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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Bulls No. 3 In Latest SB Nation Power Rankings

The Chicago Bulls (17-5), fresh off their tough losses to the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, find themselves slipping, but still strong, in Tom Ziller's NBA Power Rankings. The Bulls, who have lost two of their last three games, play the Washington Wizards on Monday night, hoping to get back to their winning ways.

With a .773 winning percentage, the Bulls still lead the Eastern Conference, but despite having one more win than the Oklahoma City Thunder (16-3), the Thunder's .842 winning percentage ranks top in the NBA. Ziller's power rankings reflect these peculiarities, ranking the Thunder tops for this week:

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. Oklahoma City Thunder 16-3 W: DET, NO, GSW Welcome To Loud City
The Thunder haven't allowed dominance to get boring; that awful loss to the Wizards was a one-time slip, not an indication OKC would sleep-walk through the the regular season.
2. Miami Heat 15-5 W: CLE, DET, NY, CHI Peninsula Is Mightier
A 4-0 week for the Heat and a great win over the Bulls lands Miami as our best Eastern team at this point. But they couldn't knock the Thunder out of the top spot.
3. Chicago Bulls 17-5 W: NJ, MIL; L: IND, MIA Blog-a-Bull
That the Bulls near knocked off Miami without Luol Deng, with LeBron James on his game and with Carlos Boozer getting Boshed is a testament to how flippin' good the Bulls are.
4. L.A. Clippers 11-6 W: MEM, DEN; L: LAL Clips Nation
You can't understate the Clippers' huge win in Denver on Sunday. While the L.A. offense looked discombobulated late against the Lakers this week, Chris Paul showed that he's the smartest player in the league with the ball in his hands in Denver.
5. Denver Nuggets 14-6 W: SAC, TOR; L: LAC Denver Stiffs
The Nuggets continue to hang above the fray in the West, earning wins away from Denver in the process. This will be a very tough out in the playoffs, based on how things look now.
Read the rest at SB Nation NBA.

The Bulls' extended road trip continues in February where they with square off against the Philadelphia 76ers (14-6) and the New York Knicks (7-13) in back-to-back games on Feb. 1 and 2.

For more on this game, stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Bulls, head over to Blog a Bull, and for more on the Wizards, head over to Bullets Forever. For news and notes around the league, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.