The Thunder and the Cavs are tumbling downward, while the Nuggets and the Bucks are on the rise. Here are this week’s NBA Power Rankings from the Thunder Guys. Let us know what you think, and whether we got it right or wrong.
- Golden State Warriors (41-12): The Warriors are without a doubt the most talented team in the NBA. The only way they lose games is when they aren’t focused. It’ll be interesting to see if they can stay focused as the season comes to a close.
- Houston Rockets (38-13): Each week, the Rockets are looking better and better. I wouldn’t be completely surprised if they passed up Golden State for the best record in the league.
- Toronto Raptors (36-16): Toronto is playing some of the best basketball in the league. They have an outstanding guard duo who can essentially outscore anyone.
- Boston Celtics (39-15): The Celtics better be careful. While they have the best record in the East, the Raptors are coming up on them quickly. I’m surprised by how interesting the East is this season.
- Washington Wizards (31-22): The Wizards are starting to gain momentum even without John Wall. Maybe this is exactly what this team needed. They seem to be playing with a new level of energy.
- Milwaukee Bucks (29-23): The Buck have played extremely well over the last 10 games, only losing 3 of them. With the Eastern Conference struggles, this team could push for a top seed in the playoffs.
- San Antonio Spurs (34-21): Somehow, the Spurs are hanging in there. I’m convinced Coach Pop could pick up a random 12 guys at the YMCA and coach them to a winning record.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (34-22): The Timberwolves have gone even over the last week, which isn’t too bad considering how the rest of the league played. This young team will still cause problems in the post season.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (30-24): After going on the league’s longest winning streak, the Thunder has now lost 4 games in a row. However, if they could get a win over Golden State this week, it’ll shoot them back up the rankings.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (30-21): The Cavs are officially on the struggle bus. They’ve lost 12 out of their last 18 games. It’s safe to say I was wrong about everything being okay in Cleveland.
- Golden State Warriors (41-12): For the first time since starting the season 1-2, the Warriors lost two games in a three-game stretch, but they’re still the best in the league.
- Houston Rockets (38-13): The Rockets have won four in a row and eight of their last nine. If they can stay healthy, they might actually be a threat to knock off the Warriors in the West.
- Boston Celtics (39-15): After losing five games in a six-game stretch, the Celtics are back on track with four consecutive wins. Oh, and they are doing it with a number of key players out with injury right now.
- Toronto Raptors (36-16): The Raptors are such an interesting team. Their record proves they’re one of the best in the NBA, but the doubt around them is still high until the success can translate to the playoffs.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (34-22): On the brink of losing the four-spot in the West, the Timberwolves are doing just another to stay where they’re at. If they can string together some wins, they could make a push for the three-seed.
- San Antonio Spurs (34-21): Somehow, the Spurs are still hanging on. San Antonio is just 9-9 in 2018, and with the number of injuries they are dealing with, I’m afraid that record is just going to get worse.
- Washington Wizards (31-22): Since losing John Wall to injury, the Wizards have run off five straight wins. It’s crazy to say they’re better off without him, but…are they?
- Denver Nuggets (29-25): The Nuggets have looked up and down since losing Paul Millsap earlier in the season, but back-to-back wins over the Thunder and the Warriors looks pretty good when you’re fighting for a better playoff spot.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (30-24): The Thunder went from hot straight to not. If the defense cannot find an identity moving forward, this team is in big trouble.
- Milwaukee Bucks (29-23): Winners of six of the last seven, the Bucks are making some noise in the East. Homecourt advantage in the playoffs is a very real possibility for Milwaukee right now.
3 to Watch
Indiana Pacers (30-25): The Pacers have lost a few tough games lately, but they did have a solid win over the 76ers. Considering the Cavs recent struggles, they are in reach of winning their division only being behind 2 games.
LA Clippers (27-25): Despite trading away Blake Griffin and shopping DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers organization is determined not to tank this season. Keep an eye on this team as they are currently only .5 games out of the playoffs.
New Orleans Pelicans (28-25): The Pelicans are the team just ahead of the Clippers for that eighth playoff spot. It’s gonna be a great battle to see who gets in the bottom of the playoffs this season.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (30-21): How low can this team go? Lebron is an incredible player, but he can only do so much.
- Indiana Pacers (30-25): Victor Oladipo looks good as an alpha, but I’m not sure if he has enough around him to do any real damage in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Pacers are a fringe Top 10 team.
- Detroit Pistons (26-26): If the playoffs started today, the Pistons would not make it in. Fortunately for Detroit, the playoffs don’t start for another 30 games or so, and since acquiring Blake Griffin, they have not lost a game.
Atlanta Hawks (16-37): Atlanta is back in last place this week after falling to the worst record in the league. I thought they had moved above Orlando for the season, but I guess I was wrong.
Orlando Magic (16-36): The Magic and the Hawks have been going back and forth these last few weeks. I put Orlando above Atlanta this week because they a one game advantage in the loss column.
Dallas Mavericks (17-37): It’s been a pretty uneventful season for the Mavericks. The only thing that’s keeping them going at this point is Dirk breaking records. Congrats on 50,000 minutes, that’s impressive!
Phoenix Suns (18-36): The Suns had so much potential heading into this season, but it seems like they can’t figure out how to win games. Maybe they’ll live up to that potential in the coming years.
Chicago Bulls (18-35): Chicago is back in the bottom 5 this week for the first time in awhile. It’s been a whirlwind of drama in Chicago. It’s obvious their season was doomed from the start.
- Atlanta Hawks (16-37): The Hawks are bad, but they have won six of their last 13. That’s kind of impressive, actually.
- Orlando Magic (16-36): Two wins in three games. That’s something to be proud of, right?
- Chicago Bulls (18-35): A seven-game win streak in December is long gone, and now the Bulls are on a seven-game losing streak. The Bulls are as bad as we all thought.
- Sacramento Kings (17-36): The Kings lost to the Mavs. Sacramento is not a good place to be right now, and George Hill is likely praying he gets moved before the traded deadline on Thursday.
- Dallas Mavericks (17-37): The Mavs beat the Kings this last week, so at least they’re not the worst team in the West, except for they are because they have one more loss than Sacramento.