Some of the biggest story lines in NBA this season are LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, two players with a lot on their shoulders. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been struggling as well with Kevin Love being out for an extended period. This week’s rankings take into account these factors when determining who has had the best weeks to date.
The “nba power rankings 2022” is a weekly ranking of the National Basketball Association’s 30 teams. The rankings are compiled by ESPN, and they are updated every Tuesday during the regular season.
DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls had a spectacular year in 2021. They began with some in 2022 as well.
The NBA’s leading scorer in the fourth quarter was at it again this week, hitting back-to-back crazy, buzzer-beating 3-pointers to surprise the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards.
The Bulls have now won seven consecutive games thanks to DeRozan’s late-game heroics, putting them in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Staying in the East: The reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks have gone on a six-game winning run, taking advantage of a softer period in their schedule.
The Memphis Grizzlies have the longest current winning streak in the Western Conference, with four consecutive victories, including tight triumphs against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.
In our most recent analysis of all 30, see where the league’s streaking clubs stand this week.
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.
The Golden State Warriors had a 28-7 record in 2021-22. 1st place previously
The Warriors defeated the Jazz on Saturday night, a feat made all the more spectacular by the fact that they did it without Draymond Green, who was unable to play due to COVID-19 regulations. After battling with a number of coronavirus-related absences, Steve Kerr’s squad is on the approach of reclaiming Klay Thompson. Through the first 212 months of the season, the Warriors have undoubtedly been the greatest team in the NBA. Friedell’s words
2. Phoenix Suns: 28-8 in 2021-22. Previous position: 2
On Sunday night, Jalen Smith dominated Mason Plumlee with an incredible poster. But, more crucially, Smith has made the most of his time in Phoenix, where he was obliged to act due to health and safety standards. Smith has averaged 16 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 56.1 percent from the floor in his last four games, while not playing more than 30 minutes in each of them. Lopez’s words
3. Chicago Bulls: 24-10 in 2021-22. Previous position: 6
You’re going to have a hard time stopping DeMar DeRozan right now. DeRozan is averaging 28.4 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent during the Bulls’ seven-game winning run, which puts them in first place in the Eastern Conference (including 5-of-7 from 3). Last week, against the Pacers and the Wizards, he became the first player in NBA history to hit back-to-back buzzer-beaters; it was only a taste of how terrific he has been in the clutch. In crucial circumstances, the Bulls are 11-6, and DeRozan is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and 96.2 percent from the free throw line. Collier’s
4. Utah Jazz: 26-10 in 2021-22. Previous position: 4
Because backup big Hassan Whiteside was out with a concussion in Saturday night’s defeat to the Warriors, the Jazz were forced to play small ball. It didn’t work out. In Rudy Gobert’s 35 minutes on the court, Utah outscored Golden State by ten points, yet lost the game by seven. The Jazz were able to experiment with small-ball lineups after signing Rudy Gay, but they’ve mainly been fruitless, as Utah’s five most commonly used centerless combinations are minus-15 in 40 minutes. MacMahon (MacMahon)
5. Milwaukee Bucks: 25-13 in 2021-22. Previous position: 5
Jrue Holiday has been settling into a rhythm recently after being hindered by injuries early in the season. During Milwaukee’s six-game winning run, he is averaging 21.5 points and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 60.2 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from three. Collier’s
6. Brooklyn Nets: 23-11 in 2021-22. 3rd place before.
Is Kyrie Irving expected to make his NBA debut this week? He might be on the field as early as Wednesday against Indiana. Meanwhile, the Nets have a number of tune-up games coming up in the coming weeks, starting with a clash against the reigning champion Bucks on Friday at Barclays Center. — Best wishes
The Miami Heat had a 23-14 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 7
On Sunday, Miami’s five-game winning run was interrupted in Sacramento, kicking off a West Coast trip that includes games against the Warriors on Monday and the Suns on Saturday. Jimmy Butler is on a roll right now, and he’s continuing to set the tone for his team. Butler has averaged 25 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in his last four games. Friedell’s words
Memphis Grizzlies (#8) in 2021-22 23-14 is the score. Previous position: 9
Ja Morant is in the middle of one of the Grizzlies’ all-time best scoring streaks. He has now scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games, just the second time in team history. During that time, Morant has averaged 34.7 points per game while shooting 55.7 percent from the field and 80 percent from 3-point range. Morant, whose jumper was previously seen to be a flaw, is hitting 40% from 3-point range this season. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The Philadelphia 76ers had a 19-16 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 10
For a variety of reasons, Philadelphia’s season has been a whirlwind, but the 76ers have emerged from the play-in quagmire with three consecutive victories to close 2021 and have began their ascent back to the top of the Eastern Conference rankings. — Best wishes
10. The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 21-16 record in 2021-22. They were ranked 8th last season.
Coming into the season, there was a lot of speculation about Kevin Love’s health and if Cleveland was still a good match for him at this point in his career. He’s been a big part of the Cavs’ comeback. And his 20-point, eight-rebound, four-assist effort in a victory against Indiana on Sunday was his sixth consecutive 20-point game, the longest since LeBron James was his teammate. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Denver Nuggets had an 18-16 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 11
The Nuggets have won three consecutive games despite having a game postponed due to COVID-19 concerns and having coach Michael Malone and head assistant David Adelman undergo procedures. Nikola Jokic has put up MVP-like statistics in his last four games, averaging 25.0 points and 18.2 rebounds. The Nuggets would have been on a four-game winning run if they hadn’t lost a 17-point fourth-quarter lead against the Hornets. For a club missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., it’s not terrible. Youngmisuk’s remark
12. Los Angeles Clippers 2021-22 season record: 19-18 Previous position: 12
The Clippers were thrashed by Brooklyn at home last Monday, still suffering from the news on Christmas Day that Paul George would be sidelined for at least a month due to a damaged ligament in his right elbow. They bounced back to win at Boston, but Clippers coach Ty Lue and starting center Ivica Zubac were placed on medical leave before the team’s New Year’s Eve defeat to Toronto. The Clippers knew Luke Kennard had entered procedures before they left the hotel for the arena since they were playing a back-to-back in Brooklyn. Despite losing Nicolas Batum (ankle), Marcus Morris Sr. (rest), and Isaiah Hartenstein (ankle) against an uninspiring Nets club, the Clippers pulled off their largest and most unlikely victory of the season. The Clippers have managed to stay above.500 despite their decimated roster. Here are a few reasons why: Youngsters Terance Mann and Amir Coffey are improving, while Eric Bledsoe is playing his best basketball of the season. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Hornets of Charlotte had a 19-18 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 13
Warriors vs. Mavericks, 7:30 p.m.; Jazz vs. Nuggets, 10 p.m.
All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
In a blowout defeat against the Suns on Sunday, Charlotte’s three-game winning run was ended. The good news for the Hornets is that LaMelo Ball is in in fantastic form, averaging 18.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in his last five games. The Hornets, on the other hand, face the Bucks in back-to-back home games at the conclusion of the week. Friedell’s words
The Los Angeles Lakers had a 19-19 record in 2021-22. 14th place before.
In Sunday’s victory against the Wolves, Russell Westbrook had nine turnovers. He also scored 20 points and five assists, including a huge jumper with less than five minutes left to put L.A. up six. Westbrook lowered his turnovers to two in the second half against Minnesota, down from seven in the first half, according to LeBron James. “We were able to get shots as a consequence of that, and when we get shots, we’re a pretty good team,” James said. “What’s really hurting us this year is turning the ball over a lot and not being able to establish our defense, where we’re extremely effective in half court, and having teams run it out on us.” McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Washington Wizards had an 18-18 record in 2021-22. 15th place before.
The Wizards, like many other teams in the NBA, have a lengthy injury list, with six players under health and safety procedures, including Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell. Washington’s 10-3 start has turned into a season record of 18-18. Washington, on the other hand, seemed to be on its way to defeating the Bulls until DeMar DeRozan hit a game-winning 3-pointer against them on Saturday. The Wizards are currently playing 12 of their next 14 games at home. They may be able to make some noise again if they can move closer to the entire. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Dallas Mavericks had an 18-18 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 17
Due in large part to Jalen Brunson’s effectiveness as the Mavericks’ fill-in starting point guard, the Mavericks went 5-5 during Luka Doncic’s lengthy absence. Brunson averaged 21.0 points and 7.4 assists over the course of the ten games, shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range. Brunson, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, started alongside Doncic on Sunday, scoring 12 points and dishing out seven assists in a victory against the Thunder on the road. MacMahon (MacMahon)
Boston Celtics had an 18-19 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 16
The Celtics almost had a horrible start to 2022, but Jaylen Brown’s first 50-point game saved them from a home defeat to Orlando to start the year. The schedule eases up in January after a punishing December schedule, and Boston should get Jayson Tatum back from health and safety procedures this week. — Best wishes
The Toronto Raptors had a 16-17 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 19
The Raptors have brought themselves back to within a game of.500 following Sunday’s victory over the Knicks, despite a season marred by injuries, COVID-19 difficulties, and now playing in an empty venue in Toronto. Coach Nick Nurse’s squad now has its strongest lineup available, which includes Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Scottie Barnes, and now Toronto will strive to climb even higher in the rankings. — Best wishes
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a 16-20 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 20
With Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell approaching the completion of their health and safety regulations, Minnesota should be able to add some reinforcements to their lineup this week. They’ll both be out for Monday’s game against the Clippers, but Timberwolves coach Chris Finch believes they’ll be ready for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder. Collier’s
The 20th-ranked Atlanta Hawks have a 16-19 record in 2021-22. They were ranked 18th last season.
In December, Trae Young averaged 30.5 points and 10.0 assists per game, marking the third time in his career that he has averaged 30 and 10 in a month. (In January 2020, he averaged 31.7 and 11.5 points, then 31.3 and 10.1 the next month.) Oscar Robertson (19), Tiny Archibald (six), and Russell Westbrook have the most calendar months averaging 30 points and 10 assists in NBA history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (four). Lopez’s words
The New York Knicks had a 17-20 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 21
New York is no longer among the East’s play-in cities. Kemba Walker is out with knee pain, while Julius Randle is undergoing health and safety procedures. With the Eastern Conference being more challenging than it has ever been in this century, the Knicks need to get their act together — and quickly. — Best wishes
San Antonio Spurs (2021-22) have a 14-21 record. 22nd in the previous ranking
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Over the last six games, San Antonio’s 3-point defense has been outstanding. During that time, opponents have failed to hit more than 10 three-pointers against the Spurs, shooting 27.3 percent from outside the arc. San Antonio’s six-game stretch of keeping an opponent to 10 or less three-pointers is the longest of any club this season, and it’s tied for the second-longest in the last three seasons. (Utah had a seven-game winning run that began with two games at the close of the 2020-21 season and ended with five games to open this season.) Lopez’s words
Sacramento Kings, 2021-22, 16-22, Sacramento Kings, 2021-22, Sacramento Kings, 2021-22, Sacramento Kings, 2021 Previous position: 26
Jimmy Butler’s buzzer-beating layup effort to force OT on Sunday bounced twice off the rim before missing, giving Sacramento a great victory to conclude a 3-1 week that includes Chimezie Metu’s buzzer-beating triumph. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Indiana Pacers had a 14-23 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 23
The Pacers have lost four straight games, with their two most recent failures continuing a pattern that has plagued them all season: losses in tight games, with a record of 1-11 in games decided by four points or less this season. Collier’s
The Trail Blazers are ranked 25th in the NBA with a 13-22 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 24
Portland’s season is still on a downward spiral. The Blazers lost their fourth consecutive game on New Year’s Eve, falling to the Lakers by 33 points. Portland has dropped 11 of its last 13 games heading into 2022. Damian Lillard will have to continue to carry a tremendous burden to revive Portland’s sinking season, with Jusuf Nurkic, Cody Zeller, and Dennis Smith Jr. in health and safety procedures and CJ McCollum (lung) still out. Youngmisuk’s remark
The New Orleans Pelicans had a 13-23 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 25
Herbert Jones of the Pelicans had a block in 14 straight games, which is a club record for a rookie. He has the most thefts (43) and deflections (95) among rookies, and he is second in blocks (34), behind Cavs center Evan Mobley. Jones is the only rookie this season to average at least one block and one steal per game. Lopez’s words
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a 13-23 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 27
In Sunday’s defeat to the Mavericks, rookie Josh Giddey returned from health and safety procedures with a historic performance, becoming the NBA’s youngest player (19 years, 84 days) to achieve a triple-double by putting up 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Giddey equaled LeBron James and Zach LaVine for the most assists by a youngster in the NBA. In four of his last six games, Giddey, the No. 6 overall draft selection, has tallied double-digit assists. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The Houston Rockets had a 10-27 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 28
The Rockets have dropped seven straight games and have had disciplinary concerns with two of its key players, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood. Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall draft choice, has scored prolifically and effectively after returning from a hamstring ailment that kept him out for a month. Since returning to the lineup, Green has averaged 22.3 points on.481/.515/.870 shooting splits in four games. MacMahon (MacMahon)
The Orlando Magic had a 7-30 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 29
After an overtime defeat to the Celtics on Sunday night, Orlando has now lost five straight games. In their last five games, they’ve surrendered an average of 116.4 points, and they’re only 2-13 at home this season. Even if Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac return sooner rather than later, they won’t be able to fix what ails this youthful bunch. Friedell’s words
The Detroit Pistons are ranked 30th in the NBA with a 6-28 record in 2021-22.
Saddiq Bey’s improved performance has been a recent source of hope for Pistons supporters. After a poor start to his sophomore season, he is averaging 20.6 points and 7.5 rebounds over his last ten games, and he is beginning to resemble the guy that had such a terrific rookie season. Collier’s
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