NBA Power Rankings: New York Knicks getting hot at right time

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Mar 7, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) gets off a jump shot against Utah Jazz during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

20. New York Knicks (23, +3): Break up the Knicks! Please, somebody.  The Knicks have won three games in a row, but before anyone gets too excited, let me remind you that this is the Knicks.  Their winning streak isn’t the biggest news in NYC, though.  It’s rumored that the legendary Phil Jackson could be part of the team’s front office as early as next season.

21. Detroit Pistons (21, NC): The Pistons have the seventh-worst team shooting percentage (44.4) in the league over the past two weeks, and that’s led to them losing nine of their last 11 games.  Only in the Eastern Conference would a team this bad be just three games out of the final playoff spot.

22. Atlanta Hawks (20, -2): The losing just hasn’t stopped in Atlanta.  The Hawks have now lost 13 of 14 games, including two straight since Paul Millsap returned from a five-game absence.

23. Sacramento Kings (25, +2): The three-headed monster of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Isaiah Thomas has been rolling, but the Kings will need to shore up their roster in the off-season if they have any intentions of contending.  Ben McLemore, the Kings’ top draft pick this season, was supposed to step up following the trade of Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn, but he has failed to do so, averaging just 7.9 points on 32.9 percent shooting in those nine games.

24. New Orleans Pelicans (22, -2): With Jrue Holiday ruled out for the season, Tyreke Evans was finally inserted into the Pelicans’ starting lineup, and he’s responded well.  In those five games, Evans has averaged 22.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.2 3-pointers.

25. Boston Celtics (26, +1): Rajon Rondo has been phenomenal since his return from ACL surgery on Jan. 17.  In 17 games, the 28-year-old PG hasn’t missed a beat, averaging 12.2 points, 8.2 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.

26. Orlando Magic (24, -2): Every time you watch the Magic you just can’t help but glance into the future and think what they will look like with Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless and whoever their lottery pick will be this summer.  Exciting stuff in Orlando.

Jan 23, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D

27. Los Angeles Lakers (28, +1): The Lakers are just embarrassing.  Their 48-point loss to the Clippers was the worst defeat in franchise history and it pretty much summed up their entire season.  Since the All-Star Break, the Lakers are giving up an incredible 119.6 ppg.  Just watching them play, you can see that they don’t care anymore.

28. Utah Jazz (27, -1): Will the Jazz end up keeping Gordon Hayward in town? He’s a fan favorite, but also a restricted free agent, so it will be interesting to see how much they value him as part of their future.

29. Milwaukee Bucks (30, +1): BREAKING NEWS: Pigs are flying. I repeat – pigs are flying.  After spending the entire season at No. 30 in my rankings, the Bucks, thanks in most part to the Sixers (see below), have pulled themselves up from the doldrums.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (29, -1): Woe is me.  Woe is Philly.  By losing 16 straight games, the Sixers are doing their best to secure a top pick in this summer’s big draft.  No time to screw around here, am I right?

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