NBA Power Rankings: Brooklyn Nets surge into the Top 3 despite missing Kevin Durant

Previous Power Rankings:  PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7, Week 8

  1. Utah Jazz

Previous Ranking: 1 (Same)

Record: 24-6

Utah started this week off strong with a convincing win over the 76ers and a win over a Clippers team without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Jazz would try to get their second 10 game win streak of the season, but would fall short in the rematch against the Clippers, who now had Kawhi and PG13 back. They would lose 116-112, but the Jazz further solidified that they can hang with the top teams in the league.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Previous Ranking: 2 (Same)

Record: 22-9

Superstar big man Anthony Davis picked up an injury against the Nuggets this week, and he is expected to be out for an at least four weeks. The Lakers will need to rely on the current MVP front runner, according to NBA.com, LeBron James to carry even more of the load. James will also need help from players like Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder to help keep the team afloat until Davis gets back. 

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Previous Ranking: 5 (Up 2)

Record: 19-12

After a surprising loss to the Pistons last week, the Nets have rattled off five wins in a row. James Harden returned to his Houston Rockets form in their win against Phoenix, as he led a furious comeback scoring 38 points and 11 assists, while also hitting the game winning shot. Brooklyn would also beat the Lakers to cap off an impressive week, which is even more impressive considering they did it without Kevin Durant.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Previous Ranking: 3 (Down 1)

Record: 22-9

The Clippers would start the week without both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and were able to steal a win against the Miami Heat. Marcus Morris had a season high 32 points, as the Clippers showed just how deep their team was. After dropping their first game against the Jazz, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would return and help the Clippers give the Jazz a rare loss. 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Previous Ranking: 4 (Down 1)

Record: 20-10

Joel Embiid continues to solidify his MVP candidacy with another great performance this week. Embiid scored a career high 50 points and snagged 17 rebounds in a win against the Chicago Bulls. Embiid’s play has earned him an All Star starting spot again as he was announced to be the starting Center from the Eastern Conference on Thursday.

  1. Phoenix Suns

Previous Ranking: 6 (Same)

Record: 19-10

The backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker have looked great over the past few weeks. Booker had 27 points and 6 assists in a win over the Magic this week. Meanwhile CP3 has a 19 assist game against New Orleans to get them the win. Both have been borderline All Stars this year, and at least one of them should be able to earn an All Star berth this season.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

Previous Ranking: 9 (Up 2)

Record: 18-11

Damian Lillard has officially entered the MVP conversation this week, as he continues to carry the Trail Blazers. Dame has gotten four double doubles in the last four games, with his most impressive one coming against the Pelicans. Lillard scored 43 points and had 16 assists and would hit the go ahead three pointer with 16 seconds left. 

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Ranking: 7 (Down 1)

Record: 17-13

The Bucks were finally able to snap out of a 5 game losing streak at the end of the week with a win over the Thunder. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been solid, but outside of him no one else has been really consistent. The team has clearly missed Jrue Holiday who has been out since February 6th due to health and safety protocols. 

  1. Denver Nuggets

Previous Ranking: 8 (Down 1)

Record: 16-13

Jamal Murray had an all time performance against the Cavs this week. Murray scored a career high 50 points, shooting an insane 21-25 from the field and 8-10 from three. Not only did he do it with great efficiency, but he did it without attempting a single free throw. Murray now owns the record for most points scored in a game without attempting a free throw. 

  1. Golden State Warriors

Previous Ranking: 10 (Same)

Record: 16-15

Guard Steph Curry would leave during pregame warmups against the Hornets after he reportedly didn’t feel good. Despite missing their best player, Golden State was up two until Draymond Green would pick up a double tech with under ten seconds to go. Granted it was a really bad call, Green can’t do that with such little time left in the game. Charlotte would hit both free throws and the game winner and would hand the Warriors a loss, as they continue to struggle to find any sort of consistency

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Previous Ranking: 12 (Up 1)

Record: 16-11

After beating the Hornets on Sunday, the Spurs wouldn’t play another game during the week, as they were all postponed due to the team suffering from a COVID outbreak. Their next game is scheduled for Wednesday of this upcoming week, so hopefully they can get back on the court sooner rather than later, and continue to build on their momentum.

  1. Boston Celtics

Previous Ranking: 11 (Down 1)

Record: 15-14

Kemba Walker had arguably his best game of the season against the Hawks this week. Kemba had 28 points in the win to go along with 6 assists as he started to look a little like his old self prior to his knee injury. If Kemba can play somewhat like this every night, he could relieve a lot of the offensive pressure off of the Jays and help them get easier shots.

  1. Toronto Raptors

Previous Ranking: 14 (Up 1)

Record: 15-15

After an absolutely abysmal start, Toronto seems to have finally turned things around this season as they are sitting at .500. Toronto picked up two huge wins against the Milwaukee Bucks this week to show the league that they are back. Norman Powell continues to play great, as he had 29 points in the second win against the Bucks, and 31 points in their comeback win over the Timberwolves.

  1. Indiana Pacers

Previous Ranking: 13 (Down 1)

Record: 15-14

The duo of Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon have continued to carry this team. Sabonis had a 36 point 16 rebound and 10 assist triple double, while Brogdon chipped in 32 points and 9 rebounds of his own in an overtime win against the Timberwolves. This duo has played great this season and both should be in the conversation for an All Star selection. 

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Previous Ranking: 15 (Same)

Record: 13-15

In the only game Dallas played this week, the Mavs would lose to the Blazers by three despite Luka Doncic’s 44 points. This would be a career high in points scored for Doncic, who was named an All Star starter this Thursday. Their only other game of the week got canceled due to health and safety protocols, but they will finally get to see the court again this Monday against Memphis after a little over a week long break.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous Ranking: 16 (Same)

Record: 13-13

The Grizzlies had a very busy week, as they played five games in seven days. Despite the little rest, Memphis was able to go 3-2 in those games and move closer to the eight seed in the West. The Grizzlies will finally get some rest after Monday as they will get two days to prepare for the Clippers.

  1. Miami Heat

Previous Ranking: 17 (Same)

Record: 13-17

After an awful start to the week, in which Miami lost to the Clippers who were without both of their star wings, Miami has rebounded nicely and has quietly won six out of their last ten games. The Heat stopped a little three game losing streak with a win over the Kings, where Jimmy Butler posted his third straight triple double. They then went on to beat the Lakers in a finals rematch thanks to a 27 point game from Kendrick Nunn who has played great recently.

  1. New York Knicks

Previous Ranking: 18 (Same)

Record: 14-16

Julius Randle continues to make a case for an All Star selection, as this week he had another great performance. Against Atlanta, Randle scored a game high 44 points and 9 rebounds to get the Knicks a 123-112 win over the Hawks. Randle should be in All Star consideration, as he has played a major part in making the Knicks relevant in the basketball world again.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Previous Ranking: 20 (Up 1)

Record: 14-15

Charlotte would be the beneficiary of a Draymond Green meltdown that led to him getting two technical fouls after some questionable calls. The Hornets would seize the opportunity, as they knocked down both free throws and tied the game. Terry Rozier would then get the ball and hit a buzzer beater stepback to give the Hornets a two point lead in one of the craziest endings to a game this season.

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Previous Ranking: 21 (Up 1)

Record: 12-17

After a four game skid, Trae Young and the Hawks would bounce back against the Celtics and finally get a win. Young had a 40 point night and dished out 8 assists as he almost single handedly closed out the game for the Hawks. The Hawks weren’t able to keep up this momentum as they would lose to the Celtics the very next game, but they will get a shot at revenge this week, as they play Boston again this Wednesday.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Previous Ranking: 23 (Up 2)

Record: 12-17

Zion Williamson has continued to quietly have a great season. Zion is currently averaging 25 points per game with 6.7 rebounds and is shooting 62% from the field. After having so much hype around him from last year, Zion has lost a lot of that hype despite playing better this year than he did last year. He should be in consideration for an All Star spot, but will most likely be snubbed this season.

  1. Chicago Bulls

Previous Ranking: 25 (Up 3)

Record: 13-16

After going 3-1 this week, Chicago is suddenly only a half game out of the eight seed at the moment. Zach LaVine has continued to impress, as he scored 38 points against the Kings last night, and iced the game with a late game jumper. LaVine has shown he is an elite scorer this year and he might earn himself his first All Star selection with this great play.

  1. Sacramento Kings

Previous Ranking: 22 (Down 1)

Record: 12-17

The Kings continue to have a roller coaster of a season. After a surprising four game win streak, Sacramento looked like they might have an actual shot at the playoffs this year. They have however lost all of their momentum and have dropped their last six games in a row. Things might only get worse as they face the Bucks and Nets in their next two games.

  1. Houston Rockets

Previous Ranking: 19 (Down 5)

Record: 11-17

The Rockets are another team that is riding a big losing streak. Houston has lost their last seven games and recently announced that they will be parting ways with center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins clearly hasn’t been the same since his injuries, but he still has been decent for Houston. It seems that the team has fully embraced the rebuild.

  1. Washington Wizards

Previous Ranking: 29 (Up 4)

Record: 10-17

After one of the most frustrating starts to a season, the Wizards have rattled off four wins in a row. The Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal backcourt went off in their win against Portland, with Westbrook putting up a triple double and Beal having a 37 point performance. The duo seems to be getting some chemistry with each other and might be able to turn this season around. 

  1. Orlando Magic

Previous Ranking: 27 (Up 1)

Record: 12-18

Guard Terrence Ross scored a season high 30 points off the bench for Orlando to help them get a 107-89 win over the Knicks. Ross has shown that he can be a spark plug off the bench and provide much needed scoring when the starters are getting a rest. The Magic should consider moving him at the deadline as he is a valuable asset that could contribute on a contending team.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous Ranking: 24 (Down 3)

Record: 11-18

It seems like the tank has finally been embraced in Oklahoma. They have lost seven out of their last ten and are almost at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, finding themselves above only the Timberwolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did make his return to action this week against the Grizzlies, which is a good sign for Thunder fans.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Ranking: 26 (Down 2)

Record: 10-20

The Cavs are on a league worse nine game losing streak and have plummeted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Granted they have played some extremely tough competition, but the team has been blown out in a majority of these games. The Cavs have also decided that they won’t play Andre Drummond until they find a trade partner for him, as they look to build around Jarrett Allen.

  1. Detroit Pistons

Previous Ranking: 28 (Down 1)

Record: 8-21

In a similar situation to Andre Drummond, the Pistons and Blake Griffin have agreed to not play Griffin until they either find a trade partner or agree to a buyout. Griffin has clearly not looked like his old self and has transitioned more into a spot up shooter than a high flyer. Hopefully the Pistons can send him to a contender, so Griffin can try and win a ring before the end of his career.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous Ranking: 30 (Same)

Record: 7-23

Rookie Anthony Edwards had the early dunk of the year against the Raptors over Yuta Watanabe. Despite the insane poster by the young guard, the Timberwolves would blow a late game lead to the Raptors, as they allowed them to go on an 11-0 run to end the game. Ultimately the Timberwolves have found themselves once again out of the playoff hunt and will look to try to develop some chemistry between this young core. 

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