We are a quarter of the way through the 2019-2020 season in the National Basketball Association. There are not too many surprises at the top of the power rankings, with the exception of probably the Heat and Mavericks. Let’s see where they land in our December 4th edition of the NBA Power Rankings:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (18-3) — The Greek Freak and company appear to be the class of the Eastern Conference. Getting a bunch of production from other guys seems to have them in great shape when postseason basketball gets here. The Bucks sit with a 2.5 game lead for the top spot in the East.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (18-3) — The Lakers are playing exception defense, which is a difference-maker for a team with two offensive studs in LeBron and Anthony Davis. Laker fans are just praying for health to stay with them through June.
  3. Los Angeles Clippers (16-6) — Load Management is going to cost them more games than anything. It’s pretty clear that the Clippers do not care much about home-court advantage in the postseason. We will see if that costs them later on.
  4. Denver Nuggets (13-5) — Jokic is turning into one of the quietest stars in all of the league. The man can score, rebound and is a great passer. Denver and their defensive shoes will play out of the West, it’s just a matter if they can score enough.
  5. Toronto Raptors (15-5) — The Raptors have had great bench production, and of course, Pascal Siakam is really good. It’s a little surprising to see them with such a great record heading into December, especially with Kyle Lowry missing action.
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (15-6) — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons continue to improve their game, and their ability to play together. Philadelphia is no doubt a threat out of the East. It will be interesting to see how they play out the regular season in an attempt to avoid certain matchups.
  7. Boston Celtics (14-5) — Things seem to be clicking for the Celtics early. They aren’t healthy right now, but seem to be playing great basketball. Boston does not seem to have a major weakness outside of their no true big man.
  8. Miami Heat (15-5) — The surprise team of the league so far. Jimmy Butler and his intensity is rubbing off quickly in Miami. This is a fun team to watch, and a team that will be tough to eliminate when fully healthy.
  9. Dallas Mavericks (14-6) — How elite is Luka Doncic? He has turned Dallas into one of the better teams in the Western Conference pretty quickly. The Mavericks are on pace to win over 55 games this season after being near the bottom.
  10. Houston Rockets (13-7) — James Harden can really score. Russell Westbrook is really explosive. But, how good are the Rockets? An overtime loss to the Spurs on Tuesday seems to be a head-scratcher. This team looks like another date with the 4/5 game in the Western Conference.
  11. Utah Jazz (12-9) — Tricky team to gauge. Ricky Rubio is having a nice season. What’s Donovan Mitchell’s ceiling? Is Rudy Gobert the fixture in the paint for Utah? This team could be a second-round team, or a team just holding on to make the postseason.
  12. Indiana Pacers (13-7) — The Pacers are a hard-working team. But, when push comes to shove, do they have the talent to win a 7 game series in the postseason? Especially when they will likely start on the road and be the underdog.
  13. Minnesota Timberwolves (10-9) — We like the pieces that Minnesota has put together. The Timberwolves at 10-9 seem to be in a good spot to REACH the postseason, but a first-round battle with one of the Los Angeles teams does not seem fun.
  14. Orlando Magic (9-11) — The Magic are 9-11. We don’t think there is a single person surprised that the Magic are 9-11. The Magic will likely be 20-20 at some point, and again no one will be surprised. This is about as close to a .500 team as you will find in the league.
  15. Brooklyn Nets (10-10) — Making the postseason this season without Kevin Durant seems to be a good start for the Nets. Adding an elite star in 2020-2021 will make the Nets a fun team to contend within the East.
  16. Sacramento Kings (8-11) — After a slow start, the Kings got hot, and have cooled down a bit. Consistency seems to be a key with this team. Losing Fox til 2020 certainly hurts them in an attempt to reach the postseason.
  17. Portland Trail Blazers (8-13) — Why are the Trail Blazers 8-13?
  18. Phoenix Suns (9-10) — Another young, fun team. But have they peaked too early? Not sure Phoenix can hang on around .500.
  19. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-11) — This team turned from fun and contender to pretty irrelevant. Are folks in Oklahoma City excited by this team?
  20. Detroit Pistons (8-13) — Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond together, healthy on the same team needs to net better results. Especially in the Eastern Conference, where .500 can get you into the postseason.
  21. San Antonio Spurs (8-14) — How the mighty have fallen. This Spurs team is not going to be a postseason team. That will be odd to see San Antonio sitting around as May arrives.
  22. New Orleans Pelicans (6-15) — Zion cannot come soon enough. Even when he shows up, this is not a playoff time. Time to trade J.J. Reddick, as we know he is a fixture in the postseason.
  23. Charlotte Hornets (8-14) — What do the Hornets do well? What is a bright spot for the Hornets? It’s an organization where there are a ton of questions about what they are doing, and the direction they are heading.
  24. Chicago Bulls (7-14) — Jim Boylan is another coach where we are not sure how long he will remain the head coach. This organization just continues to fumble and bumble around.
  25. Washington Wizards (6-13) — The Wizards just do not play any defense. Washington is allowing more than 122 points per game, and have won just 6 out of 19 games. Bradley Beal needs help.
  26. Memphis Grizzlies (6-14) — Ja Morant is really talented. The Grizzlies played better basketball early in the season. Now, they seem to be falling in the Winter Blues. Allowing 117 points per game may be the first job to fix.
  27. Atlanta Hawks (5-16) — The Hawks are a young team. The Hawks are a fun team. But, the Hawks are not a good team. Still got a ton of work to do, and the loss of John Collins certainly did not help them.
  28. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-15) — Tristian Thompson, Larry Nance Jr, and Kevin Love are good inside. The guard play is not great, and overall this is still a bad team. Trade pieces come the deadline? It will be interesting to see their second half roster.
  29. Golden State Warriors (4-18) — Tank for the top pick? Actually seems like the best choice the Warriors could make this season. This is a lost cause with so many injuries. Let’s just forget it happened and turn to 2020-2021.
  30. New York Knicks (4-17) — Will Fizdale make it to 2020? If so, how quick after that will he be fired? It’s pretty obvious, it’s not working in New York. It’s not just on him, this is a dumpster fire of a basketball team.