After two weeks at the bottom of the rankings, the Minnesota Timberwolves shot up to No. 26. The Timberwolves had a very impressive week, not just winning games, but beating quality teams like the No. 21 Heat, No. 19 Pistons and No. 3 Grizzlies.

Timberwolves assistant coach Sam Mitchell joined NBA Today last Tuesday and they haven’t lost since. While we at NBA Today would like to take credit for the T’Wolves turnaround, it more likely has something to do with what Mitchell discussed on the show – the return of Ricky Rubio.

Pacers rolling with healthy PG

Another team that made a big jump in this week’s ranking is the Indiana Pacers. Indiana had a perfect 3-0 week, including handing the No. 4 Cavaliers their only defeat of the week. Like the Wolves, the Pacers too can credit their run to the return of their point guard. George Hill actually returned back on Jan. 20, but ramped up his minutes this week from 18.8 minutes-per-game in his first five games back to 26.3 minutes-per-game last week. Overall, the Pacers are 6-3 since Hill made his return. In the words of LeBron James, “It’s not a coincidence.”

Clippers tumble

What do you get when you combine an 0-4 week and an All-Star starter going down with injury? Apparently, the answer is an eight-spot fall in the rankings.

It was not a good week for the Los Angeles Clippers. It started with a loss to the lowly Nets, continued with some controversial comments from Chris Paul, and finished with an injury to Blake Griffin and another blowout national TV loss. The All-Star break could not come at a better time for the scuffling Clippers, but with Griffin projected to be out several weeks, a bounce back to the top five does not seem imminent.

NBA POWER RANKINGS (THROUGH 2/8/15)

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

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