NBA Picks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings update
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- Miami Heat (23-10 SU, 16-17 ATS, 1st in East standings)
The Heat have been slumping over the last week or so, and although they aren’t in danger of losing their top spot in my power rankings, they've played so bad over the last 8 to 10 days that the New York Knicks are only a half game back to the top spot in the East once again. The heat have lost four of their last seven games, and it seems like they're getting absolutely zero bench production. Although something drastic would have to happen for the seed to fall out of the top spot of both my power rankings and the Eastern conference, if they don't turn it around soon it could happen.
- New York Knicks (23-11 SU, 18-16 ATS, 2nd in East standings)
The New York Knicks have played well but are dealing with some injuries right now and some knuckleheads. Carmelo Anthony is suspended for tonight's game, and Amare Stoudemire is also out tonight because he's been logging big minutes coming off of his knee injury and he has soreness. Despite all that, and the injuries to some of their other role players, the Knicks find themselves a half game back in the Heat. New York looks to be the only team that is the challenge the heat this season so topic and get back healthy soon.
3. Indiana Pacers (Up 2 spots, 21-14 SU, 19-16 ATS, 3rd in East standings)
The Pacers are riding a nice streak right now, as they have won eight of their last 10 games, and are an incredible 13-3 SU at home this season. Because of the up-and-down play of the Chicago Bulls, and the recent four-game losing streak of the Atlanta Hawks, the Pacers have taken over the third seed and third spot on my power rankings. Indiana has a nice problem to have, as Danny Granger will be returning shortly, however it seems like it will be just to improve his trade value. Paul George has been playing outstanding at the small forward position, and there are plenty of teams who would want the sharpshooting Granger on their roster. The Pacers could get even better by the trade deadline.
- Chicago Bulls (19-14 SU, 12-21 ATS, 5th in East standings)
Chicago has won six of their last 10 games and is currently sitting fifth in the Eastern conference. Although the Hawks are a half game up on them currently in the standings, Atlanta is in a free fall right now while Chicago is slowly getting better. Plus even if Atlanta is slightly better right now, the Bulls will beginning Derrick Rose back with in the next 4 to 6 weeks which should propel them to one of the top three or four spots in the East anyways. It is hard to tell what Rose will be like as soon as he returns from injury, but if his timetable remains the same as it sits currently, Rose will have a solid 35 to 40 games to get his legs back under him. That should be a scary thought for the Pacers, who are leading the Bulls in the Central division for the first time in a long while.
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- Atlanta Hawks
- Brooklyn Nets
- Boston Celtics
- Milwaukee Bucks