NBA Power Ranking Week 10: Each Team’s Best Win of the Season

Dec 19, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) gives Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) a hug after a game at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With 2019 almost over, let’s look back at each team’s best win of the season so far. 

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
    Record: 27-4
    Previous: 1

Now with sole possession of the best record in the NBA, the Bucks remain in first for the third straight week. Milwaukee’s best win came last Thursday when Giannis put up 34 and 11 to outlast the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Best win: Dec. 19

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
    Record: 24-6
    Previous: 2

The Lakers hit their first slump of the season as they have now lost their last three games. Their best win came on Dec. 9 when Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 82 points in their rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  

Best win: Dec. 9

  1. Denver Nuggets
    Record: 20-8
    Previous: 11

After an early-season slump, the Nuggets have hit their groove and are winners of six straight. Their best win came on Nov. 8 when Denver rallied from down 21 to beat the Philadelphia 76ers off a game-winner from Nikola Jokic. 

Best win: Nov. 8

  1. Boston Celtics
    Record: 20-7
    Previous: 7

The Celtics beat the Hornets and Pistons by so much last week that Tacko Fall got to play. Their best game came on Oct. 30 when Boston roared back from down 16 at the half to beat Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Best win: Oct. 30

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
    Record: 22-10
    Previous: 3

The Clippers’ best game of the season came on Nov. 20, when Los Angeles was able to outlast the Boston Celtics in overtime despite Boston getting 30 points from Jayson Tatum.

Best win: Nov. 20 

  1. Miami Heat
    Record: 21-8
    Previous: 6

Eric Spoelstra’s greatness as a coach was shown on Wednesday when he used a zone to stop Philadelphia’s offense. Miami’s best win of the season came on Oct. 26 when the team outlasted the Bucks to win in OT. 

Best win: Oct. 26

  1. Philadelphia 76ers
    Record: 21-10
    Previous: 4 

Brett Brown and the Sixers struggled against the zone all week as they fell from second to fifth place in the East. Philadelphia’s best win of the season came on November 2nd when Furkan Korkmaz was an unlikely hero, hitting a game-winning shot. 

Best win: Nov. 2

  1. Dallas Mavericks
    Record: 19-10
    Previous: 5

The Mavericks have remained respectable without Luka Doncic, having gone 2-2 against some of the top teams since his injury. Their best win came on Dec. 16 when the Mavericks beat the Bucks despite not having Doncic. 

Best win: Dec. 16

  1. Toronto Raptors
    Record: 21-8
    Previous: 8

The Raptors are coming off their best of the win of the season after they came back from down 30 to beat the Dallas Mavericks.

Best win: Dec. 22

  1. Houston Rockets
    Record: 20-9
    Previous: 10

James Harden’s 38.8 PPG would be the most since Wilt Chamberlain in the 1962-63 season. Houston’s best win of the season came last Thursday when Russell Westbrook dropped 40 points to beat the Los Angeles Clippers.

Best win: Dec. 19

  1. Utah Jazz
    Record: 18-11
    Previous: 12

The Jazz have gotten back on track lately and are now winners of five straight. Their best win of the season came back on Nov. 8 when Bojan Bogdanovic hit a buzzer-beater to win the game. 

Best win: Nov. 8

  1. Indiana Pacers
    Record: 20-10
    Previous: 9

Indiana’s best win of the season came last Tuesday when Domantas Sabonis dropped 19 points and 18 rebounds to beat the LA Lakers. 

Best win: Dec. 17

  1. Brooklyn Nets Record: 16-13 Previous: 13

Spencer Dinwiddie is making a case to be an All-Star as the Nets are now 11-6 in their last 17 games. Their best win came on Dec. 15 when the Nets blew out the Philadelphia 76ers by 20. 

Best win: Dec. 15

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder
    Record: 15-14
    Previous: 14

OKC’s best win of the season came earlier in the month when Chris Paul snitched on Jordan Bell for having his jersey untucked. This allowed the Thunder to get a game-tying shot and win the game in OT. 

Best win: Dec. 6

  1. Portland Trail Blazers
    Record: 14-16
    Previous: 17

After a horrendous start to the season, the Trail Blazers have re-positioned themselves as the eighth seed in the West. Portland’s best win of the season came on Oct. 27 when Damian Lillard hit a game-winner to outlast the Dallas Mavericks. 

Best win: Oct. 27

  1. San Antonio Spurs
    Record: 11-17
    Previous: 21

San Antonio’s best win may not have happened if the refs made the right call on a James Harden dunk. Lonnie Walker had a break-out game as the Spurs beat the Rockets in double OT on Dec. 3. 

Best win: Dec. 3

  1. Chicago Bulls
    Record: 12-19
    Previous: 22

With the eighth spot in the East likely to be a sub-38 win team, the Bulls may be able to sneak into the playoffs this season. Their best win of the season came on Nov. 23, when Zach Lavine hit a game-winning three to overcome a late-game deficit. 

Best win: Nov. 23

  1. Sacramento Kings
    Record: 12-17
    Previous: 16

Sacramento’s best win was their first win of the season when Harrison Barnes scored a game-winning putback against the Utah Jazz on Nov. 1. 

Best win: Nov. 1

  1. Orlando Magic
    Record: 12-17
    Previous: 15

The Magic have been in a slump as of late, losers of six of their last seven. Their best win of the season came on Nov. 15 when Evan Fournier hit a pair of late-game threes to beat the San Antonio Spurs.  

Best win: Nov. 15

  1. Memphis Grizzlies
    Record: 11-19
    Previous: 23

The Grizzlies have quietly been on a solid stretch of games lately, winners of five of their last 10. Their best win came on Oct. 27 as Jae Crowder hit a buzzer-beater to top the Brooklyn Nets.  

Best win: Oct. 27

  1. Charlotte Hornets
    Record: 13-20
    Previous: 18

Charlotte’s best win of the season came on Nov. 16 when Devonte’ Graham hit a heavily-contested three to beat the New York Knicks. 

Best win: Nov. 16

  1. Detroit Pistons
    Record: 11-19
    Previous: 20

Blake Griffin has regressed significantly as the Pistons are losers of four straight. Their best win of the season came on Dec. 14 when Luke Kennard dropped 22 points to beat the Houston Rockets on the road. 

Best win: Dec. 14

  1. Phoenix Suns
    Record: 11-18
    Previous: 19

After a surprisingly hot start, the Suns have taken a nose-dive towards the bottom of the West, now losers of six straight. Their best win came on Oct. 26 as Devin Booker dropped 30 to help beat the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Best win: Oct. 26 

  1. Washington Wizards
    Record: 8-20
    Previous: 25

Now, we get to the possible tankers part of the ranking with the eight-win Wizards at the No. 24 spot. Their best win of the season came on Dec. 5 when Rui Hachimura dropped 27 points to help take down the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Best win: Dec. 5

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves
    Record: 10-18
    Previous: 24

The Timberwolves have quickly fallen from a playoff-hopeful as they’ve lost 10 straight games, going 0-10 in December. Their best win came on opening night when Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 36 points to outlast 50 points from Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. 

Best win: Oct. 23

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
    Record: 8-21
    Previous: 29

Cleveland’s best win of the season came on Dec. 12 when Kevin Love dropped 30 points to help the Cavaliers beat San Antonio in OT. 

Best win: Dec. 12

  1. New Orleans Pelicans
    Record: 7-23
    Previous: 28

After a 6-9 start to the season, the Pelicans have completely fallen off the map, losers of 14 of their last 15 games. Their best win came on Nov. 14 when Jrue Holiday put up 36 points to help beat the Los Angeles Clippers.

Best win: Nov. 14 

  1. New York Knicks
    Record: 7-23
    Previous: 26

Under interim head coach Mike Miller, the New York Knicks have made baby-step improvements, going 3-5 in their last eight after starting 4-19 under David Fizdale. Their best win came on Nov. 14 when they beat the Mavericks in Kristaps Porzingis’ return to New York. 

Best win: Nov. 14

  1. Atlanta Hawks
    Record: 6-24
    Previous: 27

Thankfully for Atlanta, John Collins is set to return for their next game. The Hawks went an atrocious 4-21 in his absence. Atlanta’s best win of the season came against Denver on Nov. 12 when Trae Young dropped 42 to help beat the Nuggets.

Best win: Nov. 12

  1. Golden State Warriors
    Record: 6-24
    Previous: 30

The Warriors’ best win of the season came on Nov. 4 when rookie Eric Paschall broke out by putting up 34 and 13 to help beat the Portland Trail Blazers.

Best win: Nov. 4

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