Mar 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) reacts after scoring the game winning basket against the Orlando Magic during the second half at the American Airlines Arena. The Heat defeated the Magic 97-96. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
|It’s the week 18 Dunking with Wolves NBA Power Rankings. JJ Glenn continues to break down every NBA team throughout the NBA season.
|The Heat clearly the cream of the crop right now. They’ve won 17 straight, and running away with the East. They continuously overcome their lack of size up front by making their shots, the Heat have the highest fg% in the NBA. When you make your shots, there is no need to rebound that is being efficient.
|The Spurs are at a cross roads. They will either have the next man step up, or will see how much Tony Parker means to this team. If any of the young guards can take that next step, this team will once again prove the front office evaluates talent like no other organization.
|OKC really only had one thing they would need to do this season. Figure out their rotations with Kevin Martin in the fold, rather than Harden. The Thunder will need to still fine tune their line-up. Their deep and talented, but is it enough to get out of the West for a Finals rematch with Miami.
|The Grizzlies are 9-1 over their last 10. Their offensive efficiency has continued to get better since the Rudy Gay trade. Memphis has moved up to 18th in OEFF and continues to get better. This team’s defense has never been questioned, and now that their offense is coming together, this team could be the surprise out of the West.
|The Clippers look to be faltering down the stretch. Now there are major implications that could impact this team in the future should the fizzle in the playoffs. But, that is another topic for another time. I have been saying it for weeks, they are deep and that will be good for the regular season, but come playoff time it doesn’t matter how deep they are, it’s about your starting 5.
|The Pacers are getting stronger and stronger. They are positioning themselves to be the 2 seed in the East. Their defense is still the best in the NBA. If defense wins championships, this team would be the poster child for it this season.
|The Nuggets are surging, and 2 games out of the 4th seed in the West. If the Nuggets should get home court advantage that would all but ensure them that they would move in the 2nd round.
|New York Knicks
|The Knicks are 6-4 over their last 10. They have been without Melo, and now they could be without Amare for possibly the next 6 weeks. This team relies upon the outside jump shot, and when that doesn’t fall, this team is very beatable. No team wins a title by making outside jump shots.
|The Nets are 6-4 over their last 10, and they currently have the 4th spot in the East. Consistency continues to the missing part. Super teams take time, the Heat have shown us that. The uneven play will be their down fall in the post season.
|The Celtics 7-3 record over their last 10, and current 5 game win streak would indicate that this team is figuring it. It is very possible that they could be hitting their stride at just the right time, only a 2 game difference between them and the 4th seed for home court advantage in the 1st round.
|The Bulls NEED Derrick Rose. If they don’t have him back in the lineup, this team is done in the 1st round. With a player like Rose back in the line-up, this team is just as dangerous as anyone in the East.
|The Warriors are a dismal 4-6 over their last 10, they have really been struggling. They were supposed to getting an easier schedule and that hasn’t helped them. The Warriors could really use Bogut for more than the 24 minutes he has logged in 16 games. His defense could help cover up David Lee’s lack thereof.
|The Rockets continue to put up a lot of points. They also give up a lot of points. They have the 8th worst defensive efficiency. For all of the points they put on the board, they are the 4th most efficient on the offensive end. They just need to start getting stops if they want to do something more than just make the playoffs.
|The Jazz are still -.57 in points per game. Now that Mo Williams is back, this team right this ship before it is too late. They have gone 3-7 over their last 10 and have lost 4 straight. With Mo back, he will of course have to get himself back into game shape, but will add just what the Jazz were missing.
|The Hawks have played .500 ball over their last 10. The problem is, that the rest of the East has been at a better level and now the Hawks are down to the 7th seed in the East.
|The Bucks are -.8 in point diff on the season. They have the worst point diff of any team in the playoffs. The Bucks are 21st in OEFF, and struggle to efficiently get points on the board. Right now it looks like this team is getting set for a first round matchup with the Heat.
|The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10, and tied for the 8th spot in the West. The Jazz hold the tie breaker for right now, but if the Lakers keep playing with the same urgency, they look like they should make the playoffs after all.
|The Blazers are 2 games out of the playoff hunt and going the wrong direction. They are 4-6 over their last 10 games. The Blazers are probably going to need to look at what the future holds as it is starting to look more and more like the Blazers are going to miss the playoffs.
|The Mavs have gone 6-4 over their last 10, and they are 3 games out of a playoff spot. The Mavs will again be looking to free agency and the off season to over haul the roster. Most teams thought they were crazy blowing up a championship roster. The real question is was Cuban crazy, or did he foresee all of the issues the new CBA would create and now trying to position this team for years to come with financial flexibility?
|The Wolves have had many woes this season. They could finally be getting some good news 4 starters could be back on the floor over the next 3 weeks. This season was supposed to be about the playoffs, now that the playoffs are no longer an option the Wolves still need to see what this roster looks like together.
|The Raptors are getting to see Rudy Gay in all of his glory. The good and the terribly inefficient. Lately is has been more of the inefficient variety. The Raptors are now 3-7 over their last 10. While the current roster may be fun to watch, it isn’t producing many wins.
|The Sixers are a team with so many questions. What are they to do with Bynum this offseason? What do they do with the current roster? What is this team’s direction for the future? They have pieces they could flip and once Bynum comes off of the books, the Sixers will have some financial flexibility entering next season, it will be interesting to see how they use it.
|The Cavs are a team that is on the rise. It isn’t going to be this season, even though they have gone .500 over their last 10. This team is looking more towards the future than the present. With so many good young pieces in place, draft picks galore and a lot of financial flexibility, there isn’t anything to like.
|The Wizards are .500 over their last 10, the question is what this team would have been able to accomplish should they have had all of their pieces all season. Missing John Wall, Nene and now Bradley Beal. This team has nice pieces in place, their history would say don’t get to excited to soon.
|There is still so many questions about this team. The first one is, does their front office have any idea what they are doing? If, the answer is yes, what is it? If it is no, then things seem to be going just as expected.
|The Pistons have a future in Drummond and Monroe. Not having Drummond has really hurt as they have now gone 2-8 over their last 10. The Pistons need a lot, and the off season will be very interesting to see how next year’s team is going to look.
|The soap opera known as the Sacramento Kings is still on going. Are they staying? Are they going? It would seem that the front office can’t do anything to fix this mess until the ownership situation is settled out. Once the ownership is settled though, their first order of business should be getting a new front office to undo what the previous one has done.
|The Hornets were the youngest team in the NBA, the inconsistency is part of what happens when you have a young team. These are the growing pains a young team will have. The Pelicans will have money and some needs as they go into the off season.
|The Magic need a lot, they knew going into this year this is a team that is rebuilding. They still had a $74 million payroll this season, there is a lot more work to do on this team than just getting new talented young players.
|The Cats are 0-10 over their last 10. They need some much and the good news is they have lots of cap room. Acquiring young assets will be the key in today’s NBA.