Mar 24, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) scores the game winning basket at the buzzer during overtime against the Toronto Raptors at the United Center. The Bulls beat the Raptors 102-101 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Power Rankings 2012: Chicago Bulls Can't Hold Top Spot After Overtime Loss

The Chicago Bulls are the top team in the Eastern Conference according to their record, but does that mean that are ranked above the rest in the latest 2012 NBA Power Rankings?

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: SB Nation's Tom Ziller Places Chicago Bulls At No. 2

With the start of the 2012 NBA playoffs right around the corner, SB Nation's Tom Ziller has released his latest set of NBA power rankings. Ziller ranks the Bulls at No. 2 overall, behind the San Antonio Spurs.

We worry about Derrick Rose's health, and rightfully so: He's the talisman on what has become the league's No. 6 offense. But Chicago has been pretty darned good without Rose this season, and there's a sneaking suspicion that the ailments that have kept the point guard out during the regular season wouldn't do the same in the playoffs.

Related: Eastern Conference Playoff Seeding: what teams are preferring to face Bulls instead of Heat?

The Bulls finish up their regular season slate this week with games against Indiana and Cleveland.

For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull, and for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Bulls Drop To No. 2 After Sunday's Loss

After a deflating 100-99 overtime loss to the New York Knick, the Chicago Bulls find themselves slipping in the Tom Ziller's NBA Power Rankings for the first time in a very long time.

According to Ziller, the San Antonio Spurs -- who still have three fewer wins than the Bulls -- grab the top spot, followed by the Bulls at No. 2. Chicago has now lost 4 of its last 7 games after having lost only 10 games all season. Click here for the full power rankings.

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. San Antonio Spurs 40-14 W: CLE, BOS, NO, UTA Pounding The Rock
This is the second double-digit win streak of the season for the Spurs. Expect some more analysis downplaying San Antonio's playoff chances based on last year's first-round exit; please remember that Manu Ginobili busted up his arm entering that series. He looks healthy now. This team has always been different when he's healthy.
2. Chicago Bulls 43-14 W: BOS; L: HOU, NY Blog-a-Bull
I secretly hope some fool tries out the "Bulls are better without Derrick Rose" argument just because I've always wanted to see a live human self-ridicule himself into oblivion.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 41-15 W: TOR; L: MEM, MIA, IND Welcome To Loud City
We told you that the Thunder's Hell Week wasn't over after they beat the Heat and Bulls! The Thunder got busted up three straight times. Why do we have them ahead of Miami given last week's result? The Thunder looked more convincing in their win in the home-and-home than Miami did in its victory. #science
4. Miami Heat 40-15 W: PHI, OKC, DET; L: MEM Peninsula Is Mightier
I still have not forgiven Udonis Haslem for losing the braids.

For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull, and for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.

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2012 NBA Power Rankings: Chicago Bulls Remain On Top With Best Record

The No. 1 Chicago Bulls sport the NBA's best record entering the final month of the regular season and have likewise earned high marks in Tom Ziller's late NBA Power Rankings.

The Bulls, who sport one of the league's best defenses (88.7 points allowed per game) and better offenses (97.6 points score per game), have a chance of finishing with the second-highest winning percentage in the team's history (ahead of the 1996-97 Bulls, behind the 1995-96 Bulls) in winning percentage -- if they can win out in their final 16 games.

Meanwhile, the No. 4 Miami Heat, who eliminated the Bulls 4-1 in the 2010-11 Eastern Conference Finals, are in the midst of a slide. Two weeks ago, the Bulls were able to beat the Heat 106-102 without their star PG Derrick Rose.

Here is a look at Ziller's top four teams for this week:

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. Chicago Bulls 40-10 W: ORL, TOR x 2 Blog-a-Bull
The Bulls continue to rack up wins even with Derrick Rose bouncing in and out of the lineup. As long as Rose joins the postseason healthy, there's a strong chance Chicago enters an inevitable Eastern finals against Miami as a favorite.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 37-12 W: POR, LAC, MIN, MIA; L: UTA Welcome To Loud City
Well, that was quite a haymaker thrown by the Thunder on Sunday! The most frightening part of it for everyone watching was that Russell Westbrook was out of sorts. The question is whether the OKC defense can actually handle Miami's offense -- I remain skeptical -- or whether the Heat were just out of sync on the road.
3. San Antonio Spurs 33-14 W: MIN, NO, DAL, PHI Pounding The Rock
When we discard the 2012 Spurs because of the playoff flame-out of the 2011 Spurs, we need to remember that Manu Ginobili was broken in that series against Memphis. He seems OK these days.
4. Miami Heat 35-12 W: PHX, DET; L: OKC Peninsula Is Mightier
Welp. That was not a great performance.

For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull, and for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: No. 1 Bulls Stay Atop SB Nation's Power Rankings

The Chicago Bulls have the league's best record at 37-10 and have managed to keep winning despite missing star PG Derrick Rose and free agent acquisition SG Richard Hamilton at different times through much of the season. According to Tom Ziller's latest NBA Power Rankings, the Bulls have cause to be excited about their impressive record:

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. Chicago Bulls 37-10 W: NY, MIA, PHI; L: POR Blog-a-Bull
The Bulls are ridiculously solid even when Derrick Rose is forced to sit, as that win over the Heat without the MVP proved. I can't wait to see how beamed in Chicago will be in this postseason after early round trouble and a disappointing finish a year ago.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 34-11 W: DEN, POR; L: HOU, SA Welcome To Loud City
That loss to the Spurs was seen as ominous, but the Thunder have been good for one bad show a week pretty much all season. All critics of Russell Westbrook should note that Oklahoma City has the league's No. 1 offense right now. He can't be doing too much wrong.
3. Miami Heat 33-11 W: PHI, ORL; L: CHI, ORL Peninsula Is Mightier
It's hard to imagine that Miami lost any confidence by losing to a Rose-less Chicago given how dominant the Heat were in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and in previous meet-ups this season. Coming back to get revenge on Dwight Howard and the Magic seemed like an important victory, though.
4. L.A. Lakers 28-17 W: MEM, NO, MIN; L: UTA Silver Screen And Roll
Sunday's Utah loss at home was as ugly as the Lakers' road win in Memphis was pretty. Andrew Bynum is pretty clearly the team's most effective player on offense right now. He's averaging 24 and 13 while shooting 66 percent in his last 10 games. Feed the beast.

Drop by Ziller's latest Power Rankings post for the complete list.

For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull, and for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Bulls Edge Out Heat For Top Spot In SB Nation's Rankings

Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls are technically ahead of LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the standings and the Eastern Conference playoff seeding, but at times it feels like they are still chasing. With guys like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh next up to make plays for the Heat, it makes Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah seem like quite a drop off. Even so, people around the NBA are showing their trust in the Bulls at the moment. Tom Ziller of SB Nation released his latest NBA Power Rankings on Monday, and the Bulls grabbed the top spot:

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. Chicago Bulls 34-9 W: IND, MIL, UTA; L: ORL Blog-a-Bull
The Bulls remain incredibly impressive, despite a surprising home loss -- Chicago's second all season -- to Orlando. On Saturday, the Bulls whipped the Jazz (a good team) without Luol Deng or Joakim Noah.
2. Miami Heat 31-9 W: NJ, ATL, IND Peninsula Is Mightier
The Heat earned a pair of narrow victories over East playoff teams this week, forever quieting the implication that LeBron James cannot close in the fourth quarter. And the world was at peace.

A few other interesting notes from this round of rankings includes the Orlando Magic at No. 8 and the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 10 overall.

For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull, and for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Bulls And Heat Have Company As Sixers, Magic And Pacers Push Forward

The latest edition of 2012 NBA Power Rankings shows the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat might have to start thinking about the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers a bit harder.

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