NBA Power Rankings
30. New York Knicks (14-61)
The Knicks have lost 5-straight games and only won 1 of their last 10 heading into Tuesday night. Young guard Emmanuel Mudiay has become a real rotation PG for the Knicks and is putting up 14.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.8 APG on 45.5 percent shooting from the field.
29 Phoenix Suns (17-59)
The Suns are on a 4 game losing streak and are going to be a top 3 team in the NBA Draft Lottery standings. But they still stay nationally relevant, as Devin Booker continues to put ridiculous scoring games in losses. He dropped 59 PTS in a 125-92 loss to the Jazz on Monday.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-57)
Cleveland has lost 2 of their last 3 games, but their lone win was over the 50+ win Bucks (without Giannis). In their win over Milwaukee, Collin Sexton chipped in 25 PTS, 3 AST, 2 REB and hit 4/7 3PT shots. With the top 5 NBA Draft lottery slots all but decided, the Cavs are focusing hard on player development down the stretch.
27. Chicago Bulls (21-55)
The Bulls have won 2 of their last 3 games, with some solid wins over similarly young Suns and Wizards teams. In their loss to the Jazz on Saturday, the Bulls shot a woeful 35.9 percent from the field and even more embarrassing 12.5 percent from the 3PT line. With Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Otto Porter Jr. battling injuries, the Bulls will sure struggle down the stretch.
26. Los Angeles Lakers (33-42)
With only 2 wins over their last 10 games, the Lakers are limping to the finish of the regular season. They are getting some intriuiging contributions as they finish out the disappointing year. In their loss to the Nets on Friday, journeyman center JaVale McGee had a career-night, netting 33 PTS and 20 REB. They picked up a rare W on Sunday, getting a masterful 29 PT, 11 AST game from LeBron James.
25. Dallas Mavericks (29-46)
Dallas is still in the mindset of getting their top 5 protected pick rather than making a playoff push. Despite having clearly shifted their focus this season, the Mavs still picked up a surprising win over the reigning champs on Saturday night. In their weekend win over the Warriors, Luka Doncic had a 23 PT, 11 REB, 10 AST triple double, adding one more moment to his list of Rookie of the Year-caliber performances.
24. Washington Wizards (31-45)
Washington has not played like a team that is still locked up in the heat of a playoff race. They have lost 4 of their last 10 games, including a loss to a Bulls team that is playing for pride at this point in the season. Over his last 10 games, stopgap PG Tomas Satoransky is averaging 11.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 7.2 APG while averaging just under 2 turnovers per game.
23. New Orleans Pelicans (32-45)
The Pelicans have lost 2 of their last 3 but have had some geat play from rarely used youngsters Cheick Diallo and Frank Jackson. Diallo had a 10 PT, 10 REB double double in their Saturday night loss to the Suns, and Jackson had 19 PTS and 4 AST in their win over the Mavericks last Monday.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (30-45)
The Grizzlies have picked up some wins over some stiff competition throughout March and added another one to the list on Monday. They took out the Thunder by 12 points, with Bruno Caboclo chipping in a career-high 24 PTS on 13 FGA. Roster evaluation will be key down the stretch for the Grizz.
21. Minnesota Timberwolves (33-41)
The Timberwolves have struggled with a ridiculously injury-riddled roster down the stretch, but are still getting otherworldly production from Karl-Anthony Towns (24.7 PPG, 12.5 RPG). In their last win—a 13 PT romp over the Grizzlies—Andrew Wiggins had one of his more efficient games in the season, amassing 22 PTS on 9/15 shooting, including 100 percent from the free throw line.
20. Charlotte Hornets (35-39)
Charlotte is one of the hotter teams in the league at this point, winning 4 straight games behind some great play from Kemba Walker and his supporting cast. Walker is up to 25.2 PPG and 5.9 APG on the season. In the win over the Raptors on Sunday, Dwayne Bacon had a career-high 20 PTS. Getting production from their non-Kemba players will always be their No. 1 concern, especially as they close out this playoff push.
19. Sacramento Kings (37-38)
Much will be made for a long, long time of the Kinsg decision to go with Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft, but for now that decision doesn't look tremendously awful. Bagley has been an awesome 1st year pro and is putting up 18.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG over his last 10 games. They won't make the postseason but they took a major step forward as a franchise. The Kings should be fighting for playoff positioning at this time next year.
18. Atlanta Hawks (27-48)
The Trae Young "Rookie of the Year tour" continues as the Hawks close out the season. Dallas' Luka Doncic has been the ROY frontrunner all season long, but Young has made a post All-Star break push, complete with some huge moments in crunch time. In their win over the Sixers on Saturday, Young had 32 PTS on 55 percent shooting, including a floater to give the Hawks the win as time expired.
17. Orlando Magic (37-39)
The Magic are 7-3 in their last 10 games with a balanced scoring effort from their 3PT shooting swingman. In their OT win over the Grizzlies, Terrence Ross had 31 PTS on 66.7 percent shooting. If the Magic shooters get rolling as the season closes, the postseason could be coming back to Orlando.
16. Miami Heat (37-38)
It is almost too perfect that the Miami Heat are locked into a playoff race in what will be Dwyane Wade's final season. "Father Prime" chipped in 20 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST in the Heat's win over the division rival Wizards on Saturday. They have a huge home-and-away set coming against the Boston Celtics on April 1 and April 3.
15. Boston Celtics (44-31)
Boston has not yet righted the ship in terms of cutting down on their uneven play. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games and their low point was their loss to the Spurs on Sunday night in which Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 48 PTS on 31 shots, and the Celtics only mustered 96 PTS.
14. Detroit Pistons (38-37)
Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond have continued their excellent play, late acquisition Wayne Ellington has provided a nice scoring boost. He put up 23 PTS in a win over the Suns olast Thursday and has been shooting over 39 percent from deep as a Piston.
13. Brooklyn Nets (38-38)
Brooklyn continues to gear up for their surprising return to the NBA postseason. The Nets have lost 2 games in a row, but D'Angelo Russell has been going absolutely nuts scoring-wise. He had 39 PTS in the OT loss to the Trail Blazers, 44 PTS in a win over the Kings and 32 PTS in a loss the Clippers in what was a crazy week. Russell is hitting career-highs across the board and should continue to be a handful for opponents down the stretch.
12. Utah Jazz (45-30)
Utah has won 8 of their last 10 games, and defensive-minded center Rudy Gobert has been awesome on the offensive end as of late. Over his last 10 games, the French center is averaging 18.0 PPG on a absurd 77.5 percent shooting from the field.
11. Indiana Pacers (45-30)
The Pacers had lost 4 straight games before their blowout win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. In the win, the Pacers got a very efficient 35 PTS on 16 shots and Myles Turner turned in a 17 PT double double. With the rim protection provided by Turner, the Pacers will be a tough out in the postseason. The coaching job done by Nate McMillan is good enough to give him a top 3 finish in the Coach of the Year vote.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder (44-31)
The Thunder have fallen to the No. 7 seed in the West as of Wednesday morning, showing just how tight the playoff standings are in the West. The Thunder are 4-6 over their last 10 games, and have struggled down the stretch. In their recent loss to the Grizzlies, Memphis got to the free throw line 31 times.
9. Portland Trail Blazers (47-27)
Portland has won 5 games in a row, including 3 wins over teams that will be in the playoffs. Over this winning streak the Trail Blazers have an offensive rating of 113.2 points per 100 possessions, 4th best in the league over that span.
8. Philadelphia 76ers (48-27)
The Sixers have struggled defensively as of late, ranking 17th in the league over the 10 games, rather than just outside the top 10 as they have all season. Before their 2 games losing streak, they had won 6 straight games with the all their new additions seeming to mesh. Over the last 10 games, Embiid has averaged a 29.3 PPG and 15.3 RPG.
7. San Antonio Spurs (44-32)
San Antonio has yet again find a way to win with a roster of unheralded players. With role players like Davis Bertans and Jakob Poetl chipping in, while DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge carry the scoring burden, the Spurs will definitely be a tough out in the postseason. Aldridge dropped 48 PTS on the Celtics in a win on Sunday.
6. Houston Rockets (48-28)
James Harden's absurd scoring crusade continues as the Rockets gear up for another possible Western Conference Finlas run. They are 7-3 over their last 10 games, and over that stretch Harden is averaging 33.9 PPG, 7.5 APG while also netting 1.0 BPG and 2.0 SPG, showing some real defensive effort.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (45-31)
The Clippers are tied with the Magic for the longest active winning streak in the league at 6 games. Over that stretch, they have taken care of business against some weak competition but also have some quality wins in between. In their Tuesday night win over the Clippers, Danilo Gallinari is on fire, putting up 25.7 PPG over his last 10 contests.
4. Toronto Raptors (53-23)
The Raptors are 4 games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but nonetheless seem primed for a big run come playoff time. In their easy win over the Bulls on Tuesday, Kawhi Leonard had a whopping 6 steals, while Norman Powell chipped on 20 PTS on 80 percent shooting. Head coach Nick Nurse will have a lot of options for his rotation with how deep this Toronto team is.
3. Denver Nuggets (50-24)
Nikola Jokic's scoring has been down as of late, but Jamal Murray is capable of a big scoring night to carry the team, as he showed on Tuesday night. Murray went for 33 PTS and 5 AST in a rare, low-scoring wom over the Detroit Pistons. The Nuggets have a tough stretch to end the year, including games against the Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, and Trail Blazers.
2. Golden State Warriors (51-23)
The Dubs have won 4 of their last 5 games against opponents headed to the postseason. In their Sunday night win over the Pistons, Steph Curry had a team-high 26 PTS and 9 REB, while Kevin Durant racked up a very, very impressive 11 AST night. The Warriors are less prone to mental lapses, as they are attempting to get mentally prepared for another NBA Finals run.
1. Milwaukee Bucks (57-19)
The Bucks have been the best regular season team without a doubt. Heading into Wednesday night, Milwaukee led the league with a highly impressive +9.5 net rating. The play of MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo has led them to this stellar finish to the season. The Greek Freak is averaging 29.3 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 6.4 APG over his last 10 games. He chipped in a 19 PT, 14 REB double double in a win over the Rockets in a MVP candidate showdown on Tuesday.