Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 21-22
NBA.com Global on Mar 24, 2019 06:27 AM
TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 14: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a dunk during the game against the Toronto Raptors on March 14, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Scott Wraight, NBA.com
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
With just a handful of games remaining, the King has clinched back-to-back OSPR titles. It was an expectably impressive run, which now has us thinking about a three-peat.
Meanwhile, the King's buddy in South Beach and 2016-17 champion has made a big late-season push and finds himself back in the chase for the first time in a while. At the other end of the spectrum, it looks like Marc Gasol's presence in the chase is over -- at least for 2018-19.
- NOTE: Statistics are through games of March 21 (Mar. 22, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
1. LeBron James (34), Los Angeles Lakers
Previous rank: 1
Latest stats: 4 games, 32.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7.5 apg
Season stats: 27.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 8.0 apg
Go ahead, LeBron. Sit out the rest of the games. You've already clinched this baby, becoming the first back-to-back OSPR champ.
But knowing his competitive juices, he'll probably still get out there for a handful of games, probably delivering some more 30-point efforts (safe bet, considering he has four in the last five games) and maybe even another triple-double.
2. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers
Previous rank: 2
Latest stats: 6 games, 24.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.3 apg
Season stats: 20.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.3 apg
Williams started the stretch on absolute fire, turning in a 40-point effort and a 34-point showing. Over the next four games, he tapered off, turning in two games of fewer than 20 points, though he managed to score 21 and 25 in the two other. It was definitely a strong enough showing to break free of Aldridge and claim the No. 2 spot all to himself.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs
Previous rank: 2a
Latest stats: 6 games, 21.2 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.8 apg
Season stats: 21.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.4 apg
Only once in the last six games Aldridge scored less than 17 points, going for 12 (5-for-13 shooting) on March 16 (Mar. 17, PHL time). In fact, that was also the only game he shot less than 50 percent from the field. In addition to the scoring, we've taken notice of the rebounding, which has picked up to the tune of 10.0 in March compared to 8.9 in February and 8.3 in January.
4. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors
Previous rank: 4
Latest stats: 4 games, 16.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 9.0 apg
Season stats: 14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 9.0 apg
Despite missing some time with an ankle injury, Lowry did enough in his four games to maintain his position. That's almost expected when you start off the stint with your second triple-double of the season. He followed that up with a 24-point, 10-assist performance in a win over the Heat. We've also noticed the touch from deep -- hitting 50 percent (18-for-36) in the last four.
5. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets
Previous rank: 5
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 7.4 apg
Season stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 8.2 apg
Paul started the stint with a stinker against the 76ers, managing just four points on 2-for-8 shooting. He followed that with a relative stinker against the Mavericks (nine points on 2-for-11 shooting, but added nine dimes). Then things turned around, going for 24 and 25 while shooting a combined 15-for-24 (62.5 percent). He's also gone for seven or more assists in three straight.
6. Paul Millsap (34), Denver Nuggets
Previous rank: 7
Latest stats: 6 games, 17.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.7 apg
Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.9 apg
Like Paul, Millsap started the stint in ugly fashion, going for nine points on 3-for-8 shooting in a loss to the Warriors. Also like Paul, he rebounded nicely, going for 23 and a season-high 33 over the next two. Two of the last three games were efficient double-doubles. All in all, it was a solid shooting period for Millsap, who shot 61.5 FG% and 45.0 3PT% in the six games.
7. Dwyane Wade (36), Miami Heat
Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.6 apg
Season stats: 14.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.1 apg
Welcome back to the chase, former champ. For the first time since Weeks 7-8, Wade sees himself in the Top 10. It's with good reason, as he's gone for double-digit scoring in seven straight, eclipsing 15 three times. It would take a run of 20 and 30-point games, but it would be something to see Wade crack the top five in his final NBA season.
8. J.J. Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers
Previous rank: 6
Latest stats: 7 games, 15.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
Season stats: 17.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.8 apg
Like Paul and Millsap, Redick started slowly, turning in back-to-back games of less than 10 points for the first time this season. He did score 17 or more in the next five games, though he failed to crack 43 percent from the field in three of them. Over the last seven games, Redick is actually shooting better from beyond the arc (45.0) then from the field (39.3).
9. Al Horford (32), Boston Celtics
Previous rank: 8
Latest stats: 6 games, 13.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.7 apg
Season stats: 13.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.1 apg
Unspectacular yet steady is how we can describe Horford's last six games -- and really, his entire season. He's gone for double-figure scoring in five games, with the last two eclipsing 20 points. But the first four games were bland, all between nine and 12 points with just one game of more than six rebounds. In fact, Horford has only gone for 10 or more boards once in the last 13.
10. Goran Dragic (32), Miami Heat
Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.0 apg
Season stats: 15.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.2 apg
After missing a big chunk of the season with a knee injury, Dragic appears to be close to 100 percent and finding his game. Too bad there's only a handful of games remaining. He's scored 19 or more in three straight and has gone for double-figure scoring in six of the last seven. In fact, Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) 26-11 effort in a win over OKC may have been his best performance this season.
Just missed the cut: Taj Gibson, Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli, Jeff Green
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