NBA Power Rankings – April 21, 2014

1. San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
1. San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
The Spurs have the coach, the experience and the hunger. But let’s see how they fare against younger legs in a seven-game series. The Spurs went 0-8 against the Thunder and Rockets this season. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
Kevin Durant is your MVP, but can he lead the Thunder back to the Finals after a one-year absence? If not, then this season was a disappointment. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
3. Los Angeles Clippers (57-25)
3. Los Angeles Clippers (57-25)
The Clippers were the top-scoring team in the league this season, but Doc Rivers is defense-first. Los Angeles, which finished 14th in that department, must be better to get where it wants to go. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
4. Indiana Pacers (56-26)
4. Indiana Pacers (56-26)
After all that drama, the Pacers got what they wanted all along – the No. 1 seed in the East. Now they just have to do something about it. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
5. Miami Heat (54-28)
5. Miami Heat (54-28)
The Heat are the team to beat until someone beats them, but this doesn’t feel like the slam dunk it was last year. And Miami struggled even then. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
6. Houston Rockets (54-28)
6. Houston Rockets (54-28)
With James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets can beat any team in basketball, but that defense – 23rd in the league – must improve if they hope to get past (potentially) the Spurs and Thunder. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
7. Chicago Bulls (48-34)
7. Chicago Bulls (48-34)
Has there ever been a team with less talent that nobody wanted to play? The Bulls will get past Washington on grit alone – and yes, they will challenge the Pacers. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
8. Golden State Warriors (51-31)
8. Golden State Warriors (51-31)
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, anything is possible. But losing Andrew Bogut means a first-round exit is likely. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
9. Brooklyn Nets (44-38)
9. Brooklyn Nets (44-38)
Once 10-21, Brooklyn is 34-17 since New Year’s and should “upset” Toronto. As for the Heat, the Nets went 4-0 against Miami during the regular season. Win or lose, they won’t be afraid. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
10. Portland Trail Blazers (54-28)
10. Portland Trail Blazers (54-28)
Portland had a better season than anybody could have expected. Even better? The Trail Blazers won nine of 10 to close the season. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
11. Memphis Grizzlies (50-32)
11. Memphis Grizzlies (50-32)
Last year, the Grizzlies made the Western Conference Finals as a 5-seed. Now, let’s see what they can do as a 7. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
12. Dallas Mavericks (49-33)
12. Dallas Mavericks (49-33)
Losing the regular-season finale to Memphis really hurts. Why? Because the Mavs have lost nine straight games to San Antonio, their first-round foe. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
13. Toronto Raptors (48-34)
13. Toronto Raptors (48-34)
If Kyle Lowry isn’t the most under-appreciated player in basketball, he’s a close second to Al Jefferson. Winning a playoff series would be the icing on the cake for what has been a truly phenomenal season. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
14. Washington Wizards (44-38)
14. Washington Wizards (44-38)
With identical home and road records – 22-19 – Washington can win, or lose, anywhere. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
15. Charlotte Bobcats (43-39)
15. Charlotte Bobcats (43-39)
The Bobcats, which finished fourth in the league in scoring defense, won eight of nine to close the season. Charlotte is a poor man’s Chicago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a prayer against Miami. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
16. Atlanta Hawks (38-44)
16. Atlanta Hawks (38-44)
One of the least impressive teams to ever make the playoffs, Atlanta went 13-23 down the stretch. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
17. Phoenix Suns (48-34)
17. Phoenix Suns (48-34)
No NBA team had a more surprising season than Phoenix, which missed the playoffs by one game. Just imagine what Jeff Hornacek will do with actual talent. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (40-42)
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (40-42)
At 40-39, the Timberwolves had a great chance to finish with a winning record for the first since 2004-05. Three losses later, the streak of consecutive losing seasons reached nine. Next year, it’s playoffs or bust. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
19. New York Knicks (37-45)
19. New York Knicks (37-45)
New York missed the playoffs by one game, but either way, this is not a contender. Phil is going to have his hands full. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
20. Denver Nuggets (36-46)
20. Denver Nuggets (36-46)
From 3-seed to the lottery. Ouch. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
21. New Orleans Pelicans (34-48)
21. New Orleans Pelicans (34-48)
Anthony Davis (20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks) looks like a star; now he just needs more pieces around him. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
22. Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49)
22. Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49)
Sadly, this was far and away the Cavs’ best year in the post-LeBron era, during which they are 97-215 (.311). (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
23. Detroit Pistons (29-53)
23. Detroit Pistons (29-53)
Forget .500. The Pistons haven’t won more than 30 games in five years. (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)
24. Sacramento Kings (28-54)
24. Sacramento Kings (28-54)
Seven straight losing seasons. The saddest thing of all? This was Sacramento’s best year since 2007-08. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
25. Los Angeles Lakers (27-55)
25. Los Angeles Lakers (27-55)
With Kobe, next year’s team has a chance – yes, a chance – of making the playoffs. Without any (noteworthy) free agents, however, this team is destined for a one-and-done playoff exit. (Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
26. Boston Celtics (25-57)
26. Boston Celtics (25-57)
Boston got off to a shaky 12-14 start – and then the wheels really fell off, as the Celtics went 13-43 the rest of the way. But have faith in Brad Stevens. I know I do. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
27. Utah Jazz (25-57)
27. Utah Jazz (25-57)
The 25 wins were the franchise’s fewest since 1981-82. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
28. Orlando Magic (23-59)
28. Orlando Magic (23-59)
It’s mind-boggling how a team goes 19-22 at home and 4-37 on the road. Everyone – from the owner right on down to the ball boys – deserves blame for that. (Okay, maybe not the ball boys). (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
29. Philadelphia 76ers (19-63)
29. Philadelphia 76ers (19-63)
If things go the 76ers’ way, their worst season since 1995-96 will result in the No. 1 pick in the draft. Anybody remember who the Sixers took first overall that year? That would be Allen Iverson. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
30. Milwaukee Bucks (15-67)
30. Milwaukee Bucks (15-67)
When a team with a 26-game losing streak still finishes ahead than you, that’s when you know you’re bad. In fact, you should probably consider folding. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Categories: Sports Timberwolves

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