NBA Power Rankings 2019: Warriors no longer on top, Kings fighting
30. Suns (12-50)
Leader in the race for Zion. It seems like that is all that matters with this group. Eventually this franchise is going to have to figure out how to win. Stacking talent is one thing, but a culture of losing has consumed this group.
29. Knicks (13-49)
With the 18-game loss streak over, circle March 6 on your calendar. That’s when they face the Suns in Phoenix. We predict a very low score.
28. Cavs (15-47)
Kevin Love is back. That $120 million owed over the next four years is brutal. Maybe they’ll regain their post-LeBron lotto luck.
27. Wizards (25-36)
Someone talked Ted Leonsis off a ledge at the deadline. He did the right thing rebooting the franchise. This team has a lot of soul searching to do in the offseason.
26. Grizzlies (24-39)
This was never going to end well. Memphis blew it up at the deadline and then lost prized rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. to injury. They are still good for a gritty win here and there, but this is going to be an ugly finish.
25. Pelicans (27-36)
Embarrassing the league, one game at a time. Shameful.
24. Bulls (17-45)
Markkanen, Carter and LaVine is a nice start. This team is on the right path, but they need time and a legitimate point guard to complete the overhaul.
23. Hawks (21-41)
After a hot start, the league made an adjustment to Trae Young early in the season. The rookie has responded with an adjustment of his own in the month of February, averaging 23.3 points and 9.3 assists. Atlanta is building a nice young core.
22. Mavs (27-34)
After a five-game losing streak, the Luka Doncic show got back on the right path in a win over the Pacers. They took an intentional step back at the deadline. Visions of Luka and Kristaps is the future.
21. Heat (27-34)
Don’t count out the Heat. If Goran Dragic can return to form, there is a clear path to the playoffs for this team. This season might turn into something more than just D-Wade’s farewell tour.
20. Timberwolves (29-33)
A win over the Kings put them back in the running. A loss to the Hawks is unacceptable. Too much talent to be in this situation. Andrew Wiggins hot and cold act has to be exhausting for a coach.
19. Hornets (28-33)
Kemba Walker has done everything in his power to keep this team in the race. Adding Miles Bridges to the starting lineup gives this team some pop. Maybe his energy can invigorate the veterans on the squad.
18. Pistons (29-31)
Stuck in neutral. The Pistons have star power, but they lack the soul you would expect from a team from Motown.
17. Magic (29-34)
8-3 over their last 11 games? Orlando is on the rise. Nikola Vucevic is having a stellar season. Waiting for Jonathan Isaac to arrive has to test any franchise, but he’s showing signs.
16. Lakers (30-31)
LeBron James continues to attempt to motivate his young teammates through the press. They have a shot at making the postseason, but nothing about this season has felt good.
15. Nets (32-31)
D’Angelo Russell is finally living up to the hype. The All-Star invite was a bit of a stretch, but there’s no question is the No. 1 option on a gutsy overachieving Brooklyn team. If Caris LeVert can return to form, this might be a team to watch down the stretch.
14. Spurs (34-29)
1-7 on the rodeo road trip is bad news for the Spurs. They still have a shot to recover down the stretch, but this team struggles to play at pace and despite leading the league in 3-point percentage, they are last in attempts.
13. Kings (31-30)
A rough patch in the schedule has Sacramento scuffling a bit. In their last five games, they’ve lost to the Nuggets, Warriors and Bucks by a combined five points and picked up a win over the Thunder. Marvin Bagley was on a roll before going down on Wednesday evening.
12. Clippers (34-29
Ballmer wants to push for the playoffs. In fact, he’s ready to scream them into the postseason. Friday night’s matchup with the Kings should be a fun watch. They’ve had Sacramento’s number all season.
11. Jazz (35-26)
The Jazz front office has done a nice job of surrounding Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert with the right pieces. A deal for Mike Conley Jr. at the deadline would have put this team in elite status, but they couldn’t pull it off. This could be a tough first-round out.
10. Celtics (37-25)
After dropping four straight, the Celtics are barely hanging onto a top 10 spot. Something is missing from this team. They are deep, but they are running out of time to pull it all together.
9. Rockets (37-25)
The streak is over and the Rockets still aren’t a top four team in the Western Conference. Kenneth Faried’s career appears back on track after three years of getting paid to watch others play.
8. Thunder (38-23)
Paul George is a legit MVP candidate. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double. Steven Adams is a beast. And still this team isn’t all that scary. Intimidating kids on the sideline isn’t cool either Russ.
7. Trail Blazers (38-23)
Portland is quietly turning into a legitimate top four team in the Western Conference. Adding Enes Kanter on the cheap give Terry Stotts a new wrinkle.
6. Pacers (41-22)
When Victor Oladipo went down, this team looked done. But Nate McMillan’s group is tough and extremely deep. The next man up mentality is alive and well in Indy.
5. Philly (40-22)
This might be the most talented starting five in the NBA, but that means very little if they don’t mesh. Joel Embiid’s health is always a concern and the depth of this team is an issue.
4. Nuggets (42-19)
Tim Connelly has surrounded Jokic with the right pieces. They have shooters everywhere and Michael Malone has done a nice job of limiting minutes. The addition of Isaiah Thomas gives this team one more weapon come playoff time.
3. Raptors (44-17)
Nick Nurse has the tall task of meshing all kinds of new pieces down the stretch. Toronto is loaded with talent, but can they finally break through?
2. Warriors (43-18)
Some teams have given Dwyane Wade a parting gift in his last visit through their city. The Warriors decided to give him one last highlight reel game-winner. Golden State is still the odds on favorite to win it all, but they coasting a bit down the stretch.
1. Bucks (47-14)
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s knee has to be a concern, but this team is rolling. They are long, athletic and they can really shoot the ball. The Bucks are distancing themselves from the rest of the Eastern Conference.