What usually happens from the end of the All-Star Game to the start of the second half of the season is typically nothing at all. News outlets like ESPN and Bleacher Report usually scramble to find out something they can write/talk about. Although it usually ends up as nothing of value at all, most of those units will end up discussing what teams are going to need to do to try and secure a playoff spot. Well, that or something regarding LeBron James.

However, this time around, there was a completely different style of news that was recovered and was first released by Sports Illustrated. It was a bombshell, and it’s also something that’s become very apparent in the sports world recently… – Matthew Jones

1. Houston Rockets (44-13)

  • Stephen A. Smith says that James Harden is the leading MVP candidate. I don’t disagree with him one bit.

“We are for real as it can get. I have never been this confident playing in my entire career.” – James Harden on the Rockets

2. Golden State Warriors (44-14)

  • Steve Kerr is a great coach and is surrounded by great players. Kerr always talks about how he wishes he had the confidence of some of his players, though. One of those players is Steph Curry, who can pull up from just about anywhere on the floor that he wants to. I wonder how confident Steve Kerr in regards to how well the Rockets played in the first half of the season. – Matthew Jones

3. Toronto Raptors (41-16)

  • Toronto currently holds a two-game lead over Boston for the East’s best team; Lowry and DeRozan are playing the best-combined basketball of their careers, and the emergence of consistent role players like CJ Miles and Fred VanVleet have made the difference. – Joe Morris

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (34-22)

  • A rejuvenated LeBron captained his team to victory in one of the most exciting All-Star games in recent memory. With the way the Cavs had been playing going into the break, it looks like Cleveland should be in the driver’s seat once again for the East title. – Joe Morris
  • Let me remind you that LeBron James now has over 30,000 points in his career. – Matthew Jones

5. Boston Celtics (40-19)

  • The placement of the Celtics at #5 is due to how they played before the break. Will things change for Boston? It can, but it’ll need to be proven to me first. – Matthew Jones

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (36-25)

7. San Antonio Spurs (35-24)

  • There were talks last month that Kawhi Leonard was distant and disconnected from the Spurs organization due to disagreements about his rehab. It was later revealed that this wasn’t the case, but you still have to wonder after this week when the head coach of the Spurs, Gregg Popovich, said that he’d be “surprised” if Leonard came back this season at all. The Spurs are doing okay for themselves without their star, but I don’t think they have a shot at a deep playoff run at this point. – Matthew Jones

8. Indiana Pacers (33-25)

  • Black Panther was an okay movie. Victor Oladipo deserves more credit. – Matthew Jones

9. Utah Jazz (30-28)

  • There is no way Donovan Mitchell should have won the Dunk Contest by dunking over 5’1 Kevin Hart and a fourth grader. Somebody needs to stop inviting DJ Khaled to judge these contests. On the basketball side of things, Utah’s 11 game winning streak has them looking legit as they vault up the playoff ladder. – Joe Morris

10. Oklahoma City Thunder (33-26)

  • Russell Westbrook complained that Paul George didn’t make the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Well, did you see how he performed in the 3-point contest? Yeah, right. – Matthew Jones

11. Washington Wizards (33-24)

  • The Wizards, so far, are 6-2 without John Wall in the lineup due to the knee injury that will keep him out for another month or so. This is Bradley Beal’s team right now, and if that Knicks game before the All-Star Break was any indication, the Wizards will do alright over the next month. – Matthew Jones

12. Denver Nuggets (32-26)

13. Milwaukee Bucks (32-25)

  • The Bucks are 9-3 since Jason Kidd’s firing on January 22nd. The decision behind his firing was because the Bucks weren’t winning enough. I hope it’s going to be worth it because it still doesn’t make sense to me, and I believe that Giannis won’t be staying after this season. – Matthew Jones

14. Philadelphia 76ers (30-25)

15. Los Angeles Clippers (36-25)

  • Doc Rivers got his wish. The draft for the NBA All-Star Game will be televised starting next year. – Matthew Jones

16. Portland Trail Blazers (32-26)

  • What’s next for the Trail Blazers? Well, it would be nice if they can start with moving the ball around better. – Matthew Jones

17. New Orleans Pelicans (29-26)

  • It was nice to see Anthony Davis wear DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey in the NBA All-Star Game. You can’t honestly tell me that Cousins wouldn’t have played in that game if he didn’t get hurt. The man literally put up 40 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists in a single game against the Bulls on the 22nd of January right before he got hurt. In fact, Anthony Davis is of this belief too. He went so far as to say that the Pelicans would’ve made the NBA Finals if Cousins’ season didn’t come to an end. – Matthew Jones

18. Miami Heat (30-28)

19. Detroit Pistons (28-29)

  • Just in case you forgot, Blake Griffin is on the Pistons. – Matthew Jones

20. Charlotte Hornets (24-33)

  • Let’s just be glad that Kemba Walker stayed with the Hornets. – Matthew Jones

21. Los Angeles Lakers (23-34)

  • Courtesy of the Big Baller Brand, it was announced that Lonzo Ball will return to action tomorrow after missing the last 15 games. It’s time for the Lakers to make a push towards the playoffs. Not really. – Matthew Jones

22. New York Knicks (23-36)

  • Phil Jackson’s legacy continues to plague the Knicks, as now they’re having to adequately deal with the $54 million mistake that is Joakim Noah. The much-maligned center has been exiled from team activities after a heated confrontation with the coaching staff last week. The Knicks couldn’t find a trade partner for him, though, and now they’re stuck with that massive contract. – Joe Morris
  • Joakim Noah is irrelevant. – Matthew Jones

23. Chicago Bulls (20-37)

24. Sacramento Kings (18-39)

25. Orlando Magic (18-39)

26. Atlanta Hawks (18-41)

27. Dallas Mavericks (18-40)

  • It’s been a rough week for Mavs fans: Dennis Smith Jr. got hosed in the Dunk Contest, Mark Cuban all but announced that the team will start tanking, and — worst of all — a damning Sports Illustrated piece has revealed long-term sexual harassment in the Mavs’ front office. We may be in for the next Donald Sterling type scandal in the NBA, especially if more teams have had similar situations. – Joe Morris
  • What’s been going on with the Mavericks is sickening. In fact, I should’ve probably put them below the Phoenix Suns at #30. Do you mean to tell me that what’s been going on is alright? First of all, Mark Cuban openly stated that the team should tank the rest of the year to set up plans for the future. What the hell does that say to your fans and your team? Second, SI released a story on the Mavs and their “open secret” regarding sexual harassment behavior in a hostile work environment throughout the Dallas Mavericks organization. There’s fondling going on via the higher-ups, domestic assault by a beat reporter, intimidating responses by HR, and more. Finally (for the time being), Cuban was fined $600k for his public comments on tanking, but there’s a lot more that’s going to go down here. This is only the beginning, and it’s a damn shame this stuff still goes on. – Matthew Jones

“We’ve got to fit it. I’m embarrassed that it happened under my ownership, and it needs to be fixed. Period.” – Mark Cuban

28. Memphis Grizzlies (18-38)

  • The Grizzlies have nothing to look forward to this season especially with Mike Conley’s season-ending left heel injury. The man averaged 17.1 PPG this season before his surgery. You can’t just fill a hole like that when you didn’t have depth on your team, to begin with. – Matthew Jones

29. Brooklyn Nets (19-40)

  • Spencer Dinwiddie continued his impressive season by winning the Skills Challenge over the likes of Joel Embiid and Lauri Markkanen. He’s been the one bright spot in another disappointing season for Brooklyn. – Joe Morris

30. Phoenix Suns (18-41)

  • The race for Slovenian prodigy Luka Doncic is on, and the Suns look like the frontrunners for the 18-year-old. That’s about the only competition they can win, besides Devin Booker in the 3-point contest. – Joe Morris

That’ll do it for the NBA Week 19 Power Rankings. What did you think of the list this week? Where would you rank these teams? What did you think of the NBA All-Star Game? Be sure to tell us about it in the comment section below. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on our Instagram page for all of the latest information from Power Rankings and More.

Published on 2/22/18 at 5:02 PM EST. Photo credit: Sports Illustrated.
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Matthew "Joneszee" Jones http://www.powerrankingsandmore.com

I am the owner of Power Rankings and More and a sports broadcaster at Ball State. Sports are my passion. My writing style is laid back, so relax and enjoy!

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