NBA Power Rankings: Feb 14
The Miami Heat's short reign atop the NBA Power Rankings is over, as LeBron James and company have been overtaken by Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
To be fair to the Heat they still own the top unadjusted Power Ranking with a near 6-point advantage over the Lakers. However, once you crunch all the numbers and add in strength of schedule the Lakers get a boost and gain a two-point lead on Miami.
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The Lakers did have a pretty good week on the court despite Sunday's loss to Orlando that snapped a four-game winning streak. The key was that the Lakers weren't favored in the loss and own a solid 4-1 record ATS in their last five games.
Kobe and the Lakers hit the road this week with stops at Charlotte and Cleveland before the All-Star Break. Heads up for the NBA betting crowd: Lakers at Bobcats could be a solid bet against Los Angeles because the Lakers are 2-8 SU and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 versus Charlotte.
Miami also had a winning streak snapped on Sunday with a loss to Boston. The Heat had won eight in a row before getting dropped by the Celtics as a 3-point favorite. The Heat also lost to the Pacers ATS last week, which at the time snapped a five-game ATS winning streak. The Heat should have no trouble notching a pair of wins this week with games at Indiana and Toronto, but can they cover the spread?
The biggest gain on the rankings this week was by the Phoenix Suns, who vaulted up six spots to No. 17. The Suns scorched their competition last week, going 3-1 SU and ATS. This included a 95-83 rout of Utah as a 6-point road underdog which is important because they host the Jazz later this week.
While the Suns were rising up the rankings this week the New Orleans Hornets were crashing down. The Hornets dropped out of the Top 10, falling from No. 7 to No. 11 after a disappointing week. New Orleans' fall shouldn't be a surprise considering they have only one win in their last nine games, during which they're a lame 1-8 ATS.