NBA Power Ranking This Week

Last Revised on February 25, 2008

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L.A. Lakers (7) 39-17 Off: 113.6 (2), Def: 106.1 (5) — With Pau Gasol fitting in perfectly and Kobe Bryant seemingly unaffected by his mangled pinky, I’m not sure this team isn’t the favorite to win the title even without Andrew Bynum. And with Bynum’s rehab coming along, it would be very difficult for anyone to pick against the Lakers right now.

San Antonio (8) 37-17 Off: 110.1 (11), Def: 104.3 (4) — With Tony Parker back, Manu Ginobili playing out of his mind and a favorable schedule, the Spurs are primed for a nice run. Heck, they’re already on a nice run, having won nine of their last 10.

Houston (9) 36-20 Off: 107.3 (16), Def: 103.1 (2) — The Rockets have won 12 straight, 15 of their last 16, and are 21-4 since Jan. 1. What changed with the calendar? The offense. They have a 110.7 offensive rating over the last 25, up from 104.6 in the first 31. And the key there may be that they’re sharing the ball more, with an assist-field goal ratio of .625 over the last 25 and .680 during the 12-game streak.

Utah (3) 36-20 Off: 113.5 (3), Def: 107.3 (10) — Despite an inexcusable loss to the Clippers (going 0-for-13 from downtown) on Friday, the Jazz have a (relatively huge) 2 1/2 game lead over the Nuggets in the Northwest and have won 14 straight at EnergySolutions Arena.

Detroit (1) 41-15 Off: 113.2 (4), Def: 103.9 (3) — Beating the Suns by 30 is a nice way to start a four-game Western swing, and with the Celtics struggling out West, the top seed in the East is within reach.

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