2020-21 NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Week 6 and 7

2020-21 NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Week 7

Two more weeks of the NBA season are in the books. It’s time to look at how things are breaking down in the Eastern Conference with another edition of power rankings. Check back every second week to see how the rankings change.

15. Detroit Pistons

2020-21 record: 5-17

While the Pistons did manage to beat the Lakers last week, they have the worst record (tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves) in the league. A positive for Detroit fans will be Isaiah Stewart, who was drafted in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s solidified himself as a strong rotation player and has impressed.

14. Washington Wizards

2020-21 record: 5-14

The Wizards have been so fun to watch but in the worst way. Rivals love watching them because they are a mess; one minute they’re watching the Wizards beat the Nets, one of the best teams in the East, and the next, they’re witnessing big losses against the Hawks, the Trail Blazers, the Rockets, and the Pelicans.

13. Orlando Magic

2020-21 record: 9-14

The Magic have two wins in their last seven. Aaron Gordon can’t seem to catch a break, and his injury will keep him out for a while, which will be a big blow to the team. A boost to the team will be Chuma Okeke, who came back from his knee injury that has kept him out for 16 games.

12. Chicago Bulls

2020-21 record: 8-13

Defensively, the Bulls are a mess, and it’s clear that Wendell Carter Jr. is greatly missed, especially when the Bulls have consistently failed to keep out teams. Lauri Markkanen has also been so inconsistent, sometimes impressing for the Bulls and other times not being able to deliver.

11. Miami Heat

2020-21 record: 8-14

This Heat team looks completely different to a few weeks ago, let alone what they looked like the last post-season. Jimmy Butler is doing all the heavy-lifting, and the team is losing even when he’s performing at his best, which is evidently a problem.

10. New York Knicks

2020-21 record: 10-13

Immanuel Quickley has quickly become a favorite to watch in the NBA, and his improvement over the course of the season has been so gratifying. The Knicks as a whole, though, need to improve on finishing games strong.

9. Toronto Raptors

2020-21 record: 10-12

Two big wins against Orlando this week, including a 54 point game from Fred VanVleet, a franchise record, will be massive for the Raptors, who had a rough start to the season. A win against the Nets allows them to finish the week strong.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers

2020-21 record: 10-13

With talks of Andre Drummond leaving, Cleveland looks as dull as ever, with Collin Sexton being the team’s bright spot this season. At only 22 years old, Sexton may be looking at securing an All-Stars spot due to his performances.

7. Charlotte Hornets

2020-21 record: 10-13

LaMelo Ball continues to impress, and as of right now, is the front runner for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award. The team seems to have become more aggressive in the past couple of weeks, especially defensively, leading to two wins against the Pacers and wins against the Bucks and the Heat.

6. Atlanta Hawks

2020-21 record: 10-12

Trae Young is the heartbeat of this team, and the rest of the team has generally played well; they just don’t have the results to show for it. They were able to take the Nets into OT last week and beat the Clippers before that, but they’re currently on a three-game losing run and face an in-form Raptors next.

5. Indiana Pacers

2020-21 record: 12-11

The Pacers have dropped off a bit, with uncharacteristic losses against the 76ers and the Grizzlies, as well as a more expected loss against the Bucks, leaving them in poor form as of late. However, the duo of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis continues to impress offensively, playing well off of each other.

4. Boston Celtics

2020-21 record: 12-9

I’ve mentioned it every time, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been the stars of the show so far for Boston. That being said, a big performance from Kemba Walker during their win against the Clippers (arguably their biggest win of the season) proved that they have players that can step up from time to time. It just needs to happen more consistently now.

3. Brooklyn Nets

2020-21 record: 14-10

The Nets are so entertaining to watch because, offensively, they are so strong, but they can’t defend. The league has really dropped the ball on handling the Kevin Durant situation this week, and it’ll be interesting to see how they cope without their main man if he has to quarantine.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

2020-21 record: 14-8

The Bucks have had some silly losses against teams that should be easy wins for their roster. Their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has been showing up, but it’s clear that there is a gulf in ability between himself and his teammates, which is affecting performances.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

2020-21 record: 16-7

I did not expect to be putting this team first in my rankings anytime soon, but here we are. The combination of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris just complement each other so well and have made the East so interesting these last couple of weeks.

Be sure to check out the Western Conference Rankings.

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