Cynic power rankings of the week


1. Boston Celtics (40-14)

In their highly anticipated game against the Miami Heat on Feb. 13, Paul Pierce suffered the second worst shooting performance of his career, going 0-10 from the floor with one point.

But the Celtics won 85-82. If that doesn’t point to how good the Celtics are, I don’t know what does. However, Pierce’s slump didn’t last long. He scored 31 against New Jersey as the Celtics head into the all-star break best in the east.

2. San Antonio Spurs (46-9)

The Spurs continue to quietly cruise through their schedule, racking up win after win. We should all get used to it because the second half schedule isn’t too daunting for San Antonio.

The loss to Chicago on the road isn’t too much cause for concern. That game was way more important to the Bulls than it was to the Spurs.

3. Miami Heat (41-15)

Despite the loss to the Celtics, Miami continues to impress me. If you watched their game against Toronto — Chris Bosh’s return to his former team — you couldn’t help but appreciate Miami. LeBron and D-wade understood that that game belonged to Chris Bosh.

Chris Bosh doesn’t need to score 25 every night, but against Toronto he reminded everyone that he can, with ease. Side note: Toronto is awful to the point where I almost wrote a column about how awful they are.

4. Chicago Bulls (37-16)

I am still drinking the Chicago Kool-Aid and still think that they can knock off the Celtics in the playoffs and represent the Eastern Conference in the finals. They are 8-2 in their last 10, and are still undefeated — 11-0 — in divisional games.

Their convincing victory over the Spurs speaks volumes for the Bulls’ potential. Derrick Rose scored a career-high 41 points and added eight assists and five rebounds.

5. Los Angeles Lakers (38-19)

How could the fifth best team in the NBA lose three consecutive games to Orlando, Charlotte and the exceedingly dreadful Cavaliers?

I honestly think the Lakers will be fine. Someone suggested in the media that the Lakers were just screwing with us, playing like garbage until it really matters. I doubt the Lakers are intentionally losing to the Cavs, but I do think they will turn it on when it counts.

That being said, if they lose consecutive games to cellar teams in the east, they will drop from the top five.


1. Vancouver Canucks (37-12-9, 83 PTS)

2-2 in their last four doesn’t change the fact that Vancouver is by far the best team in the West right now. Detroit isn’t even in their rear-view.

2. Philadelphia Flyers (38-14-5, 81 PTS)

The Flyers beat the Lightning in a shootout and avenged their 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay a few weeks ago. Philadelphia will most likely continue to dominate their schedule as five of their next seven games are against non-playoff teams.

3. Detroit Red Wings (34-16-6, 74 PTS)

The Red Wings swept back-to-back games against Boston last week and routed Tampa 6-2, thus vaulting them over Boston and Tampa in the rankings. Detroit is the hottest team in the league right now.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-17-6, 74 PTS)

The shootout loss to Philadelphia hurt the pride but not much else. At this pace, Tampa will have home ice in the playoffs until they meet Philly in the conference championship.

5. Phoenix Coyotes (30-19-9, 69 PTS)

This spot would be Boston’s but the Bruins are 5-5 in their last 10 and have lost three in a row. Phoenix, on the other hand, is streaking, winning their last five. I’ll give Boston the edge once they show they can beat elite teams. Until then, they are out of the top five.