The New York Knicks remain at No. 5 for another week in the just-released SB Nation Week 5 NBA Power Rankings. The other local squad, the New Jersey Nets, are No. 13 in the 15-team Eastern Conference.
The 18-12 Knicks earned victories at home over a pair of quality teams last week, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks get a stern test tonight when the travel to Maimi to face the 23-9 Heat, ranked second in the Eastern Conference.
Here is SB Nation's assessment of the Knicks:
The Knicks followed up a hard week of dropping three straight by beating consecutive playoff teams in the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls. The Bulls win is arguably not as significant with Noah missing, as mentioned above, but the OKC game was really a blueprint for Knicks success; six guys in double figures, good outside shooting from gunners Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari and Landry (Clark) Fields, and 10 assists with one turnover from Raymond Felton. When the Knicks offense is clicking, they're capable of beating anyone. When the Knicks need Amar"e Stoudemire to score 40 points on forced shots and stagnant offensive sets, they're ordinary. While Gallo, Fields, and Chandler won't always be that hot from outside, Raymond Felton's elevated play this season gives hope that the Knicks will have the firepower to win more nights than not.
The Nets, meanwhile, dropped one spot from No. 12 to No. 13. If you are looking for kind words about the Nets, SB Nation didn't have many:
I'm not going to bore you with Carmelo-drama right now, so let's actually look at the Nets. Anthony Morrow is injured, so they're starting a backcourt of Devin Harris and Jordan Farmar. Kris Humpries is currently their rebounds leader, and Derrick Favors looks really sad in his official league photo. Travis Outlaw is currently having his worst season from downtown since 06-07, and yet he's shooting more 3's per contest than any year prior. On top of that, how many games has Brook Lopez led all players in rebounds? Zero. Zero games. Yeah, Carmelo can't wait to get to Newark.
In the Eastern Conference the top four teams are Boston, Miami, Orlando and Chicago. In the Western Conference the top five are San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah and Oklahoma City.