What a week! Christmas Day had a lot of fantastic games, and after a very Merry Christmas, we have put together our latest NBA Power Rankings. The Oklahoma City Thunder are back in the Top 10, and the Orlando Magic debut in the Bottom 5. Check them out, and let us know what you think.
- Golden State Warriors (27-7): The Warriors are on the top the NBA once again. They take over Houston’s spot after their recent struggles. If anything, the win over Cleveland on Christmas was enough to put them at #1.
- Toronto Raptors (23-8): Toronto has been the sneakiest team in the league this season. You don’t hear a lot about these guys, but they’ve quietly taken over the top spot in the East.
- Houston Rockets (25-7): Houston is now on a 3 game losing streak. I’m sure James Harden will lead them back in the next week, but for now they have to drop a couple spots.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (24-10): Despite losing on Christmas, Cleveland is still playing some of the best basketball in the league. LeBron is having the best season of his career, and his teammates are there to back him up.
- San Antonio Spurs (23-11): Kawhi Leonard is back for the Spurs, but they are struggling to win with him. They’ve only won one game since his return. However, things take time. I’m sure they’ll be back to their winning ways soon.
- Boston Celtics (27-10): The Celtics are coming back to reality. They’ve lost 5 out of their last 10. I still think they’re a great team, just maybe not as great as we thought.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (21-13): The Minnesota experiment with Jimmy Butler is paying off. They’re a team I don’t think anyone really wants to matchup with in the playoffs.
- Indiana Pacers (19-14): Victor Oladipo has to be up there for Most Improved Player. Indiana is clicking right now.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15): The Thunder are back in my top 10 for the first time since week 2! This team is finally figuring it out on offense and their defense is one of the best in the league.
- Washington Wizards (19-15): The Wizards are another team in the East that is kind of lying low. They’ve been quiet, but they’re winning games.
- Golden State Warriors (27-7): The Warriors have won 12 of the last 13, and they picked up a big Christmas Day win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even with Steph Curry out, Golden State is the team to beat.
- Houston Rockets (25-7): After losing on Christmas Day to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets have lost three in a row, their longest losing streak of the season. Chris Paul is out temporarily with a strained groin, but he should be back soon.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (24-10): Christmas Day did not go as planned for the Cavs, and regardless of whether or not Lebron was fouled, they were unable to get the win in Oakland. They’re still the best team in the East, even if their record doesn’t show it.
- Toronto Raptors (23-8): As quiet as the Raptors have been all season, it’s hard for them to stay in the shadows any longer. They have the best record in the East and the league’s longest active win streak at six.
- Boston Celtics (27-10): Boston continues to tumble as they have lost six of their last 11. Their run to start the season was fun, but they appear to be falling back to earth with Gordon Hayward out.
- San Antonio Spurs (23-11): Kawhi has been back from his injury for two weeks now, but he has missed two games in that time period. The Spurs are 3-3 since his return, but they have only won one game in which he has played. I suspect they’re figuring things out, and they will be back to normal sooner than later.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15): For the first time since Week 1 of our power rankings, I’ve got the Thunder back in the Top 10. They are on a five-game win streak, which is the longest in the West, and they are 11-3 in the month of December, which is third in the NBA. This team seems to have turned a corner.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (21-13): The Timberwolves had a pretty easy schedule this last week, including a Christmas Day matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, but wins are wins, and this team is fourth in the standings in a stacked Western Conference.
- Indiana Pacers (19-14): Victor Oladipo should be in MVP talks with the way he’s leading this team. The Pacers have won seven of their last 10, and their three losses have been to the Thunder, the Pistons, and the Celtics.
- Washington Wizards (19-15): The Wizards have had a weird season of ups and downs, and while they have not performed up to the level of expectation, they are winning more than they are losing lately, and they had a nice Christmas Day victory over the Boston Celtics yesterday.
3 To Watch
- Detroit Pistons (18-14): Detroit got off to a hot start but has really struggled as of late. It’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back from going 4-6 in their last 10 games.
- New York Knicks (17–16): The Knicks have been in and out of the top 10 for the last few weeks. If this team can put together a streak of wins they might lock down their spot for awhile.
- Portland Trailblazers (17-16): Portland is also 4-6 in their last 10 games. It seems like no team in the NBA is more up and down than this team. One week they look like a top team, the next week not so much.
- Denver Nuggets (18-15): Considering how many injuries this team has been dealing with, the Nuggets are doing a solid job. They’re sixth in the Western Conference, and they had a nice week, picking up wins over Portland and Golden State.
- Miami Heat (17-16): The Heat are one of the weird teams in the NBA where you never know what to expect out of them. They are capable of beating just about anybody, it seems, but they don’t always show up. They’re on the brink of breaking out, but they could also fall apart if they’re not careful.
- Portland Trail Blazers (17-16): This team seems to be underperforming lately. They’ve been a victim of a difficult schedule the last couple of weeks, but they have to start beating good teams, or they might just fall out of playoff contention.
- Atlanta Hawks (8-25): I’m starting to feel bad for Atlanta at this point. They have such a great offense, but absolutely not defense.
- Dallas Mavericks (9-25): It’s gonna be a race between Dallas and Atlanta to see who is the last team to reach 10 wins. I really don’t know which team to pick.
- Memphis Grizzlies (10-23): The start of the season hasn’t been at all what Memphis fans were expecting. It’s safe to say this has officially become a rebuilding season.
- Chicago Bulls (10-22): Chicago has a few good wins under their belt. If only those wins counted for more they would have a slightly better record.
- Orlando Magic (11-23): Orlando didn’t have a terrible start. However, they’ve won only 1 out of their last 10. That’s a great way to quickly become the worst in the league.
- Dallas Mavericks (9-25): They seemed like they were doing better, but after losing to the Hawks, the Mavericks need some help.
- Atlanta Hawks (8-25): The Hawks stand alone with the league’s worst record, but they gave the Thunder a scare less than a week ago, and they beat the Dallas Mavericks, so there’s that.
- Memphis Grizzlies (10-23): Memphis owes David Fizdale an apology. The Grizzlies are just flat out bad right now, and there’s no telling what they’re going to do to fix it.
- Orlando Magic (11-23): Orland has no magic right now, and after starting off the season so strongly, they look absolutely terrible. They have dropped eight in a row, which includes losses to Atlanta and Chicago. It’s bad.
- Phoenix Suns (12-23): The Suns have won three of their last five, but wins over Dallas and Memphis aren’t that impressive. They’re on the brink of breaking out of the Bottom 5, but they’re going to have to string together some higher quality wins.
Article written by Craig Hofeld and Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter, Instagram, and give us a like on Facebook.