USA Today Sports

NBA Power Rankings: Celtics clinging to top spot

WEEI
January 12, 2018 - 7:59 am

By DANNY DRAGIN

(*Denotes previous week's ranking)

1. Boston Celtics (1*)

The Celtics traveled to London, which provided them with a solid four days of rest. They beat Ben Simmons and the 76ers to improve to 34-10.

2. Golden State Warriors (2*)

The Warriors did not look like themselves with a big loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night. They still have one of the best records in the NBA at 33-9.

3. Houston Rockets (3*)

The Rockets beat the Bulls and the Trail Blazers this week on the back of Chris Paul to improve to 29-11 on the season.

4. Toronto Raptors (5*)

The Raptors continue their hunt for recognition as they quietly sit at the No. 2 spot in the East. With a one-point loss to the Heat and a dominating win over the Cavs, they improve their record to 29-11.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (8*)

With a huge win over the Thunder, the 27-16 Timberwolves show they are learning how to play with one another very quickly.

6. San Antonio Spurs (7*)

The Spurs haven’t really missed a beat despite the long absence of Kawhi Leonard. They lost by one point to the Blazers and they beat the Kings to improve their record to 24-18.

7.Oklahoma City Thunder (6*)

The Thunder suffered two big losses to both the Timberwolves and the Trail Blazers this week to make them 22-20 on the season.

8. Indiana Pacers (14*)

With a big win on the Bucks the Pacers find their way into the top 10 and improve their record to 21- 20. They once again rely solely on Victor Oladipo, who continues his impressive (and potential MVP) season.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers (4*)

The Cavs have been seriously struggling despite the return of Isaiah Thomas. The past two games their play has been atrocious, losing to both the Raptors and the Timberwolves by 30 points each. They are 26-15 on the season.

10. Miami Heat (17*)

The Heat remain one of the most surprising teams in the NBA and with big wins over the Raptors and the Pacers, improving to 24-17. Although they remain out of the Top 10 due to the loss of Dion Waiters who is enduring season-ending surgery to his ankle. 

11. Milwaukee Bucks (10*)

The Bucks find themselves out of the Top 10 for essentially being dismembered by the Pacers, who held Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 17 points. At 22-18 they find themselves fighting to stay in the playoff picture.

12. Detroit Pistons (12*)

The front-court of the Pelicans proved to be too much for Andre Drummond and the Pistons. But they remain in the playoff picture with a 22-18 record.

13. Portland Trail Blazers (13*)

The Blazers had a very telling week with big wins over the Thunder and the Spurs and a loss to the Rockets. This 22-19 team showed that they can compete at an elite level but they have trouble staying consistent.

14. Los Angeles Clippers (19*)

Lou Williams is quietly making a case for the All-Star Game and it showed with a huge 50-point performance against the Warriors. The Clips improve to 19- 21 on the season.

15. New Orleans Pelicans (11*)

The Pelicans continue their struggles despite the strength they have in their front-court. They lost to the Grizzlies this week and beat the Pistons to put them at 20- 20.

16. Philadelphia 76ers (15*)

Like the Celtics, the 76ers found themselves on quite the vacation thanks to the London trip. They lost to Boston to put them at 19-20 and remain just barely nipping at the heels of the playoffs. 

18. Phoenix Suns (20*)

With a big win over the Thunde, the young Suns continue to grow and improve to 16- 26 in the season.

19. Los Angeles Lakers (28*)

The Lakers have only been able to win against teams that are right around the same rank as themselves. Their play has definitely picked up due to the fact that Lonzo Ball started shooting around 40 percent from the field since the month of December.

20. Brooklyn Nets (23*)

The 15- 26 Nets look like they’ve come a long way since last season despite the absence of D’Angelo Russell, but with heartbreaking one-point losses to both the Celtics and the Raptors they stay out of the playoff picture.

21. Charlotte Hornets (21*)

The Hornets stay consistent with wins against the Mavs, the Lakers, and the Kings. They improve to 15- 24 on the back of Kemba Walker.

22. Utah Jazz (22*)

The Jazz lost to the Heat but beat the Wizards this week, keeping them at the exact same spot they were last week. They are 17- 24 in the season.

23. New York Knicks (18*)

Kristaps Porzingis may have found himself distracted by Jen Selter sitting courtside in the Knicks tough loss to the Bulls. They’re 19-22 on the season.

24. Denver Nuggets (16*)

The Nuggets had an absolutely atrocious week with losses to the Kings, the Warriors, and the Hawks, which puts them at 21- 20. 

25. Sacramento Kings (24*)

The Kings had a tough week losing to their California rival in the Lakers and also the Spurs. They now find themselves tied for last-place in the Western Conference with a 13- 27 record.

26. Dallas Mavericks (25*)

The Mavs held their ground against teams in the Eastern Conference like the Hornets and the Magic, but their 15- 28 record still keeps them out of the playoff picture.

27. Orlando Magic (27*)

The Magic have found themselves in the midst of a six-game losing streak. The athletic duo of Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Simmons has only provided the Magic with a 12- 30 season.

28. Memphis Grizzlies (26*)

The Grizzlies managed to beat the Pelicans this week but they are still tied for last-place in the Western Conference at 13-27.

29. Chicago Bulls (29*)

The Bulls beat the Knicks in double-overtime but had a tough game against the Harden-less Rockets to leave them at 15- 27 on the season.

30. Atlanta Hawks (30*)

The Hawks continue their dismal season with losses to both the Lakers and the Clippers to make them 11- 30 on the season.

Comments ()