NBA power rankings

By Sam Amico

The Heat close their finest season at the top. But the Thunder, Spurs and Knicks might have something to say about that in playoffs.

Also: Check out the week’s best performances.

1 Heat 65-16

The Heat dominated the regular season like no other team in modern era. So can anyone really hope to beat them in seven-game series?

2 Thunder 60-21

If they don’t get back to Finals, everyone is likely to blame the James Harden trade.

3 Spurs 58-23

Struggling mightily on the road lately, but if they can get act together, they’re capable of another title.

4 Knicks 53-28

They actually think they can beat the Heat. Carmelo Anthony’s play almost makes it believable.

5 Nuggets 56-25 +2

Barely skipped a beat after Danilo Gallinari went down. What a coaching job by George Karl.

6 Grizzlies 55-26 -1

Tough defense and under-control offense make them a natural fit for playoff-style basketball.

7 Clippers 54-26 -1

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the rest have played some of their best basketball of late. Good timing.

8 Pacers 49-31

Physical, extremely confident ways make them an ideal postseason sleeper.

9 Nets 48-33

There’s enough talent here that makes you think if they put it all together … unexpected things could happen.

10 Rockets 45-36 +1

James Harden has been here before. The rest of the team might need another year.

11 Bulls 44-37 +1

Derrick Rose isn’t coming back, meaning they aren’t likely to get very far. But that D can create some serious issues for opponents.

12 Warriors 46-35 -2

Mark Jackson has all this offensive talent interested in defense. That makes them intriguing.

13 Celtics 41-39 +1

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce know what they’re doing at this time of year. That counts for a lot.

14 Hawks 44-36 +2

They’ll likely have an entirely different look next season, so consider this their last hurrah.

15 Jazz 43-38 -2

Postseason or not, this will be a huge summer, with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap entering free agency.

16 Lakers 44-37 -1

One of the most disappointing years in league history. Going nowhere minus Kobe Bryant.

17 Bucks 37-44 +1

The Bucks get at least four more games tacked on to the end of their season. But probably no more than five.

18 Mavericks 40-41 -1

Finished the year in admirable fashion after a slow start. Still, an aging Dirk Nowitzki needs more help.

19 Trail Blazers 33-47 +2

Offseason to-do list: Shoring up bench and figuring out what to do with J.J. Hickson.

20 76ers 33-48 -1

Andrew Bynum never played a game, and Doug Collins won’t coach them next year. Consider it a lost season.

21 Raptors 32-48 +2

Things should be better next year, when Rudy Gay is around from the start.

22 Timberwolves 30-51

This was supposed to be the year they put it all together. Hard to do when Kevin Love is hurt.

23 Wizards 29-52  -3

A healthy John Wall will put them in playoff conversation next season.

24 Pistons 29-52 +1

Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight make them perhaps the team with the most promise in the East. Question is, will Lawrence Frank be around to lead them into their next phase?

25 Hornets 27-54 -1

Need Anthony Davis to stay healthy and Eric Gordon to be elsewhere in 2013-14.

26 Kings 28-53

Whether they return or land in Seattle, expect roster and coaching upheaval.

27 Cavaliers 24-57

Despite getting a boost from Kyrie Irving, it’s hard to envision Byron Scott returning.

28 Suns 25-56

Have plenty of available cap space, but it doesn’t do much good when it just sits there.

29 Magic 20-61

Did we really expect them to be anywhere else after losing Dwight Howard? They always play hard, though.

30 Bobcats 20-61

On the bright side, they’re young. On the down side, we still don’t know if that youth is good.