Suns rise, Warriors sink in the 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings

Bulls drop again in 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings Original publication: NBC Sports Chicago

Due to the league currently in All-Star break mode, there is ample time for teams to review their performance through February.

Boston is still the most consistent team in either conference since the season opener. Milwaukee is currently in contention for first in the East. 

Then in the Western Conference, Denver upped its game with more depth than ever surrounding Nikola Jokić and holds a solid lead at the summit, while Sacramento remains the league’s biggest surprise as the No. 3 seed. 

Before league play resumes on Feb. 23, let’s take a look at the updated 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings:

30. Houston Rockets, 13-45: They have remained dead last in the power rankings for four consecutive editions, losing seven games in succession coming into the break. They moved on Eric Gordon The deadline was met and the pick swap was completed. ClippersJohn Wall was a member of the Advisory Board. Danny Green Both were bought out. They’ll remain near the bottom for the remainder of the campaign. (Last ranking: 30)

29. San Antonio Spurs, 14-45: Two Texas teams are being wiped out at the bottom. San Antonio lost 14 consecutive games going into the break. Jakob Poeltl For Khem Birch Three draft picks, including one 2024 first-rounder. While it was a good exchange, the frontcourt depth is now much lower than ever. (29 was the last ranking)

28. Detroit Pistons, 15-44: We won’t see the James Wiseman-Cade Cunningham pairing until next season, but trading a young forward to land yet another young big – with Bojan Bogdanovic still on the roster – was a confusing move from Troy Weaver. Detroit will remain at the bottom. (Last ranking: 27)

27. Charlotte Hornets, 17-43: Two wins were scored by the Hornets right before the break. One was an offensive thriller against Atlanta. LaMelo Ball They pulled the strings in a beautiful fashion. They dealt Mason Plumlee Jalen McDaniels At the deadline, they were selected for future draft picks in the second round. Svi MykhailiukSo, the depth plummeted. (Last ranking: 28

26. Chicago Bulls, 26-33: The Bulls Six consecutive losses came into the break Lonzo Ball’s season is in jeopardy. The Windy City could be worse because they didn’t do anything to add or rebuild pieces at the deadline. (Last rank: 22

25. Orlando Magic, 24-35: Orlando’s experiment with Mo Bamba failed, as they essentially collected a future second-rounder from the Lakers after drafting him No. 6 overall. However, the lottery results continue to be promising and the Magic could add stronger youngsters to their roster this offseason. (Last ranking: 25

24. Indiana Pacers, 26-34: Indiana started optimistically in the first few weeks, but it has regressed to what it should. Jordan Nwora As a young wing, he could be an intriguing addition and should get more minutes than he did at Milwaukee. (Last ranking: 24

23. Washington Wizards, 28-30: The Wizards have won four of their last five games. Kendrick Nunn It has proven to be an effective rotational guard in our lineup. They’ll be fighting for a play-in spot, but they don’t appear to have the magic to make a real run this season. (Last ranking: 23

22. Toronto Raptors, 28-31: Toronto won five of the six previous games it played before the break. This could indicate a possible rise in standings similar to last season. There’s hope now that Poeltl is in the fold, but it’ll be an intriguing watch to see if the Raptors can claw their way up the ladder in the East. (Last ranking: 25

21. Utah Jazz, 29-31: Utah didn’t sell all of its pieces at the deadline, but it probably could’ve received more for Malik Beasley, Jarred VanderbiltMike Conley Nickeil Alexander-Walker More than Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones A 2027 first-rounder, Russell Westbrook The Jazz is close to a buyout. This tier will likely be maintained by the Jazz, or it may drop in future editions. (Last rank: 18

20. Portland Trail Blazers, 28-30: Trail Blazers needed more wings. They got them with Matisse Thybulle Cam Reddish. It still feels very shaky in the frontcourt. Jusuf Nurkic, but they’ll need to push for a play-in spot behind Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons Jerami Grant. Reddish, Thybulle, and Reddish can definitely help with that pursuit. (19 was the last ranking

19. Los Angeles Lakers, 27-32: The Lakers They are starting to look better. The results may take some time, but if they can stay healthy, it’s hard not to like a D’Angelo Russell-Malik Beasley-LeBron James-Jarred Vanderbilt-Anthony Davis lineup, with players like Rui Hachimura, Austin ReavesBamba, et al. (Last rank: 21

18. Oklahoma City Thunder, 28-29: The Thunder received more draft picks by the deadline Mike Muscala Darius BazleyThey are still in contention for a playin spot because of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s incredible play. Will they reach the play in or will they be drafted back? (Last rank: 20

17. Golden State Warriors, 29-29: The Warriors didn’t have a golden deadline other than adding a currently injured Gary Payton II. He’ll certainly help the rotation when healthy, but Golden State’s momentum continues to oscillate as Stephen Curry Deals with an injury-ridden campaign (Last ranking: 15

16. Atlanta Hawks, 29-30: Landing Saddiq Bey This could prove to be a crucial acquisition for the Hawks who are still considered an average team in several statistical categories. They’ll be in contention for a play-in spot, but they’ll also need to find better consistency sooner rather than later. (Last ranking: 16

15. Minnesota Timberwolves, 31-30: Minnesota keeps its feet on the ground despite everything Karl-Anthony Towns’ lengthy absence due to injury, but he’s expected to return before the season’s end. Conley is filling Russell’s shoes, and his chemistry with Rudy Gobert Anthony Edwards could be less burdened. (Last rank: 17

14. New Orleans Pelicans, 30-29: It’s not exactly a shock to say the Pelicans are struggling without Zion Williamson. The setbacks don’t help. This is unfortunate considering how strong and cohesive New Orleans was when Williamson was healthy. They must have him back as soon as possible. (Last ranking: 11

13. Dallas Mavericks, 31-29: The Luka Doncic-Kyrie Irving pairing will be the focus of all eyes going forward. Can the Mavericks Can you make it work between them? This is a worrying level of depth, especially when they had lost three straight before the break. (Last rank: 12

12. Miami Heat, 32-27: The Heat’s Swapping was the main roster move Dewayne Dedmon For Kevin Love. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it does help partially move the needle in the right direction. (Last ranking: 10.

11. New York Knicks, 33-27: The Knicks Just before the break, they had three consecutive wins and Josh Hart lit up every contest. If they can start winning games at home (16-15 record), there’s little reason to think they won’t make the postseason. Their 17-12 away record ranks third in the league (Boston has 18-10 and Milwaukee has 17-12). (Last ranking: 13

10. Los Angeles Clippers, 33-28: The Clippers We reshuffled the roster quite a bit and added Gordon, Plumlee, Bones Hyland to it. The buyout signing of Russell Westbrook His recent tenure with L.A. rivals has shown that he could be a significant addition. (Last ranking: 9)

9. Sacramento Kings, 32-25: Sacramento has done an extraordinary job to get to where it is today: No. It is the No. 3 seed in West. After the deadline, however, the Kings The team made no major additions, and they will continue to hope that their squad chemistry and continuity prevails over star acquisitions by other teams. They boast one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA, two All-Stars and the potential Rookie-of-the-Year. Anywhere above the No. A 6 seed would be crucial. (Last rank: 8)

8. Phoenix Suns, 32-28: Devin Booker’s return helped Phoenix catch fire just before the break – and that was before the Kevin Durant move. T.J. Warren, Terrence Ross After the trade, Bazley and Bazley increase their wing depth Mikal BridgesCam Johnson and Jae Crowder, even if the collective quality isn’t as superior. But the Suns are looking hot all of a sudden, and they’ll be tough to beat in a seven-game series. (Last ranking: 16

7. Brooklyn Nets, 34-24: The foundation of Nets’ current record was laid by Durant and Irving, two stars now out of the equation. They’ll likely lose this spot by the time the next edition rolls out in two weeks, but is it crazy to think they might be solid enough for a play-in spot at the minimum? While the roster might be lacking two extraordinary talents, the replacements are still elite athletes. (Last ranking: 6)

6. Memphis Grizzlies, 35-22: The Grizzlies lost nine of their last 13 coming into the break, which saw them lose some steam in the hunt for the West’ No. 1 seed. There’s ample time to recover, and adding Luke Kennard’s sharpshooting from 3-point range moves the needle as a rotational piece. (Last rank: 7)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers, 38-23: Cleveland had seven consecutive wins before losing to the 76ers In the final game before the break, Danny Green was added to the rotation. This was a smart-good pick. (Last rank: 5)

4. Philadelphia 76ers 38-19 The 76ers They have won 13 of 16 of their previous 16, including four consecutively, since the start to the break. The deadline could’ve been better, as they added McDaniels from Charlotte and Dedmon in the buyout market, so let’s see how they fare going into the postseason push. (4. Last rank:)

3. Denver Nuggets, 41-18: The No. 1 seed feels like Denver’s to lose. If the Nuggets can stay healthy, they have the depth needed to make a serious run to the NBA Finals, even if their defense isn’t the most convincing. Thomas Bryant was added at the deadline, which was a major upgrade over DeAndre. It means that they have an offensive presence to anchor the interior when Jokic needs some rest. Because of the actions of the next team, they only lost a spot. (Last ranking: 2)

2. Milwaukee Bucks, 41-17: Milwaukee is the NBA’s most consistent team, winning 12 straight and 14 of its previous 15. Khris Middleton still isn’t at his best, and the Bucks will have Jae Crowder filling a crucial void as a versatile wing and forward with plenty of big-game experience. It will be fascinating to see who emerges as the top East seed. (Last ranking: 3)

1. Boston Celtics, 42-17: It’s not easy to dethrone the Celtics – this is their third time in a row maintaining the top spot in the power rankings. They’ve consistently been the best-performing team all season and added a high-volume shooting center in Muscala at the deadline, so their quest for Banner No. 18 remains vigorous. (Last rank: 1)

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