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NBA Power Rankings: Toronto Raptors Are Absolutely Championship Contenders


Another week is almost on the books, and everything can change in the blink of an eye in the National Basketball Association, where amazing happens.

Obviously, that means some teams can enter a winning streak and put together a playoff run, while others may cool off and just start planning ahead for next year and trade veterans away to pile up young assets.

So, let’s skip all the talking and go straight to the point, take a look at our newest power rankings:

30. Chicago Bulls (7-25)

The Chicago Bulls are the worst team in the league. They own the worst offensive efficiency in the NBA since the 2002 Bobcats and Jim Boylen has really made Wendell Carter Jr regress, while Kris Dunn isn’t even starting. They need to clean house this offseason, starting with Gar/Pax. Hey, at least they’ll get Zion or RJ Barrett.

29. Atlanta Hawks (7-25)

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t as bad as their record may say, and the future seems quite bright with John Collins and Trae Young on board. Even so, their defense is one of the worst we’ve ever seen, but they don’t have any reasons to win games this year either if they want a top 5 pick in next year’s Draft.

28. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24)

The post-LeBron James era has gotten off to a very poor start and things aren’t likely to change any time soon for the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers. Other than getting rid of the bad contracts they have and try and get as many assets as they can, they don’t have much reason to look forward to any matchup this year.

27. Phoenix Suns (8-24)

The Phoenix Suns entered a 4 game winning streak since Devin Booker tweeted “I Love Phoenix”. Perhaps that’s completely unrelated, but their young core has really looked sharper as of late. Even so, they need a starting point guard or they’re just going to waste Booker’s prime in a couple of years.

26. New York Knicks (9-24)

The Knicks haven’t been relevant for years and that’s not likely to change any time soon, but they’ve truly landed some promising ballers this year in Knox, Robinson, and Trier. As soon as Porzingis comes back, it looks like they have what it takes to compete for a playoff spot in the East next season.

25. Washington Wizards (12-20)

The Washington Wizards have been great against contending teams, but have sucked against subpar squads. The fact that they traded for Trevor Ariza means they’re not looking to tank right now, and they have enough talent to try and make a run at a playoff spot in the weaker Eastern Conference.

24. Miami Heat (14-16)

The Miami Heat has been stuck in a mediocrity spiral all year long and they’re not likely to improve with Goran Dragic in the shelf for the next couple of months. Other than Wade’s farewell season, there’s no reason why to even bother watching this team, and they should just get rid of Hassan Whiteside while they still can.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-17)

The Timberwolves have been good even without Jimmy Butler, as Robert Covington has taken their defense from worst in the league to 8th overall. Still, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns have shown no signs of improvement or commitment in the defensive end of the floor, so they’re going to have a tough time to make it to the playoffs.

22. Orlando Magic (14-16)

The Orlando Magic have been quite bad as of late, as it looks like Nikola Vucevic has finally cooled off. Actually, they should just try and move him while they can and hand Mo Bamba the keys of the car. Also, they still need a starting point guard and should try and pursue Frank Ntilikina.

21. Brooklyn Nets (15-18)

The Nets have some mid-level talent players but still, need one or two stars to compete. Even so, they can put together a nice run and make it to the playoffs this season. Moreover, they ’re going to have enough cap space to try and lure as much as 2 All-Stars this summer, but they’re going to have to fight for them.

20. New Orleans Pelicans (15-17)

The Pelicans can’t win without Anthony Davis, but they can’t keep him beyond this season either, so they might as well just face the truth and let him go to a contender while they still can pile enough assets in return. If not, they’re likely headed to a 1st round exit in the playoffs at best.

19. Utah Jazz (15-17)

The Utah Jazz has been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season, as they were coming off a great year and were contenders to make it at least to the 2nd round of the playoffs again. Even so, it looks like they’re finally coming together again, although they still lack another scorer.

18. Charlotte Hornets (15-15)

Surprisingly, the Charlotte Hornets are still pretty much in the race in the Eastern Conference 30 games into the season, and that’s mostly thanks to Kemba Walker. Even so, they’re not going to be able to extend their stay, so they will most likely just have to deal him at some point of the season.

17. Detroit Pistons (15-14)

The Detroit Pistons’ frontcourt has been great all season long, but Reggie Jackson has been terrible for them. They need another scorer, a guy that could create off the dribble and facilitate. Until they land one, they’re not going to be a serious threat in this league, even though they will make the playoffs.

16. Dallas Mavericks (15-15)

The Luka Doncic effect is real. This kid is special and has truly made the Dallas Mavericks better this season. They won’t compete, they won’t even make the playoffs, but they’re in a great place right now. As I see it, they’re just a scoring wing away from being a playoff team in the West.

15. Memphis Grizzlies (16-15)

The Grizzlies have been a pleasant surprise this season, mostly led by their top-tier defense. They always find the way to slow the pace down and make their rivals uncomfortable offensive-wise, but they have also lacked a true scorer that can lift them past their opposition come crunch time.

14. Sacramento Kings (16-15)

According to their coach, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley are the new Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and even though we don’t agree with him, we have to admit that Fox and the Kings have looked great to start the year. Also, Buddy Hield looks like the scorer we all thought he’d be. There are still ways ahead of them, but they have a true shot at a playoff spot.

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13. Houston Rockets (16-15)

The Houston Rockets went from being the best team in basketball to being a subpar squad in the Western Conference in just a couple of months, mostly because they just can’t seem to get stops anymore. Still, Harden keeps on playing at an MVP level, and when that happens, they always have a shot.

12. San Antonio Spurs (17-15)

The San Antonio Spurs are quite a bizarre team right now. They’re not good enough to compete or bad enough to tank, so they should just embrace one or the other. Either they move DeRozan, Aldridge and/or Gay, or they try to make a run at an All-Star before the deadline, there’s no in-between.

11. Los Angeles Clippers (18-13)

The Clippers have been quite impressive so far, but they should just call it a day and start tanking if they want to put the cherry on top of the sundae. They have a great core and enough money to land 1 or 2 superstars in the summer, but adding another top-tier talent in the Draft could also come quite handy.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (18-13)

A couple of months ago, we were all calling for the Blazers to trade their backcourt away and start rebuilding. 31 games into the season, they’re one of the toughest teams in the West. Damian Lillard has been playing the best ball of his career, and even though they won’t compete for a Championship, they’ve been quite solid as of late.

9. Los Angeles Lakers (18-13)

Following a slow start of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally turned things around, mostly thanks to LeBron James’ arrival. There are still some issues to fix, and Brandon Ingram’s development hasn’t gone the way as planned, but this team will make it to the Finals either this season or the next one.

8. Boston Celtics (18-12)

The Boston Celtics have been stung by the injury bug with Al Horford and Aron Baynes in the shelf, but standout rookie Robert Williams has been superb so far. This team is finally coming together and even though Tatum, Brown, and Hayward have kind of regressed, they’re still a dominant force in the Eastern Conference.

7. Indiana Pacers (20-12)

The Indiana Pacers kept on winning even with Victor Oladipo sidelined with a knee injury, and it looks like last season’s success wasn’t just a fluke. They’ve been great on their home court and have quite a promising young core, so don’t sleep on them for the next 4 or 5 years when Sabonis and Oladipo reach their primes.

6. Philadelphia 76ers (21-12)

The Philadelphia 76ers got off to a shaky start of the season but they’ve managed to turn things back in their favor. Jimmy Butler’s addition has been a perfect fit for them while Simmons and Embiid keep on proving that they were worth the wait. Even without Markelle Fultz, this team has everything to make it to the Finals.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-10)

The only thing that could stop the Oklahoma City Thunder from making the Finals is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul George is playing the best ball of his career, Westbrook has been efficient and Adams has surged as a two-way factor this season. With Andre Roberson coming back soon for defensive purposes, they’re going to be quite dangerous.

4. Golden State Warriors (21-11)

It’s odd not to watch the Golden State Warriors at the top of the rankings, but they’re likely going to trend up when playoff time comes. There ’s not much to say about them, as they’ve struggled with injuries all season long, but once they’re all healthy, they’re the best team in the league and is not even close.

3. Milwaukee Bucks (21-9)

30 games into the season, the Milwaukee Bucks just keep on winning. They’re really tough to beat at home, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently the frontrunner to take home the MVP. Brook Lopez’ addition has been an X-factor, as they found not only a starting big man but also a solid three-point shooter.

2. Denver Nuggets (21-9)

Even despite Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Isaiah Thomas being injured, the Denver Nuggets keep proving that they’re one of the teams to beat. They’ve defeated all contending sides on their home court and Nikola Jokic has been stellar all year long. Once Thomas’ comes back, they’re going to be even better.

1. Toronto Raptors (24-9)

And the Raptors keep on being the best team in the league, even when Kawhi Leonard or Kyle Lowry are unable to play. Pascal Siakam is our candidate for MIP this season, Ibaka is back to his old self as a rim protector, and their second unit is the best in the league. Still, we’re expecting them to choke as they always do.