NBA Power Rankings: A wild week of basketball leads to top 5 turnover, including a new #1 team

Previous Power Rankings:  PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14, Week 15

  1. Phoenix Suns

Previous Ranking: 3 (Up 2)

Record:

Phoenix would grab a four point win over the Jazz in overtime which would catapult them to the first spot in the power rankings. The Devin Booker and Chris Paul duo showed up as Booker had 35 points while Paul had 29 points and 9 assists. Although the Suns were unable to pick up a win against the Clippers the following night, the Suns proved that they are legit contenders this week.

  1. Utah Jazz

Previous Ranking: 2 (Same)

Record:

The Jazz fell to the Suns in an OT thriller in a potential Western Conference Finals matchup. Donovan Mitchell had 41 in the loss, but the scoring momentum would carry over as he had 37 and 42 in wins over the Blazers and Kings respectively. Mitchell became the first Jazz player to score over 35 in three games since Karl Malone.

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Previous Ranking: 1 (Down 2)

Record:

After a 2-2 week the Nets have lost the first seed in the East to the 76ers for the moment. Injuries have been a major concern for the team the whole season with their big three being in and out of the lineup constantly and having little time to play on court with each other. This is a slight worry for the Nets who seemed unstoppable up until now, and they will have to work things out quickly as the playoffs loom near.

  1. Denver Nuggets

Previous Ranking: 6 (Up 2)

Record: 34-18

The Nuggets went 4-0 against a relatively easy slate of opponents this past week, and they continue to move on up the Western standings. As the Nuggets record continues to  improve, Nikola Jokic continues to insert himself as the top name in the MVP race. Jokic dropped a double-double in each game this week, and was basically a rebound away from a triple-double in three of the games as well. 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Previous Ranking: 3 (Down 2)

Record: 36-17

The 76ers still seem to be adjusting to the return of Joel Embiid, as they went 2-2 on the week. Embiid was at his dominant best during their win over the Celtics, but then struggled mightily in their following game against the Pelicans. With the Nets health still in flux, the 76ers could look to make a push for the #1 seed this upcoming week if Embiid can get back on track.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Previous Ranking: 7 (Up 1)

Record: 36-18

The Clippers went a perfect 4-0 on the week, picking up big wins over the Trailblazers and Suns in the process. The addition of Rajon Rondo to the team appears to have filled a huge need, as he picked up nine assists in their win over Portland. If the Clippers can continue to move the ball around like they did this week, they could be set for a deep playoff run again. 

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Ranking: 5 (Down 2)

Record: 32-20

With Giannis Antetokounmpo out for the whole week, the Bucks struggled and lost all three of their games. While it will ultimately be inconsequential due to the distance between the Bucks and the #4 seed Hornets, it’s worrying to see how much the Bucks have struggled during Giannis’ absence. They will be hoping to get their star forward back this week and try to get back to their winning ways. 

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Previous Ranking: 10 (Up 2)

Record: 29-22

Despite somehow losing to the Houston Rockets this week, the Mavericks have to be elated to pick up two big wins over the Jazz and Bucks. Luka Doncic was his usual brilliant self, as he carried the Mavs to victory with a 31 point game over the Jazz, which is even more impressive considering fellow star Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t active for the game. The Mavs will look to keep it rolling this upcoming week with Porzingis back in the fold. 

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

Previous Ranking: 9 (Down 1)

Record: 31-21

Portland struggled against a tough slate of opponents this week, getting blown out by the Clippers and Jazz in the process. Despite picking up two wins as well, these losses loom large, as it’s concerning to see the Trailblazers struggle against other playoff teams. At least they will have some solid momentum to carry over this week, as Enes Kanter helped destroy the Pistons with a 24 point, 30 rebound game. 

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Previous Ranking: 9 (Down 1)

Record: 33-20

The injury plagued Lakers continue to trudge along, going 2-2 on the week despite being more banged up than ever. They still managed to pick up a big win over the Nets last night, despite missing five of their key contributors, and then losing Dennis Schroder to an ejection midway through the game. Things won’t get any easier for the Lakers, as they face a relatively tough set of opponents this upcoming week.

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Previous Ranking: 11 (Same)

Record: 28-25

The Hawks continue to look like a completely different team since the All Star break, going 3-1 on the week. Trae Young had a monster 42 point performance that helped Atlanta pick up a win over the Bulls, and every point was necessary with Zach LaVine dropping 50 on the other end of the court. John Collins could be set for a return soon, making the Hawks legitimate threats with the playoffs just around the corner.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Previous Ranking: 14 (Up 2)

Record: 27-24

Even with all the injuries Charlotte is dealing with, they just continue to win. After getting blown out on Easter Sunday by the Celtics, the Hornets erased all cause for concern by picking up wins over the Thunder and Bucks to close out the week. The Hornets aren’t relying on one player to make up for the missing contributions from LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward, as they continue to get contributions from all over the roster, and will need to keep it up in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.

  1. Miami Heat 

Previous Ranking: 12 (Down 1)

Record: 27-25

The Heat only played 2 games this past week, picking up a win over the Lakers while coming up short against the Grizzlies. Victor Oladipo just can’t seem to stay healthy, as he picked up an injury in their win over the Lakers, and appears set to miss some time. The rest of the Heat will look to hold down the fort until Oladipo returns, as he could be a big piece of the team’s playoff plans.

  1. Boston Celtics

Previous Ranking: 16 (Up 2)

Record: 27-26

The Celtics went 3-1 on the week, and appear to finally be figuring things after enduring some season long struggles. They nearly coughed up a victory against the lowly Timberwolves, only to be bailed out by Jayson Tatum’s 53 point performance. If Evan Fournier can make a return this week, we could finally see the Celtics at full health for the first time all season. 

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous Ranking: 17 (Up 2)

Record: 26-24

The Grizzlies almost had a perfect week, as their only loss came in overtime against the Knicks on Friday. Memphis continues to feature one of the most balanced scoring attacks in the league, as it seems like every game sees a new leading scorer for them. With Jaren Jackson Jr. seemingly nearing a return to the lineup, it looks like Grizzlies could be peaking at just the right time.

  1. New York Knicks

Previous Ranking: 15 (Down 1)

Record: 26-27

The Knicks avoided absolute catastrophe by picking up an overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies after losing to the Nets and Celtics. RJ Barrett had a huge week, as he was the leading scoring in all three games this week. He shot lights out against Boston, and took over down the stretch against the Grizzlies. They’ll need him to keep up this recent stretch of play if they want to stay afloat in the East. 

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Previous Ranking: 13 (Down 4)

Record: 24-26

The Spurs had a very rough week, and fell out of the top 8 seeds this week as a result. They lost all three of their contests, including two straight at the hands of the Nuggets. After exceeding expectations for much of the season, it appears the Spurs have finally come back to the earth, and will need a big turnaround if they want a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. 

  1. Indiana Pacers

Previous Ranking: 19 (Up 1)

Record: 24-27

The Pacers picked up 2 wins this week, as they continue to hang around in the playoff race out East. Whereas Indiana relied heavily on Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon early on in the season, their depth has started to pick it up in the second half of the season, as their scoring efforts have been quite balanced as of late. They’ll need their stars to step up though if they are going to make any noise come playoff time.

  1. Golden State Warriors

Previous Ranking: 18 (Down 1)

Record: 25-28

The Warriors went 2-2 on the week, and probably should have gone 3-1, as they botched their game against the Wizards. While Steph Curry has continued his spectacular season, the Warriors depth has taken a hit, with Kelly Oubre Jr. and James Wiseman expected to miss some time. They’ll need their full cast of players healthy if they want to hold onto the final spot in the play-in tournament. 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans 

Previous Ranking: 21 (Up 1)

Record: 23-29

The Pelicans went 2-2 on the week, trading solid games with some awful ones. The Hawks and Nets blew out the Pels, while they picked up big wins over the Rockets and 76ers. Zion Williamson played a big role in both of their wins, as he has shown to be a capable ball handler that can lead the Pelicans offense. The Pelicans could make a run for the play-in tournament if Zion keeps his recent performances up.

  1. Sacramento Kings

Previous Ranking: 20 (Down 1)

Record: 22-31

The Kings lost all three of their games this week by double digits, putting a damper on their hopes of sneaking into the play-in tournament. They continue to struggle to find a solid complement to De’Aaron Fox’s scoring abilities, while also posting a weak defensive unit. They have some streaky offensive players who could heat up and help them make a late run, but it isn’t looking good in Sacramento.

  1. Chicago Bulls

Previous Ranking: 24 (Up 2)

Record: 22-29

The Bulls managed to shake off last week’s miserable losses by picking up wins in three of their four contests this week. Nikola Vucevic has been as advertised since coming over from the Orlando Magic, while Zach LaVine appears to be heating up again. LaVine dropped 50 points in their only loss against the Atlanta Hawks, as the Bulls now look to try to make a late playoff surge.

  1. Toronto Raptors

Previous Ranking: 23 (Same)

Record: 21-32

The Raptors ended up going 2-2 on the week, and had some amazing performances in  the process. Chris Boucher had a 38 point, 17 rebound game against the Bulls, while Gary Trent Jr. had a career night against the Cavs, pouring in 44 points. Combine that with Pascal Siakam scoring 20+ points in all three of the games he played, and the Raptors have a consistent source of offense to get them through the rest of the season.

  1. Washington Wizards

Previous Ranking: 25 (Up 1)

Record: 19-33

The Wizards went 2-2 on the week, picking up a blowout win over the Magic and a hard fought victory over the Warriors. While Bradley Beal hasn’t looked spectacular since returning from injury, he had a huge four point play late in their win over the Warriors that helped secure the victory. If he can start to find his footing, Washington could take advantage of an easier slate of opponents this upcoming week.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Ranking: 26 (Up 1)

Record: 19-33

The Cavs reeled off two victories over the Spurs and Thunder this week, before getting blown out by Toronto. Darius Garland had a huge game against the Spurs, dropping 37 points and dishing out seven assists as well. Colin Sexton also scored 20+ in each game too, as Cleveland continues to work on developing their young guard duo.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous Ranking: 22 (Down 4)

Record: 20-33

The Thunder lost all four of their games this week, with none of them being particularly close. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out for the foreseeable future, and the Thunder expected to try to see what they have in some of their younger players, their struggles will likely continue throughout the rest of the season. 

  1. Detroit Pistons 

Previous Ranking: 27 (Same)

Record: 16-37

The Pistons went 2-2 on the week, picking up wins over the Kings and Thunder. The emphasis appears to have been made to reduce Jerami Grant’s workload, as the Pistons have featured a much more balanced scoring attack in recent games. Grant is currently battling some injuries, so the Pistons will look to continue their balanced scoring attack, as they look to move ahead of the Magic in the East standings.

  1. Orlando Magic

Previous Ranking: 28 (Same)

Record: 17-35

After pulling off a few unexpected wins after the trade deadline, the Magic have crashed back to earth, losing all three games this week. These losses may not necessarily be such a bad thing for Orlando, as they’ve completely embraced a rebuild, and their losing ways may help improve their draft pick status.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves 

Previous Ranking: 29 (Same)

Record: 13-40

Minnesota scored at least 115 points in all three of their games this week, but still found ways to lose two of their games, both of which they scored 130+ points in. It was a solid all around week offensively, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards leading the way, but their defensive efforts continued to struggle. With D’Angelo Russel finding his way back to form, the Timberwolves could pick up some more wins before the season ends.

  1. Houston Rockets

Previous Ranking: 30 (Same)

Record: 14-39

Despite looking more competitive for most of the week, the Rockets still ended up dropping 4 of their 5 games this week. Their only consistent sources of scoring are John Wall and Christian Wood at this point, but Wall has been struggling to stay on the court for most of the season. The Rockets will continue to crawl to the finish in the middle of a lost season.

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