Four weeks of the NBA season are already in the books. It’s time to look at how things are breaking down in the Eastern Conference with another edition of weekly power rankings.
Check back every week to see how the rankings change.
15. Detroit Pistons
2020-21 record: 3-9
Jerami Grant continues to impress, but the Pistons have barely improved since last week, losing two more games. Another positive outside of Grant is Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart‘s evolution, who are showing a lot of promise for their age. Killian Hayes was also impressing, but a torn labrum in his right hip keeps him sidelined. An unexpected win against the Heat leaves fans questioning why they can’t be consistent.
14. Washington Wizards
2020-21 record: 3-8
Bradley Beal is still running the show in Washington, but there is a chance he continues his great form elsewhere if things around him don’t change. Russell Westbrook, who was struggling from wise, is out injured, and the team has been hit with another setback as of Friday, five players tested positive for COVID-19.
13. Chicago Bulls
2020-21 record: 4-8
This Bulls team has played well on several occasions, with great plays and huge leaps of improvement from several players, yet the wins aren’t there to prove it. The hope for them is that they are able to turn the good performances into good results or else Chicago fans will be dealing with a deflated and burnt-out team.
12. New York Knicks
2020-21 record: 5-8
The Knicks have had a poor week, with five losses in a row, and Tom Thibodeau, who has been able to get the best out of his players so far, needs to find a way to inject some life back into this team ahead of games against the Celtics, the Magic, and the Warriors.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers
2020-21 record: 6-7
Injuries to Darius Garland (shoulder) and Collin Sexton (ankle) have wrecked any momentum this team had at the beginning of the season offensively. Still, defensively, they’ve impressed with the rotation of their big-men. Once their guards come back, we should be looking at a different team.
10. Orlando Magic
2020-21 record: 6-7
As mentioned in last week’s Power Rankings, this team is struggling due to players’ availability. They are on a five-game losing streak, and it doesn’t look like they’ll end the streak soon after a loss against the Nets. It’s tough to envision this team making a good run in the playoffs this season.
9. Charlotte Hornets
2020-21 record: 6-8
This is a fun team to watch. LaMelo Ball is thriving, and along with P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, and Devonte’ Graham, the team has showcased that they are dynamic, and productive on both ends of the court.
8. Toronto Raptors
2020-21 record: 4-8
This Raptors team is likely the best 4-8 team in NBA history. Nothing seems to be clicking for them at the moment; when one part of their team shines, the other is the reason for their downfall. They recently beat the Hornets twice though, an in-form team.
7. Atlanta Hawks
2020-21 record: 5-7
Atlanta is another team that has struggled with consistency this season, due to injuries to important players (Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari). They should have some confidence going into this weak though, after comfortably beating the 76ers.
6. Miami Heat
2020-21 record: 4-7
The Heat haven’t been able to play at their full potential this week due to a number of players affected by COVID-19. They are clearly one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, last year’s playoffs proved that. They just need to find their stride again this week after a poor loss to the Celtics and the Pistons.
5. Indiana Pacers
2020-21 record: 8-4
A statement win against the Warriors was massive for the Pacers this week. Myles Turner has been entertaining to watch defensively. An issue that will likely be highlighted in the coming months is the abundance of minutes their starting players are racking up – these players might start to feel burnt out sooner rather than later.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
2020-21 record: 9-5
Despite having issues with their squad due to COVID-19, the 76ers had a great week, winning twice against the Heat. If they can get their full squad healthy, they might be unlikely contenders for one of the East’s best teams.
3. Boston Celtics
2020-21 record: 8-3
Boston has been great so far, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown running the show, but they’re starting the week with a couple of players injured, and with a couple more forced to isolate, which will likely have effects on their upcoming games.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
2020-21 record: 9-4
The trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday has done well for Bucks, even though it’s arguable that Antetokoumpo hasn’t reached his best yet. This week’s games against the Nets and the Lakers should be exciting, and a true testament to how well they can do in the playoffs this season.
1. Brooklyn Nets
2020-21 record: 8-6
All the news this week has been about where James Harden would end up. The trio of Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant would make the Nets favorites to win the East if they were not already before.
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