The Lakers' recent slump has finally cost them in the NBA Power Rankings, as Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls have ended their long reign and taken over the top spot.
The Bulls deserve the top spot right now; they've won their last seven games and clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Their seven-game streak includes big wins over Boston and Orlando, and they've only lost twice in their last 21 games.
The only thing Rose and the Bulls haven't been doing well lately is covering the spread, with a 4-6 ATS record in their last 10.
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While the Bulls are cruising to the end of the regular season the Lakers are mailing it in. Los Angeles seems to have hit a wall and has dropped its last five games both SU and ATS. That includes losses to Portland, Oklahoma City, and Denver, three potential opponents for the Lakers down the line in the postseason.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 5 on the Power Rankings this week are Miami at No. 3, Orlando at No. 4, and San Antonio at No. 5. The Heat finally beat Boston last week in pretty convincing fashion in a 100-77 rout as 6-point favorites. The only blemish on the Heat's record last week was a 90-85 loss to Milwaukee as 9-point chalk.
Orlando's up and down season continued last week with a 2-2 SU record that included a shocking loss to Toronto as a 10-point favorite. Orlando also continued to ruin bettors' days with a 2-6 ATS record in their last eight games.
The Spurs are healthy again and are heating up heading into the postseason. San Antonio was 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS last week, although only one of those wins came against a team bound for the playoffs (Atlanta).
Speaking of the Hawks, they are the lowest-ranked team on the Power Rankings that is going to the postseason. Atlanta dropped two spots to No. 19 this week after losing its last four games. The bright side for the Hawks is that their first-round opponent should be Orlando, and they have won their last three games against the Magic.