NBA POWER RANKINGS

NBA Basketball Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings: Week 24

Jimmy Spencer

WEEK#    
Posted April 17, 2014 01:11 PM EDT

It’s time to tie a bow on what was a bit of a strange NBA regular season. Never before was the idea of “not winning” on the table for so many teams. Of course, there was the strategic losing taking place at the bottom of the standings. But there was also a battle for the No. 1 seed in the East in which the entire Pacers’ starting rotation was benched and the Heat didn’t seem concerned with stealing the position.

Fittingly, this was also the first year in NBA history when the Lakers, Celtics and Knicks all failed to make the postseason. It was a strange year indeed, and the postseason could get even weirder. But before that, let’s take a final look at how the regular season ended:

Note: NBA rankings were updated after Wednesday's games.

Follow the NBA season through the lens of Jimmy Spencer on Twitter at @JimmySpencerNBA.

+3

Memphis Grizzlies

-2

Chicago Bulls

FOX SPORTS NBA POWER RANKINGS

RK Team RECORD CHANGE HIGH/LOW COMMENTS
1

10-4 - 1/7
The Spurs are the best team entering the postseason and they’re the favorites to win the West. San Antonio has already proven they can beat the best. Since the All-Star break, the Spurs have the best record in the league at 12-2 (.857) against other playoExpand Description
The Spurs are the best team entering the postseason and they’re the favorites to win the West. San Antonio has already proven they can beat the best. Since the All-Star break, the Spurs have the best record in the league at 12-2 (.857) against other playoff teams.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
2

9-5 - 2/9
Blake Griffin could win Most Improved Player and finish in the top three of MVP voting this season. That’s just how impressive he’s been. With it, the Clippers have grown from a highlight factory into a legit contender from the West. Doc Rivers could haveExpand Description
Blake Griffin could win Most Improved Player and finish in the top three of MVP voting this season. That’s just how impressive he’s been. With it, the Clippers have grown from a highlight factory into a legit contender from the West. Doc Rivers could have the Clippers playing in the Finals.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
3

4-12 1 1/6
Kevin Durant drove the Thunder just short of 60 wins in a year when Russell Westbrook sat nearly half the season. But that’s just one reason why Durant should be the league’s MVP. The other reasons: averages of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 8Expand Description
Kevin Durant drove the Thunder just short of 60 wins in a year when Russell Westbrook sat nearly half the season. But that’s just one reason why Durant should be the league’s MVP. The other reasons: averages of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 81 games. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
4

12-3 1 2/9
We’re now two seasons removed from James Harden leaving one budding dynasty to start another. It hasn’t taken long to move the Rockets up the ladder, now a No. 4 seed in the West with Dwight Howard by Harden’s side. This season was another large step, butExpand Description
We’re now two seasons removed from James Harden leaving one budding dynasty to start another. It hasn’t taken long to move the Rockets up the ladder, now a No. 4 seed in the West with Dwight Howard by Harden’s side. This season was another large step, but the playoffs are where Harden will need to prove he can lead a championship-contending team.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
5

8-7 1 1/6
Pop quiz: what seed were the Bulls each year Michael Jordan won his titles? Exactly. No one will remember the Heat for the regular season. Miami coasted through most of the schedule -- ask Dwyane Wade and not LeBron James about that -- and will look to caExpand Description
Pop quiz: what seed were the Bulls each year Michael Jordan won his titles? Exactly. No one will remember the Heat for the regular season. Miami coasted through most of the schedule -- ask Dwyane Wade and not LeBron James about that -- and will look to catch fire in the postseason for a third consecutive title. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
6

12-3 2 1/14
The Blazers will be remembered as the surprise team of the 2013-14 regular season (ahead of the non-playoff Suns). Portland is way ahead of schedule, earning 50 wins on the back of elite seasons from LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. The defense got bExpand Description
The Blazers will be remembered as the surprise team of the 2013-14 regular season (ahead of the non-playoff Suns). Portland is way ahead of schedule, earning 50 wins on the back of elite seasons from LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. The defense got better toward the end of the season, and Portland must maintain that in the playoffs.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
7

9-6 2 5/24
Chicago never quit this season and earned a No. 4 seed because of it. Want to know why Chicago never stopped grinding? Because Tom Thibodeau is coach. Bulls players were going to sweat out long practices either way, so they may as well have made it mean sExpand Description
Chicago never quit this season and earned a No. 4 seed because of it. Want to know why Chicago never stopped grinding? Because Tom Thibodeau is coach. Bulls players were going to sweat out long practices either way, so they may as well have made it mean something.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
8

12-2 1 3/12
The Warriors have clinched the No. 6 seed. They’ve won 51 games, tied for the third-most in franchise history. They’ve also made the postseason for two consecutive seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. And some people in the Bay Area are calliExpand Description
The Warriors have clinched the No. 6 seed. They’ve won 51 games, tied for the third-most in franchise history. They’ve also made the postseason for two consecutive seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. And some people in the Bay Area are calling for Mark Jackson’s job? Expectations can certainly heighten quickly, even in Oakland where winning has been vacant for so long.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
9

6-8 2 6/26
The Nets have the second-best record in the East since Jan. 1, trailing only the Bulls. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aren't fully healthy, but no one expected that. So despite the loss of Brook Lopez, Brooklyn fans have to be pleased to get their shot inExpand Description
The Nets have the second-best record in the East since Jan. 1, trailing only the Bulls. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aren't fully healthy, but no one expected that. So despite the loss of Brook Lopez, Brooklyn fans have to be pleased to get their shot in the East this postseason. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
10

13-2 3 5/22
The business card of the Grizzlies reads only one line: Interior Design. The Grizzlies identity is inside, and the long absence of Marc Gasol with a knee injury is the only reason they're as low as a No. 7 seed. The Grizzlies were 10-14 without Gasol, incExpand Description
The business card of the Grizzlies reads only one line: Interior Design. The Grizzlies identity is inside, and the long absence of Marc Gasol with a knee injury is the only reason they're as low as a No. 7 seed. The Grizzlies were 10-14 without Gasol, including the Nov. 25 loss to the Spurs when he hurt his knee. After his return, Memphis finished the year 33-13. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
11

13-2 - 9/27
It’s rare when a top-three seed flies under the radar for an entire season. Toronto is legit, a top-10 offensive and defensive team with All-Star DeMar DeRozan and shoulda-been All-Star Kyle Lowry. If the Raptors want real respect though, they’ll have to Expand Description
It’s rare when a top-three seed flies under the radar for an entire season. Toronto is legit, a top-10 offensive and defensive team with All-Star DeMar DeRozan and shoulda-been All-Star Kyle Lowry. If the Raptors want real respect though, they’ll have to prove they’re “for real” in the postseason.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
12

11-5 2 7/20
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks to the postseason. Of all the bold predictions, that one was tough to see coming. Ellis has proven a great fit on the floor, and his addition appears equally as valuable in the locker room. Now, it’s time to lean on Dirk NowiExpand Description
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks to the postseason. Of all the bold predictions, that one was tough to see coming. Ellis has proven a great fit on the floor, and his addition appears equally as valuable in the locker room. Now, it’s time to lean on Dirk Nowitzki for what would be an even more surprising playoffs push.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
13

6-9 1 1/14
Well after all that, the Pacers ended up with the No. 1 seed. And it is quite significant. The Pacers’ stiffest competition remains the Heat (though Chicago/Washington could trip them up first), and home-court advantage will be critical if Indy is going rExpand Description
Well after all that, the Pacers ended up with the No. 1 seed. And it is quite significant. The Pacers’ stiffest competition remains the Heat (though Chicago/Washington could trip them up first), and home-court advantage will be critical if Indy is going regain its early- to mid-season swagger by then. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
14

10-6 2 7/29
The Suns got snubbed from the postseason — a 48-win team that didn’t make it. It’s a bummer, and in this West, there’s no guarantee they’ll be in the mix next season. Still, Goran Dragic has perennial All-Star stuff and the Suns are way ahead of rebuildinExpand Description
The Suns got snubbed from the postseason — a 48-win team that didn’t make it. It’s a bummer, and in this West, there’s no guarantee they’ll be in the mix next season. Still, Goran Dragic has perennial All-Star stuff and the Suns are way ahead of rebuilding schedule.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
15

9-5 1 13/26
No team had more to risk on the final night of the season than the Wizards. By winning and claiming the No. 5 seed, Washington avoided a first-round date with the Heat and capped a season that finally adhered to expectations placed on the team since drafExpand Description
No team had more to risk on the final night of the season than the Wizards. By winning and claiming the No. 5 seed, Washington avoided a first-round date with the Heat and capped a season that finally adhered to expectations placed on the team since drafting John Wall. The Wizards could make noise in the playoffs, but even if they don’t this season was an enormous step. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
16

4-12 1 14/27
The Bobcats might not be a legitimate playoff team by Western Conference standards, but it’s not an embarrassment that Charlotte is in. The Bobcats are an impressive defensive team, ranking fourth overall in defensive rating since the All-Star break.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
17

3-10 - 7/19
Minnesota AP writer Jon Krawczynski tweeted the other night that Kevin Love had six 40-point games this season, yet the Wolves were 1-5 in those games. It’s a telling stat, and one both sides are plenty aware of. Minnesota may soon be in a spot to roll thExpand Description
Minnesota AP writer Jon Krawczynski tweeted the other night that Kevin Love had six 40-point games this season, yet the Wolves were 1-5 in those games. It’s a telling stat, and one both sides are plenty aware of. Minnesota may soon be in a spot to roll the dice with one season to impress Love or move him while they have any leverage. Of course, it won’t be easy to entice another superstar to Minnesota, so keep that in mind.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
18

7-6 1 9/22
As bad as the Pacers are playing, the Hawks still don't stand a chance. Starting on the road is issue No. 1, as the Hawks were a horrendous 13-27 on the road. But uh, yeah, they are a "playoff team."
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
19

4-12 1 11/28
What a depressing season. The Knicks were supposed to contend for a title but ultimately failed to make the playoffs -- even in the one of the East’s worst seasons ever. The bright spot was hiring Phil Jackson, but not even that will mean much if New YorkExpand Description
What a depressing season. The Knicks were supposed to contend for a title but ultimately failed to make the playoffs -- even in the one of the East’s worst seasons ever. The bright spot was hiring Phil Jackson, but not even that will mean much if New York can’t bring back Carmelo Anthony.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
20

7-6 1 12/24
There was too much purposeful losing going around this year to not squint your eyes at the Pelicans even just a bit. New Orleans' draft pick belongs to Philly unless it's a No. 1 through 5. That’s enough motivation to support the Pelicans losing eight of Expand Description
There was too much purposeful losing going around this year to not squint your eyes at the Pelicans even just a bit. New Orleans' draft pick belongs to Philly unless it's a No. 1 through 5. That’s enough motivation to support the Pelicans losing eight of their final 10 games. Still, the odds don’t favor a top-five pick.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
21

7-8 1 7/28
The Nuggets were simply too short of talent to compete in the West. Brian Shaw’s rookie season certainly would have been boosted by JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari. Still, injuries are going to happen; the bigger absences were George Karl and Masai UjirExpand Description
The Nuggets were simply too short of talent to compete in the West. Brian Shaw’s rookie season certainly would have been boosted by JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari. Still, injuries are going to happen; the bigger absences were George Karl and Masai Ujiri.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
22

7-7 - 16/27
Fox's Sam Amico reported Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is "enraged" and "like a time bomb waiting to go off," but he isn’t going to go crazy firing everyone. Still, a huge shake up in Cleveland is overdue -- even Gilbert's bow-tied son must be tired of sitting aExpand Description
Fox's Sam Amico reported Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is "enraged" and "like a time bomb waiting to go off," but he isn’t going to go crazy firing everyone. Still, a huge shake up in Cleveland is overdue -- even Gilbert's bow-tied son must be tired of sitting at the lottery table.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
23

9-6 - 18/29
The Kings expected a transition season under new ownership and new coach Mike Malone, but #HereWeStay quickly returned to #HereWeGoAgain. There was no growth in the win column, but management deserves more time. At least DeMarcus Cousins’ monster stat linExpand Description
The Kings expected a transition season under new ownership and new coach Mike Malone, but #HereWeStay quickly returned to #HereWeGoAgain. There was no growth in the win column, but management deserves more time. At least DeMarcus Cousins’ monster stat lines now match the monster headache his league-leading techs can bring on.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
24

3-12 - 13/28
Wow, that was the worst Lakers’ season since 1959-60. It speaks to the long-time success of the franchise but even more to just how bad this season was. The team was drained of talent, and Kobe Bryant could only SMH all over Twitter. The Kobe era isn’t ovExpand Description
Wow, that was the worst Lakers’ season since 1959-60. It speaks to the long-time success of the franchise but even more to just how bad this season was. The team was drained of talent, and Kobe Bryant could only SMH all over Twitter. The Kobe era isn’t over, but he needs massive help this offseason. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
25

3-12 - 13/28
On paper, the Pistons were supposed to be one of the league’s most exciting rosters. But the combo of Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond-Josh Smith failed miserably and Brandon Jennings wasn’t nearly enough to save it. Joe Dumars is gone, and it will be interestiExpand Description
On paper, the Pistons were supposed to be one of the league’s most exciting rosters. But the combo of Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond-Josh Smith failed miserably and Brandon Jennings wasn’t nearly enough to save it. Joe Dumars is gone, and it will be interesting to see how this offseason is handled after Monroe, a restricted free agent, receives a max deal elsewhere.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
26

5-11 1 23/30
No one expected Utah to make the playoffs. In reality, the team that let Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk was targeted with an over/under of about 30 wins. The Jazz won less than 30 games for the first time since 2004-05 and for just the second time sinExpand Description
No one expected Utah to make the playoffs. In reality, the team that let Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk was targeted with an over/under of about 30 wins. The Jazz won less than 30 games for the first time since 2004-05 and for just the second time since 1981-82.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
27

6-11 1 20/29
It still seems like Orlando should have been noisier at the trade deadline. But the cards the Magic held onto (namely Jameer Nelson) could provide an interesting offseason of rebuilding. The Magic are moving forward, slowly. Even knocking on the door of tExpand Description
It still seems like Orlando should have been noisier at the trade deadline. But the cards the Magic held onto (namely Jameer Nelson) could provide an interesting offseason of rebuilding. The Magic are moving forward, slowly. Even knocking on the door of the playoffs next season would be a good step.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
28

4-8 - 16/29
The biggest outcome of the Celtics’ season won't occur until May 20, the date of the draft lottery. Boston has the fourth best odds at the top pick, and the Celtics are hoping for some good luck and a shot at Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. Expand Description
The biggest outcome of the Celtics’ season won't occur until May 20, the date of the draft lottery. Boston has the fourth best odds at the top pick, and the Celtics are hoping for some good luck and a shot at Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. Boston needs plenty of help, and Danny Ainge would be smart to look around the league and build through the draft rather than via free-agency clippings.Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
29

0-15 - 14/30
Philly’s season will be remembered for its two big runs: the three straight wins to open the season (when Michael Carter-Williams pretty much won Rookie of the Year) and, of course, the 26 straight losses that put them in the history books.
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets
30

9-7 - 24/30
The Bucks were the league’s worst this year, never even winning two straight. But there are two pieces of good news: The Bucks have been sold under the condition the team stays in Milwaukee and new ownership has the top odds for the No. 1 pick in one of tExpand Description
The Bucks were the league’s worst this year, never even winning two straight. But there are two pieces of good news: The Bucks have been sold under the condition the team stays in Milwaukee and new ownership has the top odds for the No. 1 pick in one of the most anticipated drafts in years. Collapse Description
Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Gear | Tickets

 

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