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Power Rankings: Not Late Enough

It's too bad the pundits who rank the NBA teams didn't wait until Tuesday night, instead posting right after the All-Star Break. The Nets might have gone higher than their recent No. 25 to 27 hole. After all, how many teams ranked that low have been able to win three straight on the road against hot Bulls, Knicks and Mavericks.

Still, John Schuhmann and Marc Stein in particular did have provide some good vibes in their weekly updates. Schuhmann had this prediction for Nets fans: "The Nets may or may not acquire Dwight Howard by the trade deadline, but they sign him in the summer either way."

Stein added that teams who are enamored with Deron Williams should understand the Nets aren't dealing him before or at the deadline. "The Nets are not going to trade D-Will unless they know they have zero shot at Dwight," he writes. "The odds of them knowing Dwight is 100 percent out of reach before the March 15 trade buzzer are super long."