Power Rankings: Spurs take over top spot

Updated: April 9, 2012, 6:33 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, April 9

The NBA's first lockout-shortened season was punctuated by the first of San Antonio's four Tim Duncan-led championships.

The second lockout-shortened season in league history finds Duncan's Spurs, some 13 years later, ranking as the only title contender these days that can claim to be building up any momentum as the regular season winds down.

The Spurs, to be honest, weren't even regarded as championship material when the season began, but two 11-game win streaks have taken care of that. The latest of those streaks has propelled San Antonio and NBA Coach of the Year co-favorite Gregg Popovich to the top of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings for the first time all season, ahead of the trio of contenders most widely regarded as title threats: Oklahoma City, Miami and Chicago.

The No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies, No. 6 Boston Celtics and No. 7 Indiana Pacers are also on the rise, which conspired to bump the two L.A. teams down a few spots (Clippers to No. 8, Lakers to No. 9) more than anything they did wrong. The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks have also made notable jumps in the season's third-to-last edition of the rankings, jumping to No. 10 and No. 11, respectively.

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.


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