Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Composite NBA Power Rankings for Dec. 18


Doesn't anyone want to hold on to the No. 1 spot? This is Ludacris! (see what I did there? I'll stop now)

For the fourth consecutive week, there's a different team in the top spot. Sadly, there hasn't been as much turnover at the bottom.

The weekly disclaimer: I have no personal say in these rankings (at least not directly): I've picked 10 representative weekly power rankings and two automated daily power rankings from around the web. I drop each team's highest and lowest ranking, then average out the remaining 10 rankings and sort the teams by lowest average.

The regular lineup is as follows:

Sam Amico (FoxSports.com), Sean Deveney (AOL/Sporting News), Kurt Helin (ProBasketballTalk), Matt Moore (CBSSports.com), Eric Pincus (Hoopsworld), Seth Rosenthal (SB Nation), John Schuhmann (NBA.com), Marc Stein (ESPN.com), Marc J. Spears (Yahoo!), USA Today, Jeff Sagarin (USA Today), John Hollinger (ESPN.com).

If you know of any weekly power ranking that you think should be added to the list, just drop me a line. And now what you came for, this week's rankings:

Composite NBA Power Rankings - Week of Dec. 18
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (last week: 2)
High: 1, multipleLow: 2, HollingerAverage: 1.00
2. Los Angeles Clippers (last week: 5)
High: 1, HollingerLow: 4, Rosenthal/USA TodayAverage: 2.60
3. New York Knicks (last week: 3)
High: 2, multipleLow: 6, SagarinAverage: 2.90
4. San Antonio Spurs (last week: 1)
High: 2, SagarinLow: 5, Amico/HelinAverage: 3.70
5. Miami Heat (last week: 6)
High: 4, Amico/HelinLow: 7, MooreAverage: 5.20
6. Memphis Grizzlies (last week: 4)
High: 4, SagarinLow: 7, multipleAverage: 5.90
7. Golden State Warriors (last week: 8)
High: 5, Schumann/SpearsLow: 9, SagarinAverage: 6.70
8. Atlanta Hawks (last week: 7)
High: 8, multipleLow: 10, HollingerAverage: 8.00
9. Chicago Bulls (last week: 9)
High: 9, multipleLow: 11, AmicoAverage: 9.20
10. Brooklyn Nets (last week: 10)
High: 10, Rosenthal/SchuhmannLow: 14, PincusAverage: 11.70
11. Minnesota Timberwolves (last week: 17)
High: 9, AmicoLow: 16, SagarinAverage: 11.80
t-12. Denver Nuggets (last week: 15)
High: 7, Sagarin/HollingerLow: 16, Moore/USA TodayAverage: 12.80
t-12. Indiana Pacers (last week: 19)
High: 10, Moore/SpearsLow: 17, HelinAverage: 12.80
14. Milwaukee Bucks (last week: 14)
High: 11, HelinLow: 20, HollingerAverage: 13.30
15. Utah Jazz (last week: 12)
High: 12, MooreLow: 18, AmicoAverage: 14.70
16. Boston Celtics (last week: 11)
High: 10, Amico/HelinLow: 18, SteinAverage: 14.80
17. Houston Rockets (last week: 20)
High: 15, SagarinLow: 20, RosenthalAverage: 17.80
18. Los Angeles Lakers (last week: 18)
High: 11, SagarinLow: 23, MooreAverage: 18.00
19. Philadelphia 76ers (last week: 13)
High: 17, multipleLow: 26, HollingerAverage: 18.80
20. Orlando Magic (last week: 21)
High: 17, HollingerLow: 22, Helin/USA TodayAverage: 20.00
21. Portland Trail Blazers (last week: 22)
High: 17, RosenthalLow: 21, multipleAverage: 20.10
22. Dallas Mavericks (last week: 16)
High: 19, multipleLow: 22, multipleAverage: 20.90
23. Phoenix Suns (last week: 27)
High: 22, Moore/SagarinLow: 24, Schuhmann/SteinAverage: 23.00
24. Detroit Pistons (last week: 23)
High: 22, HollingerLow: 26, Deveney/SpearsAverage: 24.40
25. Toronto Raptors (last week: t-28)
High: 24, Pincus/RosenthalLow: 29, AmicoAverage: 25.20
26. Sacramento Kings (last week: 24)
High: 24, multipleLow: 28, multipleAverage: 26.30
27. Cleveland Cavaliers (last week: t-28)
High: 24, HollingerLow: 29, SpearsAverage: 27.20
t-28. New Orleans Hornets (last week: 26)
High: 26, Rosenthal/SagarinLow: 30, SteinAverage: 28.10
t-28. Charlotte Bobcats (last week: 25)
High: 24, AmicoLow: 30, multipleAverage: 28.10
30. Washington Wizards (last week: 30)
High: 28, Schuhmann/SteinLow: 30, multipleAverage: 29.50
Average calculated after removing highest and lowest ranking

AT THE TOP: The Thunder are a near-unanimous choice at the top, falling to No. 2 only in the automated rankings of the clearly-biased Memphis Grizzlies employee John Hollinger (kidding!). OKC joins the Spurs, Heat and Grizzlies as teams to top the composite power rankings this year.

BIGGEST GAIN: Indiana Pacers (up 6.5)
When you split the difference on the Pacers tie with the Nuggets for the 12th spot, it gives Indiana a 6.5-spot jump over last week. The Pacers are finally playing like the team we expected all along, and it's being reflected in their quick move up the rankings.

BIGGEST DROP: Dallas Mavericks (down 6)
The Mavs have lost three in a row to fall back below .500 and are now just a half-game ahead of the Lakers in the standings (and a game-and-a-half out of the playoffs). That win against the Knicks not only feels like forever ago, but it's looking more and more like a massive outlier on the Mavs' resume. Dallas' other wins are against the Lakers, Bobcats, Blazers, Raptors, Wizards, Cavs, Pistons, Suns, Rockets and Kings, all non-playoff teams.

LOUD NOISES Team of the Week (least consensus): Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers may have stuck around at 18 for the second consecutive week, but that doesn't mean everyone's figured them out. They ranked as high as 11 and as low as 23, and weren't in the same position on any more than two individual lists.

SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW Team of the Week (most consensus): Oklahoma City Thunder
As mentioned above, the Thunder were No. 1 on every ranking but one, and in that other ranking they were No. 2. Special mention to the Atlanta Hawks, who've been trusted with the No. 8 position in all but one ranking, and on the one outlier they were 10th.

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