107.5 (21) NetRtg: +3.6 (6)

The Cavs aren't quite #FullSquad yet (Kyle Korver is still out), but Kevin Love's return has them one step closer and was a boost for a team that ranked 27th in defensive rebounding percentage over his month-long absence. The Big 3 combined for 101 points in Sunday's escape against the Lakers, a night after disappointing their fans who could only get tickets to the Clippers game. Cavs fans in Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Miami all need to be aware that the games their favorite team is playing in those cities are part of four remaining back-to-backs for the champs (though maybe that Boston game will mean something in regard to the No. 1 seed in the East.

This week: @ DEN, @ CHA, vs. WAS

5
Last week:
8

Record: 40-29
Pace: 100.6 (7) OffRtg: 105.2 (15) DefRtg: 105.2 (10) NetRtg: -0.0 (14)

Russell Westbrook has averaged 26.6 points and 14.4 assists over the Thunder's five-game winning streak, but has seen a decrease in usage rate (from 41.5 percent prior to 35.7 percent during the streak) and increase in the percentage of his own buckets that have been assisted (from 18 percent to 33 percent). The streak has been one of OKC's best offensive stretches of the season (115 points scored per 100 possessions) and has given them a shot at a top-4 seed in the West. They've also held three of the five opponents under a point per possession, with six more games remaining against top 10 offenses. They play the Warriors, Rockets and Spurs in the next 12 days.

This week: vs. GSW, vs. PHI, @ HOU

6
Last week:
5

Record: 43-27
Pace: 93.7 (30) OffRtg: 106.9 (13) DefRtg: 102.0 (3) NetRtg: +4.8 (4)

If the Jazz are healthy, Quin Snyder's lineups down the stretch of the season and in the playoffs will be interesting to watch. Floor spacing is always critical and the Jazz have been successful (and much better offensively) with Joe Johnson at the four, where he has started five of the last six games as Derrick Favors deals with a knee injury. But things went south offensively in Cleveland and Chicago last week, with Johnson and Gordon Hayward combining to shoot 31 percent in the two losses, and it's not like the Favors-Gobert frontline doesn't work. Utah has been incredibly good defensively and has outscored its opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions in 532 minutes with the bigs on the floor together and no matter how many minutes he plays with Gobert, Favors' return would bounce Jeff Withey out of the rotation.

This week: @ IND, vs. NYK, @ LAC

7
Last week:
7

Record: 44-26
Pace: 98.9 (14) OffRtg: 108.3 (8) DefRtg: 105.4 (12) NetRtg: +2.9 (8)

Before the All-Star break, the Celtics ranked sixth offensively and 18th defensively. Since the break, they rank 26th offensively and fourth defensively. Only one team - Toronto - has improved more on one end of the floor, and no team has regressed more on the other end. A knee injury to Isaiah Thomas (who missed weekend visits to Brooklyn and Philadelphia) hasn't helped the offense and is obviously a concern with the Wizards (just a game behind the Celtics in the loss column) in town on Monday. The Celtics have been 13.8 points per 100 possessions better offensively with Thomas on the floor (113.1) than they've been with him off the floor (99.3).

This week: vs. WAS, vs. IND, vs. PHX, vs. MIA

8
Last week:
4

Record: 42-27
Pace: 99.6 (11) OffRtg: 108.2 (9) DefRtg: 106.0 (19) NetRtg: +2.2 (9)

If there was an Eastern Conference MVP race, John Wall should be second behind LeBron James. He is one of the league's best passers, one of the best defenders at his position, and has already attempted 104 more free throws than he did last season. But Wall's ability to knock down shots will be something to watch come playoff time as Washington's opponents determine the best way to defend his pick-and-rolls. Wall has an effective field goal percentage of just 40.0 percent on pull-up jumpers, the fourth lowest mark among 37 players who have attempted at least 300. That mark is just 30.9 percent (only better than Andrew Wiggins among players with at least 75 attempts) since the All-Star break. The Wizards have lost three of their last four games, but a win in Boston on Monday would put them even in the loss column with the Celtics and give them the head-to-head tie-breaker for the 2 seed.

This week: @ BOS, vs. ATL, vs. BKN, @ CLE

9
Last week:
10

Record: 34-36
Pace: 97.5 (20) OffRtg: 105.1 (16) DefRtg: 104.3 (6) NetRtg: +0.8 (11)

At first, it seemed crazy that a team that started 10-31 had a chance to make the playoffs. Now, it seems surprising that the Heat, given how well they've played over the last two months, are still not in playoff position. They were there after Friday, but Damian Lillard scored 49 points on Sunday and they're back in ninth place, with Dion Waiters dealing with an ankle injury and some tough games left on the schedule. James Johnson's Sixth Man of the Year candidacy is surging, with Johnson having averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds. 4.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks over the last six games.

This week: vs. PHX, vs. TOR, @ BOS

10
Last week:
12

Record: 41-29
Pace: 97.3 (22) OffRtg: 109.8 (4) DefRtg: 105.2 (11) NetRtg: +4.6 (5)

The Raptors have indeed improved defensively with the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. They rank third on that end of the floor since the break (to move within a hair of ranking in the top 10 on both ends of the floor for the season), having held the Mavs, Pistons and Pacers to 16-for-68 (24 percent) from 3-point range in their three wins last week. Though "Lowry + bench" is on hiatus and the rotation seems to be relatively fluid, Tucker has held the second unit together. Sunday's win over Indiana was big in regard to holding onto the 4 seed and, with only three of their 12 remaining games against teams with winning records, a move back up to third in the East isn't out of the question.

This week: vs. CHI, @ MIA, @ DAL

11
Last week:
9

Record: 41-29
Pace: 98.3 (18) OffRtg: 109.1 (7) DefRtg: 106.0 (18) NetRtg: +3.1 (7)

Though they have a five-game week (with two back-to-backs) coming up, the Clippers have the West's easiest remaining schedule. With the Cavs giving their stars the night off on Saturday, that schedule was made even easier, the Clippers ended their three-game losing streak, and they stayed within striking distance of the fourth-place Jazz. They lost in Utah on Monday, with the Jazz shooting 11-for-12 from 3-point range in the second half, but have the last head-to-head meeting in L.A. on Saturday. With Wesley Johnson shooting 3-for-17 from 3-point range since the All-Star break (and 26 percent for the season), Paul Pierce has played in two straight games for the first time since Christmas.

This week: vs. NYK, @ LAL, @ DAL, vs. UTA, vs. SAC

12
Last week:
17

Record: 32-37
Pace: 99.5 (12) OffRtg: 107.4 (12) DefRtg: 108.7 (25) NetRtg: -1.3 (19)

The Blazers didn't just survive. They thrived against the much tougher part of their March-April schedule and have the league's best record (8-2) this month. After coming up empty in New Orleans on Tuesday, they scored 116 points per 100 possessions (with Damian Lillard averaging 37.3 points on 58 percent shooting) against three top-six defenses (San Antonio, Atlanta and Miami) as they completed their five-game trip with three wins. Now, 10 of their final 13 games, including their final meeting with the eighth-place Nuggets, are at home, and two of the three road games are against teams with losing records. Of course, they haven't exactly been a dominant home team, holding a 17-14 record at the Moda Center.

This week: vs. MIL, vs. NYK, vs. MIN, @ LAL

13
Last week:
14

Record: 33-36
Pace: 100.4 (8) OffRtg: 109.8 (5) DefRtg: 110.3 (29) NetRtg: -0.6 (16)

Despite (or maybe because of) injuries to their veteran forwards, the Nuggets have been defending relatively well (they rank 11th on that end of the floor over the last two weeks) and put together their first four-game winning streak of the season, capped by Thursday's (offensive) win over the Clippers, in which Nikola Jokic recorded his fifth triple-double, seven of the eight guys who played scored in double-figures, and Will Barton scored a career-high 35 points. But foul trouble for Jokic sunk the offense in Saturday's loss to Houston and the Nuggets haven't been able to separate themselves from the ninth-place Blazers, who have the much easier schedule going forward. Denver plays seven of its next nine games on the road, and one of the home games is against the Cavs (who won't be on a back-to-back).

This week: @ HOU, vs. CLE, @ IND, vs. NOP

14
Last week:
19

Record: 40-30
Pace: 95.3 (28) OffRtg: 105.0 (17) DefRtg: 104.1 (5) NetRtg: +0.9 (10)

Whether it's a coincidence or not, the Grizzlies have turned things around since losing Chandler Parsons to another knee injury. They've followed an ugly five-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak, highlighted by Saturday's win over the Spurs. Their new starting lineup, with Vince Carter starting in Parsons' place, has outscored its opponents by 32 points per 100 possessions in 70 minutes over the streak, in part because Mike Conley and Marc Gasol have each played like stars. The pair has combined to average 40.5 points and 16.5 assists (with a 4.1 assist-turnover ratio) over the four games.

This week: @ NOP, @ SAS, @ GSW

15
Last week:
11

Record: 37-32
Pace: 99.8 (10) OffRtg: 102.7 (26) DefRtg: 103.6 (4) NetRtg: -0.9 (18)

The Hawks have followed up a three-game winning streak, in which they allowed just 95 points per 100 possessions, with a three-game losing streak, in which they've scored just 95 points per 100 possessions, with Dennis Schroder (the catalyst for the winning streak) shooting 6-for-30 over the last two games. Now, Schroder is the least of their worries, as Paul Millsap (who missed Saturday's loss to Portland) is out at least another two games and Kent Bazemore (who was injured in the fourth quarter on Saturday) is out at least a week, both dealing with knee issues. Rookie Taurean Prince has been a bright spot, with two double-digit scoring performances and nine blocks in the last four games, but the Hawks are now closer to sixth place than to fourth and play six of their next eight games on the road.

This week: @ CHA, @ WAS, @ MIL, vs. BKN

16
Last week:
13

Record: 35-34
Pace: 98.5 (17) OffRtg: 105.0 (18) DefRtg: 105.8 (17) NetRtg: -0.8 (17)

With Atlanta's injuries, the Pacers should have a real shot at climbing into fifth place in the East. But they're closer to ninth place (1 1/2 games ahead of the Heat) than they are to fifth (two gams behind the Hawks), they haven't won two straight games since Feb. 6, they lost to the Knicks on Tuesday (scoring 29 second-half points against a bottom-10 defense), and they got thumped in Toronto on Sunday. They remain a bad road team (having shot 16-for-70 from 3-point range in their last three road games), but play four of their next five games at home, where they're 4-0 since the break.

This week: vs. UTA, @ BOS, vs. DEN, vs. PHI

17
Last week:
16

Record: 34-35
Pace: 97.2 (23) OffRtg: 107.5 (11) DefRtg: 106.7 (20) NetRtg: +0.8 (12)

With only a game and a half separating sixth place from ninth place in the East, a single shot can make a big difference. And the Bucks were on the right end of a game-deciding shot in L.A. on Wednesday, when Blake Griffin's game-winner from just a few feet away rolled off the rim. They're 2-2 on their six-game trip, with the difference between the wins and losses being the defense, which allowed Memphis and Golden State to shoot a combined 26-for-50 from 3-point range. They only have two games remaining (both in Boston) against teams that rank in the top 10 offensively, but Tuesday's opponent (Portland) has had the fourth best offense in March and a guy who just dropped 49 on a top-10 defense.

This week: @ POR, @ SAC, vs. ATL, vs. CHI

18
Last week:
15

Record: 34-36
Pace: 97.0 (24) OffRtg: 103.7 (24) DefRtg: 105.0 (9) NetRtg: -1.3 (20)

Stan Van Gundy went back and fourth with his starting lineup last week, but nothing worked until the Pistons were fortunate enough to play the Suns on Sunday. Reggie Jackson's improved production was short lived. He shot 34 percent as the Pistons scored a paltry 94 points per 100 possessions in their four games last week and got outscored 123-30 from 3-point range in losses to the Cavs, Jazz and Raptors. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got things going in the second half in Sunday's win, which began a stretch of eight straight games against teams with losing records. Good timing, with the Pistons now in a tie for eighth place with Miami (with the final meeting in Detroit next Tuesday).

This week: @ BKN, @ CHI, @ ORL

19
Last week:
20

Record: 33-37
Pace: 97.4 (21) OffRtg: 103.8 (22) DefRtg: 105.6 (13) NetRtg: -1.8 (22)

The Bulls have the East's worst record (2-7) over the last 16 days and have lost Dwyane Wade (sprained and fracture elbow) for the season, but they're not done yet. They've been better (on both ends of the floor) with Wade off the floor this season and they beat another good team on Saturday, coming back from an early double-digit deficit to complete a season sweep of the Jazz. Though you never know what they're going to do with it, they have one of the East's easiest remaining schedules, with nine of their 12 games against teams with losing records (and another at home, on TNT, on a Thursday). This week's games against the Pistons and Bucks are obviously the biggest of those nine.

This week: @ TOR, vs. DET, vs. PHI, @ MIL

20
Last week:
23

Record: 29-41
Pace: 100.0 (9) OffRtg: 102.4 (27) DefRtg: 104.4 (7) NetRtg: -2.0 (23)

It's probably too late for the Pelicans to make a playoff push, especially since the Blazers and not the Nuggets (the team the Pels play three more times) are in a better position (with a much easier schedule) to get the 8 seed in the West. But New Orleans has won four of its last five games, scoring 113.6 points per 100 possessions, to stay alive (or at least to start building something for next season). Friday's win over Houston coming without DeMarcus Cousins was certainly fodder for discussion and the overall Cousins-Anthony Davis numbers still don't look good, but the Pels scored 63 points in 24.3 minutes with the bigs on the floor together against Minnesota on Sunday.

This week: vs. MEM, @ HOU, @ DEN

21
Last week:
21

Record: 30-39
Pace: 94.0 (29) OffRtg: 104.0 (21) DefRtg: 105.7 (16) NetRtg: -1.7 (21)

The playoff dream didn't die completely when the Mavs were blown out in Philadelphia in Friday, allowing the league's worst offensive team to dictate the pace and score 105 points over the final 36 minutes. But the Mavs are now three games out of eighth and play 12 of their final 13 games on the road or against an opponent with one of the 10 best records in the league. The only exception is a home game against Denver, when it may be too late to catch the Nuggets (or Blazers) for the final playoff spot in the West. The Mavs are currently 10-24 on the road and 7-17 against those top 10 teams. Four of them are in town over the next eight days.

This week: vs. GSW, vs. LAC, vs. TOR

22
Last week:
18

Record: 28-41
Pace: 97.0 (25) OffRtg: 107.8 (10) DefRtg: 107.9 (23) NetRtg: -0.1 (15)

The Wolves had the league's second best post-break defense through Monday, when they held the Wizards under a point per possession in their fourth win over teams with winning records since the break. But they allowed the Celtics, Heat and Pelicans to shoot 56 percent and scored 123 points per 100 possessions as they went winless on a three-game trip. Aggressive Ricky Rubio may be here to stay. He has taken 10 or more shots in eight straight games, having done so just 11 times in his first 55, and he has shot better from outside the paint (34-for-68) than from in the paint (15-for-33) in that stretch.

This week: vs. SAS, @ LAL, @ POR

23
Last week:
22

Record: 30-39
Pace: 98.3 (19) OffRtg: 105.7 (14) DefRtg: 105.0 (8) NetRtg: +0.7 (13)

Right after the Hornets got Cody Zeller back a few weeks ago, they lost Frank Kaminsky. And right when they they got Kaminsky back last week, they lost Nicolas Batum (to migraines) for a couple of games. And those couple of games - losses to Chicago and Indiana - may be the ones that killed the Hornets' playoff hopes. They still have the East's sixth best point differential and still have a top-10 defense, but they've allowed 115 points per 100 possessions in their last six losses, even though only one of those six opponents has an above-average offense.

This week: vs. ATL, @ ORL, vs. CLE, vs. PHX

24
Last week:
25

Record: 26-43
Pace: 101.0 (6) OffRtg: 100.4 (30) DefRtg: 105.7 (15) NetRtg: -5.2 (27)

The Sixers have seen some offensive improvement - getting big games from Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor and others - as they've won three of their last four games, with the only loss coming by two points at Golden State. But they've also held each of their last three opponents - including two top-10 offenses (though Boston was missing Isaiah Thomas on Sunday) - under a point per possession. They've risen to fifth worst record, with the ability to rise a few more spots (and fall a few spots in regard to Lottery odds) given the way they (and the teams around them) are playing.

This week: @ ORL, @ OKC, @ CHI, @ IND

25
Last week:
26

Record: 27-42
Pace: 99.2 (13) OffRtg: 104.9 (19) DefRtg: 108.6 (24) NetRtg: -3.7 (24)

While veterans on other Lottery-bound teams have been shut down for the season, Carmelo Anthony has played 37.8 minutes per game (second most in the league) since the All-Star break. That hasn't kept the Knicks from losing to the Nets twice in five days (with Anthony shooting 1-for-11 from 3-point range) or Anthony from losing his lead in mid-range shots to DeMar DeRozan. Anthony has managed to have a higher effective field goal percentage this season (49.1 percent) than his career average (48.2 percent), even though the percentage of his shots that have come from the restricted area (14.3 percent) is a career low by a wide margin (his previous low was 21.2 percent).

This week: @ LAC, @ UTA, @ POR, @ SAS

26
Last week:
30

Record: 27-43
Pace: 97.0 (26) OffRtg: 104.6 (20) DefRtg: 108.8 (27) NetRtg: -4.2 (25)

The Kings rank second in 3-point percentage since the break, but are one of two teams that has attempted less than 20 threes per game over the last month. Maybe Tyreke Evans (14-for-27) and Ben McLemore (12-for-24) have been shooting too well, because they've been DNP'd five and six times, respectively, over the last nine games. After Darren Collison (19 points and 13 assists) and Anthony Tolliver (19 points off the bench) played well in Monday's win over Orlando, they both sat in Phoenix on Wednesday. But Skal Labissiere won that game with 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and is shooting 61 percent (19-for-30 from mid-range) since the break.

This week: vs. MIL, @ GSW, @ LAC

27
Last week:
27

Record: 25-45
Pace: 98.6 (16) OffRtg: 100.8 (29) DefRtg: 107.8 (22) NetRtg: -7.0 (28)

While the Magic have a functioning starting lineup now, they have the league's worst bench, with an aggregate bench NetRtg (minus-17.7) since the All-Star break that's more than twice as bad as that of any other team. Mario Hezonja (8-for-30 from 3-point range, with more turnovers than assists since the break) isn't developing, Bismack Biyombo hasn't been able to elevate the second-unit defense (the Magic have allowed 109.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor), and Jeff Green is still Jeff Green (6-for-9 against Golden State, 1-for-9 against Phoenix).

This week: vs. PHI, vs. CHA, vs. DET

28
Last week:
24

Record: 22-48
Pace: 102.5 (3) OffRtg: 103.8 (23) DefRtg: 108.8 (26) NetRtg: -5.0 (26)

Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight have been shut down for the season, leaving Leandro Barbosa and Jared Dudley (and maybe Ronnie Price?) as the only guys not on a rookie or 10-day contract that are still playing for the Suns. T.J. Warren is taking advantage of the youth movement, having averaged 17.3 points on 58 percent shooting (63 percent inside the arc, 3-for-18 from 3-point range) since the All-Star break. But as a team, the Suns have been anemic offensively (scoring only 94 points per 100 possessions) as they've lost four straight games to solidify their spot as a top three team in regard to Lottery odds. In the last 11 days, they've lost to three of the other five teams with at least 43 losses.

This week: @ MIA, @ BKN, @ BOS, @ CHA

29
Last week:
29

Record: 13-56
Pace: 103.5 (1) OffRtg: 102.0 (28) DefRtg: 109.3 (28) NetRtg: -7.3 (29)

The Nets have certainly been more competitive with Jeremy Lin than they were without him, but Kenny Atkinson didn't get Lin back into the game quick enough against Boston on Friday, and then Lin turned an ankle in the first quarter against Dallas on Sunday. The Nets' latest starting lineup has scored 113 points per 100 possessions in its 111 minutes together, with Brook Lopez averaging 24.8 points (with an effective field goal percentage of 58 percent) over the last five games, Randy Foye shooting 55 percent from 3-point range in March (third best among players with at least 25 attempts) and Caris LeVert doing lots of fun stuff. But another Lin absence could kill some of that momentum.

This week: vs. DET, vs. PHX, @ WAS, @ ATL

30
Last week:
28

Record: 20-50
Pace: 101.0 (5) OffRtg: 103.3 (25) DefRtg: 110.9 (30) NetRtg: -7.7 (30)

Luke Walton has moved D'Angelo Russell to the bench, starting a backcourt of Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young and seemingly leaving the starting-unit playmaking to Julius Randle. The Lakers scored just 96 points per 100 possessions (assisting on less than half of their baskets) in their first three games with the new configuration, but Young caught the flu, Russell started at the two, and they almost accidentally beat the Cavs, with Russell scoring a career-high 40 points, on Sunday. They've still been outscored by a brutal 22.7 points per 100 possessions in 464 minutes with Clarkson and Russell on the floor together.

This week: vs. LAC, vs. MIN, vs. POR


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