The Rockets remain at the top of the NBA power rankings for Week 18, but the Warriors will continue to chip at their heels.
Outside of Cleveland’s roster overhaul, most teams didn’t make a lot of moves before the trade deadline. A lot of teams are near the salary cap if they aren’t already over it, and many owners didn’t want to cough up the extra millions for a luxury tax bill.
The Bucks have been winning games left and right since Jason Kidd was excused of his coaching duties. Meanwhile, the Thunder have turned into the most unpredictable team in the league. Sometimes they look like a championship contender and other times they look like they need another year to gel.
With Boston in a bit of a rut, the Raptors have overtaken the Celtics for the leading record in the east. DeMar DeRozan is having another All-Star year, and Toronto’s defense is giving their opponents fits.
Last but not least, the Rockets and Warriors continue to jostle for the top spot in the NBA. Golden State can definitely hear the footsteps of Houston, and it is almost certain that these heavyweights are on a collision course for the conference finals.
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Golden State Warriors 43-13
Last week: 2-1
The Golden State Warriors have coasted at times throughout this season. They turn the ball over a lot, they often have slow starts, and their energy on defense has been lackluster. Yet, the Warriors have the league’s best record and they rank sixth in defensive rating.
The Warriors went 2-1 last week, with their only loss coming against Oklahoma City. Golden State will send four players to the All-Star game for a second consecutive year.
Even when they don’t give all of their effort, the Warriors can still defeat solid teams by double-digits. They’re still the 800 pound gorilla of the league and they will be the championship favorites until someone eliminates them.