NBA Power Rankings Update: The Grizzlies Are Making a Surge
Teams Ranked 30th to 21st
|26||New York Knicks||5-14||28.4||27||1|
The two real risers in the bottom tier this week (the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets) jumped out of it entirely, so we'll have to settle for talking about teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers instead. The Cavs went 0-2 this week, but still managed to go up a couple spots because the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls were worse and dropped below them. That's about as far as we can go with the positives about the Cleveland Cavaliers at this point.
The Orlando Magic went 2-1 this week and now sit comfortably in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 9-9 record. After starting the season 2-6, they've won seven of their last 10, including notable victories over the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. Are they finally crawling out of the basement after a six-year playoff drought? Their upcoming six-game road trip (mostly against top-tier Western Conference teams) will go a long way in proving or disproving that.
The Miami Heat drop into the bottom-10 this week after losing six of their last seven. They're a competitive team on the defensive end -- their 109.0 defensive rating ranks them 11th -- but their 107.1 offensive rating (25th) and -1.94 average point differential (21st) suggest that they are currently right where they belong here in the basement.
What is going on with the Utah Jazz? A strong second half of last year hinted that they might actually be one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but their 8-10 start this year (including 1-4 over their last five) says otherwise. The biggest issue is that last year's second-ranked defense has dropped off to 18th in the Association with a defensive rating of 110.6. If they can't sure things up on that end, they might be down here for a while.