Power Rankings: Steady at the top

Updated: December 21, 2015, 2:41 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, Dec. 21

No NBA team has ever managed to record a nightly average point margin for a full season higher than the Los Angeles Lakers' reading of plus-12.3 points per game in 1971-72.

Yet as we inch toward Christmas Day, we actually have two teams that are currently in the 13s with one-third of the regular season gone: No. 1 Golden State (plus-13.4) and No. 2 San Antonio (plus-13.2).

So you can easily understand why there might be even greater anticipation around the league surrounding the Jan. 25 showdown between the Warriors and Spurs in Oakland, California, than what's being generated by Friday's NBA Finals Rematch Bowl pitting the Warriors against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. Sad but true: We have to wait another full month before we can get the only two teams in the league ranked in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the same building.

We'll expound further on how we conceived this week's order, as always, via Stein Line Live. Profuse thanks and hearty holiday wishes to the Committee of One's dear friends within the NBA wing of ESPN Stats & Info, as well as the Elias Sports Bureau, for the priceless data assistance they consistently provide to help us in our calculations. You can comment on the latest 1-to-30 ladder below.


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