2012 NBA power rankings: Hawks jump up 8 spots this week

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Hawks took a big jump in this week's power rankings, rising to No. 8. Where do the other teams in the Southeast Division fit in?

In the newest SB Nation NBA power rankings, compiled by Seth Rosenthal, the Atlanta Hawks jumped eight spots from last weeks rankings to No. 8. The Hawks won all four games last week, including a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Rosenthal believes that they could extend their winning streak a bit further:

The foundation of Atlanta's win streak was built from pretty weak competition, but that lockdown win over the Clippers makes a lovely capstone. And that's not to call the win streak at five, either, because they've got a relatively winnable schedule this week before a tough road trip with stops in Memphis and Miami. They've also got what is, as of right now, the most efficient defense in the NBA. That is a good thing to have.

At the top of the power rankings, the Memphis Grizzlies are at No. 1, the San Antonio Spurs at No. 2, the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 3, Southeast Division rival Miami Heat at No. 4 and Clippers at No. 5.

In the rest of the Southeast Division, the Charlotte Bobcats are ranked at No. 21 and the Orlando Magic are at No. 24. The Washington Wizards bring up the rear in the power rankings, at No. 30.

The Hawks next play the Bobcats on Wednesday and then play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. They have two more home games after that against the Denver Nuggets and the Wizards before a three-game road trip.

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