NBA Power Rankings: Charlotte Hornets surge up the rankings despite losing LaMelo Ball

Previous Power Rankings:  PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12, Week 13

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Previous Ranking: 1 (Same)

Record: 31-15

Well it seems that the rich keep getting richer, as the Nets added forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the buyout market this Saturday. He will give the Nets yet another scoring option as the team looks primed to make a championship run come this postseason. The only problem that could come from this move is that there may be too many mouths to feed, but that was a potential problem after the Harden trade and Brooklyn seemed to squash that fairly quickly.

  1. Utah Jazz

Previous Ranking: 2 (Same)

Record: 34-11

The Jazz have continued to hold on to the first seed in the West, as they have extended their lead to 3.5 games over the second seeded Suns. Donovan Mitchell had another solid performance, as he scored 35 points on an efficient 12-17 shooting and 5-7 from three in a win over the Grizzlies. If Mitchell can continue to score efficiently, he makes the Jazz that much more dangerous.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Previous Ranking: 4 (Up 1)

Record: 32-14

The 76ers were surprisingly active during the trade deadline. Although they were unable to make a trade for Kyle Lowry, they were still able to improve their point guard rotation by trading for George Hill from the Thunder. Hill should be able to provide a solid playmaking boost for Philly as they didn’t really have a bonafide playmaker outside of Ben Simmons.

  1. Phoenix Suns

Previous Ranking: 3 (Down 1)

Record: 30-14

The Suns had yet another solid week, as they won three out of the four games they played. The big three of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton has really meshed well so far after a somewhat slow start to the season. The trio has been the main reason for their success and has played a major role in keeping the Suns in the race for the first seed out West.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Ranking: 5 (Same)

Record: 29-16

Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out for the game against the Pacers, Milwaukee was still able to hang 140 points on Indiana. Jrue Holiday led the way as he had 28 points and 14 assists while Khris Middleton chipped in 25 points of his own. It was an overall great team win as Milwaukee had three players score over 20 and six score over 10 as they proved just how deep the team really is.

  1. Denver Nuggets

Previous Ranking: 7 (Up 1)

Record: 27-18

Denver was one of the most active teams at the deadline. First, they traded for center JaVale McGee to get a real backup for Nikola Jokic. Then they traded for forward Aaron Gordon, who will most likely take Paul Millsap’s starting spot, and will be another scoring option and solid defender for Denver. Unfortunately they had to give up their best guard defender in Gary Harris in the Gordon deal, but it was a much needed move.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Previous Ranking: 9 (Up 2)

Record: 31-16

After a bad stretch to start the month, the Clippers have turned things around as they have picked up five wins in a row and pushed themselves to the 3 seed in the West. The Clippers also got some reinforcements at the deadline as they flipped a struggling Lou Williams to the Hawks for the veteran floor general Rajon Rondo. Rondo will come in and provide the playmaking boost the team needs, while bringing in some championship DNA as well.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Previous Ranking: 6 (Down 2)

Record: 29-17

The Lakers got their first win without LeBron James this week, as they beat the Cavaliers 100-86. Montrezl Harrel led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds coming off the bench. LA has a difficult stretch of games coming up and will need their stars to come back quickly in order to help them stay in the top seeds in the West.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

Previous Ranking: 8 (Down 1)

Record: 27-18

Portland was another team that was pretty active at the deadline as they ended up trading for Norman Powell from Toronto. Portland had to give up Gary Trent Jr., who looks like a great prospect, but Powell is better right now and the team is in win now mode. Powell showed his impact immediately in his first game with the Blazers as he scored 22 points to help the Blazers pick up a win over the Magic.

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Previous Ranking: 12 (Up 2)

Record: 23-21

Luka Doncic has sat out the past two games for the Mavs, which has led to back to back losses for Dallas. Doncic is having back soreness, and these two games prove just how much the Mavericks need him to stay healthy if they want to make a deep playoff run. The Mavs quietly improved their team at the deadline as well, as they traded for JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli, both who can shoot the three ball at high clips.

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Previous Ranking: 10 (Down 1)

Record: 23-20

The Spurs were able to break out of a four game losing streak with a 120-104 win over the Chicago Bulls. Their whole starting 5 had double figures, while center Jakob Poeltl led the way with 20 points and 9 boards. The Spurs were unable to find a trade partner for LaMarcus Aldridge, and instead agreed to buyout terms with the veteran big man. 

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Previous Ranking: 14 (Up 2)

Record: 23-22

The surging Hawks picked up another big win against the injured Golden State Warriors this Friday. John Collins had a career night as he scored a career high 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win. He also shot 14-19 from the field and 4-5 from three. Despite the trade rumors Collins remains on the Hawks and is showing how impactful he can be.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Previous Ranking: 18 (Up 5 )

Record: 23-21

After news broke that rookie LaMelo Ball most likely will be out for the rest of the season, many expected the Hornets to fall out of the playoff race. Instead they have done the exact opposite and have jumped all the way up the fourth seed in the East thanks to a four game win streak. Charlotte will have to rely on their veteran players like Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward to help them secure a playoff spot.

  1. New York Knicks

Previous Ranking: 15 (Up 1)

Record: 24-22

The Knicks have continued to remain consistent and stay right around a .500 record all season. They just rattled off a three game win streak against the Wizards and a Giannis-less Bucks squad to get them two games over .500. However, they will have to do it without center Mitchell Robinson who broke his foot in the win over the Bucks after returning from a broken hand just four games earlier.

  1. Boston Celtics

Previous Ranking: 16 (Up 1)

Record: 23-23

Boston was rumored to be one of the most active teams at the deadline, but instead only made a few small deals. The biggest deal they made was acquiring wing Evan Fournier from the Magic for only two second round picks, Jeff Teague, and their massive trade exception. Fournier is a 19 PPG scorer who will come in and be a scoring presence that Boston can rely on outside of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous Ranking: 17 (Up 1) 

Record: 21-22

The Grizzlies had the daunting task of playing the Jazz back to back games, and were unfortunately handed two losses. Despite this, the Grizzlies are still at the nine seed, which is good enough to qualify for the play-in tournament. Big man Jaren Jackson Jr. is expected to finally return in late April, after he injured his knee back in the bubble last season, which should help their late season playoff push.

  1. Golden State Warriors

Previous Ranking: 13 (Down 4)

Record: 22-24

With Steph Curry out, the Warriors have struggled significantly and have lost four games in a row. There is a lot of uncertainty around Kelly Oubre Jr. as well, as his deal expires at the end of the season and he has stated he doesn’t want to come off the bench, which would most likely be the case with Klay Thompson coming back. Regardless, the Warriors will need Steph to play at an MVP level when he returns in order to keep the Warriors in the playoff hunt.

  1. Miami Heat

Previous Ranking: 11 (Down 7)

Record: 22-24

After being the league’s hottest team, the Heat have gone ice cold and have a league worst 6 game losing streak. Talks of a potential Jimmy Butler MVP case have disappeared as the Heat have returned to a below .500 record. Fortunately, Miami made a huge move at the deadline to acquire Victor Oladipo for only Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and a draft pick. If Oladipo can return to even half of how he played in Indiana, this team could be scary.

  1. Indiana Pacers

Previous Ranking: 19 (Same)

Record: 21-23

The Pacers seem to have slowly turned things around as they are on a two game winning streak and sit only two games under .500. Myles Turner continues to make his DPOY case as he had two steals and seven blocks in the 109-94 win over the Mavericks. Turner has been one of the best rim protectors all year and could give Rudy Gobert a run for his money.

  1. Chicago Bulls

Previous Ranking: 20 (Same)

Record: 19-25

The Bulls were very active at the deadline and made the biggest trade of the day for All Star center Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls gave the Magic Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and two first round picks in exchange for Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu. Vucevic put up a solid stat line in his debut for the Bulls, as he put up 21 points and 9 boards in a loss to the Spurs. Vucevic should help Chicago make a serious push for the playoffs though.

  1. Sacramento Kings

Previous Ranking: 24 (Up 3)

Record: 21-25

A quick four game winning streak has the Kings only a game behind the Warriors for the 10 seed and the play-in tournament. Despite all the rumors of Sacramento flipping Harrison Barnes, no deal was made at the deadline. Barnes quickly became a hero for Sacramento as he hit the buzzer beating game winner over the Cavs Saturday night to extend their winning streak.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Previous Ranking: 22 (Same)

Record: 20-25

Zion Williamson has had a great week statistically as he scored a career high 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a loss to the Nuggets. He followed that performance up with a 38 point and 6 assist performance against the Mavericks in a win. Zion played point guard down the stretch, in which he scored or assisted on every point scored, showing off his playmaking ability that many don’t know about.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous Ranking: 23 (Same)

Record: 19-26

Oklahoma decided to cash in on George Hill and flip him for Tony Bradley and two second round picks in a two team trade. The Thunder also announced that they won’t be playing Al Horford for the rest of the season, as they look to develop their young core. Horford will ultimately be traded in the offseason as the Thunder will look to add to their stash of draft picks.

  1. Toronto Raptors

Previous Ranking: 21 (Down 3)

Record: 18-27

Toronto is an abysmal 1-9 in their last ten games and had a massive fire sale at the deadline. They shipped out guys like Norman Powell and Terence Davis to name a few of their moves, and were very close to flipping Kyle Lowry, but ultimately decided to hold on to him. Thanks to a weak Eastern Conference, Toronto isn’t completely out of the playoff picture yet, but they will need a big run to get them back in it.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Ranking: 25 (Same)

Record: 17-29

After being unable to find a deal at the deadline for center Andre Drummond, the Cavs and Drummond came to a buyout agreement. This was a long time coming, as Drummond had been sitting out for a while as the Cavs front office looked to find a deal to ship him out of Cleveland, but were unable to do so. Instead he walks, with the Cavs getting nothing in return.

  1. Washington WIzards

Previous Ranking: 26 (Same)

Record: 16-28

The Wizards have returned to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings after being in the playoff picture not too long ago. The Wizards didn’t really bring in anyone who could come and help them make a playoff surge, as their only deal was a three team deal with the Celtics and Bulls in which they added Chandler Hutchinson and Daniel Gafford. All signs point to the Wizards missing the playoffs and rebuilding in the offseason.

  1. Detroit Pistons

Previous Ranking: 28 (Up 1)

Record: 12-33

The Pistons made the first trade of the deadline in which they shipped out Delon Wright for Cory Joseph and two second round picks. After that, they were pretty quiet as they held onto Jerami Grant who was rumored to potentially be on the move. At this point, the Pistons will be looking to develop young guys like Saddiq Bey as the season goes on.

  1. Orlando Magic

Previous Ranking: 27 (Down 1)

Record: 15-30

The Magic were another squad who had a massive fire sale at the deadline. Despite reports saying the Magic wanted to run it back with their roster next year, they shipped out a majority of their starters. Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon were all on the move and garnered significantly less assets than the Magic would’ve liked. However, it was a necessary move as the team never really had a serious shot at winning it all with the way the roster was currently constructed. 

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous Ranking: 29 (Same)

Record: 11-35

The Timberwolves trailed by as many as 19 points against the Rockets, but went on an insane 22-0 run at the end of the fourth quarter in order to come back and get the win. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, leading the way in the ferocious comeback effort. This win hurts them more than it helps though, as the gap between them and the Rockets and Pistons for the best odds in the lottery shrink a little more.

  1. Houston Rockets

Previous Ranking: 30 (Same)

Record: 13-32

Houston was finally able to get a win and break their insane losing streak at 20 games. John Wall was great, as he posted his first triple double in a game since 2016. The team was also able to pick up a second win this week against the Timberwolves, after they blew a 19 point second half lead two nights before.

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