Cynic NBA power rankings of the week


1. Chicago Bulls (52-19)

The Bulls are 14-2 in their last 16 games, with one of those losses coming in overtime and the other by three points to a formidable Atlanta Hawks team. Derrick Rose — as I have said before and will continue to say — improves on a weekly basis and will be the league’s MVP.

With the return of Carlos Boozer expected any day, Chicago is firing on all cylinders as they approach the playoffs, and with the Boston Celtics’ recent struggles they have all but locked up the top seed in the East.

2. Los Angeles Lakers (52-20)

The Lakers only slipped by the lowly Suns in triple overtime, but a win is a win. Kobe Bryant has shown he still has the ability to take over games when he deems it necessary, dropping 37 and 42 in the Lakers’ last two games.

Although a long shot, they may have the capability to overtake the Spurs for the top spot now that Tim Duncan is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Phil Jackson is smart enough, however, not to risk the health of his team in order to do so.

3. Miami Heat (50-22)

After that horrendous five game losing streak — granted mostly to playoff teams — the Heat have turned it around and won seven of their last eight. At this point, the only question is whether or not they overtake the Celtics for the two seed in the East now that they are just half a game back.

As much as Miami has been critiqued this season, I know for a fact there is not one team out there that wants to play a team with Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a best of seven playoff series.

4. San Antonio Spurs (57-15)

The Spurs have lost their last two games, but that shouldn’t be a cause for concern because they have done so without their best player, Tim Duncan.

Duncan is out indefinitely with an ankle injury but reports indicate he will be back and healthy for the playoffs which, for the Spurs, is the only thing they are concerned about right now.

5. Boston Celtics(50-21)

In the words of Charles Barkley, the Celtics are playing “turrible.” They are 4-6 in their last 10, and the losses are to basement teams, which should have all Celtics fans worried.

A great comeback win against the Knicks was tarnished with Glen Davis attempting a buzzer beater three and failing in the next game.

Is that really the best the Celtics can do? An April 7 meeting with the Chicago Bulls should tell a lot about how the Celtics will fare in the playoffs because at this point, I don’t think anyone really knows.