Remember the Spurs
San Antonio No. 1 again
By: Corby Yarbrough | 1/4/11, 6:40 PM EST
For the first time since week 6, the San Antonio Spurs return to the top position in the Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings.
Despite dipping down below 100 points in three of its last four games (average 105.6 this season), San Antonio continues to win. The Spurs have lost just once since Dec. 1 — a 123-101 defeat at Orlando.
They move from the third spot to the top spot, supplanting Southwest and state rival Dallas, who they defeated 99-93 last week. The Mavs fell to No. 4 after losing three of four before disposing of our lowest-ranked team, Cleveland, on Jan. 1 to end the skid.
Miami has moved into the No. 2 spot and still have not lost a game since a 98-96 defeat on Dec. 20 against Dallas — a six-game span.
Boston fell to No. 3 with a 3-2 mark over the last week — losses coming in back-to-back games against Detroit and New Orleans.
Chicago rounds out the top five as winners of five in a row since a Christmas Day loss to New York.
It's a ho-hum week for games between top 10 teams in the Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings.
San Antonio and Boston square off for the first time this season when the Spurs travel to Beantown Jan. 5.
Dallas tries to right the ship when it plays host to No. 9 Oklahoma City Jan. 6. It will be the third meeting of the season; the Mavericks have won the first two by eight and 10. Dallas will also try for the season sweep when it plays host to No. 6 Orlando on Jan. 8. The Mavericks won the first meeting 105-99 on Dec. 21.
Boston and Chicago will also meet for the third time this season when the Celtics travel to the Windy City on Jan. 8. The Celtics won the first two meetings — the first by five, the second by 12 — both of which were in Boston. The Bulls have the second-best home record in the Eastern Conference at 14-3 entering the Jan. 4 game with visiting Toronto.
The No. 8 Lakers and No. 10 New Orleans Hornets meet for the second time in nine days when L.A. plays host this time. The Lakers won the first meeting 103-88 on Dec. 29 in New Orleans.
There are also a few fringe match ups between those teams just outside the top 10 against top 10 teams.
The No. 13 Knicks have certainly had their fair share of high-profile games over the last three weeks. It started with back-to-back losses against visiting Boston and Miami to end an eight-game winning streak, picked back up with back-to-back home wins over Oklahoma City and Chicago before another set of back-to-back losses to Miami and Orlando on the road.
New York gets its chance again this week. It plays host to the Spurs on NBA TV Jan. 4 and closes the week with a Jan. 9 visit to the Lakers.
No. 11 Denver, winners of four in a row, will try to make its way back into the top 10 with a week that includes the Clippers and Kings on the road before closing out against No. 10 New Orleans at home Jan. 9.
After a 5-5 split of the top 10 the last two weeks, the Western Conference reclaims the lead this week with a 6-4 edge.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
Most Popular Articles
Contests & Promotions
Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing!
Enter the Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing game. Just head over to athlon.myfantasyracing.com and register for your chance to win a chance to watch a 2014 race from the grandstands. You'll also have a chance to win other amazing prizes such as an autographed Kyle Busch helmet.