NBA Power Rankings

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NBA Power Rankings

(Photo by: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

(Photo by: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

(Photo by: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

(Photo by: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

Connor Easterday

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  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee started this season 2-2. They were lost without any sense of offensive direction. Now they are 17-3. It seems like the Bucks forgot that Khris Middleton was injured because they steamrolled the Eastern Conference without him. Now that he’s back, paired with possible back-to-back MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are better than ever. Surrounding their savior, Giannis, with three-point snipers, and playing phenomenal interior defense, the Bucks have paved their way as the best team in the league.

(Photo by: David Butler II – USA Today)

 

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have been one of the more interesting teams in the league. Despite playing slow on both ends, struggling from beyond the arc, and sleepwalking on defensemost likely a result of LeBron’s regular season tendencies—The Lakers remain atop the Western Conference echelon, sitting on the throne of the number one seed. This is partially due to a ridiculously easy schedule thus far. However, most of the dominance comes from the Lakers’ raw talent. When you put two of the five best players in the league on one team, great things happen. Facing a much harder schedule in upcoming games, the Lakers’ greatness will truly be tested.

 

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clip-show is in full swing. First they proved their defensive dominance with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George pairing up to stop Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks. They then closed out the week with a 150-point performance against the visiting Wizards. As reported many times, the Clippers are coasting until they reach the playoffs. If this is them coasting, then I’m sure the rest of the league is scared to see them try.

 

  1. Toronto Raptors

Many urged the Raptors to enter rebuild mode after losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency,although the 2019 champions continue to hang around with the best in the East. The Raptors hold the number 2 spot in the East thanks to a 15-4 record. They recently dropped 130 points on the Utah Jazz, a team known for their defensive prowess. With Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry returning from injury, the Raptors are in a strong position to win a lot of games in December. 

(Photo by: Carlos Osario – Associated Press)

 

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Earlier in the season, it seemed as if Dallas was a one man army, Luka Doncic. Now, that seems far from the truth. While Doncic is still playing MVP-level basketball, his teammates are finally starting to pitch in…and it’s turning Dallas into a real competitor. 

 

  1. Boston Celtics

Despite a plethora of injuries to some of their best players, the Celtics remain undefeated at home. With a 100 defensive rating, they are a force defensively. This indicates their offensive struggles as they’ve yet to get Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker rolling together for an extended period.

 

  1. Denver Nuggets

What’s the deal with Nikola Jokic? Coming into the season, the star bigman was expected to have a run at the MVP. At this point, he’s down to 15 points per game, after averaging over 20 last season. What’s also concerning is that he’s played with little energy. Instead of attacking the rim, he floats around, neglecting passes. He’s lucky that teammates such as Gary Harris and Jamal Murray are carrying the load. However, if Jokic doesn’t pick up the pace soon, the Nuggets are doomed for an early playoff exit, come April.

 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers are a strange team. They suffer from major turnover problems that most likely stem from their poor pacing. They’re the biggest team in the NBA, and that leads to all kinds of funky situations. The 76ers also lack three point shooting. However, Brett Brown’s starting five is elite. With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid leading the show, Josh RIchardson and Tobias Harris on the perimeter, and Al Horford protecting the paint, Philadelphia has championship potential.

 

  1. Houston Rockets

James Harden is on pace to become the first player to average 14 3-point attempts and 14 free throw attempts per game. That is ludicrous. Sure the foul-hunting can be annoying to watch, but what works, works. If Harden’s getting the team some wins, then why should he stop? However, Harden is all the Rockets have at this time. With Russell Westbrook and key role players such as PJ Tucker and Clint Capela falling behind, the Rockets need some help.

(Photo by: Daniel Dunn/USA Today)

 

  1. Miami Heat

Miami is destroying the Eastern Conference right now. They are 10-1 against their inter-conference opponents. This has led to quite an impressive run, taking them near the top of the league. They’re a well-coached team who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Come playoff time, they’re going to be a pain to play.

 

  1. Indiana Pacers
  2. Utah Jazz
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves
  4. Brooklyn Nets
  5. Orlando Magic
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Sacramento Kings
  8. Portland Trail Blazers
  9. Oklahoma City Thunder
  10. Charlotte Hornets
  11. Washington Wizards
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. San Antonio Spurs
  14. New Orleans Pelicans
  15. Memphis Grizzlies
  16. Chicago Bulls
  17. Cleveland Cavaliers 
  18. Golden State Warriors
  19. New York Knicks
  20. Atlanta Hawks