2021 NBA Power Rankings (Updated 2/1/2021)

After a quick turnaround after the NBA Finals in the bubble, we are up and running for the 2020-21 NBA season. You can check in weekly to find updated power rankings and analysis on all 30 teams. The NBA will play a condensed season, shortening the year by playing 72 games. You can reference the NBA starting lineups for all NBA teams in real-time while doing your research. Betting on the NBA is now legal in the US. If you’re interested in betting on the 2021 futures of your favorite NBA team, you can legally bet. If you’re located in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey, you can bet on sports. Our Top 3 online sportsbooks are DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook & Monkey Knife Fight.

Los Angeles Clippers

1. LA Clippers

2020-2021 Record: 16-5 Previous Rank: 4

The Clippers have played well, and Paul George looks to be playing to his full potential, which is great to see. Kawhi Leonard and company remain the biggest threat to the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers2. Los Angeles Lakers

2020-2021 Record: 15-6 Previous Rank: 1

Los Angeles continues to roll and has been tremendous on the defensive side when many thought they’d take their foot off the gas early in the season. They continue to be the frontrunners despite some trades around the league.

philadelphia 76ers

3. Philadelphia 76ers

2020-2021 Record: 15-6 Previous Rank: 5

Philadelphia continues to play well and Joel Embiid has been excellent. We have started to see the secondary pieces gel in Philly, which credit to Daryl Morey for giving the 76ers a quick fix.

Utah Jazz

4. Utah Jazz

2020-2021 Record: 15-5 Previous Rank: 7

Utah has sneakily been one of the best teams this season and is doing a lot of their damage on the road, given they have had nine games on the road so far this season. They are holding teams to 105 points per game.

Milwaukee Bucks5. Milwaukee Bucks

2020-2021 Record: 11-8 Previous Rank: 2

Milwaukee seemingly has a lot of focus on them right now but puts up 120 points per game this season and keeps their consistency over the new season. We will still need to see if they can get better bench production.

Brooklyn Nets

6. Brooklyn Nets

2019-2020 Record 13-9 Previous Rank: 3

The addition of James Harden certainly changes the landscape of the Eastern Conference and the NBA. Kyrie Irving remains the question mark but the Nets just locked in another top scorer to their starting lineup.

Denver Nuggets

7. Denver Nuggets

2020-2021 Record: 12-8 Previous Rank: 10

Denver is another one of those teams where I expect them to find their form in the middle of the year. There are a lot of former playoff teams that have struggled out of the gates.

Boston Celtics8. Boston Celtics

2020-2021 Record: 10-8 Previous Rank: 6

Covid issues hit Boston, but they continue to survive. They are due to get Kemba Walker back, and if he can stay healthy and deliver his career norm, Boston is a scary team with the improvement of Jaylen Brown.

Indiana Pacers

9. Indiana Pacers

2020-2021 Record: 11-9 Previous Rank: 9

Indiana was apart of that James Harden trade and eventually landed Caris LeVert and sent Victor Oladipo packing. This gives some stability for the next few years, but LeVert has some medical issues that are far more important.

phoenix suns

10. Phoenix Suns

2020-2021 Record: 10-8 Previous Rank: 8

After a hot start, Phoenix has started to show some cracks. But the positive continues to be we haven’t seen Devin Booker play his best yet, and Deandre Ayton hasn’t quite found his legs.

Portland Trail Blazers

11. Portland Trail Blazers

2020-2021 Record: 10-8 Previous Rank: 13

Portland has been playing up and down this season, and the defense is a major problem. However, they will now be without CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, who both went down with injuries.

Dallas Mavericks

12. Dallas Mavericks

2020-2021 Record: 8-12 Previous Rank: 11

Dallas is having issues with consistency, and while Luka Doncic is putting up big numbers, he still needs to get back to game shape. There is a good chance Dallas finds their stride in the middle of the year with KP back.

Golden State Warriors

13. Golden State Warriors

2020-2021 Record: 11-9 Previous Rank: 12

Golden State has had some impressive wins of late, and Stephen Curry has turned up his play. Defensively, they will give up plenty of points and need to rely on the offense they have.

Memphis Grizzlies

14. Memphis Grizzlies

2020-2021 Record: 8-6 Previous Rank: 19

Memphis has started to go on a run of late. Injuries have plagued the Grizzlies, even going back to last year, but a fully healthy roster can compete with anyone on any given night.

Atlanta Hawks

15. Atlanta Hawks

2020-2021 Record: 10-9 Previous Rank: 16

Atlanta has come back down to earth a bit, but this is still an intriguing roster with many talents. Defensively they have shown some improvements from last season, which is a major plus.

San Antonio Spurs

16. San Antonio Spurs

2020-2021 Record: 11-9 Previous Rank: 14

The Spurs have been quietly a tough game for many opponents, and we are starting to see some emerging youth in San Antonio. Keldon Johnson has really impressed this season.

Miami Heat

17. Miami Heat

2020-2021 Record: 7-12 Previous Rank: 15

Miami has been disappointing, given they were in the Finals just a few months ago. This is too talented of a roster for them not to figure it out. I wouldn’t overreact much here.

Houston Rockets

18. Houston Rockets

2020-2021 Record: 9-9 Previous Rank: 26

Houston has made a nice little run and the new unit and locker room can certainly have cleared the air after the Harden trade. There are talent and some chips on shoulders in Houston.

Orlando Magic

19. Orlando Magic

2020-2021 Record: 8-13 Previous Rank: 17

Orlando is in a deep slide after a hot start, and the offense continues to be the issue as they average just 104 points per game. The bottom of the East has been more competitive, and that has hurt the Magic.

Toronto Raptors

20. Toronto Raptors

2020-2021 Record: 8-12 Previous Rank: 18

Toronto has had some close losses, and while they remain positive in point differential, they are below .500 and struggling on the road. The lack of firepower and ceiling of a few guys might have finally shown.

Charlotte Hornets

21. Charlotte Hornets

2020-2021 Record: 9-11 Previous Rank: 25

Charlotte has been a fun team to watch, and while it won’t result in a ton of wins, they are competitive, and Lamelo Ball looks like the right pick. Gordon Hayward has also found his form being a lead guy again.

New Orleans Pelicans

22. New Orleans Pelicans

2020-2021 Record: 7-11 Previous Rank: 20

New Orleans continues to play around .500 basketball, and it seems they don’t quite have their identity just yet. It makes sense, given the roster is sort of jammed with misfit toys.

New York Knicks

23. New York Knicks

2020-2021 Record: 9-12 Previous Rank: 21

I don’t think many expected the Knicks to be competitive this season, but the Thibs effect has come into play. They are a competitive bunch that has held teams to 102 points per game this season.

Oklahoma City Thunder

24. Oklahoma City Thunder

2020-2021 Record: 8-10 Previous Rank: 22

The record has improved a bit as the Thunder have a year to look at what they have and begin to use their plethora of draft picks. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander remains the star to watch here.

Cleveland Cavaliers

25. Cleveland Cavaliers

2020-2021 Record: 9-11 Previous Rank: 23

Cleveland is a young team and was another team apart of the trade for Harden, but ended up with Jarrett Allen. A good young piece, but for this year, they are loaded with guards and centers.

Chicago Bulls

26. Chicago Bulls

2020-2021 Record: 7-11 Previous Rank: 24

Chicago’s offense can put up numbers with the best of them, especially with a red-hot Zach LaVine. However, they are allowing 120 points per game, and the defense is nonexistent.

Sacramento Kings

27. Sacramento Kings

2020-2021 Record: 8-11 Previous Rank: 27

Tyrese Haliburton has been a bright spot and a steal in the draft. But this team is too inconsistent and is allowing over 120 points per game. The lack of roster direction continues.

Washington Wizards

28. Washington Wizards

2020-2021 Record: 4-12 Previous Rank: 28

Despite a backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are struggling to win games. The defense has been an issue for the last few seasons and that is no different in 2021.

Minnesota Timberwolves

29. Minnesota Timberwolves

2020-2021 Record: 5-14 Previous Rank: 29

Minnesota has two big names but nothing to show for it. Defensively they struggle, but offensively they are averaging only a few points more than the Orlando Magic this year.

Detroit Pistons

30. Detroit Pistons

2020-2021 Record: 5-15 Previous Rank: 30

Not a major surprise to see this roster sit at the bottom of the NBA standings. Jerami Grant is shining, but other than that, this roster has very little to offer at the moment.

Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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