Russell Westbrook dunked his way to MVP of the All-Star gameWith the NBA now descending on Toronto for their mid-season All Star game, let’s see how the teams look in our Power Rankings. As no surprise to anyone, the Golden State Warriors are once again atop the standings, finishing up with the best record ever heading into the All-Star break at 48-4.They have sucked in every casual basketball fan, but, maybe more importantly, have all the talking head seemingly convinced that it is going to take an upset to knock them off in the playoffs, that’s how good this team has been. As for the rest of the league, you just have another team on pace for the highest scoring margin ever and another looking like a surefire title favorite in almost any other year. And you also have the best player of his generation biding his time until the playoffs when he kicks his game into full gear.Then there are the teams that aren’t quite title contenders, but are still very good, Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers, and even some interesting teams that could make some playoff series fun.As we get into the true dog days of the NBA season from February to mid-March, find one of these teams and learn to love them as they prepare for the playoffs.
#10 Utah Jazz
Last Week: 3-1
The Utah Jazz were oh so close to closing the first half as the hottest team outside of Oakland, but alas they couldn’t finish off the New Orleans Pelicans on the second night of a back to back. Since they got Derrick Favors back, they have been playing closer to the level that many expected from them before the season.
In addition to Favors playing very strongly, second-year shooting guard Rodney Hood seems to be a fast rising player who would give the Jazz a fourth above average starter.
Second Half: The Jazz are in the midst of a winning seven of eight, and finally playing like people expected them to after closing out the season last year with the best defense after the All-Star break and one of the best records in the Western Conference.
There have been rumblings that they would look to get in on the Jeff Teague sweepstakes, but it doesn’t look like those will come to fruition. As is, the Jazz can realistically grab the fifth or sixth seed as they have a very strong team despite not having an All-Star. The Jazz are coming and the West should be on notice.