Power Rankings: Heat hold off Bulls for No. 1 spot

Updated: January 10, 2012, 9:52 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, Jan. 9

The Miami Heat have held on to the top spot in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings, after the Chicago Bulls nearly gave us a new No. 1 for the third successive edition.

Both teams lost to the Atlanta Hawks last week, but the Heat's otherwise unblemished start -- as long as you can look past their ongoing issues with zone defenses -- and LeBron James' insane production have combined to hold off the Bulls. Barely.

There is no change to the top four from last Monday, but the aforementioned Hawks (No. 14 to No. 6) have made a big move to the brink of the top five, just missing out thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers' wins over Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers, and Atlanta's own inability to beat the Heat at home when LeBron and Dwyane Wade were out injured. Other notable climbers on this Monday include Philadelphia (No. 9 to No. 7), and two teams in the bottom half that have made large and sudden jumps: Utah (No. 28 to No. 18) and Phoenix (No. 27 to No. 19).

Check back every Monday during the regular season for a fresh and fully nonautomated pulse-take of the league's 30 teams, which is compiled with Ricky Rubio-esque dishing (yeah, we changed it!) from ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau. Click here to rank the teams yourself, or click here to comment on these rankings.

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