Spurs, Hornets set for Sunday showdown
By: Corby Yarbrough | 11/23/10, 1:35 PM EST
Too bad there isn't flex scheduling in the NBA.
There's a new No. 1 in the Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings for Week 5, and the new top team and former top team will meet this weekend.
San Antonio is the hottest team in the Association right now. The Spurs are winners of 11 straight, including a defeat of Orlando Monday night. They moved up from No. 3 in last week's rankings to No. 1.
New Orleans, last week's top team, rebounded from its first loss to post three straight wins before falling to the lowly Clippers last night. I am certainly willing to cut the 11-2 Hornets some slack considering their start and the fact that the Clippers loss was the third game in four days for New Orleans.
Now we have to wait until Sunday to see the last two No. 1s face off. Unfortunately, the game is being played at 3 p.m. Eastern, right in the middle of an NFL Sunday, and certainly won't get much attention. I would love to see that one flexed to the evening to at least lessen the viewing competition against it.
Maybe it's a bit overblown to think that this is the game of games for the NBA, but to this point it is.
Boston, Miami and Orlando rule the East and do so very inconsistently. The Lakers are the Lakers and have not had much competition to deal with. This game comes at a time in the season where we have had enough of a sample size to at least get a glimpse of who is legit and who is not. So when the two hottest teams in the league meet, in what will be for each of them their 16th game of the season, this could be a good preview of what's to come.
San Antonio (12-1) will travel to Minnesota and host Dallas on Wednesday and Friday, while the Hornets (11-2) are at Utah and at Portland on Wednesday and Friday before the Sunday showdown in the Big Easy.
Other key match ups between some of this week's top teams in the Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings begin tonight.
The ninth-ranked Bulls continue their circus trip with a stop in LA to play the No. 3 Lakers tonight.
Wednesday there are three games on the slate between top-tier teams as No. 10 Miami travels to No. 5 Orlando; No. 6 Dallas travels to No. 7 Oklahoma City; and the Hornets play at No. 8 Utah.
On Friday, Chicago will play No. 11 Denver, the Lakers play host to Utah and the Mavericks travel to the Spurs.
Portland, which sits at No. 12, could take some wind out of the sails for Sunday's matchup between New Orleans and San Antonio. The banged up Blazers have just one game this week and it is playing host to New Orleans on Friday.
The Heat travel to Dallas on Saturday.
New Orleans gets no rest after the Spurs contest, traveling to Oklahoma City on Monday to complete a back-to-back, and what should be its fourth tough game in a six-day stretch.
The Western Conference continues its dominance with six teams in the top eight and nine of the top 15. If you like teams in the 20s, the Eastern Conference is for you. The East has seven of its 15 teams ranked from 20-29.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
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