NBA Power Rankings: As we enter the final week of the season, a new team gets the #1 spot

Previous Power Rankings:  PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16Week 17Week 18, Week 19

  1. Utah Jazz

Previous Ranking: 4 (Up 3)

Record: 50-18

Utah had a fantastic week, winning all four of their games, and have reclaimed the top spot in the power rankings as a result. Making matters even more impressive, they were missing Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley for the entire week. Bojan Bogdanovic has stepped up in a huge way for Utah, dropping 20+ points in each game, including a huge 48 point performance to lead them to victory over the Denver Nuggets.

  1. Phoenix Suns

Previous Ranking: 1 (Down 1)

Record: 48-19

The Suns had a solid week, but dropped a crucial contest against the Atlanta Hawks. With just five games left, the Suns are a game and a half behind the Jazz for the 1 seed in the Western Conference, meaning they will basically need to win out and hope the Jazz slip up along the way in order for them to earn the 1 seed at this point. On the brightside, Devin Booker seems to have put his rough April behind him, as he dropped 30+ points three times this week.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Previous Ranking: 3 (Same)

Record: 47-21

Philly took advantage of a relatively easy slate of opponents this past week, winning all five of their games, and pushing their win streak to eight games. They now find themselves basically locked into the 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, due to their surge and the Brooklyn Nets slump. With Joel Embiid leading the way, the 76ers appear to be rounding into form at the perfect time.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Ranking: 7 (Up 3)

Record: 43-24

The Bucks went 4-0 on the week, including a pair of huge wins over the Nets to kick off the week. While they sit a half game behind the Nets currently, they now hold the tiebreaker over Brooklyn, giving them the inside track to the 2 seed now. Giannis Antetokounmpo was at his best in their two wins over Brooklyn, as he combined to drop 85 points over the two contests.

  1. Denver Nuggets

Previous Ranking: 5 (Same)

Record: 44-24

The Nuggets had a rough week, going 1-3, but still find themselves in the 4 seed afterwards. Nikola Jokic has continued his MVP caliber season, but Michael Porter Jr. has really stepped up to be the second option on offense since Jamal Murray’s season-ending injury. The Nuggets missed a shot to make a push for the 3 seed out West, but they could look to capitalize on an easier slate of opponents over the last week of the season.

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Previous Ranking: 2 (Down 4)

Record: 44-24

Brooklyn picked a bad time to go on a four game losing streak, and avoided absolute catastrophe last night with a huge comeback win over the Denver Nuggets. With James Harden still injured, it’s been the Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant show for the time being. However, the rest of the Nets depth has really failed to show up for the most part, which could become an issue come playoff time if Harden still is out.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Previous Ranking: 7 (Down 1)

Record: 45-22

The Clippers only played two games this week, picking up wins over the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers. It was good to see the Clippers get back on track after a rough three game losing streak last week. With Kawhi Leonard now back in the fold, the Clippers will look to hold onto the 3 seed and build up some momentum as they roll towards the playoffs.

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Previous Ranking: 8 (Same)

Record: 39-28

After opening the week with a disappointing loss to the Sacramento Kings, Dallas turned up the heat and reeled off three big wins against some playoff bound teams. With this stretch, Dallas may have ensured they will avoid the play-in tournament, as they have put some distance between themselves and the 7 seed. A huge 36 point game from Tim Hardaway Jr. against the Miami Heat was the highlight this week for a streaking Mavs squad.

  1. New York Knicks

Previous Ranking: 9 (Same)

Record: 37-30

Just when it seemed like the Knicks were ready to put the nail in the coffin for the 4 seed race in the East, they suffered a pair of rough losses to the Nuggets and Suns. They now find themselves fighting to hold onto the 4 seed, with just a half game lead over the Atlanta Hawks heading into action today. Julius Randle has continued to lead this team, but someone else will need to step up and help out New York as they fight for seeding heading into the postseason.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

Previous Ranking: 13 (Up 3)

Record: 39-29

After going through a rough stretch in April, Portland has completely switched gears, and now find themselves holding onto the 6 seed out West with a week left in the season. They went 4-1 on the week, and picked up a massive win over the Lakers that led to them swapping spots in the standings with LA. Damian Lillard has found his shooting touch again, dropping 30+ points in four of the five games, including a 38 point game in their win over Los Angeles.

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Previous Ranking: 11 (Same)

Record: 37-31

The Hawks have reemerged as threats for the 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, picking up two huge wins over the Trail Blazers and Suns this week. Whereas Trae Young has had to carry a large scoring load for most of the season, the Hawks did a great job at getting everyone involved in both of their wins. The Hawks have a relatively easy final week of action, and could make a run at the 4 seed if the Knicks struggle.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Previous Ranking: 10 (Down 2)

Record: 37-30

In a stunning turn of events, the Lakers have fallen all the way out of a playoff berth, as they sit at the 7 seed in the West entering the final week of action. While they picked up a big win against the Nuggets to open the week, they lost all three of their other games, including a big one against Portland. LeBron James is expected to return at some point this week, and the Lakers will need to step it up if they want to avoid the play-in tournament.

  1. Miami Heat

Previous Ranking: 13 (Up 1)

Record: 36-31

The Heat went 2-1 on the week, and managed to work their way back to the 6 seed as a result. However, they have an extremely difficult final stretch of the season, including back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics to kick off the week. The Heat can give themselves a bit of a cushion if they can pick up a win or two over Boston, and they may need it, as they will run into the 76ers and Bucks later on in the week.

  1. Boston Celtics

Previous Ranking: 12 (Down 2)

Record: 35-32

It was another rough week for Boston, as they went 1-2 on the week, only managing a win against the lowly Orlando Magic. They now find themselves sitting in the 7 seed as a result, putting them in line for the play-in tournament. They open the week with two games against the Miami Heat, and it is absolutely vital for them to pick up a pair of wins if they want to avoid the play-in round.

  1. Golden State Warriors

Previous Ranking: 15 (Same)

Record: 35-33

Golden State went 3-1 on the week and continue to hang onto the 8 seed in the West as the season wraps up. Stephen Curry continues to be on an absolute tear, with his latest feat of excellence being a 49 point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in only 29 minutes of action. Curry will need to keep up his hot streak, as the Warriors have a tough final stretch of the season, with their last game of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies potentially having huge repercussions on the seeding in the West.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous Ranking: 16 (Same)

Record: 34-33

The Grizzlies went 2-2 on the week, but lost their hold on the 8 seed, and find themselves in the much less desirable 9 seed in the West. With five games left on the season, and a relatively easy set of opponents, Memphis has a good shot at moving back into the 8 seed. They will need some big games from Ja Morant though, and he has struggled with his consistency as of late, so it’ll be important for him to step up down the line here for Memphis.

  1. Washington Wizards

Previous Ranking: 19 (Up 2)

Record: 32-36

One of the most impressive turnarounds in the league continues to take place in Washington, as they have moved all the way up to the 9 seed after going 3-1 on the week. They picked up two huge wins over the Indiana Pacers, and moved ahead of them in the seeding frenzy in the East. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook put up ridiculous performances all week, with Beal dropping 50 points in their most recent win over Indiana among the best of the season.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Previous Ranking: 17 (Down 1)

Record: 33-34

The Hornets went 2-2 on the week, and may find themselves struggling to hold onto the 8 seed in the East as the season enters its final week. The Hornets have a very difficult upcoming week, with games against the Clippers, Nuggets, and Knicks, as well as a season-ending bout with the Wizards that could have huge implications on the seeding in the East. The Hornets will need to find their stride soon, or could end up in a less than ideal situation in the play-in tournament. 

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Previous Ranking: 18 (Down 1)

Record: 32-35

San Antonio labored through a miserable 1-4 week, but didn’t really suffer as a result of it. They still hold a two game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans, who can’t seem to make any sort of run to snatch the final spot in the play-in tournament from them. The Spurs have a difficult final week, but probably only need to pull out two wins to clinch their spot in the play-in tournament.

  1. Indiana Pacers

Previous Ranking: 20 (Same)

Record: 31-36

Despite getting some amazing performances from Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis this past week, the Pacers only managed to pick up one win on the week. LeVert in particular was on fire this week, dropping 30+ points in three of Indiana’s four games. However, aside from these two, none of their depth players have stepped up to help out, and Indiana finds themselves in the 10 seed heading into the last week of play. 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans 

Previous Ranking: 21 (Same)

Record: 30-37

The Pelicans went 1-2 on the week, and missed a good chance to make up some ground on the slumping Spurs for the final play-in spot in the West. Making matters worse, Zion Williamson will most likely be out for the remainder of the season with a finger injury he suffered against the Warriors. With Brandon Ingram still out as well, New Orleans will need someone to step up if they want to make a final push for the play-in round.

  1. Sacramento Kings

Previous Ranking: 23 (Up 1)

Record: 29-38

Sacramento went 3-1 on the week, and have somehow kept their slim chances of making the play-in tournament alive. They are three games behind San Antonio for the 10 seed, and would need a number of things to go their way in order for them to even have a shot. The Kings may be getting De’Aaron Fox back at some point this week, which would be a huge help as the team looks to finish off the season on a good note.

  1. Toronto Raptors

Previous Ranking: 22 (Down 1)

Record: 27-41

Toronto opened the week with a big win over the Lakers, but then proceeded to lose each of their next three games, effectively ending their chances of earning a play-in spot. The Raptors have just never been able to get fully healthy, which has really hurt them this season. Pascal Siakam had a 44p/11r/7a performance in their overtime loss to the Wizards, which was one of the best games of the season for the star forward.

  1. Chicago Bulls

Previous Ranking: 24 (Same)

Record: 28-39

Chicago went 2-1 on the week to keep their slim chances of a play-in spot alive, as they now sit three games behind the Pacers for the 10 seed. Getting Zach LaVine back from injury was certainly helpful, as he dropped 25 points in their blowout victory over the Celtics. The Bulls have a very tough stretch coming up, including two games against the Nets, making it very unlikely they will find their way into the 10 seed. 

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Ranking: 25 (Same)

Record: 21-46

Cleveland lost all three of their games this week by at least 16 points, as they continue to crawl to the finish line. One of their bright spots of the week was a 32 point outing from Isaac Okoro against the Phoenix Suns. Despite forcing overtime against Phoenix, they still managed to lose the game by 16 points, which is pretty indicative of how the Cavs entire season has gone.

  1. Orlando Magic

Previous Ranking: 28 (Up 2)

Record: 21-46

Orlando went 1-2 on the week, picking up a win over the Detroit Pistons while dropping games against the Celtics and Hornets. After getting some more playing time, Mo Bamba has started to show off his potential, dropping a pair of impressive double-doubles this week. The Magic have a difficult final week of the season, and seem likely to accrue a few more losses by the time the season wraps up.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous Ranking: 26 (Down 1)

Record: 20-47

Minnesota only played two games this week, and ended dropping both of them. Anthony Edwards continues to make his case for Rookie of the Year, as he nearly carried the Timberwolves to victory over the Grizzlies with a 42 point outing. The Timberwolves clearly have the building blocks for the future in Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, and may have an eventful offseason as they look to surround them with talent. 

  1. Detroit Pistons

Previous Ranking: 27 (Down 1)

Record: 20-48

The Pistons went 1-3 on the week, picking up a surprising win over the Grizzlies midway through the week. They almost picked up another against the Hornets, as Hamidou Diallo led the way with a 35 point game, but ultimately came up just short. Jerami Grant made his return to the lineup in their loss against the 76ers, and will look to try to improve his case for Most Improved Player over the last week of the season.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous Ranking: 29 (Same)

Record: 21-47

The Thunder lost all four of their games this week, as they continue to try to improve their draft odds. They were surprisingly competitive against the Suns and Kings, before getting blown out by the Warriors in successive contests to close out the week. Darius Bazley continues to take advantage of the extra minutes the Thunder are handing him, as he dropped 20+ points twice this week, including an impressive double-double against the Kings.  

  1. Houston Rockets

Previous Ranking: 30 (Same)

Record: 16-52

The Rockets went 0-4 on the week, as their nightmare season will mercifully be over shortly. Despite losing, Houston seems to be getting the best out of some of their players, with Kelly Olynyk and Kenyon Martin Jr. leading the way this week. The Rockets will have a lot of questions to answer this upcoming offseason, and will hopefully be able to construct a more competitive team come next season.

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