Apparently, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich has struck a deal with his stars: Win 11 games in a row and you get the next game off to rest. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have taken their coach up on it twice this season and Manu Ginobili has done so once (Ginobili was hurt during parts of and immediately after the team's first 11-game streak). Yes, the short-handed Spurs lose that next game -- Feb. 21 in Portland and now Monday in Utah -- but at a combined 22-2, their fans are OK with the terms.
All kidding aside, driven by their latest 11-game winning streak during which 10 players averaged at least nine points, the Spurs are the obvious choice and the last of this season's four elite teams to ascend to the top spot in the Power Rankings. But with home games this week against the Grizzlies (up to No. 5 and winners of six of seven), Lakers (No. 8) and a Phoenix team (No. 13) fighting for its playoff life, it remains to be seen if the Spurs can lead the list for longer than the one-week stay for the last occupant, the Thunder. Oklahoma City falls to No. 2 this week, just ahead of Eastern Conference powers Chicago and Miami.
(All stats and records are through Monday, April 9.)
NBA Power Rankings