Welcome back to our weekly NBA Power Rankings!
Just over a month into the NBA season, the standings are starting to take shape and teams are starting to reveal their true colours. Which teams made the biggest jump in this week’s Power Rankings? Which teams fell off in this week’s Power Rankings?
Take a look and see where your favourite team stands five weeks into the season.
NBA Power Rankings
10. Portland Trail Blazers
Previous rank: 10
Last week: 1-1 (loss vs. SAS, win vs. NYK)
This week: vs. OKC, at HOU, at CHI
One big thing: With CJ McCollum (foot) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) each out for the time-being, Damian Lillard has kicked things into another gear. In the Blazers’ two contests this past week – the first two games without those two starters – Lillard averaged 37.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals while shooting 52.5% from the field and 45.0% from 3.
Expect to see many more big outings from the superstar guard in the near future as he tries to make up for the lost production of his backcourt mate McCollum.
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2021
9. Phoenix Suns
Previous rank: 5
Last week: 1-3 (loss at MEM, win at HOU, loss vs. DEN, loss vs. DEN)
This week: vs. OKC, vs. GSW, at DAL
One big thing: Since going 7-3 through their first 10 games of the season, the Suns have lost four out of their last five. They failed to close out three of four close games this past week, falling to the Nuggets in overtime in back-to-back outings, an unusual result for a Chris Paul-led team.
8. Brooklyn Nets
Previous rank: 7
Last week: 2-2 (win at MIL, loss at CLE, loss at CLE, win vs. MIA)
This week: vs. MIA, at ATL, at OKC, at WAS
One big thing: In the five games since the megadeal that landed James Harden in Brooklyn, the Nets own a defensive rating of 119.2, the second-worst mark in the NBA over that span, only ahead of the Sacramento Kings who have been historically bad on defence this season. They have also allowed 126.8 points per game over that stretch, which is the worst mark in the league.
They are 1-1 so far with all three of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the lineup.
7. Denver Nuggets
Previous rank: 12
Last week: 3-0 (win vs. OKC, win at PHX, win at PHX)
This week: at DAL, at MIA, at SAS, vs. UTA
One big thing: It was only a matter of time before Nikola Jokic’s MVP-level play translated to success for the Nuggets, winners of seven of their last 10 games after starting the season 2-4.
Their game against the Suns this week was something to behold as Jokic went for a career-high 22 rebounds in a double-double effort and Jamal Murray buried a clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer to force the game into overtime where the Nuggets came away with the win.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 24, 2021
6. Boston Celtics
Previous rank: 4
Last week: 1-2 (loss at PHI, loss at PHI, win vs. CLE)
This week: at CHI, at SAS, vs. LAL
One big thing: With All-Star forward Jayson Tatum out of the lineup since Jan. 8 while recovering from COVID-19, Jaylen Brown did everything he could to keep the Celtics toward the top of the Eastern Conference. Brown dropped 42 points in the team’s second loss of the week to the 76ers but he didn’t stop there. He followed up that performance against the Cavaliers setting an NBA record becoming the first player to score over 30 points in a game in less than 20 minutes played.
Jaylen Brown scores the MOST POINTS in under 20 minutes played during the shot clock era (1954-55)!
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2021
With Tatum expected to return this week, Boston is inching back to full strength.
5. Milwaukee Bucks
Previous rank: 2
Last week: 1-2 (loss at BKN, loss vs. LAL, win vs. ATL)
This week: at TOR, at NOP, at CHA
One big thing: The Bucks suffered a pair of close losses against two powerhouse teams in the Nets and Lakers. They are now 0-4 this season against teams that currently own winning records (Celtics, Jazz, Nets, Lakers) but are 10-2 against the rest of the field.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
Previous rank: 9
Last week: 3-0 (win vs. BOS, win vs. BOS, win at DET)
This week: at DET, vs. LAL, at MIN, at IND
One big thing: Joel Embiid loves playing against the Celtics. Over the two wins against Philly’s rivals, the MVP candidate tallied 71 points, 25 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks while shooting 21-for-35 (60.0%) from the field, 3-for-4 (75.0%) from three and 26-for-32 (81.3%) from the free throw line. Total domination.
.@JoelEmbiid is something else.
38 PTS | 11 REB | 3 AST
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 23, 2021
3. Utah Jazz
Previous rank: 6
Last week: 3-0 (win vs. NOP, win vs. NOP, win vs. GSW)
This week: vs. NYK, vs. DAL, vs. DAL, at DEN
One big thing: The Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA, winning eight games in a row – the longest win streak in the league so far this season. Over that eight-game stretch, All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell has been incredible, averaging 27.3 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting an efficient 51.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 22, 2021
2. LA Clippers
Previous rank: 3
Last week: 3-0 (win vs. SAC, win vs. OKC, win vs. OKC)
This week: at ATL, at MIA, at ORL, at NYK
One big thing: While it’s not the longest win streak in the NBA, the Clippers have still won seven consecutive games and are now tied with the Lakers for first place in the West. Most-impressively, both Kawhi Leonard (.505/.419/.900) and Paul George (.504/.484/.907) are currently riding 50-40-90 shooting splits, something that is unheard of for a pair of teammates.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Previous rank: 1
Last week: 2-1 (loss vs. GSW, win at MIL, win at CHI)
This week: at CLE, at PHI, at DET, at BOS
One big thing: The Lakers have yet to lose a road game, owning a perfect 9-0 record away from Los Angeles. It is the best start in franchise history on the road.
The Rest of the NBA
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Dallas Mavericks
13. Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry took another step toward the top of the all-time 3-pointers made leaderboard this past week, passing Reggie Miller for the second-most threes in NBA history.
A historic #SPLASH for SC30
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 24, 2021
Only 411 more to go to pass Ray Allen (2,973) for the most all-time.
14. Atlanta Hawks
15. San Antonio Spurs
16. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are trending in the right direction, winning five of their last six games. OG Anunoby’s offensive surge has played a key role in that, scoring double figures in a career-best eight consecutive games while shooting 60.5 percent from three over his last seven games.
OG showed up & showed out
30 Pts | 8 Reb | 5 Stl | 4 3pm pic.twitter.com/c7eAWsMTGY
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 25, 2021
17. Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton shocked the NBA world this past week, scoring 20 consecutive points over two overtimes to help the Cavaliers past the Nets in the debut of Brooklyn’s big three of Harden, Durant and Irving.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 21, 2021
18. Miami Heat
All-Star centre Bam Adebayo went for a career-high 41 points against the Nets this week, although it came in a losing effort.
A 41 point night for @Bam1of1
the last HEAT player to do it (reg season):
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 24, 2021
The Heat have a disappointing 6-9 record but they have been playing short-handed nearly all season due to injuries and COVID-19 health and safety protocols. On the bright side, Jimmy Butler has cleared COVID-19 protocol and should be returning to action sooner rather than later.
19. Memphis Grizzlies
20. New York Knicks
21. Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward’s red hot start to the season continued, going for over 30 points in each of the Hornets’ games this past week. The one-time All-Star is in pursuit of his second bid, bolstering his resume with 39 points and a game-winning layup against the Magic.
GORDON. CLUTCH. HAYWARD. pic.twitter.com/p4GdxWbO7u
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 25, 2021
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Houston Rockets
24. New Orleans Pelicans
25. Orlando Magic
26. Sacramento Kings
27. Oklahoma City Thunder
28. Washington Wizards
29. Minnesota Timberwolves
30. Detroit Pistons
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