Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/14/12
By Sam Amico FOXSports.com Things remain steady at the top with the Heat, Bulls and Thunder maintaining their lofty posts. But serious jostling for playoff positions under way in the middle of the pack. Check out the top performers of the week and find out where your team ranks. 1 Heat 22-7 Depth remains an issue, but Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh appear to be more cohesive than ever. 2 Bulls 23-7 Balanced, poised, well-coached and defensive-minded. Its no wonder they often still find a way without Derrick Rose. 3 Thunder 21-6 Kevin Durant a modern-day George Gervin, and Russell Westbrook having best month as a pro. Maybe its time to stop saying theyre too young to win it all. 4 76ers 20-9 Too many fans outside of Philly still dont believe teamwork and intelligent basketball can carry you far. Time for those fans to start accepting reality. The Sixers are young, confident and deep. 5 Spurs 19-9 1 Theyve been there before and are showing it by just winning, baby. Just wait until Manu Ginobili gets back. 6 Mavericks 18-11 3 Defending champs doing things much the same thing they did last season: Playing good enough right now, and waiting to pounce on you in the playoffs. 7 Clippers 17-9 -2 Who would have guessed that Kenyon Martin still had something left? Whats even more surprising is theyve almost been every bit as good without Chauncey Billups. 8 Hawks 18-10 Josh Smith was the biggest All-Star game snub. Will flighty Hawks ever live up to their talent? 9 Magic 18-11 5 Staying afloat despite fact decision day nearing for Dwight Howard, a.k.a. The Big Distraction. 10 Pacers 17-10 We all knew they would hit a rough patch, but still dangerous and likely to be even more so once Danny Granger finally starts finding the range again. 11 Lakers 16-12 1 Metta World Peace seems to be on brink of Major World Collapse. Lakers, meanwhile, just look average. 12 Nuggets 16-12 -5 Sentences you never thought youd read a year ago: Life without Danilo Gallinari has been incredibly difficult. 13 Celtics 15-12 -2 Healthy Rajon Rondo makes a huge difference. So do role players who finally seem to be coming around a little. 14 Rockets 16-12 1 The leagues most underappreciated team during seasons first half. Kevin McHale? Coach of the year? Hey, dont laugh. 15 Trail Blazers 15-13 1 LaMarcus Aldridge has been fabulous, but not getting enough production from bench. Wouldnt hurt for someone besides Aldridge to score on consistent basis, either. 16 Knicks 13-15 2 Its been All Jeremy Lin, All The Time. Wonder if Knicks can keep it going when guys who have been doing this awhile (Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire) return. 17 Jazz 14-13 -4 Never know what to expect from night to night. But if it involves a road game, it usually doesnt turn out too well. 18 Grizzlies 14-14 -1 Havent been able to ride the hot streak that began in last seasons playoffs, but that likely has something to do with Zach Randolphs injury. Question is, will O.J. Mayo still be on team after March 15? 19 Warriors 11-14 5 Stephen Curry is completely healthy and he and his teammates are starting to take to Mark Jackson. All of which makes late-season playoff push suddenly believable. 20 Timberwolves 13-16 Hot and cold, which is actually better than some experts predicted. But even when cold, how can you resist watching Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love? 21 Bucks 12-16 -2 Most of us thought they would be better. Unfortunately for Bucks fans, they look like every other team thats ever had Stephen Jackson and Mike Dunleavy on it. 22 Suns 12-16 How they even manage to continue to play respectable and stay in most games is downright puzzling. Unless you consider they still have that Steve Nash guy. 23 Cavaliers 10-16 -2 Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao snubbed for All-Star game, then injured immediately after. Its been a rough month so far for Cavs. 24 Kings 10-17 -1 Will never be accused of playing the right way, but Keith Smart has them suddenly playing scrappy. That in itself is quite an accomplishment. 25 Raptors 9-20 1 Andrea Bargnani has been working out in training pool. When youre the Raptors, thats never good news. 26 Pistons 8-21 1 On the bright side, there are about seven guys in the college draft who could immediately help these guys. Then again, the Pistons could use all seven. 27 Nets 8-21 -2 Every coach who voted for Deron Williams to make the All-Star team should be sentenced to a season trying to coach the Nets. 28 Wizards 6-22 Young, but not hungry. Unless youre talking about getting more shots than your teammates. 29 Hornets 5-23 Only three players averaging more than 11 points per game, and their leading scorer (Jarrett Jack) is only around 15. No defense in the world could overcome that. 30 Bobcats 3-25 Well, its settled. Michael Jordan has proven that once again, he would be the best player on his team. Even at the age of 49.
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