Stein Power Rankings: Week 22

The Houston Rockets realistically should have taken a bigger tumble in the latest edition of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings after losing Patrick Beverley indefinitely to a knee injury.

And the Indiana Pacers definitely should have dipped closer to No. 10 than they actually did in the wake of their recent 2-5 funk entering their showdown with top-ranked San Antonio.

But both teams were lucky on this Power Rankings Monday.

A weekend of missed opportunities for the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns helped keep the Rockets in the top five and prevented Indy from dropping out of the top six ... despite the fact that the Pacers have been held below 40 percent shooting from the field in a franchise-worst five straight games.

Ranking the teams from No. 5 through No. 15 was as challenging this week as the committee (of one) can remember, mostly because the teams from No. 5 through No. 9 in the Western Conference are so tightly bunched. The Dallas Mavericks, if we must confess, probably moved up more than they should have -- from No. 13 to No. 9 -- largely on the strength of the bad losses suffered Sunday by the Warriors (at home to the Knicks) and the Suns (on the road to the Lakers) as much as Dallas' own impressive OT win over Oklahoma City this past Tuesday.

The only easy Week 22 calls for the committee were right at the top and at the bottom. San Antonio was an automatic choice to retain the No. 1 overall ranking after racking up four more W's to stretch its winning streak to a whopping 17 games ... while the Detroit Pistons were doomed to spend at least one full week in the cellar after the laydowns we saw from them over the weekend.

On Friday night, with the organization honoring various members of the Bad Boys from their late 1980s glory days, Detroit lost at home to Miami by a whopping 32 points. The Pistons then offered a similar amount of resistance Saturday night in Philly, suffering a 25-point pounding from a Sixers team that hadn't won since Jan. 29.

Today's rankings, as always, were compiled in conjunction with the usual peerless assisting provided by ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau. Click here to rank the teams yourself.