The NBA season is underway, and some teams are beginning to differentiate themselves from the pack. The top teams in the league are playing like it, while the lower-ranked teams are having a difficult time already through the season. We even have some surprised thrown in there as well, with some teams dwelling at the bottom of their conferences despite having a very good team.
While this is still early on in the season, a power ranking gives a good indication on which team will perform best as the playoffs come closer next year.
By ranking all the NBA teams by record and production, here is this week’s power rankings in the NBA season.
30. Golden State Warriors 2-8
After being number one the past five years, the Warriors are officially the worst team in the league. Of course, they have been decimated with injuries as every single one of their best players are down right now except new addition D’Angelo Russell. Curry went down with a hand injury, while Klay Thompson is still nursing a torn ACL. Green is the next man down with finger problems and it already looks like this Warriors season is a wash.
29. New York Knicks 2-8
The Knicks are not a good team, and they will be in the lottery again this year. After trading away Kristaps Porzingis, who was supposed to be their franchise star for the next decade, they are completely devoid of talent. They have an abundance of power forwards and bigs who cant really score or spread the floor and cannot seem to find an identity. This season looks very miserable for Knicks fans.
28. Memphis Grizzlies 2-7
The Grizzlies are taking a new turn with young talent, and Ja Morant has looked excellent this year. He will be the man to lead this franchise into the future, but they need more talent around him in order to actually be a threat in the NBA. Right now, they are devoid of any real talent and just seem to be playing the young guys and giving them chances to grow.
27. New Orleans Pelicans 2-7
The Pelicans were supposed to be a very exciting team, but Zion Williamson has gone down with injury rather unsurprisingly. The young man is simply too heavy, and cannot handle the ability to fly through the air and run as fast as a leopard despite weighing 280 lbs. Zion needs to drop a good 20-30 pounds in order to be effective and healthy, while the other young Pelicans need a lot more time to develop. Lonzo is still very raw, although Ingram seems to be coming into his own this season. Ingram will be the brightest light until Zion returns.
26. Washington Wizards 2-6
The Wizards are simply not a good team without John Wall. Bradley Beal, who signed a two-year max, has shown loyalty and patience by remaining with the lowly Wizards. They have no talent surrounding Beal at the moment, and Wall looks to be out for the season. They must tank, rebuild, and hope that Beal wants to remain there for the long-term. If not, they must move him for draft picks and young talent to quicken this rebuild process. They do not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
25. Chicago Bulls 3-7
The Bulls, although their record does not show it just yet, have a lot of promise. They have some very talented players such as Marrkanen and Wendall Carter Jr, and also star talent in Zach Lavine. The Bulls will be fun to watch, especially as their young guys get better, but they need a lot more in order to make an impact in the East. This season will likely be another missed playoffs for the franchise, but they won’t be out of it for long. Their young guys look talented and it could be sooner rather than later before they are in the postseason.
24. Orlando Magic 3-7
The Magic are carrying on the same problems as last year, including a lack of consistent perimeter scoring and playmaking. The Magic could certainly use a star wing player, and they have to be actively looking for one if they want to make the playoffs happen this year. While they have a star big man in Vucevic, he needs some help on the wing so the Magic have to look out for this. On the plus side, Markelle Fultz is looking better so hopefully, he can be the star we all hope he becomes.
23. Sacramento Kings 3-6
The Kings are doing alright so far this year, especially with some noise surrounding their young player Buddy Hield. The Kings are looking better, and the culture change Vlade Divac preached about seems to be working. While they are not a playoff team by any means, they do play hard and try to make things work. They just lack any star talent and it will be difficult to see any star wanting to play in Sacramento when the state also has both the Lakers and Clippers playing in it.
22. Atlanta Hawks 3-6
The Hawks have some exciting talent, including Trae Young, and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. The Hawks will likely miss the playoffs this year, but you will see improvements on both ends of the floor. It takes a while for exciting young talent to mature into stars, so just enjoy the process.
21. Portland Trail Blazers 4-6
The Blazers have been poor so far this season, although this is still a small sample size for them. It is expected that they will go on a run soon, and catapult back into a playoff seeding in the West thanks to their two star guards. Lillard looks like an MVP candidate this year, putting up big scoring numbers and vocalizing his leadership. But the new guys do not look comfortable just yet, and Whiteside (although putting up decent numbers) is not making an impact as he should be. If Whiteside can play like a defensive star, the Blazers have a chance to be a top 5 seed until Nurkic returns.
20. Detroit Pistons 4-6
The Pistons look poor so far this year, despite Andre Drummond playing like an NBA All-Star. Blake Griffin has yet to play a game for the Pistons this year, so they will struggle a lot without their star scorer. Still, the Pistons should managed to hold onto a playoff seed when Griffin returns thanks to the addition of Derrick Rose. He has played very well, so that’s a positive sign for the season.
19. Charlotte Hornets 4-6
The Hornets have actually been very competitive so far this year. Many expected them to be the worst team in the league, but they are no pushovers. They play hard, play with effort, and do not want to lose games. Even though the Hornets won’t make the playoffs this year, they will at least be competitive up until their talent allows.
18. Oklahoma City Thunder 4-6
The OKC Thunder started the season with their new leader Chris Paul at the helm, and they haven’t been too bad. Paul is a great player for the young guys to learn from since he has seen it all and won it all at an individual level. It is still a shame that Paul hasn’t won a title yet, so we hope he gets shipped off to a contender at some point this season.
17. Cleveland Cavaliers 4-5
The Cavs are playing quite well, considering their circumstances. Kevin Love has been their best player this year, putting up close to All-Star numbers for a team that is not expected to make the playoffs in the East. It will be interesting to see if they actually move on from Kevin Love since he is actually helping them win games which is the opposite of what they should b trying to do. They need to tank, and moving Love might be on the cards.
16. Brooklyn Nets 4-5
The Nets are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA thanks to Kyrie Irving. He has uplifted New York by dazzling everyone with excellent handles and spectacular offensive plays. Irving and Durant will be a superstar tandem for the ages if KD can return to his superstar form. The Nets have a pretty good squad, enough for a top 6 seed. Seeing Kyrie in the playoffs again will be loads of fun for everyone.
15. San Antonio Spurs 5-4
The Spurs are once again a playoff team thanks to Popovich. While they have two stars in DeRozan and Aldridge, the former is limited from deep while the latter often has a disappearing act. Still, the Spurs should play a little better and more consistently if they want to make the second round of the playoffs. They need to aim for a higher seeding this year, so they need to start winning games they should be winning.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves 5-4
Minnesota is a pretty good team, and KAT is the main reason why. He has developed a very good jump shot from three and seems to be hitting them at a higher level now. Wiggins is still one of the best players at attacking the rim, and he looks stronger and bigger now. The Wolves should continue to improve, and they might have a crack at the 8th seed if they keep playing hard.
13. Indiana Pacers 6-4
The Pacers still await the return of their star Victor Oladipo, and guys like Sabonis and Brogdon are holding down the fort until then. The Pacers look to be a playoff team this year since they move the ball well and play within a good system. Oladipo will take this team to the next level, so it will be exciting to watch them later on this season.
12. Phoenix Suns 6-3
The Suns have exciting talent, and that’s an understatement. Booker is slowly morphing into an absolute star, who can carry a team with his offense. He has a pure touch from the perimeter and is a natural scorer. Even against the Clippers this year, Booker was unguardable no matter who was thrown at him. If Booker can be an All-Star this year, who knows what could happen.
11. Philadelphia 76ers 6-3
The Sixers have looked dominant this season, but also have shown some chinks in the armor. They still have to get used to their new guys and find their preferred rotation. Ben Simmons and Embiid still look like stars, so the Sixers will always have something to say at the top of the East. The Sixers are coming for the EC thrown.
10. Dallas Mavericks 6-3
The Mavericks this year have been all about Luka Doncic. He has carried them at times this season and is a major player for the MVP Award. Doncic will soon be known worldwide as a superstar, and it might happen this season! The Mavs look good, although they still need to fill some more positions with more talent. They might make the 8th seed this year.
9. Utah Jazz 6-3
Despite horrific shooting from Mike Conley to start the season, the Jazz are a top 10 team in the league. They play tough defense, they move the ball, and they know how to win at home and on the road. Nobody wants to play Jazz, and they must continue to build their identity as a contender. Mitchell and Gobert will be the keys to this team’s success, so they have to play well all season long.
8. Miami Heat 6-3
The Miami Heat have been one of the most refreshing stories of the year so far. Despite Jimmy Butler missing the start of the season for personal reasons, the Heat showed depth and talent by winning games at a high level. Once Jimmy returned, they kept playing hard and have made the East much more exciting. They are easily a playoff team in the East, which is good for all the NBA since the league is better when the Heat are winning games.
7. Houston Rockets 6-3
The Rockets can either blow you out or choke games they should be winning away. This has been the story this year, as the team gets used to Russell Westbrook and his advantages and disadvantages. His pace of play is tremendous and suits the rockets system perfectly, but he has been inefficient from the field so far this season. Not to mention, Harden has had a few poor shooting nights. The Rockets must improve if they want to be NBA Champs this year.
6. Los Angeles Clippers 6-3
The Clippers are possibly the favorites in the West once Paul George returns. Until then, Kawhi Leonard is making them a top 5 team in the world. The clips play tough defense, organized offense, and play hard. They can beat any team in the league with ease if they are firing on all cylinders, especially since their bench depth is extraordinary. The Clippers will try to be the number one seed at the end of the year.
5. Milwaukee Bucks 7-3
The Bucks look tremendous at times thanks to The Greek Freak. But they have also lost a few games they should have won. The Bucks will soon fly up the Eastern Conference rankings, but they have underperformed so far this season. Giannis has looked frustrated at times with his team, so the GM might be thinking to make some moves to keep him happy.
4. Toronto Raptors 7-2
The Raptors are playing very well, and Pascal Siakam has been a massive surprise. We knew he was on his way to a star, as he won Most Improved Player last year, but he has carried this team at times with excellent play on both ends. The Raptors are another lock for the Eastern Conference, so it will be exciting to see where they go from here.
3. Denver Nuggets 7-2
The Nuggets are still a very good team. Jokic plays like a top 2 big man in the league, almost effortlessly. He just understands how to play the game and is a very good shooter from the perimeter. The Nuggets also have tremendous depth and talent across all positions so they will be a force in the West this year. They need to continue playing tough defense while shooting well from the perimeter and they will likely be a top 4 seed.
2. Boston Celtics 7-1
The Celtics have been quite surprising, to say the least. Kemba Walker is continuing where Kyrie left off last season and is scoring the ball at a very high rate. Walker will be the number one option in the Brad Stevens system, so his scoring has been a sigh of relief. Tatum and Brown are also playing well, while Hayward is playing like a star again with some big performances. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics are actually a better team without Kyrie Irving.
1. Los Angeles Lakers 7-2
So far this season, the Lakers have been the most impressive team. They are long, defensive-minded, and very tough to handle. Not to mention, LeBron is playing like the best player in the world while AD shows why he is a bonafide superstar player in this league. Their pairing is too much to handle, and they are blowing teams away with tough defense and their size down low. LeBron seems to be a man on a mission, and he might be the man to push the Lakers over the top this year.