NBA Power Rankings: NBA Finals rematch on deck?

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NBA Power Rankings: NBA Finals rematch on deck?

By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman

Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 5 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings:PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3 Week 4

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony:Five-game winning streak pushes them to No. 1.
Mark:Point-differential (9.8) best in the NBA by more than a point (NYK: 8.2)
2
Tony:Hottest team in the NBA, led by Mr. Sportsman of the Year.
Mark:Best record in the West, and maybe the best defense in the NBA.
3
Tony:Nearly unbeatable at home (8-1).
Mark:Westbrook's improvement nearly as impressive as Durant's.
4
Tony:Only lost by 5 to Heat on the road without 4 best players? This is a good team.
Mark:Thursday night's game in Miami will be a good test.
5
Tony:Carmelo will definitely be getting some MVP votes.
Mark:Hey, Stern: The rest worked. Spurs beat Memphis in overtime on Saturday.
6
Tony:Basketball is back in the Big Apple.
Mark: Three-game win streak after losing four in a row after last week.7
Tony:Still hot, but just not as sizzling as teams above them.
Mark:Blatche has played well in Lopez's absence.8
Tony:Remember, they're doing this all without Bynum.
Mark:Evan Turner may be the league's most improved player.
9
Tony:Cracking the Top 10, and they deserve it.
Mark:Won six in a row before a home loss to the Cavaliers. Huh?
10
Tony:Getting hot as season picks up. 7-3 since 2-2 start.
Mark:Stephen Curry's ankles look healthy...for now.
11
Tony:Still hovering around .500. Will age catch up to them?
Mark:Losses at Utah, Golden State and Los Angeles were disappointing for talented roster.
12
Tony:Very well balanced team just hitting its stride.
Mark:Rondo coming back after two-game suspension.
13
Tony:Clawed their way back to over .500.
Mark:Belinelli, Butler need to step up while Hamilton recovers from foot injury.
14
Tony:This is just getting sad now.
Mark:Larry Sanders quietly third in the league in blocks per game (3.0).
15
Tony:Just gotta stay afloat 'til Dirk returns.
Mark:Pau is out withtendinitis, but he wasn't doing much in D'Antoni's system.16
Tony:They'll continue to stay alive in what will prove to be close Central race.
Mark:Won four of their last five, all at home.
17
Tony:Bad news about Favors, just as he was coming into his own.
Mark:Lucky to be in the Central, where they're still competing with Granger on the bench.
18
Tony:Still underperforming, but right in the thick of playoff chase.
Mark:Nice revenge win last week against Los Angeles for Randy Foye, Mo Williams.
19
Tony:Omer Asik is a double-double every night.
Mark:Rubio likely less than two weeks away.
20
Tony:Love is back, Rubio on the way.
Mark:They've lost 4 of 6, and now head to the West coast.
21
Tony:Starting to revert back to form with four-game losing streak.
Mark:Back-to-back overtime wins at CLE and CHA after losing four in a row. Not great.
22
Tony:Finding a way to win some close games so far.
Mark:Have now lost four in a row, and five of six.
23
Tony:Allowing the most points per game in NBA.
Mark:Nice road wins over Los Angeles and Golden State to start five-game roadtrip.
24
Tony:Have quietly started another winning streak.
Mark:Three-game losing streak, and the schedule gets tougher from here.
25
Tony:They've really turned things around in a hurry.
Mark:Now have a winning record (6-5) since winless start through eight games.
26
Tony:Have lost 9 of 11 since 3-2 start.
Mark:Anthony Davis injuries starting to be a concern?
27
Tony:Having real issues distributing on offense (last in NBA in assists per game).
Mark:The fourth Jonas brother, Valanciunas, is improving each week.
28
Tony:Have dropped 7 of 8 as inconsistency shows.
Mark:Isaiah Thomas a real disappointment early this season.
29
Tony:They just look lost without Kyrie.
Mark:Anderson Varejao will be an enticing trade candidate at the deadline.
30
Tony:Hey! They won a game!
Mark:Injuries continue to decimate an already-shallow roster.

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

CSN's coverage of the Charlotte Knights continues on Saturday night as the Knights will host the Buffalo Bisons at 6 p.m. on CSN+.

Reynaldo Lopez, MLB's No. 45 overall prospect, makes his 10th start of the season for the Knights. The 23-year-old Lopez has a 5-1 record with a 2.94 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 49 innings in 2017.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

White Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada, who landed on the 7-day DL on May 18, is eligible to make his return to the Knights lineup this weekend.

It's the fourth of eight games that CSN will televise over the next two months to give fans an opportunity to watch the future of the White Sox.

Check out the rest of the television schedule here.

Northwestern kick returner Solomon Vault expected to miss entire 2017 season

Northwestern kick returner Solomon Vault expected to miss entire 2017 season

Northwestern is expected to be without kick returner and wide receiver Solomon Vault for the entirety of the upcoming 2017 season, according to a Friday report from Inside NU.

A Northwestern spokesman told the site that Vault underwent surgery for a lower-body injury and is expected to redshirt this fall.

Vault took back four kickoffs for touchdowns in his first three seasons, racking up 1,505 kick-return yards. Last season, he returned 23 kicks for 560 yards and a touchdown.

In addition to his value as a kick returner, though, Vault was also expected to play a larger role in the passing game this season. He transitioned from running back to wide receiver ahead of last season and caught 15 passes for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2016.

While the Wildcats have plenty of other options at wide receiver, it's a significant wrinkle in their challenge to replace the production of Austin Carr, last year's Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year, who is on to a pro career in the NFL.

If Vault does redshirt this season, it means he will have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining.