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By the Slimmest of Margins
November 26, 2007 -- I don't use the "Save Until I Delete" option too much on my TiVo. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used it.

But I used it twice this weekend. First, I used it for the "My Musical" episode of Scrubs, which I hadn't seen before, but easily became my favorite Scrubs episode ever.

And then I used SUID for Saturday's Boston-Charlotte game, the second half of which I had TiVo'd because the wife and I were watching something else at the time.

The final play (video) was almost as improbable as Rasheed Wallace's 60-footer against the Nuggets last season. If Charlotte was just able to inbound the ball successfully, if it was someone in a white uniform that came down with the loose ball, if Ray Allen didn't happen to be wide open off the scramble, or if Allen missed the shot like he missed the other five threes he had taken that night, then the Celtics would be at No. 4 in this week's rankings.

But none of that happened. Eddie House got his hand on the inbounds pass, Paul Pierce came down with it and found Allen with no one near him, and Ray drained the game-winner. It was an incredibly unlikely sequence of events that turned a great win for the Bobcats into a heartbreaking loss.

And it also keeps the Celtics at No. 1.

Check out the Power Rankings Protraction, where we take a closer look at the Nets and the Heat.

And as always, if you've got beef with the rankings, feel free to comment in the blog, or drop us a line.

High jumps of the week: Golden State (+10), New Jersey (+9), Milwaukee (+8)
Free falls of the week: L.A. Lakers (-7), Philadelphia (-7), Charlotte (-5)

Off: Points scored per 100 possessions
Def: Points allowed per 100 possessions
The league averages 92.8 possessions (per team) per game and 106.4 points per 100 possessions.

1 Boston (1) 11-1 Off: 111.2 (4), Def: 97.1 (1) -- Saturday's win was a bit of a miracle, but 11-1 is 11-1. A pair against the Cavs this week will be a good test.
2 Phoenix (2) 11-2 Off: 111.4 (3), Def: 103.3 (6) -- The streak is at eight, five guys are averaging between 15 and 19 PPG, and any questions you had about Shawn Marion have been answered.
3 San Antonio (6) 12-2 Off: 114.0 (1), Def: 103.3 (5) -- The Spurs have won five straight by an average of 11.8 points with Tim Duncan playing just 34 minutes per game. They're cruising.
4 Orlando (4) 12-3 Off: 111.2 (5), Def: 103.9 (9) -- Wednesday's loss in San Antonio (though tight after three) was humbling, but the Magic are still right there with the Celtics at the top of the East.
5 Utah (10) 10-4 Off: 111.1 (6), Def: 102.2 (3) -- From 6 to 14 to 5 to 10 and back to 5, the Jazz have been on the Power Rankings roller coaster. Sunday's win in Detroit was their best so far.
6 Dallas (3) 9-4 Off: 114.0 (2), Def: 107.7 (18) -- The Mavs have the second best offense in the league, but as the fourth quarter in Milwaukee showed, their defense will fail them at times.
7 Milwaukee (15) 7-4 Off: 108.4 (13), Def: 108.9 (21) -- The Bucks are Redd hot, having won five straight, but seven of their next nine are on the road, where they're 1-4.
8 New Orleans (5) 10-5 Off: 107.6 (15), Def: 103.0 (4) -- The Hornets are the anti-Mavs. Their defense is very good, but their offense can become stagnant at times, like in Friday's loss in Utah.
9 Detroit (9) 8-5 Off: 109.7 (9), Def: 105.9 (15) -- Sunday's defeat at the hands of the Jazz was the Pistons' first loss at home. Getting Rasheed back for Wednesday's matchup with the Cavs could help delay No. 2.
10 Denver (7) 9-5 Off: 106.4 (16), Def: 100.7 (2) -- The Nuggets' two losses this week were both on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. Still, they got their tails kicked in Houston on Saturday.
11 Cleveland (13) 8-6 Off: 107.9 (14), Def: 109.1 (22) -- Maybe we should start a page like this for LeBron. Sunday makes four on the season, including two straight, and 14 for his career.
12 Toronto (12) 7-7 Off: 109.2 (11), Def: 105.2 (13) -- In T.J. Ford's absence, Jose Calderon has averaged 11.7 assists and just one turnover over the last three games (two wins).
13 Houston (11) 7-7 Off: 105.9 (18), Def: 103.5 (8) -- Their six-game losing streak ended with Saturday's romp over the Nuggets. Interesting quote from Shane Battier: "We're going to be learning well past the All-Star break."
14 New Jersey (23) 7-7 Off: 96.9 (29), Def: 104.3 (12) -- Vince Carter's return seems to have cured the Nets' offensive woes. They're 7-2 with him in uniform and they just capped a 3-1 trip with a big win over the Lakers.
15 L.A. Lakers (8) 7-6 Off: 110.4 (8), Def: 105.9 (16) -- The Lakers have dropped three straight with Kobe shooting .383 from the field over the three. Tuesday's matchup with the Sonics should help fix that.
16 Golden State (26) 5-7 Off: 110.5 (7), Def: 113.0 (30) -- How important is Stephen Jackson to the Warriors? Without him, their defensive rating was an atrocious 119.1. With him, it's a solid 104.4. And the result is an impressive 4-1 road trip.
17 Indiana (18) 6-8 Off: 105.5 (20), Def: 108.1 (19) -- In these last three games without Jermaine O'Neal, the Pacers beat the Hornets and Mavs, and lost a close one to Cleveland. Let us know if you've figured this team out yet.
18 Washington (16) 6-7 Off: 109.0 (12), Def: 109.5 (24) -- Can the Wiz hang on for three months without Agent Nacho? They're 3-2 sans Gilbert so far, and their offense has improved greatly while their defense has suffered. Figure that one out too.
19 Charlotte (14) 6-7 Off: 102.8 (24), Def: 105.9 (14) -- Yeah, they were a successful inbounds pass from beating No. 1, but the Bobcats have now lost three straight, and the next three are on the road.
20 L.A. Clippers (17) 6-6 Off: 102.8 (23), Def: 106.5 (17) -- Without Corey Maggette, the Clippers are 1-3 and their offense has suffered, but he could be back tonight against Houston.
21 Atlanta (25) 5-7 Off: 106.1 (17), Def: 108.8 (20) -- Two straight road wins has Sekou Smith thinking, "Why not the Hawks and why not now?" Three of their next four are very winnable.
22 Memphis (24) 4-9 Off: 109.7 (10), Def: 112.9 (29) -- Rudy Gay = Shawn Marion? I could see it. He's definitely an early Most Improved candidate. Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Navarro has picked up his game as a starter.
23 Portland (19) 5-8 Off: 104.7 (21), Def: 109.6 (25) -- The Nets ended the Blazers' perfect run at the Rose Garden on Wednesday, but LaMarcus Aldridge's 28 (on 12-of-15) and 12 got them back on track on Friday against the Kings.
24 Miami (22) 3-10 Off: 98.5 (28), Def: 104.1 (11) -- Is it Shaq? Is it the lack of a point guard? Not enough shooters? It's probably a little bit of everything, but the Heat aren't worrying too much yet. Still, a tough, six-game trip looms.
25 Sacramento (21) 4-9 Off: 105.7 (19), Def: 111.9 (27) -- Should a team with one of the best individual defenders in the league be ranked 27th defensively? With a bear of an upcoming schedule, I don't see it getting much better.
26 New York (28) 3-9 Off: 101.4 (25), Def: 109.3 (23) -- After dropping eight straight, the Knicks took advantage of a team (Chicago) that may actually be in more turmoil than they are, at least on the court. The next four don't look too winnable though.
27 Philadelphia (20) 3-9 Off: 99.8 (27), Def: 104.1 (10) -- The Sixers are down, but they aren't down. Eight of their next 11 at home could help them keep their spirits up.
28 Chicago (27) 2-10 Off: 92.7 (30), Def: 103.4 (7) -- The Bulls only play two games this week, but it may be the most important week of the season, as they try to turn it around after an ugly 1-5 circus trip. They host Atlanta on Tuesday and Charlotte on Saturday.
29 Seattle (29) 2-12 Off: 100.9 (26), Def: 110.0 (26) -- They almost got one against the Nets on Friday, but the Sonics are left as the only team in the NBA without a win at home.
30 Minnesota (30) 1-10 Off: 103.0 (22), Def: 112.5 (28) -- The Wolves scored 35 points in the second quarter against the Hawks Saturday night. Then they scored 24 in the second half.

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