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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 2013-14 campaign, users can view his weekly Division Rankings, Playoff Projections, NBA Finals Prediction and Power Poll.

Follow him on Twitter @TonyMejiaNBA

Division Rankings

Indiana got its rest on Wednesday night, perhaps as important mentally as it was physically for an exhausted-looking starting five that has worn down to a shell of themselves. Following Friday night's showdown for in South Florida, it's going to be telling to see how both teams monitor minutes and handle the final few games. The Heat are beat up and undoubtedly looking to coast through the first round of the playoffs, relishing the prospect of off days and a potential lengthy layoff if they can get their work done early. The final regular-season meeting between the Eastern Conference's top teams is going to be played like a Game 7, but after it's over, cruise control is likely in the cards for both. A Pacers win will almost certainly trigger easing back on LeBron James' load. A Miami win would leave Indiana just a half-game back with two left to play on its end, but Vogel's decision to bench everyone and provide a break in Milwaukee suggests the organization now favors maintenance over the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage, too.

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

Playoff Projections

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

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

First Team All-NBA
F- LeBron James, Miami
F- Kevin Durant, OKC
C- Joakim Noah, Chicago
G- Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
G- Stephen Curry, Golden State

Second Team All-NBA
F- Carmelo Anthony, New York
F- Kevin Love, Minnesota
F- Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
G- Tony Parker, San Antonio
G- James Harden, Houston

Third Team All-NBA
F- LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
F- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
C- Dwight Howard, Houston
G- Damian Lillard, Portland
G/F- Paul George, Indiana

2013-14 NBA Finals Prediction

Oklahoma City over Miami - For the first time since Feb. 20, the Thunder started their normal starting lineup in the mix against the L.A. Clippers and got great results, setting the tone in a terrific defensive effort. With Caron Butler added to the mix and homecourt against everyone but a Spurs team they're 4-0 against, the likelihood they'll get out of the Western Conference free-for-all has increased significantly. Without knowing whether Dwyane Wade can be himself these next few months, Oklahoma City has a great shot at reversing the 2012 Finals result.


Power Rankings
Rank Team Betting Notes Last Week
1 Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21 SU, 42-35-1 ATS) 4
2 San Antonio Spurs (60-18 SU, 44-34 ATS) 1
3 Los Angeles Clippers (55-24 SU, 43-35-1 ATS) 2
4 Miami Heat (53-25 SU, 36-40-2 ATS) 3
5 Portland Trail Blazers (51-28 SU, 43-36 ATS) 5
6 Houston Rockets (52-26 SU, 39-37-2 ATS) 6
7 Golden State Warriors (48-29 SU, 37-38-2 ATS) 7
8 Dallas Mavericks (48-31 SU, 43-36 ATS) 8
9 Memphis Grizzlies (46-32 SU, 34-42-2 ATS) 10
10 Indiana Pacers (54-25 SU, 36-42-1 ATS) 9
11 Chicago Bulls (46-32 SU, 41-37 ATS) 12
12 Brooklyn Nets (43-35 SU, 43-35 ATS) 11
13 Phoenix Suns (47-31 SU, 50-26-2 ATS) 13
14 Toronto Raptors (46-32 SU, 45-32-1 ATS) 14
15 Charlotte Bobcats (40-38 SU, 45-31-2 ATS) 15
16 Washington Wizards (40-38, 38-38-2 ATS) 16
17 Minnesota Timberwolves (39-39 SU, 38-40 ATS) 17
18 Atlanta Hawks (35-43 SU, 34-43-1 ATS) 21
19 Cleveland Cavaliers (32-47 SU, 39-40 ATS) 19
20 Denver Nuggets (34-44 SU, 38-39-1 ATS) 22
21 New York Knicks (33-45 SU, 34-44 ATS) 20
22 New Orleans Pelicans (32-46 SU, 33-40-5 ATS) 18
23 Detroit Pistons (29-50 SU, 34-45 ATS) 26
24 Sacramento Kings (27-52 SU, 36-40-3 ATS) 23
25 Utah Jazz (24-54 SU, 32-42-4 ATS) 27
26 Orlando Magic (23-55 SU, 33-42-3 ATS) 28
27 Los Angeles Lakers (25-53 SU, 38-39-1 ATS) 24
28 Boston Celtics (23-55 SU, 36-41-1 ATS) 25
29 Milwaukee Bucks (14-64 SU, 35-42-1 ATS) 29
30 Philadelphia 76ers (17-61 SU, 32-46 ATS) 30
  
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