NBA Power Rankings (Updated: 1/9/19)

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1. Milwaukee Bucks

2018-2019 Record: 28-11 Previous Rank: 3

The Bucks continue to play well and they have shown no signs of being the pretender that a lot of people thought they could be. With Giannis playing so well this is a team who we will hear from late into May.

2. Golden State Warriors

2018-2019 Record: 27-14 Previous Rank: 1

Golden State plays well when it has it’s full roster but the problem has been that hasn’t happened too much. DeMarcus Cousins has been logging full practices so he can return at any moment and that will make this team an easy favorite for the title.

3. Toronto Raptors

2018-2019 Record: 31-12 Previous Rank: 2

Kyle Lowry has returned to the lineup and even without him they were a tough team to beat. They are still missing some key pieces but their ability to win games without them was impressive.

4. Indiana Pacers

2018-2019 Record: 27-13 Previous Rank: 7

The Pacers have an elite defense so despite their lack of ability to score at some points their defense is able to keep them in games. If this team wants to make noise deep into the playoffs they will need Oladipo to take yet another step up in his game.

5. Denver Nuggets

2018-2019 Record 27-12 Previous Rank: 4

Like the Raptors, the Nuggets have had a lot of injuries but have continued to win. With Millsap and Harris returning now and Will Barton expected to be back very soon this is a team that could be making big noise when nobody expected it early this season.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

2018-2019 Record 25-15 Previous Rank: 5

Russell Westbrook continues to struggle with his shot but the MVP level play of Paul George has allowed this team to keep winning games. As long as they continue to play D and Westbrook improves marginally this is a dangerous team.

7. Houston Rockets

2018-2019 Record 23-16 Previous Rank: 11

Harden has been playing at some time of level over the past couple weeks and is single handily winning this team games. The combination of Harden and Capela is something other team’s don’t want to go up against.

8. Boston Celtics

2018-2019 Record 24-15 Previous Rank: 6

Gordon Hayward has started to play some good basketball for Boston and that is a big reason why they are improving. They have a pretty easy schedule the next week so look for them to climb even higher in these rankings if they can put together a string of W’s.

9. Philadelphia 76ers

2018-2019 Record 27-14 Previous Rank: 8

The Sixers went 3-0 this week and have a string of games coming up vs the Wizards x2, Hawks, and Knicks where they should probably go undefeated if they play anywhere near their potential. There have been rumors about Jimmy Butler being unhappy but it hasn’t affected their play up to this point.

10. LA Clippers

2018-2019 Record 24-16 Previous Rank: 10

The Clippers have been up and down after a red hot start to the season but in the Western Conference it’s tough to judge what can happen. The play of Tobias Harris has really boosted this team so if he even slows down a little bit the Clippers don’t have much to replace him with.

11. Portland Trail Blazers

2018-2019 Record 24-17 Previous Rank: 12

There has been talk that the Blazers need a third option after Lillard and McCollum but they might not even need to trade for one. Jusuf Nurkic has been playing some excellent basketball and with his 20 double-doubles in 40 games he could finally be taking that next step that everyone has been waiting for.

12. San Antonio Spurs

2018-2019 Record 24-17 Previous Rank: 13

The Spurs have turned it around in a big way as of late posting one of the best records in the west over the last 2 weeks. A lot of this can be attributed to the play of PG Derrick White who after a slow start has really picked up his play and is making a positive impact on the team.

13. Utah Jazz

2018-2019 Record 20-21 Previous Rank: 14

The Jazz continue to struggle to find ways to score consistently. However, Donovan Mitchell is starting to play more efficiently but it feels like if Utah wants to be a real contender they are going to have to make a trade for another scoring option.

14. Miami Heat

2018-2019 Record 19-20 Previous Rank: 23

Since the Heat moved Justise Winslow to starting PG they have been playing well and it has really elevated his play. He is averaging 16 5 and 5 over the last 7 games and they have now gotten Dion Waiters back in the lineup which will boost their scoring options.

15. Los Angeles Lakers

2018-2019 Record 22-19 Previous Rank: 9

The Lakers lost LeBron James and now they are falling down deep in the standings. In the Western Conference every game counts so they need to pick up their play or risk losing some games that will come back to haunt them at the end of the season.

16. Brooklyn Nets

2018-2019 Record 20-22 Previous Rank: 16

The Nets have had a couple streaks this season where they just continue to win games and they now sit at right around .500 with a chance to sneak into the playoffs if this type of play continues. D’Angelo Russell is playing like he should be for where he was drafted and that is what they are going to need to compete deep in the regular season.

17. Sacramento Kings

2018-2019 Record 20-21 Previous Rank: 15

The Kings have started to return to form but they are still a much better team than a lot of people anticipated. They are heading out on a long road trip vs a lot of east coast teams so the true test will be to see if they can pick up some wins vs easier competition.

18. Memphis Grizzlies

2018-2019 Record 18-22 Previous Rank: 21

The Grizzlies have been horrible to say the least going 3-12 in their last 15 games and haven’t been able to score enough points to be successful. They practically parted ways for Chandler Parson’s so they don’t have a lot of flexibly money wise to bring anybody in to help.

19. Dallas Mavericks

2018-2019 Record 18-22 Previous Rank: 19

Luka continues to be one of the few bright spot for the Mavs as it seems like they can’t win a game away from home They are 3-18 in road games this season but have a big stretch of home games so if they can take care of those they can fight their way back into contention for one of the last playoff spots.

20. Charlotte Hornets

2018-2019 Record 19-21 Previous Rank: 20

The Hornets are one of the more intriguing teams in the Eastern Conference because it feels like they will go as far as Kemba Walker takes them. Kemba has been excellent all season but it’s tough seeing that continuing throughout the whole year.

21. New Orleans Pelicans

2018-2019 Record 19-22 Previous Rank: 17

The Pelicans just need to stay healthy. They got starting PG Elfrid Payton back and if they can get Nikola Mirotic back and playing well this team could be in for a fight all the way until playoff time to get one of the last spots.

22. Orlando Magic

2018-2019 Record 17-23 Previous Rank: 25

The Magic just don’t have enough scorers yet to make noise in the East. They are also sporadic on the defensive end. Orlando is a tough team to judge but they will need to look for a better point guard option by the deadline or this offseason.

23. Detroit Pistons

2018-2019 Record 17-21 Previous Rank: 22

Detroit is still trying to figure things out with its backcourt as Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin continue to play pretty well in the front court. The Pistons could be a team to make a move before the deadline.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves

2018-2019 Record 20-21 Previous Rank: 18

The Timberwolves recently fired head coach Tom Thibodeau and it this point it unclear if that is a move throwing in the towel this season or what.  They now are led by Flip Saunders son Ryan who is the youngest coach in the NBA.

25. Washington Wizards

2018-2019 Record 16-25 Previous Rank: 24

John Wall is out for the year and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before Bradley Beal is dealt in a big package for picks and young players. The Wizards feel like a team who is ready to move on from this season.

26. Atlanta Hawks

2018-2019 Record 12-28 Previous Rank: 28

The Hawks have flashes of good play but overall they just don’t have enough to compete day in and day out. Trae Young has struggled with his shot but John Collins is showing that he can play at an all-star level.

27. Phoenix Suns

2018-2019 Record 10-32 Previous Rank: 26

The Suns played well for a stretch a couple weeks ago but they have started to struggle and Devin Booker is back on the shelf with an injury. Without him the Booker will struggle to find any chance to win.

28. New York Knicks

2018-2019 Record 10-31 Previous Rank: 29

The Knicks continue to change their lineup frequently and look to be moving younger with the benching of Enes Kanter for Luke Kornet at center and he is playing pretty well.

29. Chicago Bulls

2018-2019 Record 10-30 Previous Rank: 30

The Bulls traded Justin Holiday but they have their core of Dunn, LaVine, and Markkanen together for one of the few times this season. The Bulls are still not a good team but having those guys will give them a fighting chance.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers

2018-2019 Record 8-33 Previous Rank: 27

It feels like the Cavs won’t win another game this season. They expect Kevin Love back within the month but with recent rumors he may be traded this losing may become even more normal.

  
Tyler currently runs the lineups.com twitter handle posting various content including betting trends, player trends, and game previews. Follow me on twitter @tylerdubya29 to see constantly retweeted clever sports related jokes.

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