Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 16-17

NBA.com Global on Feb 21, 2018 05:55 PM
Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 16-17
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: LeBron James #23 Of Team LeBron shoots the ball against Draymond Green #23 Of Team Stephen during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

Just when it looked like the King's grip on his throne was weakening, he reminds everyone of his enduring power.

Meanwhile, Houston's gritty guard continues to deliver and put up some of the best numbers of his stellar career, Philly's long-range specialist gets back in the chase and one of the King's men makes his first appearance.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you'll notice a pair of mainstays from last season reemerge. Let's see how much staying power they still have.

Notes:
- Season statistics are through games of Feb. 15 (Feb. 16, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during the regular season can be added to the rankings.

1. LeBron James (32), Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous rank: 1
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 26.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 11.0 apg
Season stats: 26.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 8.9 apg

James strolled into the All-Star break on a high note, pouring in 24 or more points in four of five games, including a pair of 37-point performances. Not too shabby after beginning the two-week stint with an ugly 11-point showing (3-for-10 shooting) on Feb. 3 (Feb. 4, PHL time). The King also managed to chip in a pair of triple-doubles.

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 2
Last weeks' stats: 3 games, 24.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 22.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg

Despite playing just three games before the break, Aldridge was productive. The big man, who missed the last two games with a minor knee injury, went for 31, 23 and 20 points in the three games while shooting an eye-popping 66.0 percent from the field. Aldridge also strung together three straight games with two blocks.

3. Chris Paul (32), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 4
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 19.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 7.6 apg
Season stats: 19.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 8.3 apg

Paul moves up a spot on the strength of four 20-plus point games. He also managed to dish out seven or more assists in five consecutive games while pulling down seven or more rebounds in five of seven. Talk about filling the box score. To top it off, he did all this while shooting 53.8 percent from the field.

4. Dwight Howard (32), Charlotte Hornets

Previous rank: 3
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 14.3 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
Season stats: 15.8 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 1.4 apg

It was definitely an up-and-down stint for Howard, who had two games with less than 10 points, one game with just 12 points and four games with 17 or more points. Unfortunately, Howard pulled down just seven rebounds on Feb. 5 (Feb. 6, PHL time), breaking a string of 15 straight games with 10 or more rebounds.

5. Marc Gasol (32), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 5
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 15.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.6 apg
Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 4.0 apg

If anyone below him had stood out, Gasol definitely would've slipped at least one rung. It was a subpar five-game run for the seven-footer, who has gone five straight games with no more than six rebounds while failing to shoot 50 percent in any of those games. He's also gone just 5-for-20 from long range.

6. J.J. Redick (33), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 14.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 16.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg

Redick rejoins the chase thanks to a relatively strong five-game stretch in which he scored 15 or more points in four of those games. He also hit three or more three-pointers in four straight, including 5-for-10 on Feb. 10 (Feb. 11, PHL time) against the Clippers. After missing seven straight with a leg injury, the veteran shooter appears to be back to full strength.

7. Carmelo Anthony (33), Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous rank: 6
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.2 apg
Season stats: 17.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg

The stats don't look good, but they are a bit misleading because of a six-minute showing on Feb. 6 (Feb. 7, PHL time). Anthony injured his ankle during that game and missed the next two games. When he returned, he was solid, scoring 24 and 19. Of course the shooting remains a huge issue: 35.1 FG% over the last two weeks, 41.2 FG% for the season.

8. Zach Randolph (36), Sacramento Kings

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 15.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 14.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.1 apg

Like Redick, Randolph rejoins the fun. Shooting 53.3 FG% and 45.0 3PT% over the last six games, Randolph scored 14 or more four times. After an inconsistent January in which he went for double-digit scoring in just five of 10 games, Z-Bo has started February with six consecutive double-figure games.

9. Dirk Nowitzki (39), Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 15.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 apg
Season stats: 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.6 apg

Nowitzki has gone for 10 or more points in eight straight while shooting better than 50 percent from the field in four of the last six. He's also connected on two or more triples in six of the previous eight. Over the last five games, Nowitzki averaged 18.5 points and 65.0 FG% in two wins compared to 13.3 points and 45.2 FG% in three losses.

10. J.R. Smith (32), Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 14.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg
Season stats: 8.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg

If only we could toss out his Feb. 9 (Feb. 10, PHL time) showing in which he went for seven points, Smith would probably check in at No. 8 or 7. That's because in his other five games, he went for 15 or more three times, hitting three or more three-pointers in five games. During the two weeks, Smith shot a blistering 54.5 from the field and 54.8 from deep.

Just missed the cut: Gerald Green, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson

Will turn 32 this season: Rajon Rondo (Feb. 22), Corey Brewer (March 5), Kyle Lowry (March 25), Marco Belinelli (March 25).

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