SB Nation's very own Tom Ziller has another batch of his weekly NBA power rankings for us, which has seen some big moves made since his last round of rankings, although our Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings didn't make any big leaps (or progress for that matter), and as the regular season hits the home stretch. there probably isn't very far for these teams to go anyway. Let's take a look at how they fared, as well as some of the more major moves made on the list.
Trending Up: The Chicago Bulls jumped from the fourth spot up to the two spot behind the San Antonio Spurs, and are making themselves a real case for Eastern Conference champions and even maybe an NBA title. Their recent 6 game winning streak came with victories over the Heat and the Magic, and seem to be hitting their stride before they start their post season. Another team that moved up the rankings was the Miami Heat, who after an ugly 5 game losing streak that was the epitome of un-clutchness came back with impressive wins over the Lakers and a blowout of the Spurs to rebuild their confidence. This stretch of games helped figure out some of their dynamics of the team (who takes what shot and when) which will be necessary come playoff time. But will they survive in the talent-laden Eastern Conference?
Trending Down: The Los Angeles Lakers, who despite having lost only one game since the All-Star break, somehow managed to drop from number two on the list to number five, a move I don't really agree with. Over their recent 10-1 run, they racked up wins at San Antonio, at Dallas, at Oklahoma City and at Portland, as well as the Magic and Hawks at home. Yes, Kobe did hurt his ankle, but a Kobe at 50% is still better than a lot of other guys at 100%. With the recent dominance of Andrew Bynum, the return of Matt Barnes, and their incredible defense as of late, the Lakers to me should be much higher on this list, although I didn't make it and I have no say in how they're ranked. But if you ask me, the purple and gold are ready for another 3-peat.
Local Teams: The Golden State Warriors stayed in their spot from last time at 21 on the list, and more than likely won't make it much farther than that. They have a 4 game road trip that includes stops in Dallas and San Antonio this week, and with the season winding down and with still a lot of teams to leap frog to get into the playoffs, this is a team that wants to win, but simply can't get it done night in and night out. But Ziller is right, they are a couple of contracts away from being really competitive again. As for the Sacramento Kings, they dropped one spot from 26 to 27, not much of a surprise. I really feel bad that the Maloofs decided to screw over Sacramento by moving the Kings, but even worse that they let their fan base sit and stew about it for the last months of the regular season. All that time their fans have spent looking toward the future with their young talent is all for nought as they more than likely won't have a team in Sac-Town next year. Really is a shame, something that you really hate to see happen.