There are two sides to every NBA Power Ranking: the Fanalytical and the Fanatical. As a Miami HEAT blogger living on the east coast, MHI plays the fanalyst for the Eastern Conference. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, Mrs. NBA plays the fan and provides the slander. The roles are reversed for the Western Conference.
1. Miami HEAT (43-14, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: The HEAT have outscored opponents by 101 points in the 4th quarter. LeBron James leads the team in every category of the boxscore for the 4th quarter except minutes and threes (Ray Allen), offensive rebounds (Chris Bosh) and steals (Dwyane Wade). LeBron may be needed for the 4th quarter in Minnesota on the 2nd night of a back-to-back but should be able to rest until the 4th quarter of the Pacers game on Sunday and lead the HEAT to a 4-0 week and 18 wins in a row.
Mrs. NBA: LeBron is the best player on the planet; Carmelo Anthony couldn't handle it. Don't believe me? Go have a word with his knees...
2. Indiana Pacers (38-22, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: Pacers have outscored opponents by 51 points in the 4th quarter. David West leads the team in 4th quarter buckets but Paul George carries most of the burden by leading the team in 4th quarter threes, free throws, defensive rebounds, assists, steals and points. Indiana will need George & West to close out the Celtics in the 4th quarter, rest the 4th quarter against the Magic and hang close with the HEAT to go 2-1 this week.
Mrs. NBA: Indiana has went on a winning tear over the past 10 plus games; but they'll still need offensive means in late-game situations especially when playoffs come.
3. New York Knicks (35-21, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: Knicks have outscored opponents by 135 points in the 4th quarter. Carmelo Anthony leads the team in 4th quarter scoring, fouls drawn and free throws, but J.R. Smith is just as important leading the Knicks in 4th quarter minutes, buckets, threes and defensive rebounds. Knicks will need Melo and Swish to get buckets in crunch time this week @Cavs, vs. OKC and vs. Jazz. They’ll come up short against the Cavs & Thunder like they did against the HEAT and go 2-2 this week.
Mrs. NBA: Can I just say how retarded Knicks fans are this season? I'm not a Melo fan - obviously - but a bulk of the fan base - at least on social media - is turning Anthony into their whipping boy.
4. Brooklyn Nets (34-26, prev. rank: 5)
MHI: Nets have outscored opponents by 58 points in the 4th quarter. Joe Johnson leads Brooklyn in every category of the boxscore for the 4th quarter except rebounding and steals (Andray Blatche); assists, free throws and fouls drawn (Deron Williams); and blocks (Brook Lopez). Only 1 Nets game should be close in the 4th quarter this week - @Hawks on 2nd night of a back-to-back to end a 2-1 week.
Mrs. NBA: Nets are still the Nets and won't do shit in the postseason.
5. Atlanta Hawks (33-25, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: Opponents have outscored the Hawks by 53 points in the 4th quarter. Al Horford leads the team in 4th quarter minutes, buckets, defensive rebounds, blocks (tied with Josh Smith) and points scored. Hawks will need Horford to come through in the 4th @Celtics and vs. Nets but they’ll probably split their games and go 2-2 this week.
Mrs. NBA: Who?
6. Chicago Bulls (34-26, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: Opponents have outscored the Bulls by 39 points in the 4th quarter. The only players that were on the floor while the Bulls outscored opponents in the 4th quarter are Daequan Cook, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed. The Bulls need Derrick Rose for the 4th quarter, but he’s allegedly been scared to play the last 7 weeks. Nate Robinson leads them in 4th quarter scoring and they may need him to go 2-1 this week @Spurs, vs. Jazz and @Lakers.
Mrs. NBA: Chicago is struggling, horribly, with their offense, and desperately need Derrick Rose.
7. Milwaukee Bucks (29-28, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: Opponents have outscored the Bucks by 69 points in the 4th quarter. Mike Dunleavy leads the Bucks in minutes played and threes for the 4th quarter while Larry Sanders leads them in rebounds and blocks. Bucks will have 3 tough games in the 4th quarter this week: Jazz, @Warriors and @Kings. They should go 3-1 this week if Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis don’t kill them in the clutch.
Mrs. NBA: BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!
8. Boston Celtics (31-27, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: Opponents have outscored the Celtics by 59 points in the 4th quarter. Kevin Garnett leads the team in every category of the boxscore for the 4th quarter except threes (Jason Terry), offensive rebounds (Jared Sullinger), assists (Rajon Rondo) and blocks (Jeff Green). KG can’t carry a team like he used to, so expect the Celtics to go 2-2 this week with @Sixers, @Pacers (back-to-back), Hawks and @Thunder on the schedule.
Mrs. NBA: The only question remaining with the Celtics is when the next injury is going to transpire.
All stats taken from nba.com/stats