Old School Power Rankings
Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 16-17
LeBron James looking strong again, Chris Paul ascends into the top three and a Cavalier guard enters the chase for the first time
Scott Wraight, NBA.com
Just when it looked like the King’s grip on his throne was weakening, he reminds everyone of his enduring power.
Meanwhile, Houston’s gritty guard continues to deliver and put up some of the best numbers of his stellar career, Philly’s long-range specialist gets back in the chase and one of the King’s men makes his first appearance.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you’ll notice a pair of mainstays from last season reemerge. Let’s see how much staying power they still have.
Notes: Season statistics are through games of Feb. 15
Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
Check out previous rankings
1. LeBron James (32), Cleveland Cavaliers
Previous rank: 1
Last weeks’ stats: 6 games, 26.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 11.0 apg
Season stats: 26.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 8.9 apg
James strolled into the All-Star break on a high note, pouring in 24 or more points in four of five games, including a pair of 37-point performances. Not too shabby after beginning the two-week stint with an ugly 11-point showing (3-for-10 shooting) on Feb. 3. The King also managed to chip in a pair of triple-doubles.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge (32), San Antonio Spurs
Previous rank: 2
Last weeks’ stats: 3 games, 24.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 22.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg
Despite playing just three games before the break, Aldridge was productive. The big man, who missed the last two games with a minor knee injury, went for 31, 23 and 20 points in the three games while shooting an eye-popping 66.0 percent from the field. Aldridge also strung together three straight games with two blocks.
3. Chris Paul (32), Houston Rockets
Previous rank: 4
Last weeks’ stats: 7 games, 19.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 7.6 apg
Season stats: 19.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 8.3 apg
Paul moves up a spot on the strength of four 20-plus point games. He also managed to dish out seven or more assists in five consecutive games while pulling down seven or more rebounds in five of seven. Talk about filling the box score. To top it off, he did all this while shooting 53.8 percent from the field.
4. Dwight Howard (32), Charlotte Hornets
Previous rank: 3
Last weeks’ stats: 7 games, 14.3 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
Season stats: 15.8 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 1.4 apg
It was definitely an up-and-down stint for Howard, who had two games with less than 10 points, one game with just 12 points and four games with 17 or more points. Unfortunately, Howard pulled down just seven rebounds on Feb. 5, breaking a string of 15 straight games with 10 or more rebounds.
5. Marc Gasol (32), Memphis Grizzlies
Previous rank: 5
Last weeks’ stats: 5 games, 15.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.6 apg
Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 4.0 apg
If anyone below him had stood out, Gasol definitely would’ve slipped at least one rung. It was a subpar five-game run for the 7-footer, who has gone five straight games with no more than six rebounds while failing to shoot 50 percent in any of those games. He’s also gone just 5-for-20 from long range.
6. J.J. Redick (33), Philadelphia 76ers
Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks’ stats: 7 games, 14.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 16.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg
Redick rejoins the chase thanks to a relatively strong five-game stretch in which he scored 15 or more points in four of those games. He also hit three or more 3-pointers in four straight, including 5-for-10 on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. After missing seven straight with a leg injury, the veteran shooter appears to be back to full strength.
7. Carmelo Anthony (33), Oklahoma City Thunder
Previous rank: 6
Last weeks’ stats: 5 games, 13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.2 apg
Season stats: 17.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg
The stats don’t look good, but they are a bit misleading because of a 6-minute showing on Feb. 6. Anthony injured his ankle during that game and missed the next two games. When he returned, he was solid, scoring 24 and 19. Of course the shooting remains a huge issue: 35.1 FG% over the last two weeks, 41.2 FG% for the season.
8. Zach Randolph (36), Sacramento Kings
Previous rank: NA
Last weeks’ stats: 6 games, 15.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 14.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
Like Redick, Randolph rejoins the fun. Shooting 53.3 FG% and 45.0 3PT% over the last six games, Randolph scored 14 or more four times. After an inconsistent January in which he went for double-digit scoring in just five of 10 games, Z-Bo has started February with six consecutive double-figure games.
9. Dirk Nowitzki (39), Dallas Mavericks
Previous rank: NA
Last weeks’ stats: 5 games, 15.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 apg
Season stats: 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
Nowitzki has gone for 10 or more points in eight straight while shooting better than 50 percent from the field in four of the last six. He’s also connected on two or more 3s in six of the previous eight. Over the last five games, Nowitzki averaged 18.5 points and 65.0 FG% in two wins compared to 13.3 points and 45.2 FG% in three losses.
10. J.R. Smith (32), Cleveland Cavaliers
Previous rank: NA
Last weeks’ stats: 6 games, 14.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg
Season stats: 8.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg
If only we could toss out his Feb. 9 showing in which he went for seven points, Smith would probably check in at No. 8 or 7. That’s because in his other five games, he went for 15 or more three times, hitting three or more 3-pointers in five games. During the two weeks, Smith shot a blistering 54.5 from the field and 54.8 from deep.
Just missed the cut: Gerald Green, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson
Will turn 32 this season: Rajon Rondo (Feb. 22), Corey Brewer (March 5), Kyle Lowry (March 25), Marco Belinelli (March 25).
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