Nothin’ but Nets wins: Brooklyn is soaring up our NBA Power Rankings

News

Products You May Like

One Eastern Conference contender is streaking up the NBA standings.

With a win on Monday over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Brooklyn Nets have run their streak to nine games, tying the longest in the league this season. (The other two teams to pull it off, the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, sit right above Brooklyn in the standings at the top two spots.)

Meanwhile, the top of the Western Conference has seen some reshuffling, with the New Orleans Pelicans regaining second place following three straight wins and the Memphis Grizzlies‘ Christmas Day defeat at the Golden State Warriors.

Then there’s Luka Doncic, who put up the first 60-point, 21-rebound, 10-assist performance in NBA history during Tuesday’s thrilling overtime win versus the New York Knicks.

Where do all 30 teams stand in the final NBA Power Rankings of 2022?

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10

1. Boston Celtics
2022-23 record: 25-10
Previous ranking: 2

After Boston followed up losing five of its first 26 games by losing five of its next six, the Celtics have rebounded by claiming three straight victories — including an emphatic decision over the Bucks on Christmas Day. More challenges are upcoming, though, including the Clippers coming to town on Thursday before a showdown of MVP candidates to ring in the new year on Saturday in Denver. — Bontemps


2. Denver Nuggets
2022-23 record: 22-11
Previous ranking: 5

Nikola Jokic is making a strong argument for a third consecutive MVP award, and now that the Nuggets are healthy, they’re showing just how dominant they can be. In a wide-open West, this could very possibly be their year to get back in the conference finals … or further. — Andrews


3. Milwaukee Bucks
2022-23 record: 22-11
Previous ranking: 1

The Bucks have hit their first extended downturn of the season, losing three in a row — and four of their past six — to match their longest losing streak in the past two seasons (also three straight in late October this season). The struggles have come on both ends of the floor: Their defense has a bottom-five rating during that span while their offense ranks 22nd. — Collier


4. Brooklyn Nets
2022-23 record: 22-12
Previous ranking: 6

The hottest team in the league has won nine straight, 13 of its past 14 and continues to play with a lot of confidence. Kevin Durant is playing like an MVP and coach Jacque Vaughn has simplified the messaging for a team that is getting contributions up and down the roster. Everything is clicking right now in Brooklyn. — Friedell


5. Memphis Grizzlies
2022-23 record: 20-13
Previous ranking: 3

Memphis might prove to be “fine in the West,” as its point guard Ja Morant boldly declared in an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews, but the Grizzlies are 9-10 against conference foes this season. That includes double-digit losses to the Warriors and Suns (who were both missing superstars) since Morant made his bulletin board comment. — MacMahon


6. New Orleans Pelicans
2022-23 record: 21-12
Previous ranking: 8

A seven-game win streak turned into a four-game losing streak, but the Pelicans responded with three consecutive victories. The last three wins came without Zion Williamson, who missed time after being placed in health and safety protocols. Forward Naji Marshall picked up the start in the past three games and has averaged 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and three assists per game. He had a career-high 22 points against the Pacers in a win on Monday night. — Lopez


7. LA Clippers
2022-23 record: 21-15
Previous ranking: 10

The Clippers have won seven of nine and are finally healthy. Kawhi Leonard logged a season-high 35 minutes in a victorious return to Toronto. Having played 34 and 35 minutes in his past two outings, Leonard is building back to full strength. Even if he isn’t scoring, Leonard is having a major impact and drawing defensive attention. While the Clippers needed an improbable comeback to win in overtime at Detroit, they triumphed with an impressive performance in Toronto. — Youngmisuk


8. Philadelphia 76ers
2022-23 record: 20-13
Previous ranking: 9

Philadelphia saw its eight-game winning streak snapped in Washington on Tuesday, but the 76ers still received another dominant performance from Joel Embiid. He not only led the 76ers in scoring for a 13th straight game but tallied 48 points, upping his league-leading average to 33.7 points per game. — Bontemps


9. Cleveland Cavaliers
2022-23 record: 22-13
Previous ranking: 4

Darius Garland‘s masterful 46-point night on 14-of-20 shooting with eight assists wasn’t enough to stop the Nets in Kyrie Irving‘s return to Cleveland on Monday. Irving posted 32 points, and Kevin Durant added another 32 for Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Garland’s backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell went 5-of-16 in the loss. — McMenamin


10. Phoenix Suns
2022-23 record: 20-15
Previous ranking: 7

A 6-foot-3 guard out of California’s Sierra Canyon School and Ohio State scored 26 points off the bench in a win for Phoenix over Memphis. A glimpse into a future Power Rankings blurb about Bronny James? Not this time. Duane Washington Jr., on a two-way contract with the Suns, went 5-of-9 from 3 in Tuesday’s big victory with Devin Booker (hamstring) still out. — McMenamin


11. Dallas Mavericks
2022-23 record: 19-16
Previous ranking: 16

Luka Doncic had one 50-point performance in the first 293 games of his career. He has hit that milestone twice in the past three contests, including the historically unprecedented 60-point, 21-rebound, 10-assist performance in Tuesday’s overtime win against the Knicks. — MacMahon


12. New York Knicks
2022-23 record: 18-17
Previous ranking: 11

Remember when the Knicks were rolling? Those days feel like a lifetime ago, especially after their truly remarkable collapse to the Mavericks on Tuesday night. New York has now dropped four games in a row and finds itself in a four-way tie in the loss column for sixth in the East. — Bontemps


13. Sacramento Kings
2022-23 record: 17-15
Previous ranking: 12

Domantas Sabonis was a late scratch on Tuesday with an avulsion fracture on his right thumb (suffered on Friday), but the Kings haven’t ruled him out long term. The loss is a big one for Sacramento — and for Sabonis personally, as he has been playing at an All-Star level all season. — Andrews


14. Atlanta Hawks
2022-23 record: 17-17
Previous ranking: 15

The Hawks have enjoyed playing the Pistons this season. The Hawks have topped 130 points only twice this season — both have been against Detroit. Atlanta scored 136 against the Pistons on Oct. 28 and followed that up with a 130-105 win against Detroit on Friday night. — Lopez


15. Portland Trail Blazers
2022-23 record: 18-16
Previous ranking: 12

The Blazers notched a much-needed win against Charlotte, and they will look to take advantage of a rare three-day rest before playing at Golden State. Including that game, the Blazers will play four of their next five on the road. Jerami Grant continues to shine: He had 32 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against the Hornets, and he has put up 20 points or more 19 times through 32 games. He had 25 such performances in 47 contests last season. — Youngmisuk


16. Golden State Warriors
2022-23 record: 17-18
Previous ranking: 18

It’s hard to figure out this Warriors team. They suffered another terrible road trip, then got a statement win over the Grizzlies on Christmas. And with Stephen Curry out for at least two more weeks, it will be a while before any conclusions can be drawn. — Andrews


17. Miami Heat
2022-23 record: 17-17
Previous ranking: 14

Miami has won five of its past seven games, including a nice win over the Timberwolves on Monday while playing without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Kyle Lowry has provided a stable spark over the past two games, recording a combined 39 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. — Friedell


18. Utah Jazz
2022-23 record: 19-17
Previous ranking: 17

Kelly Olynyk has missed the past four games with a sprained ankle, giving rookie center Walker Kessler an extended run in the starting lineup. Kessler, the No. 22 overall pick acquired in the Rudy Gobert trade, has averaged 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 73.9% from the floor during the stretch. — MacMahon


19. Indiana Pacers
2022-23 record: 18-17
Previous ranking: 20

Tyrese Haliburton was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after guiding Indiana to a pair of wins over the Heat and Celtics while averaging 38 points and 7.5 assists on 59% shooting. — Collier


20. Minnesota Timberwolves
2022-23 record: 16-18
Previous ranking: 19

The Timberwolves made waves this summer with the blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert, but it’s becoming clear that move isn’t the solution to take Minnesota to the next level. Case in point: Gobert was outplayed by undrafted rookie Orlando Robinson in the Wolves’ loss to Miami. Without Karl Anthony Towns and with this version of Gobert, it’s unclear how exactly Minnesota can grow moving forward. — Andrews


21. Toronto Raptors
2022-23 record: 15-19
Previous ranking: 22

There’s been plenty of talk about Toronto’s offensive struggles over the past month — and deservedly so. But the reason the Raptors have lost 10 of their past 14 is their defense. Over its first 20 games, Toronto ranked seventh in defensive efficiency; since then, the Raptors rank 25th. — Bontemps


22. Oklahoma City Thunder
2022-23 record: 15-19
Previous ranking: 23

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in his 30th game of the season Friday night and put up a career-high 44 points, the most by any Thunder player since Paul George had 45 on Feb. 22, 2019. Through 30 games, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31.6 points per game. Only Russell Westbrook (31.8 in 2016-17) had more through 30 games in Thunder franchise history. The only other player close to that since the franchise’s move to Oklahoma City is Kevin Durant, who averaged 28.5 through his first 30 games of 2013-14. — Lopez


23. Chicago Bulls
2022-23 record: 14-19
Previous ranking: 25

The goodwill of a season-long three-game winning streak was short-lived, and the Bulls were snapped back to reality with a home loss against the Rockets. Chicago is 5-8 this season against teams with a losing record. — Collier


24. Los Angeles Lakers
2022-23 record: 14-20
Previous ranking: 21

Taking care of the surging Magic with a 19-point win on Tuesday was much-needed for a Lakers team that is now 2-4 since Anthony Davis went out with a stress injury in his right foot. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that it will be about another week before Davis is reevaluated and, depending on how that goes, could ramp up toward a return. — McMenamin


25. Orlando Magic
2022-23 record: 13-22
Previous ranking: 24

Orlando has won eight of its past 10 games and is trying to pull itself out of the bottom of the Eastern standings. Bol Bol remains one of the more intriguing young prospects in the league. He had 14 points in Friday’s win over the Spurs and continues to show flashes of promise. — Friedell


26. Washington Wizards
2022-23 record: 14-21
Previous ranking: 26

After losing 13 of 14 games, the Wizards have won three of their past four. But one of their biggest victories of the season — over Philadelphia on Tuesday — might have come at a serious cost, as Bradley Beal exited the court clutching the back of his left hamstring before heading to the locker room in frustration. Beal had just returned after a six-game absence due to a right hamstring injury. — Youngmisuk


27. San Antonio Spurs
2022-23 record: 11-23
Previous ranking: 27

Jeremy Sochan had 23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in a loss against the Pelicans on Thursday. All three totals matched or set new career highs for the rookie, who also went 7-of-10 from the line that night with his one-handed free throw technique. Sochan (19 years, 216 days) became the second-youngest player in Spurs history to have a 20-point game (behind Tony Parker, at 19 years, 175 days) and became the youngest player in franchise history to have a 20-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist game. — Lopez


28. Houston Rockets
2022-23 record: 10-24
Previous ranking: 28

With James Harden‘s potential summer return dominating the discussion about the Rockets, point guard Kevin Porter Jr. had his best performance of the season with 36 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists in Monday’s skid-stopping win over the Bulls. Jalen Green busted out of a shooting funk by making 6 of 10 3s in the win; he was 6-of-30 during the five-game losing streak. — MacMahon


29. Charlotte Hornets
2022-23 record: 9-26
Previous ranking: 29

Charlotte is still giving up way too many points every night, but at least LaMelo Ball is back. He had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in Friday’s win over the Lakers. Ball gives the Hornets hope that they can finally find some rhythm in the new year. — Friedell


30. Detroit Pistons
2022-23 record: 8-28
Previous ranking: 30

The Pistons’ latest losing streak has extended to six games, including a crushing late loss to the Clippers on Monday. Detroit blew a 14-point lead with 3:34 to go in the game after the Clippers pulled their starters. However, Detroit’s next three games are against teams under .500. — Collier

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Heat vs. Knicks prediction and odds for Thursday, February 2 (Fade Knicks at home)
Mavericks starting lineup after Kyrie Irving trade
Magic vs. Timberwolves prediction and odds for Friday, February 3 (Fade Orlando on road)
NBA Trade Rumors: Knicks among teams willing to trade picks for OG Anunoby
NBA best bets today (Bet on Warriors home court advantage)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *