The trade deadline is finally here. We have teams that are obvious buyers, teams that are obvious sellers, and players that are already sitting by the phone, waiting for the phone to ring. Two of those guys — Trevor Ariza and P.J. Tucker — found new homes last week, while a third — Blake Griffin – also made his debut with his new team. The other two — LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond – may have to wait until after the deadline, given how difficult the contracts would be to trade.
There’s bound to be a surprise or two before the trade deadline on March 25. There are a lot of teams straddling the fence between playoff contention and Lotteryville. And if you don’t like straddling the fence, now’s the time to hop off.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Right Way: Montrezl Harrell (LAL) was a plus-56 in five games last week.
- Wrong Way: Aleksej Pokusevski (OKC) was a minus-59 in three games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Atlanta (3-0) — In the Eastern Conference, an eight-game winning streak takes you from 11th place to fourth.
- Something Just Ain’t Right: Toronto (0-3) — Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Masai Ujiri’s office this week.
East vs. West
- The West is 137-116 (.542) against the East in interconference games after going 13-9 last week.
Schedule strength through Week 13
- Toughest: 1. Minnesota, 2. Dallas, 3. Washington
- Easiest: 1. Phoenix, 2. Portland, 3. San Antonio
- Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Atlanta (+5), Milwaukee (+4), Cleveland, San Antonio (+3)
- Free falls of the week: Boston (-6), Charlotte (-5), Miami, Toronto (-4)
Week 14 Team to Watch
- Boston — This is more about the trade deadline than it is the schedule, but the Celtics do have two games in Milwaukee as a measuring stick of sorts. The first comes the day before the deadline, which is fun.
Previous Power Rankings
- Thursday’s notebook: Trae Young’s bag of tricks, Gordon Hayward in the post and Lakers’ defense still No. 1
- The archive: NBA.com Power Rankings
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 99.9 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 111.3 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.