Power Rankings: Spurs make strongest move

Updated: March 19, 2012, 12:29 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, March 19
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History tells us that in-season trades in the NBA rarely make a championship impact.

There have been only four players ever, in fact, to play at least 20 minutes per game in the regular season and the postseason for a title winner after being a part of a deadline deal: Rasheed Wallace (2004 Pistons), Clyde Drexler (1995 Rockets), Mark Aguirre (1989 Pistons) and Mychal Thompson (1987 Lakers).

The San Antonio Spurs, though, believe that Stephen Jackson can be the fifth guy on that list. Some pundits might see the Los Angeles Lakers' acquisition of Ramon Sessions as the most likely of the nine deadline-day deals to alter the course of the playoffs, but the potential of Jackson's return to the Alamo City and San Antonio's big win Friday night in Oklahoma City lead to our only significant change from last Monday to this Monday in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings.

Perhaps it'll be only a brief swap, but San Antonio has risen to No. 3 in the latest rankings, bumping OKC down to No. 4. The East's top three maintained their positions, with Chicago maintaining its hold on the No. 1 slot for the third successive week after Wednesday's home victory over Miami without injured Derrick Rose.

Click here every Monday in the regular season for the latest fresh and nonautomated pulse-take of the league's 30 teams, with the usual dishing from ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau. Click here to rank the teams yourself, or click here to comment on these rankings.

Also, check out John Hollinger's daily power rankings.