NBA power rankings

By Sam Amico

The All-Star festivities are in the rearview and the Heat, Bulls and Thunder remain the top teams heading into the season’s second half. Check out the top performers of the week and find out where your team ranks.

1 Heat 27-7

Won eight straight heading into All-Star break and seem to be getting better defensively. Scary when you consider offensive explosiveness of LeBron and Wade.

2 Bulls 27-8

Richard Hamilton due to return soon, and Joakim Noah insists Bulls have yet to peak. Look out if he’s right.

3 Thunder 27-7

Kevin Durant wins MVP of All-Star Game, may get an opportunity to do the same in the Finals.

4 Spurs 24-10

Learned not to rest Tim Duncan and Tony Parker in the same game. At least, not once the playoffs roll around.

5 Mavericks 21-13

Beginning to show cohesiveness that led to title last season. Will Shawn Marion be traded to bring in another piece or two?

6 Clippers 20-11

Everyone said Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and others would play their best in season’s second half. That time has arrived.

7 Lakers 20-14 +1

Still not looking like championship contenders, but getting a lot closer. And anything is possible with Kobe Bryant.

8 Pacers 21-12 +3

Entered All-Star break as second-hottest team in East. Maybe others outside of Indiana will start to believe.

9 Magic 22-13

Starting to look more and more like Dwight Howard will stay for now. And why not? Magic could be dark horse with him.

10 76ers 20-14 -3

Hot start tempered a bit, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes with so much youth. Move to put them back near top could be made.

11 Rockets 20-14 +1

Kyle Lowry’s name being mentioned in trade rumors, but hot Rockets might be foolish to break up a good thing.

12 Hawks 20-14 -2

Need to find a way to recover from an average month. A trade (Kirk Hinrich? Marvin Williams?) might offer some rejuvenation.

13 Grizzlies 19-15

Up-and-down in a season without Zach Randolph, but are showing more signs of staying afloat.

14 Trail Blazers 18-16 +2

Occasionally moving Jamal Crawford to point guard a risky move for coach Nate McMillan. Paying off well so far, however.

15 Knicks 17-18

Is the curtain drawing on Jeremy Lin show? If answer is yes, there’s always Baron Davis. Maybe.

16 Celtics 15-17 +1

Clinging to playoff hopes, but it might take moving one of the Big Three (read: Ray Allen) to get somewhere good.

17 Nuggets 18-17 -3

Momentum quickly slipped away without Danilo Gallinari. Will his return from an ankle injury, maybe this week, mean return to relevancy?

18 Timberwolves 17-17

Rick Adelman continues to keep his young team a little ahead of schedule. Would be a surprise if Michael Beasley is still around after trading deadline, though.

19 Jazz 15-17

Jeremy Evans’ win in Slam Dunk contest beginning to look like it’ll be highlight of otherwise lost season.

20 Warriors 13-17 +2

Wouldn’t mind making a move to increase playoff odds, but don’t want to give up Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis.

21 Cavaliers 13-18

Rookie legs of Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson about to face difficult test. Same goes for aging legs of Antawn Jamison.

22 Suns 14-20 -2

Steve Nash still a believer in postseason possibilities. But is it just a pipe dream?

23 Bucks 13-20

In about their fourth week of wishing they had never acquired Stephen Jackson. Time to give up on Andrew Bogut, too?

24 Kings 11-22 +2

Fans are happy Kings staying in Sacramento. Now they can focus on building a unified team.

25 Pistons 11-24 -1

Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight are two strong starting points. If only Pistons could get rid of dead weight.

26 Raptors 10-23 +1

Jose Calderon repeatedly being mentioned in trade talk. Might not be a bad time to make those rumors come to life.

27 Nets 10-25 -2

Will either land Dwight Howard and immediately get better or deal Deron Williams and go in the other direction, just in time for move to Brooklyn.

28 Hornets 8-25

Haven’t mailed it in yet, and that’s a good thing. They could have an actual owner by the time you read this.

29 Wizards 7-26

It’s too bad those cool new uniforms have to be sported by such a lousy team.

30 Bobcats 4-28

Will spend second half of season crossing fingers and printing posters with Anthony Davis’ likeness.