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Thunder stay on top, while race for No. 30 heats up

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The Bucks, Cavaliers and Lakers all once had playoff hopes, but are now entrenched in the NBA's cellar.

Just how bad are the worst teams in the NBA right now?

The Bucks have been so miserable that their fans thought the Denver Broncos played well in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Lakers are such a wreck that a comeback from Kobe Bryant would be reckless at this point. And the Cavaliers are so toxic that I'd be genuinely surprised if there isn't a major trade or firing out of Cleveland by this time next week.

Add the skidding Kings to that futile bunch and the bottom four teams in my Power Rankings combined to go 0-13 last week. Yes, it appears there is more competition for No. 30 in the NBA than No. 1 these days.

Kevin Durant and the Thunder finally proved mortal in a loss to the Wizards last week, but they're still the best of the NBA's mere mortals so they stay at No. 1 for another week, followed once again by the Pacers (No. 2) and Heat (No. 3).

This week's biggest risers are being fueled by point guards with a chip on their shoulder. Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and Goran Dragic all missed the All-Star Game, but their teams are benefiting from the snubs. The Raptors (No. 11), Grizzlies (No. 8) and Suns (No. 6) all moved up at least two spots and combined to go 11-1 last week.

Here's where all 30 teams stand in this week's SI.com NBA Power Rankings:

(All records and statistics used through Feb. 2)

SI Now: Thunder stay on top of this week's NBA power rankings
On Monday's SI Now, NBA Producer Matt Dollinger discusses the risers and fallers in this week's NBA power rankings.
NBA Power Rankings
 
1 Oklahoma City Thunder
Last Week: 1
Since: 3-1
Kevin Durant and the Thunder finally cooled off with a loss in Washington, but their recent torrid stretch saw them scorch Houston, Golden State, San Antonio and Miami, proving they're the clear-cut favorite out West.
 
2 Indiana Pacers
Last Week: 2
Since: 2-1
Indy's trademark defense has lacked much bite of late. The Pacers are giving up just 94.1 points per 100 possessions on the season, but have allowed 102.1 over their last six games (3-3). As for the Andrew Bynum signing, your guess is as good as mine.
 
3 Miami Heat
Last Week: 3
Since: 1-1
Miami Heat (33-13)
Note to self: We should all thank Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney for helping fan the flames on the Thunder-Heat rivalry. Last week's first installment was enthralling. A rematch this spring would be an embarrassment of riches for basketball fans.
 
4 Los Angeles Clippers
Last Week: 5
Since: 3-1
The Clippers not only have the best point guard in the league, but the best backup, too. L.A. is 12-4 when Darren Collison starts this year, with the fifth-year guard averaging 14.3 point, 6.1 assists and 50.0 percent shooting from three-point range when he's in the first five.
 
5 Houston Rockets
Last Week: 7
Since: 3-0
How critical is Patrick Beverley to the Rockets' success? The defensive menace leads the team in net rating (8.8), besting some guys named James Harden (7.4) and Dwight Howard (6.0).
 
6 Memphis Grizzlies
Last Week: 8
Since: 4-0
The Grizzlies have officially come out of hibernation. They've won 11 of their last 12 games, including six in a row, and are tied for the league lead in net rating (8.4) since New Year's Day.
 
7 Portland Trail Blazers
Last Week: 4
Since: 1-1
No one is happier to see February than the Blazers, who lost as many games in January than they did in December and November combined. Not to mention they scored a season-low 81 points in a loss to Memphis in the month's finale.
 
8 Phoenix Suns
Last Week: 10
Since: 4-0
Phoenix Suns (29-18)
The Suns are playing like they just don't know any better. They've won five straight, swept their four-game road trip and beat the NBA-best Pacers twice in an eight-day span.
 
9 San Antonio Spurs
Last Week: 6
Since: 1-2
Gregg Popovich won't use it as an excuse, but injuries to Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green have decimated San Antonio. With key players in street clothes every night, the Spurs have lost five of their last eight.
 
10 Golden State Warriors
Last Week: 11
Since: 2-1
Just 48 games into the season, the Warriors have already held their most opponents under 90 points (14) since 2005-06. The team that once epitomized run-and-gun is now a lot closer style-wise to the Grizz's grit-and-grind.
 
11 Toronto Raptors
Last Week: 15
Since: 3-1
The Raptors deserved to have an All-Star, but the coaches chose the wrong one. The Raptors still went 3-1 last week thanks to Kyle Lowry, who averaged 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds along the way.
 
12 Dallas Mavericks
Last Week: 9
Since: 1-1
The most underrated contributor to the Mavs' success this season: DeJuan Blair. Doing Dirk Nowitzki's dirty work on the glass, Blair is averaging 14.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per 36 minutes while shooting 55.8 percent from the field.
 
13 Atlanta Hawks
Last Week: 17
Since: 2-1
Despite the departure of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and now Al Horford due to injury, the Hawks are right where they always are: the upper-middle class of the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is 9-8 since losing Horford to a season-ending pectoral injury.
 
14 Denver Nuggets
Last Week: 13
Since: 0-2
Adding to Denver's Super Bowl misery: The Nuggets have lost back-to-back home games and lost spark-plug Nate Robinson for the season.
 
15 Chicago Bulls
Last Week: 14
Since: 1-2
Only Tom Thibodeau could win NBA games with D.J. Augustin as his No. 1 option. It's the basketball equivalent of Bill Belichick playing Julian Edelman at cornerback and shutting down opponents.
 
16 Washington Wizards
Last Week: 18
Since: 2-1
As the Wizards continue to battle valiantly to top the .500 mark -- they've alternated wins and losses in their last eight games -- you can't help but wonder how much better Washington would be if it was getting more out of No. 3 pick Otto Porter. "Struggling" would be putting it kindly.
 
17 Brooklyn Nets
Last Week: 12
Since: 0-3
Three tough losses for the Nets last week, who suffered one-point defeats to the Raptors and Pacers and were handed their lunch by the Kevin Durant Machine.
 
18 Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Week: 16
Since: 2-2
Kevin Love does so many things for the Wolves, but he's at his least valuable when he's called on to be a volume shooter. Minnesota is now 3-14 in games Love attempts at least 20 shots from the field. The Wolves need Love freed up to do more than just score.
 
19 New Orleans Pelicans
Last Week: 19
Since: 2-1
Twenty-one blocks in three games? Maybe opponents should stop shooting in the vicinity of Anthony Davis. The All-Star snub has swatted at least four shots in six straight games, helping the Pels win five of them.
 
20 New York Knicks
Last Week: 20
Since: 2-1
Madison Square Garen is a great place to see a game, but it hasn't provided much of a homecourt advantage this season. The Knicks managed to go just .500 in their critical eight-game homestand, falling to 11-16 at MSG this year. Only the 76ers, Kings and Bucks have lost that many times at home this year.
 
21 Charlotte Bobcats
Last Week: 21
Since: 2-1
The Bobcats have managed to go 4-3 without Kemba Walker, largely thanks to some sturdy contributions from Ramon Sessions and an increased workload for Al Jefferson, who is averaging 26.8 points over that seven-game stretch.
 
22 Detroit Pistons
Last Week: 23
Since: 2-0
The team with the youngest starting lineup in the league is just a half-game out of a playoff spot. Doesn't sound so bad when you put it that way, does it?
 
23 Utah Jazz
Last Week: 22
Since: 1-2
Utah Jazz (16-31)
As the season has progressed the Jazz's offense has gotten better, going from 90.1 ppg in November to 95.2 in December to 100.9 in January, a month they finished with a 6-6 record. Unfortunately for Utah, the team's defense has yet to show the same type of maturation.
 
24 Philadelphia 76ers
Last Week: 26
Since: 1-3
How many teams will chase after Spencer Hawes this summer? The 7-footer will be 26, an unrestricted free agent and coming off the best season of his career: 13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 bpg and an impressive 41.1 percent mark from three-point range. It'll be interesting to see if Philly views Hawes as a complement to Nerlens Noel or a placeholder.
 
25 Boston Celtics
Last Week: 29
Since: 1-2
Super Bowl Sunday overshadowed the first vintage performance of the season from Rajon Rondo: 19 points (9-of-11 shooting), 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes in a victory over Orlando.
 
26 Orlando Magic
Last Week: 28
Since: 1-3
The coaches' selection of Joe Johnson over Arron Afflalo for the East All-Star team is downright puzzling. Afflalo is averaging more points, rebounds and assists and shooting a higher percentage from the field, three-point range and free-throw line -- not to mention the Magic guard beats the Nets' guard in just about every advanced statistical category.
 
27 Sacramento Kings
Last Week: 24
Since: 0-4
The Kings have followed a 5-3 stretch with seven consecutive losses. Five were to playoff teams, but something tells me Michael Malone isn't a "moral victories" kind of guy.
 
28 Cleveland Cavaliers
Last Week: 25
Since: 0-3
Luol Deng sounds genuinely disgusted by the scene in Cleveland and one unnamed player recently told the Akron Beacon Journal, "We were losing last year with Byron (Scott), but at least we were having fun." Needless to say, that quote won't be appearing on the back cover of Mike Brown's biography.
 
29 Los Angeles Lakers
Last Week: 27
Since: 0-2
It has been a month since the Lakers held an opponent under 100 points. There isn't enough magic for 100 Mike D'Antoni's to make this team a winner. Will the team embrace rebuilding and trade Pau Gasol? Talks are heating up.
 
30 Milwaukee Bucks
Last Week: 30
Since: 0-4
It really says something about the dysfunction of the Bucks that they've managed to put this much distance between themselves and the rest of the NBA's putrid pack. Especially when you consider tthe fact that this team once had playoff hopes.
 

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