Cynic power rankings of the week


1. Boston Celtics (37-11)

Boston’s road win at Los Angeles speaks for itself. Perkins is back, Shaq is healthy — for the moment — and Rajon Rondo continues to dazzle night in and night out. It will take a five game losing streak for the Celtics to drop from this spot.

2. San Antonio Spurs (40-8)

The Spurs have the best record in the league at 40-8 and own the best home record in the NBA at 25-2. Since Jan. 7, the Spurs have lost only two games, both of which came on the road.

3. Chicago Bulls (34-14)

I cannot get enough of Derrick Rose. Joakim Noah is about to return from an injury that sidelined him for nearly two months, and yet the Bulls have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games behind Rose’s MVP-caliber play.

The Celtics shouldn’t be worried about the Heat or the Magic — their biggest test in the East will be Chicago.

4. Miami Heat (34-14)

Injuries have set Miami back a little, but is there any doubt that Miami will return to being a dominant team by the time the postseason rolls around? Miami will be fine and by fine I mean a second round exit in the playoffs.

5. Los Angeles Lakers (34-15)

The Lakers — at times — look old, slow and uninspired. Yet here they are sitting at 34-15 and currently sitting second in the standings. Many teams would kill for a 34-15 record, yet Los Angeles is in semi-crisis mode. What does this tell us? They are a damn good team.


1. Vancouver Canucks (33-10-9, 75 PTS)

The Canucks have the best record and most points in the NHL. Their last four games include wins of 7-1, 2-1, 4-1, 6-0. Those victories came against teams who are currently in the playoff picture in the West. The most impressive? Beating third place Dallas twice by a combined score of 11-2.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (32-15-5, 69 PTS)

Last week we saw the two top teams in the East — the Lightning and the Flyers — battle for the figurative top spot in the conference. I say “figurative” because after the game the Flyers still had the best record in the conference, but the Lightning won 4-0. Throw in a six-game winning streak for Tampa Bay and they clearly leapfrog Philadelphia in the power rankings.

3. Philadelphia Flyers (33-13-5, 71 PTS)

Despite the blowout loss to Tampa, the Flyers are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The loss to the Lightning isn’t too much cause for concern, but a recent loss to last place New Jersey is unacceptable for a Flyers team who are believed to be elite.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (33-15-4, 70 PTS)

The Penguins have won their last four and are thriving despite the absence of Sidney Crosby, who has been sidelined for weeks with a concussion.

5. Detroit Red Wings (31-13-6, 68 PTS)

Detroit has been average in their last eight, going 4-4 against the likes of Columbus, Colorado and Ottawa.