Mar 18, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors team bench cheers after a score during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena. Golden State Warriors won 114-95. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
NBA Power Rank Week 21:
The final month of the regular season has arrived with all 30 teams in the Association playing for something. Obviously the primary goal out of training camp was to earn one of the 16 post season berths. And, while 8 to 10 teams are out of the running there are still goals for these teams to strive for:
- Young teams (Orlando, Philadelphia and Minnesota) will give their talented rookies and sophomores as many minutes on court as possible to expedite their growth.
- Squads demonstrating late season success (Utah and Detroit) will play the role of spoiler, building momentum to carry forward via establishing winning habits.
- Older, salary laden teams like Brooklyn and the Knicks will take long hard looks at their rosters to determine who they might target to shed and conversely who might be valuable to keep as part of their core group in restructuring. Though the Nets are still in the mix to try to capture eighth they have one of the toughest remaining schedules, so barring some major injuries to the teams above them I suspect they’ll be going fishing in April.
- And finally teams who haven’t succeeded due to injuries/lack of depth (Lakers) or chemistry issues leading to coaching changes (Denver/Sacramento) will likely have begun restructuring their rosters (if only on paper) as they prepare for an active off season.
For the remaining 20 teams, reaching the final month punctuates the need to ramp up efforts as the jockeying for seeding escalates, especially from teams currently situated in the 7th through 10th positions.
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