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

NBA Western 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 Western Conference with another edition of power rankings. Check back every second week to see how the rankings change.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves

2020-21 record: 6-16

The Timberwolves had a terrible start to the season, and their poor form has just continued. Anthony Edwards, who got a lot of hype, and ended up being the second draft pick this year, has lived up to his potential. Naz Reid has also stepped up in light of Karl-Anthony Towns‘ injury.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder

2020-21 record: 9-12

The Oklahoma City Thunder have had an up and down couple of weeks with a fantastic defensive performance against the Rockets. Still, losses against the Clippers and the Nets (where former players Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Jeff Green ran circlers) have shown how up and down OKC have been so far.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

2020-21 record: 9-12

The Pelicans are another team that has been so inconsistent these past two weeks. Two wins back to back against Washington and Milwaukee were huge, then they faltered against Houston and Sacramento straight after, and then won back-to-back again against Phoenix and Indiana.

12. Sacramento Kings

2020-21 record: 10-11

The big win this week for the Kings was against the Celtics. The victory really showcased how Sacramento is capable of seeing out games, as it was the 35 points in the fourth quarter that sealed the win.

11. Dallas Mavericks

2020-21 record: 9-14

Dallas is coming off of an eight-game run that only consisted of one win – a huge step backward compared to where they were a couple of weeks ago. Luka Doncic is impressive, as always, but he can’t do it alone.

10. San Antonio Spurs

2020-21 record: 12-10

The Spurs’ starting lineup is lacking quite a bit, and these past couple of weeks have shown that a change is needed. Defensively, they have been so ineffective all season long, and if things don’t change soon, it’ll be the second year in a row they miss out on the playoffs.

9. Golden State Warriors

2020-21 record: 12-10

Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. are not the supporting cast that Steph Curry is used to – the fact that he’s in the conversation for MVP is despite his teammates, not because of his teammates. Hard to see a solution for Golden State this season.

8. Houston Rockets

2020-21 record: 11-10

James Harden, who? The Rockets have shined when everyone thought they would fail without their talisman. They’ve won eight out of their last nine, and it’s clear that the goal will be to show that they do not need Harden to make a playoff appearance.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

2020-21 record: 12-9

Damian Lillard has been great for Portland, and they’ve done well against teams like Washington and Chicago. Still, they keep slipping against teams they should theoretically also be beating like San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

6. Memphis Grizzlies

2020-21 record: 9-8

A massive jump for the Grizzlies because of the way they’ve been winning games as of late. Ja Morant has been able to star as the team’s lead playmaker, while a collective effort has made the team so strong defensively.

5. Phonix Suns

2020-21 record: 12-9

This Suns team is fantastic defensively, and it comes down to the abilities and leadership of Deandre Ayton, who has really shown how pivotal he has been to this team, and what they can achieve with him when he’s playing in form.

4. Denver Nuggets

2020-21 record: 12-9

Nikola Jokic does not stop, and he’s taken the Nuggets to heights this team has not seen for a while. Their only two losses since mid-January have come from the Lakers and the Jazz.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

2020-21 record: 17-6

The Lakers are still an amazing team, and I still think they’re Championship favorites, but back-to-back losses against the 76ers (the first in my Eastern rankings) and the Pistons (the fifteenth team in my Eastern rankings) drops them from the #1 spot for the first time this season.

2. Utah Jazz

2020-21 record: 18-5

I don’t think the Jazz’s form is necessarily sustainable, but they’ve been nothing but impressive these last couple of weeks, especially offensively with Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley leading the way.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

2020-21 record: 17-7

The better LA team for now, with this team, finally playing like an actual team. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have quietly formed a great partnership, while Reggie Jackson has picked up defensive duties. Their loss against the Celtics was unfortunate with Boston having the ability to double-team Leonard. If they want to stay at the top of these rankings, they need to figure out a way to end games so that Leonard doesn’t have to force shots from poor positions in the fourth quarter.

Be sure to check out the Eastern Conference Rankings.

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