For the second week in a row there's a new number one in the NBA Power Rankings after Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers bounced LeBron James' Miami Heat out of the top spot.
The Lakers jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 after a perfect week that saw them go 4-0 both SU and ATS. Bryant and Los Angeles rolled through Atlanta, Portland, the Clippers, and Oklahoma City, although only one of those wins, over the Hawks, was a blowout. It looks like the Lakers' winning ways should continue early in the week against Minnesota and Charlotte, but it gets tougher over the weekend when they travel to San Antonio.
While the Lakers won all of their games last week the same can't be said for the Heat. Miami went 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS with losses to Chicago and New York. Miami's two wins weren't against the NBA's elite, as they topped Sacramento and Washington - who have a combined 29 wins this season. The schedule-maker wasn't very kind to the Heat this week as they have three games in four days against Orlando, San Antonio, and Chicago.
Rounding out the Top 5 this week are Chicago at No. 3, Orlando at No. 4, and San Antonio once again at No. 5. The Bulls entered the Top 3 from No. 4 after taking care of Miami and Milwaukee last week, but they also had a blemish on their record - an upset loss to Toronto. Despite the loss to the Raptors the Bulls are still 6-1 ATS in their last seven games.
The biggest losers on the rankings this week were Boston and the Clippers. The Celtics only fell two spots, but dropping to No. 8 is their lowest ranking of the season so far. Boston was 2-1 last week, with a loss to Denver, but more importantly they were involved in two big trades on deadline day that surprised many considering how successful Boston has been this season against the rest of the league's best.
The Clippers tumbled four spots in the rankings, falling from No. 19 to No. 23. Anyone could see that coming after the Clippers went 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS last week. The Clippers had one tough test after another last week and had to face Oklahoma City, New Orleans, the Lakers, and Boston all in a row. At least things finally get a little easier for Los Angeles this week when they start things off with the Kings on Monday night.