Power Rankings: The commissioner's dream
Your bouncy 26-week ride with the NBA Power Rankings is rolling to a stop.
It's been your ritual for 24 straight regular-season Mondays -- and twice before that during training camp -- to click here for a human, subjective and thoroughly nonautomated check of the NBA's team-by-team pulse. The committee (of one) can reveal that it's in the planning stages on a summer rankings surprise, but you'll otherwise have to wait until late September for our next batch.
So we say farewell for now with the top two of David Stern's dreams: Boston as a slam dunk choice for our season-ending No. 1 and the Celts' old friends from Hollywood -- Kobe Bryant's surging Los Angeles Lakers -- right behind them as the likely winners of the tightest conference race in history.
Other closing developments of note: San Antonio slips to a hard-to-fathom No. 8 given the fresh concerns about Manu Ginobili's health entering the playoffs, Denver jumps from No. 13 to No. 9 after reclaiming pole position in the sprint to seize the West's final postseason berth, Golden State drops from No. 10 to No. 14 as punishment for handing control back to the Nuggets and who else but Miami could occupy the No. 30 dungeon after the steepest fall from grace we've ever seen from a recent champion?
Tune into "NBA Fastbreak" on ESPN to see this week's Army Power Rankings.