With the All-Star break and the trading deadline nearly upon us, I can't remember a time in the last 10 years when the consensus on who will win the championship has been more fragmented. The Spurs have been winning at a rate duplicated -- with few exceptions -- only by eventual champions, but at best San Antonio is rated as a co-favorite alongside the Celtics and Lakers, with doubters casting aspersions on the Spurs' abnormally good health (can it last straight through to June?) and their lack of size and depth in defending the paint.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are still old and grizzled, but proud and a little desperate to bag another title before their window closes. And the two-time defending champion Lakers haven't played with the kind of consistency that would inspire any confidence.
The Heat, Mavericks, Bulls and Magic lurk on the perimeter as decent long-shot bets.
The big mover in this week's Power Rankings likely won't be around for the second round this postseason. But the 76ers, up five spots to 13th, just walloped Atlanta on the road and toppled the Spurs at home in a week that put their 3-13 start further in the rearview mirror.
(Stats and records are through Feb. 14.)
NBA Power Rankings