Power Rankings: The Heat goes on

Updated: March 18, 2013, 6:46 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, March 18

There's only one Sunday every spring that we'll give in and concede that maybe, just maybe, there's a basketball committee out there with a trickier job than ESPN.com's trusty NBA Power Rankings committee (of one).

And let's face it: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are making it pretty easy on us these days.

While the NCAA tournament's selection panel was putting together the bracket that brought the American workplace to a grinding halt Monday morning, all we could do in our committee dungeon is comb through the Heat's schedule, looking for clues on when they might finally lose a game. (The prediction here, for what it's worth, is that Miami still will be riding this winning streak when we publish the Week 21 rankings next Monday, because I struggle to see the Celtics or Cavs beating the Heat if the ailing Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Kyrie Irving are all not playing.

The other big question on our mind: Can the Nuggets, heading into Monday's game at Chicago and Tuesday's mega visit to OKC, keep their double-digit winning streak going and finally break into the top three? They are parked at No. 4 for the second successsive week.

It was otherwise a week of modest movement in our top 10, with the Lakers -- capitalizing on their Friday night upset at Indiana and the Pacers' subsequent loss at struggling Philly -- rising to No. 7 for the first time since Week 3, bumping Indiana down to No. 8.

The rankings, as always, were compiled with rampant assisting form ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau. Click here to rank the teams yourself ... and click here in case you missed our latest Weekend Dime.

Also, check out John Hollinger's daily Power Rankings.


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