NBA Power Rankings 2019: Kings climb, Warriors fall one spot
30. Knicks (14-61)
When does the rebuild begin? Not sure there are even any spare parts to work with here. Such an enticing destination for superstars. The line goes all the way around the really old, rundown building...
29. Suns (17-59)
Allowing a culture of losing is bad news. Could Devin Booker’s stats be any more hollow? The answer is no. Paper All-Star but the reality is something much different.
28. Cavs (19-57)
Collin Sexton is quietly having a very nice finish to his rookie campaign. He’s a scoring juggernaut, but he still needs to figure out how to make his teammates better.
27. Bulls (21-55)
Chicago’s injury report is either tragic or a travashamamockery. Losing teams are where they are because they choose to lose and allow that to become the culture. This team has talent. They should be fighting down the stretch to establish themselves, not taking nights off.
26. Hawks (27-48)
Trae Young is making a run at Luka Doncic’s Rookie of the Year title down the stretch. It’s a nice story. The 20-year-old is averaging 25.8 points and nine assists per game since the All-Star break. He has no chance of stealing the award, but it’s a nice story.
25. Grizzlies (30-45)
What does this franchise do in the offseason? Can they find a taker for Conley’s fat contract? Do they try another quick rebuild? Being caught between not good and bad is an ugly place to be in the NBA. Bruno Caboclo’s arrival is a nice sidebar.
24. Mavs (29-46)
One of these team down the stretch need to get Dirk Nowitzki a new set of legs as a parting gift. Tough to watch the legend finish this thing out. Luka is fading a bit down the stretch, but 82 games is a grind, even for a seasoned European player.
23. Pelicans (32-45)
Six more games until this mess is over. How did things go so wrong? Does Julius Randle opt out in postgame of the season finale?
22. Wizards (31-45)
The injury to John Wall opened the door for Bradley Beal to become a franchise player. He’s averaging 28.8 points, 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds since the All-Star break. It’s a nice run, but it hasn’t helped the Wizards win.
21. Lakers (33-42)
LeBron James misses the playoffs for the first time in since he was 20-years-old. No one is shedding a tear for the King. Dynamite is being delivered to Staples Center. This things is getting all kinds of blown up.
20. Timberwolves (33-41)
This was over in the first month of the season. Major changes are needed. KAT is the franchise. Everything else is in question moving forward, including the coaching staff.
19. Hornets (35-39)
Too little, too late. This team is on their way to a rebuild. It’s going to be a painful reset for a franchise that isn’t a great draw. If Kemba leaves….
18. Heat (37-38)
So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance… A half game out with eight games to play, this should be a great race for the eight in the Eastern Conference. If Goran Dragic can find his game, it could get interesting in South Beach.
17. Magic (37-39)
Orlando used a soft spot in the schedule to rattle off six straight. They currently own the eight spot, but they are going to need a strong finish to hold on. Nice job, Steve Clifford.
16. Pistons (38-37)
Can they hold on? Perennial underachievers, the Pistons are in tailspin at the wrong time. If they can stay in the hunt until the final three games, the Pistons might sneak in.
15. Kings (37-38)
The reality of missing the playoffs for a 13th straight season hit the young Kings hard. They’ve bounced back and made the the .500 mark a new goal. This team is oozing talent and learning tough lessons. They’ll be better for the experience.
14. Nets (38-38)
This is the feel good story of the Eastern Conference. The Nets haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet, but they are dangerously close. What an accomplishment for Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks’ crew.
13. Celtics (44-31)
Brad Stevens is hanging on by the skin of his teeth. The post mortem on this team is going to be harsh. Somewhere along the way, this group lost their mojo and team chemistry is in the tank.
12. Spurs (44-32)
Another masterpiece from Pop. This team wins when they need to. They’ve blown their shot at homecourt, but this team chose the right time to go on a huge run.
11. Jazz (45-30)
Donovan Mitchell is ramping up his game for the postseason early this year. He’s played extremely well since the All-Star break and the Jazz are rolling down the stretch.
10. Thunder (44-31)
This team is manic. One night they look like world beaters. The next, they are clinging to the 8th seed in the west. They’ll open the playoffs on the road, which is never a great proposition.
9. Pacers (45-30)
This team is holding onto homecourt with under 10 games remaining. Nate McMillan’s team plays hard and they are a classic next man up squad.
8. Trail Blazers (46-27)
The additions of Kanter and Hood were nice additions. Now they are the Blazers only hope. The other Curry is going to have to carry some of the load as well. You can’t unsee the Nurkic injury.
7. Clippers (45-31)
Doc Rivers’ best coaching job to date. Handing over the reigns of the front office was tough, but necessary. A crazy bench unit and a handful of young up and comers have changed the course of this season for the Clipps.
6. 76ers (48-27)
There is no room for complacency in the playoffs. Can this team stay focused and make it through a crowded field in the east? Losses to Orlando and Atlanta this week says no.
5. Rockets (48-28)
The Houston Hardens are an interesting case study. They aren’t built on the same foundation of last year’s team. The mysterious reappearance of Kenneth Faried is worthy of a major piece of long form journalism.
4. Nuggets (50-24)
This team is peaking at the right time. They’ve won seven of their last eight and they’re close to securing homecourt through the first two rounds. Michael Malone has to be in the discussion for Coach of the Year, although the list of candidates is long this season.
3. Raptors (53-23)
Four straight 50 win seasons for We The North. They’ve made massive changes, but they’ve yet to prove that they are for the better. Masai Ujiri is pot committed on this season, but this might be the last run for this team.
2. Warriors (51-23)
DeMarcus Cousins’ recovery and play is pretty remarkable. Adding Bogut is intriguing. Does this team have the juice to win another ring? The margin of error is thinner than past seasons.
1. Bucks (57-19)
It’s like Oprah came in and starting giving away free injuries. “You get an injury and you get an injury and you, the guy who just got, you get an injury.” Despite the challenges, the Bucks keep rattling off wins.