2020-21 NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Week 5

2020-21 NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Week 5

by January 24, 2021 0 comments

Five 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: 3-13

The Pistons have still not managed to win a game this week, their losing streak from last week continuing. Blake Griffin is constantly targeted by opposing teams, and Dwane Casey has been unable to find a fix to rectify the poor results. Jerami Grant, once again shined this week, but he can only do so much.

14. Washington Wizards

2020-21 record: 3-8

The Wizards have not played a single game since last week because of four postponements due to players not adhering to COVID-19 protocols and thus being unavailable. Their last game was a win against the Suns on January 11, but it’s hard to gauge what their form will be like.

13. Chicago Bulls

2020-21 record: 7-9

The Bulls have lost four games this week, and it’s clear that the new management and front office have come with some issues that the team will have to grow out of. A positive for Chicago has been Zach LaVine, who is playing the best he’s ever played offensively and has massively improved his passing and defensive skills.

12. Orlando Magic

2020-21 record: 7-9 

Orlando has won one and lost two this week. The story of the month for the team this season has been Cole Anthony, who was picked 15th in the draft this year, and his struggles. He seems out of his depth so far on both ends of the court, and should he improve, it’ll be great for team morale.

11. Atlanta Hawks

2020-21 record: 8-7

Still without their key men in Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari, the Hawks have been relying on Trae Young offensively, and it just hasn’t been working. It seems like everything has to go through him, which is very forced and has made Atlanta’s attack very one dimensional.

10. New York Knicks

2020-21 record: 8-8

Last week the Knicks were 5-8, a huge improvement over five straight losses in a row. The young trio of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Immanuel Quickley have impressed, especially Quickley who scored 17 against Boston this week. Tom Thibodeau has more than made up for last week.

9. Charlotte Hornets

2020-21 record: 6-9

LaMelo Ball hasn’t been at his best this week, which is understandable due to his age, and the pressure he has faced so far. Devonte’ Graham has also stagnated this week, and the two losses against the Raptors have shown this team still needs some consistency.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers

2020-21 record: 

Larry Nance Jr. has been a revelation at Cleveland so far this season, with him really understanding and growing into his new role on the wing this week. They are also likely to bring in some more players.

7. Toronto Raptors

2020-21 record: 6-9

The Raptors replacement for Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, Aron Baynes, has not been a huge success, and it’s hindering their play big time. Nick Nurse is tasked with finding a solution to problems at center.

6. Miami Heat

2020-21 record: 6-9

It’s difficult because one does not want to talk too soon, but it looks like the Heat may finally be getting over their hangover after last season’s playoffs. Tyler Herro has impressed this week, even more so than he did in the playoff run. Unfortunately, they have a lengthy list of injuries, including Herro now, which will make the upcoming week difficult.

5. Indiana Pacers

2020-21 record: 9-6

What Nate Bjorkgren has done with this team is fantastic, and they continue to impress. Domantas Sabonis specifically has been running their offensive play. The only negative has been landing Caris LeVert only for him to be unfit to play due to a small mass on his kidney.

4. Boston Celtics

2020-21 record: 8-6

The best news for the Celtics this week will be Kemba Walker is back to playing, despite the minutes restrictions. As mentioned in previous weeks, the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has been excellent this season, but fans will be waiting when Walker can join in and is able to play at his best.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

2020-21 record: 12-5

The 76ers have had a great week, winning three of their games with Joel Embiid showcasing why he is so important to this team, as this team has lost the three games he has had to sit out on. Embiid is currently an MVP candidate and with Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, the 76ers have a good core. They need something more before the transfer deadline if they want to be competitive postseason.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

2020-21 record: 9-6

Jrue Holiday has quietly been excellent for the Bucks this week, especially when making quick decisions against the clock. They’ve lost their last two games against the Lakers and the Nets, two games that have shown that they need to find multiple ways to win games if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

1. Brooklyn Nets

2020-21 record: 10-8

James Harden has done well so far for his new team, and it’ll be interesting to see how he continues to improve alongside his new teammates. The fact that they are already thriving is scary, given that they’ll likely get better as the chemistry of the players develops.

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