Power Rankings: Miami Heat fall out of top 5

Updated: April 16, 2012, 12:11 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, April 16

The only three teams that can win 50 games in this lockout-shortened season fill the top three spots in the second-to-last edition of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings for 2011-12.

The Chicago Bulls can get there with a 4-2 finish. The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs have to finish 6-0 and 8-0, respectively. Those teams, in that order, have moved to the top of the pile.

Yet the biggest development in our penultimate rankings Monday involves the Miami Heat. Thanks to ongoing surges from both L.A. teams and Miami's own struggles since the All-Star break, the reigning East champs' much-needed road win Sunday in New York couldn't prevent them from slipping to a season-low No. 6. The Clippers (winners of 11 of 13 to rise to No. 4) and Lakers (stunning San Antonio on the road and outlasting Dallas at home without the injured Kobe Bryant to snag the No. 5 slot) leapfrogged the Heat.

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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