Sometimes, we don’t have to wait until trade deadline day for the big fireworks.
Last year,the LA Clippers sent the face of their franchise (whom they had just signed to a five-year, max contract) to Detroit 10 days before the deadline. This year, the New York Knicks traded the face of their franchise to Dallas with six days to go before the deadline.
We’ll be talking about the Kristaps Porzingis trade for a long time. It appears to be another gamble by the Knicks that they can bring established stars to New York. And Kyrie Irving added fuel to the fire by saying (in Madison Square Garden) that we’ll all have to wait until July 1 to see what he’ll do in free agency.
We don’t have to wait nearly as long for Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. But the two biggest names on the market — Anthony Davis and Mike Conley — are under contract beyond this season, so getting a deal done in the next three days isn’t imperative for the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.
While speculation runs hot, actual basketball games, some of import, continue to be played. And the Milwaukee Bucks are back at No. 1 in the Power Rankings, having won the most important game (on the road and rather handily) of the last seven days.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Denver (4-0) — The Nuggets ran their winning streak to six games and earned Mike Malone a trip to the All-Star game with three road wins and a victory at home over the Rockets.
- Something Just Ain’t Right: Miami (0-3) — The Heat are not in a good place right now. They lost to the Bulls … by 16 … at home and with a rest advantage on Wednesday.
East vs. West
Schedule strength through Week 16
- Toughest: 1. New York, 2. Phoenix, 3. Utah
- Easiest: 1. Miami, 2. Indiana, 3. Boston
- Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Sacramento (+3), Charlotte (+2), Portland (+2)
- Free falls of the week: Miami (-4), Houston (-2), New York (-2), Oklahoma City (-2)
Week 17 Team to Watch
- San Antonio — Other teams are more important in regard to the trade deadline and the NBA landscape. But on the floor, the Spurs take a five-game winning streak on the road, and the rodeo trip begins with four games against teams with winning records. They visit the Kings on Monday, the Warriors on Wednesday, the Blazers on Thursday, and the Jazz on Saturday.
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 100.6 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 109.0 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com’s Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man’s opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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