Power Rankings: Banged-up Bulls still NBA's best
Monday, Jan. 23
In a season defined by injuries more than anything so far, with most teams closing in on the 20-game mark on their fast-tracked schedules, Chicago is a fitting No. 1 in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings.
That's because the Bulls, at least so far, keep stacking up wins to go along with all their injuries.
Yet we'll have to see if the Bulls can keep that up now that Luol Deng (wrist), Joakim Noah (ankle) and Taj Gibson (another bad ankle) are all ailing alongside Derrick Rose and his nagging toe woes. The Oklahoma City Thunder might have supplanted the Bulls by now if they hadn't lost embarrassingly in Washington last Wednesday night, which essentially sealed OKC's drop from No. 2 to No. 4 in a week that should have been celebratory after star guard Russell Westbrook was signed to a five-year contract extension.
Denver (No. 8 to No. 3), Indiana (No. 9 to No. 6), Orlando (No. 11 to No. 8), Atlanta (No. 12 to No. 9) and Memphis (No. 17 to No. 10) are the most notable upward movers in this week's poll. The steepest drops were suffered by the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 7 to No. 15) and the New York Knicks (No. 16 to No. 25), two glamour teams awash in crisis talk thanks to their respective losing streaks.
Check back every Monday during the regular season for a fresh and fully nonautomated pulse-take of the league's 30 teams, which is compiled with Ricky Rubio-esque 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.