The NBA regular season is over and the playoffs are set to begin this week. Teams are locked in, but there’s one thing we don’t know: who will be crowned champion? We have all of our power rankings for you right here!
The “nba power rankings 2021-22” is a weekly ranking of the NBA’s best teams. The rankings are updated every Tuesday morning.
After an action-packed weekend in the NBA, which teams are making the biggest moves?
In a clash of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams, the Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. The Heat kept Joel Embiid to 26.7 percent shooting, handing the Sixers their first defeat since the All-Star break. James Harden did not play because he was resting for the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that a historic performance in Saturday’s finale will jumpstart their stretch run. LeBron James scored 56 points in a comeback victory against the Golden State Warriors, his highest as a Laker. The Lakers have won just twice in their last nine games, clinging to the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference.
Against Sunday, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics unleashed 54 points on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets. The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16 games. In a repeat of the Finals, Khris Middleton scored 44 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks against the Phoenix Suns.
With five weeks left in the regular season, who is on the rise and who is on the decline?
Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin, and Ohm Youngmisuk) will rank all 30 teams from top to bottom, determining which teams are currently playing the best basketball and which teams are most likely to win the championship.
1. Phoenix Suns: 51-13 in 2021-22. 1st place previously
Cameron Johnson had a career game in Friday’s 115-114 victory against the New York Knicks. Johnson blasted six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone, after never making more than five in any game in his career (including the game-winner). He ended with 38 points and nine triples, both career highs. Johnson also scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, which was the same as the Knicks’ total. Lopez’s words
2. Miami Heat: 43-22 in 2021-22. Previous position: 4
The Heat have now won 11 of their past 13 games, including a triumph against Durant and the Nets on Thursday that was one of their best of the season. Bam Adebayo scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead his team to victory despite missing Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and P.J. Tucker. Friedell’s words
3. Memphis Grizzlies, 44-22 in 2021-22. Previous position: 2
The Grizzlies’ second-place finish in the Western Conference didn’t last long. With a defeat to the last-place Houston Rockets on Sunday night, Memphis slid back into third place, only a few percentage points behind the Warriors. The Grizzlies have lost four of their previous seven games, including two against teams below.500. Only two other Grizzlies have averaged double-digit scoring totals during that time, with Ja Morant averaging 35.3 points per game and shattering the franchise’s single-game scoring record twice. MacMahon (MacMahon)
4. Milwaukee Bucks (40-25) in 2021-22 Previous position: 8
Although the Bucks have one of the hardest remaining schedules in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo indicated on Sunday that he believes the schedule might work in their favor. After Sunday’s victory against the Suns, Antetokounmpo said, “It’s good that we’re learning to play tight games, and it’s good that we have a ton of strong opponents coming ahead.” “In my perspective, it can only make us better.” Milwaukee has won its last four games, including wins against Miami, Chicago, and Phoenix. Collier’s
5. Philadelphia 76ers (39-24) in 2021-22 Previous position: 5
Philadelphia is 4-0 with Harden in the lineup, but things will get harder in the games ahead, starting with Saturday’s setback in Miami (which Harden sat out on the second night of a back-to-back). Even if Ben Simmons is currently working through back concerns as he ramps up his activity level for Thursday’s game against Brooklyn, witnessing Harden face his former club will offer more than enough drama. — Best wishes
The Golden State Warriors had a 43-21 record in 2021-22. 3rd place before.
The team’s worst skid of the season has continued, with the team currently 2-8 in its past ten games after James’ 56-point performance against them on Saturday. Golden State needs Draymond Green to return, but they also need Klay Thompson to recapture his stride and Andrew Wiggins to reclaim his role as a game-changer from earlier in the season. Friedell’s words
7. Utah Jazz: 40-23 in 2021-22. Previous position: 7
During his 35-point outburst against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, Bojan Bogdanovic set a club record by hitting 11 3-pointers. Prior to that, he had been in a bit of a rut, hitting just 32 percent from 3-point range in his previous 11 games. In the 11 games since Mitchell’s return from a concussion, it was just the second occasion that someone other than Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring. MacMahon (MacMahon)
Boston Celtics had a 39-27 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 10
The absence of great competition was the one thing Boston could be blamed for when it turned its season around in recent weeks. That criticism is no longer valid after this week’s victories against the Grizzlies and Nets (finally with Durant and Irving on the floor together). Because of Tatum’s continuous climb and the league’s top defense, the Celtics have to be considered a real East contender at this point. — Best wishes
9. Chicago Bulls: 39-25 in 2021-22. Previous position: 6
The Bulls have now lost four straight games, matching their season-long losing skid, as they continue to struggle against the best teams in each conference. The Bulls are the No. 4 seed in the East, but they are 0-8 versus the three teams ahead of them: the Heat, Bucks, and Sixers. They start the week with a game at Philadelphia. Collier’s
The Dallas Mavericks had a 39-25 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 9
The Mavericks were delighted to offer Dorian Finney-Smith a four-year, $55 million contract extension after his heroics down the stretch in Saturday’s comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings. Finney-Smith made a pair of critical three-pointers in the last 74 seconds, including the game-winning shot with 3.8 seconds left, and kept Kings standout center Domantas Sabonis scoreless in the fourth quarter as his primary defender. During Dallas’ current 6-1 run, Finney-Smith, an All-Defensive contender, has averaged 14.3 points while shooting 60.7 percent from the field and 54.8 percent on threes. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The Denver Nuggets had a 38-26 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 12
The Nuggets have won 10 of their previous 12 games, with their most recent two victories coming amid additional challenges. The Nuggets took care of Houston without Nikola Jokic, with DeMarcus Cousins putting up 31 points and nine rebounds in a throwback effort. Coach Michael Malone was removed in the third quarter on Sunday, but Jokic dominated the Pelicans in OT with 46 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks, and three steals. Since the NBA began tracking blocks and thefts in 1973-74, Jokic is the first player to put up those kinds of figures, according to the NBA. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 37-27 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 11
Suns at Heat, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 At 10 p.m., the Blazers will face the Jazz.
All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
Cleveland’s renaissance season is slipping away. The Cavaliers defeated the Raptors on Sunday to snap their six-game losing streak, but they did it at the expense of a key player. Jarrett Allen, the center, departed the game with a broken finger that will keep him out indefinitely. The next stretch will be crucial for a club that is already losing Caris LeVert and is now ranked sixth in the East to escape the play-in round. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a 36-29 record in 2021-22. 15th place before.
The Timberwolves have won four straight games to stay in the thick of a Western Conference playoff race that is growing more crowded. Minnesota currently has the No. 7 seed, giving them two opportunities to qualify for the playoffs by winning one home game. The Wolves are two games behind the Nuggets for the No. 6 slot, but just two games ahead of the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 8 seed. Collier’s
14. The Los Angeles Clippers have a 34-32 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 16
Last week, the Clippers were riding high after their sweetest victory of the season, a 132-111 hammering of the Lakers. However, on Sunday, they suffered their most disappointing defeat in a month, losing 116-93 at home to the faltering Knicks. Despite this, the Clippers have established themselves as a playoff contender. And before practice on Saturday, Paul George was shooting right-handed. Due to a damaged ligament in his right elbow, George has only been seen shooting with his left hand in the rare occasions he has been spotted during the part of practices and shootarounds that the media is permitted to view. Although George still has a long way to go before making a comeback, this was a promising indication. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Toronto Raptors had a 34-30 record in 2021-22. 14th place before.
The Raptors have now lost three straight games, falling three games behind sixth-place Cleveland and facing an uphill battle to avoid the play-in tournament. Given the injuries to Fred VanVleet (knee) and OG Anunoby (finger), much of this is out of Toronto’s hands, but if the Raptors don’t finish in the top six by the end of the season, they’ll likely point to this week as the turning point. — Best wishes
The Brooklyn Nets finished 16th in the 2021-22 season, with a 32-33 record. Previous position: 13
Even Durant’s return from injury hasn’t been enough to help the Nets, who have lost 17 of their last 20 games including Sunday’s loss to Tatum and the Celtics. Brooklyn is now in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the Charlotte Hornets, whom it will face in a crucial road game on Tuesday. As he recovers from a back issue, Simmons’ debut is still a few weeks away. On top of that, the Nets will face former teammate James Harden and the Sixers on Thursday in Philadelphia. Friedell’s words
The Atlanta Hawks had a 31-32 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 17
Atlanta is now in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, nearly knotted with Charlotte and Brooklyn at 32-33, while the Hawks are 31-32. The Hawks, on the other hand, are finding their stride at the ideal moment as they aim to get back into the postseason race. Atlanta has won five of their previous seven games and has the second-easiest remaining schedule. Lopez’s words
The Los Angeles Lakers had a 28-35 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 19
With his 56-point performance against the Warriors on Saturday, James became the only player in NBA history to have a 50-point game on his resume both before the age of 21 and after the age of 35. Coach Frank Vogel stated of his team’s previous troubles being put on hold by James’ performance, “Hopefully this is the victory that alters that momentum.” McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Charlotte Hornets had a 32-33 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 18
The Hornets will have an opportunity to climb up in the East’s play-in tournament mix by playing seven of their next nine games at home. Charlotte is in a three-way tie for ninth place in the East with Atlanta and Brooklyn as of Monday. — Best wishes
The 2021-22 New Orleans Pelicans had a 27-37 record. Previous position: 21
Since the All-Star break, the Pelicans have gone 4-1, with their sole defeat coming in overtime against Denver on Sunday. Brandon Ingram has been outstanding before the break, averaging 29.4 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.6 rebounds on 58.5 percent shooting. Despite giving up 138 points against Denver, the Pelicans have the top defensive rating in the NBA with a 101.4 since the break. Since the break, their net rating of 19.3 is also the best in the league in that time frame. Lopez’s words
The Washington Wizards had a 29-34 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 20
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Regardless of the win-loss record, it was a fantastic week for the Wizards. First, Bradley Beal told reporters that it’s “fair” to suggest he’s considering returning to Washington this summer. Then, in a game against the Pacers, Kristaps Porzingis made his long-awaited Wizards debut, scoring 25 points in 21 minutes. Washington has dropped 13 of its past 19 games overall, but has won two of its last three as it prepares for a four-game road trip to the west. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Portland Trail Blazers had a 25-38 record in 2021-22. 22nd in the previous ranking
After a four-game winning run before the All-Star break, the Blazers have gone on a four-game losing skid. Portland’s defense has given up 120 points or more in each of its four defeats, and key players are missing games due to injury. Justise Winslow (Achilles) has been out for three games in a row, while Anfernee Simons (quad) and Eric Bledsoe (Achilles) will also be out on Monday. Youngmisuk’s remark
The New York Knicks are ranked 23rd in the NBA, with a record of 26-38. They were formerly ranked 24th.
After a couple of painful defeats to the 76ers and an absolute backbreaker at the hands of Cam Johnson and the Suns on Friday night, New York grabbed a much-needed victory over the Clippers on Sunday night. With a 5 1/2-game gap between the Knicks and the play-in tournament, the last 18 games will be about looking forward to next year rather than attempting to make it to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. — Best wishes
San Antonio Spurs (2021-22) have a record of 24-40. Previous position: 23
San Antonio has lost four straight games, with Gregg Popovich on the verge of tying the all-time regular season coaching victories record. Popovich should be able to equal or break the record shortly, since the Spurs play their next seven games at home, beginning on Monday against the Lakers. Lopez’s words
Sacramento Kings (2021-22) have a 24-42 record. Previous position: 25
Sacramento blew a 19-point lead and squandered a 44-point performance from De’Aaron Fox in a 114-113 defeat to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic on Saturday. With the league’s sixth-worst record, the Kings will be hoping for some lottery luck in the coming months. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Indiana Pacers had a 22-44 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 26
Since acquiring him at the trade deadline, the Pacers have placed the ball in the hands of second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, which has resulted in an increase in his offensive output. Since joining the Pacers, Haliburton has scored 20 points or more in six of his first nine games, while still retaining his danger as a distributor, averaging over 9.0 assists per game. Collier’s
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a 20-44 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 27
Despite the fact that the rest of the Thunder’s normal starting lineup, as well as several crucial reserves, are out due to injury, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to shine. Since the All-Star break, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 33.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in six games while shooting 56.6 percent from the field. It’ll only be a matter of time until the 23-year-old makes an All-Star appearance, and he’ll almost certainly remain the Thunder’s focal point after the long-term rebuilding process pays off. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The Detroit Pistons had a 17-47 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 28
On Monday, the Pistons will go for a third straight win, which would be the first time Detroit has done it since the 2018-19 season. Overall, the Pistons have improved their performance lately, winning five of their last seven games while youngster Cade Cunningham has averaged 20.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists. Collier’s
The Orlando Magic had a 16-49 record in 2021-22. 30th in the previous ranking
After missing the previous season due to an ACL injury, Markelle Fultz made his season debut, and Orlando went on to win two games, making this one of their most profitable weeks of the season. Fultz has averaged 9.0 points and 3.7 assists in 16.7 minutes per game in his first three games. Friedell’s words
Houston Rockets, 30th, had a 16-48 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 29
Jalen Green’s rookie season is following the same trend as Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 overall selection in 2020, with a rocky first half followed by tremendous improvement. Since the beginning of February, Green has averaged 18.1 points on 46.7 percent shooting in 14 games. He’s scored at least 20 points in five of the Rockets’ previous seven games, including a 24-point outburst against the Grizzlies on Sunday, when the team stopped a 12-game losing run. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The “nhl power rankings” is a weekly ranking of the National Hockey League. The list ranks teams from 1-30, with the team with the best record at #1 and the team with the worst record at #30.
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