NBA Power Rankings 1/14-1/20

NBA Power Rankings 1/14-1/20

by January 21, 2022 1 comment

The NBA is less than a month away from the trade deadline. There are some big names that are still out there that could be on the move. Sacramento seems to be open for business to trade anyone they have other than De’Aaron Fox. Philadelphia could finally move Ben Simmons. Indiana could have a firesale as well. This is one of the most interesting times of the NBA season and it will give a chance for teams in contention to upgrade their rosters. It also gives teams that are hoping to improve their lottery chances giving guys up.

Be sure to check out last week’s power rankings.

30. Orlando Magic (+0)

While the Magic did get a win over the Hornets, they also lost to Dallas, Portland, and Philadelphia. Orlando still sports the worst record in the NBA and by a pretty good margin at this point. In terms of the trade deadline, the only move the Magic might make is trading Terrence Ross.

29. Detroit Pistons (+0)

The Pistons were close to moving up in this week’s rankings after picking up two wins this week. Detroit did get back Kelly Olynyk and he looked good in his return after missing two months. This team is going to be interesting to watch as the deadline approaches. Multiple contending teams may make a move for Jerami Grant and the Pistons might get a nice return for him.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder (+0)

Oklahoma City got a nice win over the Brooklyn Nets to start the week but then lost the next three to Cleveland, Dallas, and Spurs. The only thing about that victory over the Nets was that Brooklyn was missing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nearly recorded a triple-double in their win over the Nets. Don’t expect any movement from the Thunder at the deadline.

27. Houston Rockets (+0)

The Rockets have discovered their winning ways again this week, winning three of their four games. One of the wins was against the Jazz and that is a great team win for Houston. They also split a pair of games with Sacramento. Christian Wood had another good week and that is one name that every NBA fan should have their eyes on leading up to the deadline.

26. Indiana Pacers (-1)

The Pacers are the team that might look completely different by the time the trade deadline passes. Seemingly everyone on the roster is available and might be in a new uniform. On the court, Indiana got a much-needed win over the Lakers on Wednesday night. Before that win, the Pacers had lost 10 of 11 and are slipping further down the Eastern Conference standings. This team took a huge blow with the injury to Myles Turner last week. Turner is going to be out for at least a month and this team is going to miss his defensive presence.

25. New Orleans Pelicans (+1)

It looked like New Orleans might have been in for a big week after they blew out the Los Angeles Clippers. However, they only managed to go 1-2 for the week. Losses to the Celtics and the Nets took some air out of the team after they had been playing well. After a couple of weeks of stellar play. Brandon Ingram had his first tough week in a while. This team is still in playoff contention.

24. Sacramento Kings (-2)

The Kings had two of the worst losses of the week when they fell to Houston and Detroit. For a team that is still in contention to finally make a return to the postseason, that is unacceptable. Trade rumors are now dominating the headlines for this team. Guys like Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield are being rumored to be included in deals and that would drastically alter this team. The good news is that Fox and Terence Davis are both playing well. Sacramento is still only 1.5 games out of a play-in spot.

23. San Antonio Spurs (+0)

It was still a tough week for the Spurs, but they did have a 2-2 week. San Antonio got good wins over the Clippers and the Thunder but suffered losses to Cleveland and Phoenix. The best news for the Spurs was that they are getting close to being full strength again. San Antonio has been dealing with COVID issues and injuries as of late. It was also another great week for Dejounte Murray. Murray continues to make his case for the most improved player.

22. Portland Trail Blazers (-1)

It was an even week for the Blazers, going 1-1 with a win over Orlando and suffering a loss to the Heat. CJ McCollum returned to the lineup and immediately improved the offense. Despite McCollum getting back on the court, Anfernee Simons continues to show why he should still get heavy minutes in the backcourt. This team is clinging to that last playoff spot and hoping that Damian Lillard returns in time to make a run.

21. Atlanta Hawks (+2)

The Hawks started off the week with back-to-back losses to the Heat and Knicks. They have since rebounded with wins over the Bucks and Timberwolves. Trade rumors have been a topic of conversation around Atlanta and they could be looking to make a move to try and get back to the playoffs. This team has been a massive disappointment, but there is still time for them to make a run.

20. Los Angeles Clippers (+0)

It is tough being a part of the Clippers right now. The news came out this week that Paul George is going to miss a few more weeks due to his elbow injury. This team is not playing well and could be at risk of falling out of everything altogether. They have been playing hard still, evidenced by their near overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets.

19. New York Knicks (-1)

New York got another win over the Atlanta Hawks to start their week, but it was uneven from there. Losses to the Timberwolves and Hornets kept this team in the back half of the rankings and out of the playoff picture for now. Julius Randle has started to play well and revert back to his form from last season and that is good news. RJ Barrett has also been hot offensively and helping carrying the load. With newly acquired Cam Reddish, it will be interesting to see if anyone’s minutes will be cut from the rotation in the coming weeks.

18. Los Angeles Lakers (-1)

The Lakers are back to being the NBA’s funniest drama show. With a blowout loss at the beginning of the week against Denver, head coach Frank Vogel was reportedly nearly fired. However, the Lakers bounced back with a win over Utah. Then they suffered a terrible loss to a bad Indiana team and the rumors are back. This team needs a healthy Anthony Davis back and quickly. However, that may not be enough to save this mess at this point.

17. Washington Wizards (-2)

The lone win of the week for Washington came against Philadelphia and the losses were against the Nets and Blazers. Bradley Beal made his return to the team and brought scoring to them immediately. This team is nearly entirely healthy and will be trying to keep a spot in the NBA playoffs. A guy that has given them a big boost has been the return of Thomas Bryant. With the return of Bryant, it will be interesting to see the center rotation shake out with him, Daniel Gafford, and Montrezl Harrell.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (+0)

It was a 2-2 week for the Timberwolves. Wins over the Warriors and Knicks looked good, but they were met with losses to the Hawks and Grizzlies. This is going to be a team to watch at the deadline. Minnesota has been rumored to be interested in Philadelphia’s Simmons for months and could be ready to make a deal. This team is close to making it out of the play-in tournament and may want a boost to their chances.

15. Boston Celtics (+4)

The Celtics got some good wins over the Bulls and Pelicans but suffered a pair of losses to Philadelphia and Charlotte. Boston is going to be a team everyone is wondering about as the trade deadline approaches. While it is unlikely they split up the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the rumors are still there. Both Brown and Tatum have been struggling recently and that has led to the inconsistency of the team.

14. Toronto Raptors (-2)

Toronto had one of the worst weeks in the NBA, putting up a 1-3 mark. This team had been building some momentum, but it was halted after a week like this one. Their only win came against the Bucks and then the Raptors proceeded to lose to Detroit, Miami, and Dallas. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam continue to play phenomenally however and this team is still in the playoffs.

13. Denver Nuggets (+1)

If anyone reading this has not seen the highlights that Nikola Jokic put up in the overtime win over the Clippers on Wednesday night, stop what you are doing and find them. Jokic was incredible and nearly had a 50 point triple-double. Aaron Gordon has also been playing well recently. Both players are a big reason why the Nuggets have five of their last seven and are in a good position if Jamal Murray were to make his return this season.

12. Milwaukee Bucks (-5)

The Bucks were a strange team this week. Wins over the Grizzlies and Warriors looked good, but they also had losses to the Hawks and Raptors. This team was starting to appear to hit their stride but hit a bump in the road with those two losses. The good news is that Jrue Holiday returned after missing some time. Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have a 17-3 record when they all play this season and they all need to stay healthy and active.

11. Charlotte Hornets (-1)

The Hornets had a nice 2-1 week that included a weird loss to Orlando. Charlotte bounced back with wins over the Knicks and Celtics to save themselves from that embarrassment. The two guys that need to be highlighted have to be Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier. Both players scored the ball well and were just all-around great this week for the Hornets.

10. Dallas Mavericks (+3)

The Mavericks are the latest team in the NBA to catch fire. Dallas has won four in a row and 10 of their last 11. Not surprisingly, that can be attributed to the play of their superstar Luka Doncic. Doncic has been playing like one of the best players in the NBA recently and the Mavericks are moving up in the standings. After being out for seven games, Kristaps Porzingis made his return and played well. If Doncic can keep this up, Dallas could be a threat.

9. Utah Jazz (-1)

It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Jazz. After getting a nice win over the Nuggets, Utah lost to the Rockets and Lakers. They did have to play without Donovan Mitchell, but the offense as a whole looked bad. This team has now lost six of their last seven, but still sport one of the best point differentials in the NBA. The stats suggest this team is still elite and will bounce back soon once healthy.

8. Brooklyn Nets (-3)

The Nets are facing the most adversity that they have all season. The worst news came when Kevin Durant was going to have to miss a month with an injury. James Harden is going to have to carry a larger workload with Durant out and Irving only playing part-time. Look for guys like Patty Mills to have more opportunities to score without those main guys in the lineup.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (+4)

Cleveland made a move back up into the top ten of the rankings due to a 3-1 week. Despite a loss to the Bulls, Cleveland got wins over Brooklyn, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. It has been a full team effort for the Cavaliers as well. While Darius Garland gets the headlines, guys like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen have been great for the team. This team just keeps defying the odds and staying relevant in the Eastern Conference.

6. Philadelphia 76ers (+3)

There are not many players in the NBA playing as well as Joel Embiid has been lately. Embiid dropped 50 points in only 27 minutes against the Magic and looks like he is making an MVP case. The talk of trading Simmons is going to dominate this team for the next few weeks. That should not overshadow the way that Embiid has been carrying this team and playing for the past few weeks.

5. Miami Heat (+1)

Every time the Heat get a player back from injury or protocols, someone else gets taken away. After Bam Adebayo made his return to the lineup, Tyler Herro went out. Miami went 3-1 this week and has won six of their last seven. Some are still not taking this team seriously yet as an Eastern Conference contender and that would be a big mistake.

4. Chicago Bulls (+0)

The Bulls are in danger of dropping in the rankings in the coming weeks if they don’t start playing better. That could be difficult with recent injuries to Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball. Chicago did still get a win over the Cavaliers this week and have gotten good contributions from other guys. This team is facing its first bit of adversity this season and will need to navigate it.

3. Golden State Warriors (+0)

After being on top for most of the season, Golden State fell to third in the rankings and followed with a 2-2 week to remain in that spot. Golden State beat Chicago and Detroit while losing to Milwaukee and Minnesota. Both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green missed time this week and at this point, this team would just like to get all healthy.

2. Memphis Grizzlies (-1)

After spending a week up at the top of the mountain, Memphis was knocked off of it, though not very far. The Grizzlies lost to the Bucks and the red hot Mavericks this week. This team is still missing some guys as well. Ja Morant is continuing his great play and Jaren Jackson is also playing well right now.

1. Phoenix Suns (+1)

The team with the best record NBA belongs to the Suns. With a lot of talk going to the Warriors, Grizzlies, and as of late, the Mavericks, it can be easy to forget about Phoenix. The Suns’ three wins came over the Pacers, Spurs, and Pistons this week. After struggling for a couple of weeks, Devin Booker returned to his normal form and was scoring the basketball well.

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