As we have reached All-Star Weekend, it’s time to take a look at where the 30 NBA teams currently stand with the latest edition of the Knup Sports NBA Power Rankings.
1) Milwaukee Bucks (46-8) – It is going to take a losing streak of 4+ games for them to lose this top spot. They are must-see TV and are the clear favorites.
2) Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) – They stood pat at the deadline, giving them the same team they opened the year with. With several dominant bigs and LeBron to boot, they are the current favorites out West.
3) Toronto Raptors (40-15) – Kawhi and Danny Green who? This team has two All-Stars in Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam leading the way as they have the league’s third-best record.
4) Denver Nuggets (38-17) – It is unclear what their playoff rotation will actually look like, but they have a superstar in Nikola Jokic and strong two-way players at every single position. What a group.
5) Boston Celtics (38-16) – It’s time to start taking Boston’s team seriously. They have three fantastic wing players and a point guard starting in the All-Star Game. They can take any team on.
6) Los Angeles Clippers (37-18) – They are four spots below the Lakers, but would match up decently in a best-of-7 series. With PG and Kawhi leading the way and Montrezl and Lou Will dropping shots from everywhere off the bench, they remain an elite team.
7) Utah Jazz (36-18) – They combatted losing 9 of 10 overall by winning four straight coming into the All-Star Break. Jordan Clarkson has been a tremendous addition to their bench, while All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to dominate.
8) Philadelphia 76ers (34-21) – They went on a much-needed three-game win streak to finish the first half of the season strong, but there is a lot of work to do. They have potential still to finish as high as #3 in the conference.
9) Miami Heat (35-19) – They continue to be ravaged by injuries, but will be better off in the postseason thanks to the additions of Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala. They have talent across the board, but need to win more consistently to climb in the rankings.
10) Houston Rockets (34-20) – The super small-ball style is working surprisingly well for them, 6’5 PJ Tucker and 6’7 Robert Covington serving as the bigs for 45-46 minutes a night. Russell Westbrook is playing his best basketball of the season for Houston.
11) OKC Thunder (33-22) – They have good veteran talent like CP3 and Steven Adams combined with up-and-comers like Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. Billy Donovan is doing some of his finest work with this team.
12) Dallas Mavericks (33-22) – Luka has suffered two significant injuries this year, but the good news is that he is healthy at the moment. When he and Kristaps are locked in, they are as tough to beat as any team in the NBA. They are likely a year and another significant piece away from a serious playoff run.
13) Indiana Pacers (32-23) – The record has suffered of late thanks to a six-game skid, but with Oladipo back and the team at full-strength, they will find their mojo by the end of the month. Despite three consecutive first-round exits, they have the talent for a postseason run.
14) Memphis Grizzlies (28-26) – After a tumultuous 2018-19, they got a flashy young point guard and an offensive-minded head coach. Memphis is now slated to be in the playoffs. What a fun group to watch.
15) Brooklyn Nets (25-28) – As Kyrie has struggled to stay healthy, Spencer Dinwiddie’s game has reached another level. He has proven that he can be a leader for them, while Caris LeVert is back to his old self.
16) Orlando Magic (24-31) – Losers in 7 of their past 10, they are just two games ahead of the Wizards for the #8 spot. This young team has to play better to keep their spot. Some big changes may be coming this offseason.
17) Portland TrailBlazers (25-31) – They remain four games behind Memphis, but anything can happen. Dame Lillard will be out for a few games out of the break, so if they can find a way to win without him, the hope can still exist for them to climb.
18) New Orleans Pelicans (23-32) – They have been arguably the most fun team in the league to watch since Zion made his debut. With a stellar young core, don’t be surprised to see a 6-7 game win streak for them coming soon.
19) San Antonio Spurs (23-31) – They are facing more uncertainty this year than we have seen in decades. A likely lost campaign with no playoff trip could see them go towards a full-rebuild and possibly the end of the Popovich era.
20) Phoenix Suns (22-33) – The record is nothing to brag about, but the Suns have shown significant progress this year. A playoff hopeful for 2020-21.
21) Washington Wizards (20-33) – They have had to use their fourth-stringers as starters and in clutch situations, but are only two games out of the playoffs. Their year has made no sense, but they keep competing every night.
22) Sacramento Kings (21-33) – They have played very well since deciding to bring Buddy Hield off the bench, but that’s not feasible for them long-term. The oft-injured Kings team will likely evaluate its roster after the year.
23) Charlotte Hornets (18-36) – They are where many expected them to be, but have flashed potential, three of their starters making it to the Rising Stars game this year. We’ll check in on them again next year when they decide on the center position.
24) Chicago Bulls (19-36) – Zach LaVine was robbed of an All-Star Appearance yet again due to the rest of his team struggling to stay healthy or produce. They will likely bring in a new coach this offseason, so maybe new hope for them for 2020-21.
25) New York Knicks (17-38) – They had been playing their best ball of the year before dropping their last two games. Mike Miller likely won’t be the coach next season, but he does have his team playing hard.
26) Atlanta Hawks (15-41) – Trae Young is putting up MVP numbers while Kevin Huerter is becoming a consistent 20+ point scorer. Add John Collins and a nearly-healthy Clint Capela and you have a solid group.
27) Detroit Pistons (19-38) – Not even Dwane Casey can figure this one out. A lot has to change in Detroit for them to be inside the top-25 any time soon. The decision to trade Andre Drummond signals that a re-build is officially coming.
28) Minnesota Timberwolves (16-37) – The record should improve in the second half of the season with DLo, Malik Beasley and KAT all scoring 20+ points per night.
29) Cleveland Cavaliers (14-40) – They dominated Atlanta prior to the break to end their latest losing streak. The addition of Andre Drummond makes them a little tougher on the interior.
30) Golden State Warriors (12-43) – Steph should be back in two weeks, so we’ll get a little glimpse at how they’ll look next year when he first plays with Draymond and Wiggins. Marquese Chriss could make a case to stay on as their starting center too. They won’t win more than 20 games, though.