Just about every professional basketball-related website has a power rankings page, so here's a summary of some of the most prominent.
Power rankings sites fall into 2 basic categories.
I will refer to the first as "Statistics-based", where there's a mathematical formula which yields the rankings (and is therefore unbiased). Best known examples are ESPN's (John) Hollinger rankings, which update daily, and Neal Paine's primarily point differential-based model on basketball-reference.com.
I call the 2nd type "Opinion based", where a sportswriter (or team of same) votes based on whatever criteria they decide. These are generally updated weekly, and are more apt to give more weight to the last 7 days of a team's performance than the stats-based. Examples of this type are Marc Stein's ESPN page which updates on Mondays and SB Nation's which updates on Tuesdays - so their Allstar Break editions won't be up until early next week.
Let's start with the biggest, if not the best - the Miami Heatles Hype Leader, the site with a team of writers focussed solely on the Heatles - highlighting the only team with a tab on the NBA Home page (the Heat Index) - ESPN http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings
THE TOP 10:
Comments: Hollinger uses a simple W-L record to determine Strength of Schedule - but then doesn't give it a whole lot of weight in his formula, which one reason why the Heatles are #1 despite having the league's 2nd easiest schedule to date. It gives the highest weight to point differential, as with most stats-based systems. There are often anomalies such as the 76ers at # 8 despite their below .500 W-L record. Here's the link to his formula:
Next is basketball-reference.com.
|2||2||San Antonio Spurs||W||SW||46||10||0.821||3.85||4||4||-3.68||7||7||7.53|
|4||3||Los Angeles Lakers||W||P||38||19||0.667||4.29||2||2||-1.68||11||10||5.97|
|8||8||New Orleans Hornets||W||SW||33||25||0.569||-1.24||22||22||-3.72||6||4||2.49|
|9||10||Oklahoma City Thunder||W||NW||35||19||0.648||3.58||5||5||1.12||17||17||2.46|
This one is 100% based on point differential, as is the strength of schedule, and the team's offensive and defensive ratings. Note the absence of the 76ers in the top 10 - but it still shows a lack of reality as the Heatles are ranked above a team they are 0-3 against (Celtics) and another they are 5 games/9% behind (Spurs)... The model began from a stats guy on their related site, pro-football-reference.com - this explains the concept: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=37
Now, here's what the rest have to say:
http://www.nba.com/2011/news/powerrankings/02/14/week16/index.html John Schuhmann's top 3 were unchanged (heatles at #3)
http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings Marc Stein offers a very West-centered list (put down the heatles for the Celtics loss with their injured bench):
http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/2/15/1994812/nba-power-rankings-san-antonio-spurs Tom Ziller gives the Heatles props for the close Celtics loss
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/britt_robson/02/15/power.rankings/index.html Britt Robson puts the Heatles third and pings Spoel for not giving Dampier enough tick vs the Celtics
http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/feed/2010-11/nba-power-poll/story/power-poll-heat-still-cant-solve-the-celtics-but-are-clearly-improving Sean Deveney highlights the Celtics loss, posts a pic of Spoel complaining to a ref, top 4 unchanged
http://www.hoopsworld.com/teams/Rankings.asp Eric Pincus changes things up compared to the others, with the Heatles again matching their low of #5.
http://www.docsports.com/2011/nba-power-rankings-035.html This one is Morey "Doc" Moseman's hadicapper service, who reminds that the heatles were favored to win the title over the Lakers (and also that they are just 28-27-1 vs the spread).
In summary, the Stats geeks are predicting a Spurs-Heatles Finals.
The humans have a different view, favoring the Celtics...