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NBA power rankings 2012: Heat among elite teams

The Miami Heat are in the top ten of all the major NBA power rankings. Where do they rank specifically and what do basketball writers have to say about them?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat find themselves among the best teams in the NBA. Power rankings compilers have the Heat near the top of the lists. Seth Rosenthal has the Heat ranked No. 5 in the SB Nation NBA power rankings and ESPN's John Hollinger has the Heat ranked at No. 6, unchanged from the previous week.

Marc Stein has the Heat rising one spot in his power rankings to No. 5. Stein has nothing but questions for the Heat, but also brings up the fact that despite a recent loss to the Washington Wizards, the Heat haven't lost that much against teams they shouldn't lose to:

Did the Heat get a free pass from media pests like me after the Washington loss because we're all so consumed with the Lakers' chaos? Does a 30-point weekend rout of the Wiz atone for that no-show? Do you realize Miami's other five losses were all inflicted by teams in our top seven?

However, not all power rankings lists are high on the Heat. Matt Moore, who does the NBA power rankings for has the Heat ranked at No. 7, down three spots from last week. The only thing he has to say about them is just to wait for April for them to start getting hot:

Might as well change their name to the Miami Yawn until April.

Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk is not as critical of the Heat, having them rise two spots to No. 4 in his power rankings. Helin believes that their home scheduling should work in their favor through Christmas:

They are 11-2 at home (with a home-heavy early schedule) and three of their next four are at home, ending with a Christmas Day finals rematch with the Thunder. Then they head out on the road where they are a .500 team.

As for the Orlando Magic, they are ranked No. 21 in the SB Nation power rankings and ranked No. 17 in Hollinger's power rankings. The Magic are also ranked No. 19, up two spots from last week, in Stein's power rankings. Stein believes that the Magic should be getting some more attention for how they are playing lately:

For all the justifiable fawning Golden State is generating in the wake of its best trip since the days of Phil Smith, John Lucas, Robert Parish, Sonny Parker and my beloved Purvis Short, let's not shortchange the one team out of seven that managed to beat the Dubs. Jacque Vaughn's Magic!

Moore has the Magic ranked No. 19, up five spots from last week. He gives some high praise to Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn:

Jacque Vaughn could make a robot out of Popsicle sticks.

Finally, Helin has the Magic holding steady at No. 22. He also compliments Vaughn's coaching, especially with how well the defense has played:

Don't tell anyone, but coach Jacque Vaughn has them playing really good defense lately. That's how they beat the Warriors this week when the Heat couldn't.

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