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2012 NBA power rankings: Heat rise to No. 4

The Miami Heat rose two spots to No. 4 in the latest SB Nation NBA power rankings. The Orlando Magic are currently No. 24

Mike Ehrmann

In the latest SB Nation NBA power rankings, compiled by Seth Rosenthal, the Miami Heat, off of winning both games this past week, rose two spots to No. 4. They are the highest-ranked team from the Eastern Conference, but have challenging games against the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets coming up this week:

They've got the East's best record, but even after returning home and getting multiple days of rest following a grueling road trip, it feels like the Heat have been blending into the style of their opponents and doing juuuust enough to win each night. They continue to win, though, so there's something to be said for that approach. The Spurs and Nets should be more of a test after Miami gets another prolonged rest this week.

In the rest of the top five, the Memphis Grizzlies are ranked No. 1, the Spurs No. 2, the Oklahoma City Thunder No. 3 and the Los Angeles Clippers are ranked No. 5. The other team from the Sunshine State, the Orlando Magic are ranked at No. 24, up two spots from last week.

Rosenthal makes the point that the Magic seem to be a different team when guard Jameer Nelson is on the floor:

He's not quite the takeover player they need, but the Magic have played much more like a basketball team with Jameer Nelson on the floor.

Other Southeast Division teams rankings have the Atlanta Hawks at No. 8, the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 21 and the Washington Wizards last at No. 30.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.