NBA Power Rankings: Counting Down the League's Top 10 Teams

Will LeivenbergFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2012

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Despite a grueling loss to the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder assumed the NBA throne as they capped off the tail end of March with six consecutive victories. 

For the “Durantula”-led Thunder, it wasn’t just the fact that they were on a hot streak, but rather, it was significant because of the teams they were beating. They tore through their Western Conference competition and L.A.’s tandem, the Clippers and the Lakers. Then, they ventured to the Eastern Conference, where they boldly beat the Miami Heat and a Derrick Rose-less Bulls squad. 

Their terrific play has been as much a product of Russell Westbrook’s jump shot as Serge Ibaka’s defense or James Harden’s presence off the bench. This team isn’t about one player or even two—which was the root of their problem last year in the playoffs.

Instead, they are now a deep team brimming with confidence and eager to prove that just because the average age of their starting five is 23 years old, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills to bring home a championship.

OKC’s biggest threat in the West is undeniably the San Antonio Spurs. Like OKC, the Spurs shined in March, going 12-3, only second to the Bulls (13-3). They’ve now won 10 of their last 11 games and have been surging behind the stellar play of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who remain one of basketball’s most intimidating duos.

Then there are a few of those NBA teams that show you a glimpse of greatness, but all too inconsistently. You know these squads—the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers and Indiana Pacers. It’s the ebb and flow nature of these teams that has caused fans to experience elation one game and panic the next. 


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