Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 15-16

NBA.com Global on Feb 10, 2019 02:41 PM
Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 15-16
FILE - NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles upcourt against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

It almost happened. The King almost surrendered the throne and his crown. But thanks to an impressive performance, the kingdom avoids disarray -- for now.

Over the past month or so, it's becoming clear that we have a slight separation of powers, with the Big Three putting some distance between themselves and the field. But that could change depending on how a certain big man responds to his new surroundings in Toronto. And now that he's back and healthy, that gritty guard in Houston could quickly ascend the ranks.

- NOTE: Statistics are through games of Feb. 8 (PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
- Check out previous rankings.

1. LeBron James (34), Los Angeles Lakers

Previous rank: 1
Latest stats: 3 games, 23.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 10.0 apg
Season stats: 27.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 7.4 apg

James must have sensed he was about to lose his spot at the top of the mountain, as he quickly responded with an impressive triple-double against the Celtics (we'll overlook the 1-for-5 from the free-throw line). The King hasn't shown much rust since returning from a long-term groin injury, but others have elevated their game.

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 2
Latest stats: 7 games, 24.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 2.6 apg
Season stats: 21.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.5 apg

If not for James' triple-double on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), Aldridge would've claimed the throne. That's what happens when you grab double-doubles in five of the last seven, and go for 30-9 and 22-9 in the other two. In fact, over his last 10 games, he's only had one subpar performance (13 points and five rebounds on Jan. 24, PHL time).

3. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers

Previous rank: 3
Latest stats: 8 games, 23.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.9 apg
Season stats: 19.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.2 apg

We didn't forget. Williams started the stint with his first career triple-double. If that wasn't enough, he poured in a career-high 39 four games later. If that wasn't enough, he added 31 two games after that. Despite closing out the period with a relative stinker (10 points in 17 minutes), Williams is averaging 24.5 in February after 20.4 in January.

4. Marc Gasol (34), Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 5
Latest stats: 6 games, 18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 15.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.7 apg

It was another mixed bag for Gasol, who managed two games of 24 or more, two games of 18-19 points and two games between 8-11 points. We fully expect Gasol to step up now that he's playing on a team in the Raptors with serious title aspirations, as he should be able to integrate nicely with both the offense and defense.

5. Rudy Gay (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 8
Latest stats: 8 games, 16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg
Season stats: 14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.5 apg

Shooting 50.5 from the field and 52.2 from beyond the arc, Gay turned in six games of 15 or more points. He's now managed to score in double figures in 12 straight while shooting better than 50 percent in eight of those contests. No wonder he's shooting a career-best 52.2 percent from the field.

6. J.J. Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 4
Latest stats: 3 games, 16.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.7 apg
Season stats: 18.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg

A small sample size is the reason for Redick's slip, as he failed to make any big impressions in his three games. He did, however, shoot 42.3 from deep (11-for-26) while scoring 13 or more in all three. But he'll need to pocket more 20-point games if he hopes to climb back to where he was.

7. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 6
Latest stats: 5 games, 14.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.4 apg
Season stats: 14.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 9.3 apg

In three wins, Lowry averaged 17.3 points and 9.3 assists. In two losses, he averaged 9.5 points and 7.0 assists. But the shooting remains a big issue. Lowry's 40.6 FG% is his lowest since 2012-13 (40.1) and his 32.5 3PT% is his lowest since '09-10 (27.2). On a positive, Lowry's 9.3 assists per game easily rise to a career-best mark.

8. Jeff Green (32), Washington Wizards

Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 7 games, 19.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg

Shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 42.3 from three-point range, Green went for 20 or more points in five of seven games, including four straight -- his longest such stretch all season. Green's stellar run has been boosted by increased playing time; he's averaging 35.7 minutes in three February games after averaging 30.5 minutes in 14 January games.

9. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 5 games, 15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 7.2 apg
Season stats: 15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.9 apg

Paul finally returned to action Jan. 27 (Jan. 28, PHl time) after missing 17 games with a hamstring injury. He's managed to turn in five straight double-figure scoring games to go along with six or more assists in four of the games. There's a little rust, but we like what we see, especially the 2.4 steals and 47.2 FG% during the span.

10.  Al Horford (32), Boston Celtics

Previous rank: 10
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 5.1 apg
Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.8 apg

Horford started the stint on fire, turning in back-to-back double-doubles for the first time this season. Yes, you read that right. In addition to the double-doubles, he shot 60.3 percent from the field and 2.3 blocks, including a season-best six blocks in last Monday's win over the Nets.

Just missed the cut: Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli

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