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CC Power Rankings: January 25

With the dog days of the NBA season upon us, it’s time to take a new look at our updated power rankings. Each team is now past the halfway point and should be focused on either battling for playoff position or rebuilding for a brighter future.

This edition of our rankings series takes a look at the top 15 teams in the league as we hit the final week of January.

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1. San Antonio Spurs (38-6)

Last 10: 10-0

At long last, we have a change at the top. While Golden State still holds the best record in the Association, San Antonio is the hottest team at the moment. Greg Popovich’s team has won 13 consecutive games, the last three of which have come by an average of 23 points. The frontcourt consisting of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 20 and 15.9 points per game, respectively, while guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are also averaging in double figures. Their No. 1 ranking will be on the line when they face the Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland – the first of four meetings between the two teams this regular season.

2. Golden State Warriors (40-4)

Last 10: 8-2

As we noted above, Golden State might not be here for long. A win over San Antonio would bump Steve Kerr and company back up to the top spot for the time being. The Warriors did lose two of three a week and a half ago but have since righted the ship with three straight victories, one of which came by 34 points on the road in Cleveland. Kerr coached his first game of the season on Friday, taking over for interim head coach Luke Walton. and his team picked up right where they left off in the Walton era to the tune of a 122-110 win against Indiana. Golden State will close its brief homestand with a game against Dallas on Wednesday after the showdown with San Antonio.

Steve Kerr has returned to coaching for the second half of the season

Steve Kerr has returned to coaching for the second half of the season

3. Toronto Raptors (29-15)

Last 10: 8-2

While Cleveland might still hold the top spot in the East, Toronto is just as hot as anyone in the league. The Raptors have won eight straight games, a streak which currently includes three straight victories against playoff-caliber opponents. The schedule is about to get even tougher, however, with seven of their first eight games on the road to start the month of February. We will see just how good this team really is over that stretch.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (33-13)

Last 10: 8-2

The Thunder continue to plug along, winning consistently until they suddenly drop a game they shouldn’t. They have lost only three games in the month of January, but those defeats came against Sacramento, Portland, and Brooklyn. If they can focus in and start to erase these head-scratching losses, a run at a top-three spot in our power rankings is possible. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook continue to provide one of the best one-two punches in the conference, and the combination of Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter in the post has been lethal as of late.

Nov 15, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts after making a 3 point shot against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Westbrook is averaging 23.9 points and 9.7 assists per game for Oklahoma City (credit: Mark D. Smith – USA TODAY Sports)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (30-12)

Last 10: 7-3

While Toronto might be playing better at the moment, there is little doubt Cleveland is the best team in the Eastern Conference. Dan Gilbert and company noticed, however, that while they may be the top team in their own league, the Cavs were not going to beat Golden State and San Antonio in a seven-game series if there wasn’t a change at the top. The start to the Tyronn Lue era didn’t exactly go as planned with a blowout loss against Chicago on Saturday, but the Cavaliers remain in the top five despite the setback. They will close out their current homestand with games against Minnesota and Phoenix this week, both of which provide great chances to get back on track.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (28-16)

Last 10: 7-3

Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers find themselves just outside of the top five in this set of our rankings (creidt: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports)

7. Memphis Grizzlies (25-20)

Last 10: 7-3

8. Chicago Bulls (25-18)

Last 10: 4-6

9. Dallas Mavericks (25-21)

Last 10: 4-6

10. Atlanta Hawks (26-19)

Last 10: 5-5

Photo by Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Power forard Paul Millsap leads Atlanta with 18.4 points per game (credit: Kevin Liles – USA TODAY Sports)

11. Indiana Pacers (23-21)

Last 10: 4-6

12. Detroit Pistons (23-21)

Last 10: 5-5

13. Boston Celtics (24-21)

Last 10: 5-5

14. Miami Heat (23-21)

Last 10: 2-8

Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh has been the lone bright spot as of late for a struggling Miami team (credit: Brad Mills – USA TODAY Sports)

15. New York Knicks (22-24)

Last 10: 5-5

Just Missed The Cut: Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets

Connor Pelton

About Connor Pelton

Connor Pelton writes about all levels of basketball for Crossover Chronicles and SB Nation. You can follow him on Twitter at @ConnorPelton28.

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