After taking three out of four games this week, winning two of them against playoff teams, the Sixers were expected to make a jump since last week's power rankings. Some experts have jumped them a bit higher than they should be. Let's see where they stand in Week 16 of the season.
John Hollinger, ESPN - 8th (5th in East)
The Hornets, who are one spot below them, have a better strength of schedule with a wider scoring margin and, oh, they've won 7 more games. Anybody see a problem with this? No? Moving on.
Marc Stein, ESPN - 12th (5th in East)
Now we know who the Spurs fear most in the NBA Finals after the surging Sixers held them to 71 points Friday night.
This is clearly a joke, but I'm betting some people think that because the Sixers beat the Spurs at home, they're in the same league as them talent-wise. San Antonio had a horrendous shooting night. The Sixers played really well, but the Spurs shot 33% from the field and 3-17 from three-point range. Not gonna happen again.
John Schumann, NBA.com - 15th (6th in East)
The Sixers held their four opponents to just 39 percent shooting and 88.6 points per 100 possessions last week.
Tom Ziller, SB Nation - 12th (5th in East)
The Sixers have nearly the same point margin as the Hawks ... against a tougher schedule. Philadelphia might be more dangerous than the Hawks and Knicks in the first round.
Kudos to Ziller for giving the Sixers some love, but the Hawks have lost by a combined 75 points against Philly and New Orleans when they were missing their All-Star center Al Horford. Of course that's not exactly a great sign for their future success, but their point differential can't be used as a barometer of their current status when those 75 points are such outliers.
Kurt Helin, PBT - 15th (6th in East)
Hoopsworld - 16th (6th in East)
The Sixers have rounded into a "real" team and are just two games under .500
Composite - 13th, 5.5 in East
It's amazing that all of these guys have the Sixers over the Knicks. They're in the same conversation, sure, but the Sixers are playing their best basketball and are still just 2.5 games away from being the 9th seed. The NBA season is full of ups and downs and it seems the Sixers are primed for some downs after the All-Star Break. For me, it's as simple as they have Amare Stoudemire and we don't. So they're the better basketball team.
Bonus Rookie Rankings - Evan Turner is up to 10th in the NBA.com rookie rankings, 4 spots behind Christian Eyenga. If there's anyone in America (in the world, really) who thinks Christian Eyenga will be a better player than Evan Turner when all is said and done, I question their marbles. All these rankings are just a big "what have you done for me lately" and focus almost entirely on points per game. Landry Fields is a nice player, but there's no way he should be in front of John Wall in any sort of order.