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NBA Power Poll

 
Tony Mejia continues his coverage on VegasInsider.com this pro basketball season as a regular contributor. Each week throughout the 2014-15 campaign, users can view his weekly Division Rankings, Playoff Projections, NBA Finals Prediction and Power Poll.


Division Rankings

Now that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are back for OKC and the Nuggets have a pulse, we can stop putting any Eastern Conference division ahead of any of the three in the mighty West. To be fair, the Cavs and Bulls are indeed beginning to impose their will, but it remains to be seen whether any of the other Central inhabitants can make a surprise playoff appearance, as Milwaukee is currently in position to do. If the Bucks can hold on and the Thunder fail to finish top-eight, the Central should be able to move back up to third and salvage some pride for their overmatched conference.

1) Southwest
2) Pacific
3) Northwest
4) Central
5) Southeast
6) Atlantic

Playoff Projections

Eastern Conference
1. Chicago
2. Toronto
3. Cleveland
4. Washington
5. Atlanta
6. Miami
7. Brooklyn
8. Charlotte

Western Conference
1. L.A. Clippers
2. Portland
3. Memphis
4. Golden State
5. San Antonio
6. Houston
7. Dallas
8. Oklahoma City

First Team All-NBA
F- LeBron James, Cleveland
F- Anthony Davis, New Orleans
C- Marc Gasol, Memphis
G- Stephen Curry, Golden State
G- James Harden, Houston

Second Team All-NBA
F- Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
F- LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
C- DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento
G- Damian Lillard, Portland
G- Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers

Third Team All-NBA
F- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
F- Pau Gasol, Chicago
C- Al Horford, Atlanta
G- Kyle Lowry, Toronto
G- Klay Thompson, Golden State

2014-15 NBA Finals Prediction

San Antonio over Chicago - Presuming every key figure remains healthy throughout the postseason, we'll see the Spurs remain basketball's best team. Their projected opponent will open some eyebrows, but I'd agree with James that the Cavaliers do indeed have a long way to go before they have the goods to win it all. The Bulls will be more disciplined defensively, have solid depth and a deep, smart, unselfish frontcourt that will get their hands dirty and be a force on both ends of the floor come May and June. Derrick Rose will hopefully be bouncing around running the show, providing the requisite hunger necessary to extend Cleveland's championship drought at least another season. Of course, the Cavs won't go quietly, giving San Antonio's repeat bid a major boost as it awaits a tired Eastern Conference champ.


Power Rankings
Rank Team Betting Notes (2014 Record) Last Week
1 Golden State Warriors (19-2 SU, 15-6 ATS) 3
2 San Antonio Spurs (16-6 SU, 11-11 ATS) 1
3 Memphis Grizzlies (17-4 SU, 12-9 ATS) 2
4 Los Angeles Clippers (16-5 SU, 10-11 ATS) 9
5 Portland Trail Blazers (17-5 SU, 12-9-1 ATS) 5
6 Houston Rockets (16-5 SU, 11-10 ATS) 7
7 Dallas Mavericks (17-7 SU, 12-11-1 ATS) 6
8 Cleveland Cavaliers (13-7 SU, 9-11 ATS) 11
9 Toronto Raptors (16-6 SU, 13-9 ATS) 4
10 Chicago Bulls (13-8 SU, 9-12 ATS) 8
11 Atlanta Hawks (15-6 SU, 13-8 ATS) 15
12 Washington Wizards (15-6, 9-12 ATS) 10
13 Sacramento Kings (11-11 SU, 12-9-1 ATS) 13
14 Denver Nuggets (10-12 SU, 10-12 ATS) 19
15 New Orleans Pelicans (10-11 SU, 11-10 ATS) 12
16 Oklahoma City Thunder (8-13 SU, 11-10 ATS) 24
17 Milwaukee Bucks (11-12 SU, 15-8 ATS) 16
18 Miami Heat (10-12 SU, 9-12-1 ATS) 17
19 Orlando Magic (9-15 SU, 14-10 ATS) 23
20 Phoenix Suns (12-11 SU, 12-11 ATS) 14
21 Brooklyn Nets (8-12 SU, 8-12 ATS) 21
22 Indiana Pacers (7-15 SU, 12-9-1 ATS) 20
23 Utah Jazz (6-16 SU, 10-12 ATS) 18
24 Charlotte Hornets (6-15 SU, 7-12-2 ATS) 22
25 Boston Celtics (7-13 SU, 10-10 ATS) 25
26 Los Angeles Lakers (6-16 SU, 10-12 ATS) 26
27 Minnesota Timberwolves (5-16 SU, 8-12-1 ATS) 25
28 Detroit Pistons (3-19 SU, 6-16 ATS) 26
29 New York Knicks (4-20 SU, 8-14 ATS) 27
30 Philadelphia 76ers (2-19 SU, 11-10 ATS) 30
Updated Thu, Dec. 11, 11:30 AM ET
  
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