Just over two weeks ago the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off two sizable trades, acquiring J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks and Timofey Mozgov from the Nuggets. A couple weeks later, we see those trades are paying off.

While the Cavs might not be quite back to where voters envisioned them in the preseason when they were ranked No. 4, the Cavs have made a big leap over the last two weeks, going from No. 17 to No. 10. Cleveland has now won six in a row, and it’s clear voters are starting to buy in to the new-look Cavs.

The Cavs weren’t the only preseason darling that made a big jump this week. The Clippers didn’t make any blockbuster trades (although they did acquire coach Doc Rivers’ son Austin), but they are starting to live up to their preseason expectations.

The Clippers are 5-1 in the last two weeks, including two road victories over playoff teams (Portland, Phoenix). In fact, the only blemish over the last two weeks is a loss to the aforementioned Cavaliers. It’s tough to make a move in the standings of the tough Western Conference, but the Clippers have shaved off 3.5 games between them and the No. 2 seed in the West, moving from five games back to only 1.5.

New No. 30

Apparently the Knicks didn’t like being the latest team to occupy the bottom spot in our NBA Today rankings. New York ran off three straight wins last week, keeping themselves away from the dubious honor once again. However, it is not the 76ers that returned to the No. 30 spot, but the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team that handed Philadelphia its first win are only 2-18 over their last 20 games. There could be good news on the way though – last week saw the return of starting center Nikola Pekovic, and this week could see the return of veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin. The return of these two pieces could be enough to help the T’Wolves notch a few wins and exit the basement.

NBA POWER RANKINGS (THROUGH 1/25/15)

Rank (LW) Team
1 (1) Golden State Warriors
2 (2) Atlanta Hawks
3 (4) Memphis Grizzlies
4 (6) Houston Rockets
5 (3) Portland Trail Blazers
6 (11) Los Angeles Clippers
7 (9) San Antonio Spurs
8 (7) Washington Wizards
9 (5) Chicago Bulls
10 (T-17) Cleveland Cavaliers
11 (8) Dallas Mavericks
12 (12) Phoenix Suns
13 (10) Toronto Raptors
14 (13) Oklahoma City Thunder
15 (14) New Orleans Pelicans
16 (15) Milwaukee Bucks
17 (16) Detroit Pistons
18 (20) Miami Heat
19 (21) Charlotte Hornets
20 (19) Denver Nuggets
21 (T-17) Sacramento Kings
22 (23) Utah Jazz
23 (22) Brooklyn Nets
24 (24) Indiana Pacers
25 (27) Boston Celtics
26 (26) Orlando Magic
27 (25) Los Angeles Lakers
28 (30) New York Knicks
29 (28) Philadelphia 76ers
30 (29) Minnesota Timberwolves

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