NBA Power Rankings
NBA power rankings, rating the entire league from top to bottom. Our NBA power rankings are based mostly on how good teams really are, with recent performances taken into partial consideration. Updated regularly during the regular season, InsideHoops.com's NBA power rankings focus on the big, season-long picture.
2017 NBA POWER RANKINGS
Updated February 13, 2017
According to John Schuhmann of NBA.com: "The trade deadline is still 10 days away, but two Plumlees have already packed their bags this month ... and not for the All-Star Game. Ten days after Miles was sent from Milwaukee to Charlotte, Mason was sent from Portland to Denver. The frontcourt logjam in Philadelphia may be finally clearing up, as a Jahlil Okafor deal seems imminent. And the Sixers aren't the only team that seems ripe for a trade. Hello, Orlando! The dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and the Golden State Warriors in the West may keep some teams from really going for it with a deadline deal, but playoff races didn't keep the Bucks and Hornets (both in the mix for the No. 8 seed in the East) from making a deal or the Blazers and Nuggets (competing for the No. 8 seed in the West) from swapping centers either."
According to John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
Kevin Durant clearly has the ability to stay focused through the drama, as he's averaged 37.7 points on 66 percent shooting (15-for-24 from 3-point range) in three games against the Thunder. The Warriors have scored better than 120 points per 100 possessions in five of their last six games (with JaVale McGee starting all six) and are eclipsing their own mark for the best effective field goal percentage in NBA history. The McGee lineup gives them three lineups that have outscored opponents by 20 or more points per 100 possessions in at least 100 minutes. The rest of the league has four.
A softer stretch of schedule has the Rockets on a four-game winning streak, despite the absence of Eric Gordon (back) against Charlotte and Phoenix last week. James Harden hasn't missed a game yet and leads the league in total minutes for the third straight season, but got some fourth-quarter rest on Saturday, because the Rockets' starting lineup outscored the Suns by 30 points in a little over 11 minutes. The other starters with Clint Capela at center have been worse defensively, but much better offensively than they've been with Montrezl Harrell or Nene at the five. And Mike D'Antoni has yet to experiment much with a super-spacing lineup with Gordon in place of a center.
John Wall called Monday's game against the Cavs the biggest regular season of his career, but Cleveland clearly circled the game (with a chance to end Washington's 17-game home winning streak) on its calendar as well. The result was one of the best games of the season and part of a stretch where the Cavs have scored 121 points per 100 possessions as they've won five of six. But a few nights later in Oklahoma City, on the second night of a back-to-back, LeBron James played 40-plus minutes for the 13th time (after it was thought he would sit out) and the Cavs didn't even get a win out of it. With Kevin Love dealing with knee soreness, James' load won't be any lighter this week.
The Spurs have been only slightly worse offensively on the road (109.8 points scored per 100 possessions) than they've been at home (110.2), but only three teams - Dallas, Cleveland and the Clippers - have taken a higher percentage of their shots from outside the paint. When the jumpers aren't falling, things can get ugly. That was the case in Memphis (without Kawhi Leonard) on Monday and in New York (where they're just 2-4 since 2011) on Sunday when they shot a combined 30 percent from outside the paint and assisted on less than half (28/63) of their buckets.
LeBron James' ridiculous shot and an inability to get stops in overtime brought an end to the Wizards' 17-game home winning streak. One issue that has popped up recently is the Wizards' inability to finish off possessions. They went to overtime again in Brooklyn on Wednesday, because they allowed the Nets (the league's third worst offensive rebounding team) to rack up 26 second chance points, and have allowed a league-worst 17.8 second chance points per game over the last five weeks. The (second) return of Ian Mahinmi could help in that regard and gives the Wizards one more useful rotation guy. But though they've outscored their opponents by 10 points per 100 possessions with Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky on the floor together, they should still be in the market for another backcourt reserve as the deadline approaches.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Must have been quite a moment for Isaiah Thomas to get that text from Tom Brady suggesting that it's Thomas' turn "next" to taste a championship. The reality, though, is that the law of averages has to be against the Celtics when you consider all the winning that has been happening in Boston in the new millennium. The Patriots' Super Bowl comeback accounted for the 10th championship -- TENTH! -- snagged by Boston-area franchises in North America's recognized Big Four major sports leagues since 2001. Thomas, though, just keeps doing his thing. The Celts' little big man is averaging a league-best 10.7 points per game in fourth quarters this season; Kobe Bryant's 9.5 PPG in fourth quarters in the 2005-06 season was the previous NBA high over the past 20 seasons.
The Grizzlies still hold the top mark this season in terms of biggest comeback with that unforgettable rally from 24 points down on the Warriors' floor on Jan. 6. Dallas has to settle for the season's second-biggest comeback in the second half, thanks to its rally from three touchdowns down in the third quarter against visiting Utah. The Grizz can also still claim a 2-1 mark in the season series with mighty Golden State despite the blowout inflicted Friday night on Memphis' floor by our top-ranked team. You have to believe Toney Douglas, meanwhile, has earned a rest-of-the-season deal in Memphis, judging by the Grizzlies' 10-2 record when Douglas gets on the court.
Gordon Hayward certainly hasn't slowed down since earning his maiden All-Star nod; Hayward has cracked the 30-point plateau in four of his past five games and remain on course to record the highest scoring average by anyone in Jazz colors since Karl Malone's 23.2 PPG in 2000-01. Utah's week, however, ended with a double thud after it hiked its record to 15 games over .500, thanks to blowing that 21-point lead in Dallas and a home loss Saturday night to Boston, suffered despite George Hill's 22 points. The Jazz are now 12-1 when Hill scores at least 20 points ... as well as 19-5 when both Hill and Hayward are in the lineup. Without Hill? The Jazz are 12-13.
Just days before the Super Bowl, Atlantans were celebrating the Hawks' rally from 20 points down with 8:25 to go in Houston to stun the Rockets, which marked the NBA's first comeback from 20 points down in the fourth quarter since Indiana turned the tables on Cleveland in April 2013. NBA teams had lost (you can look it up) 1,306 consecutive times in that situation before the Hawks' epic resurrection. Since then, though, Atlantans have to be wondering if any lead is safe. On top of the Falcons' Super Bowl collapse, they were also just forced to endure the Hawks' failure to hold onto a 22-point edge in Sacramento on Friday night.
The most improbable 13-game winning streak in the history of the NBA is over. Just three of Miami's 13 victims -- Houston, Golden State and Atlanta -- were .500-or-better teams. The streak also included a 10-game stretch that, according to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, will rank as the second-easiest span of 10 games for any team all season long. How much do you downgrade Miami's achievements based on those realities? Not much here. We want to go the other way and hat-tip these guys because all the February drama we've seen league-wide (Melo vs. Phil, Oak vs. Dolan, KD vs. OKC) kept the Heat's crazy win streak more under the radar than it should have been ... no matter who they were beating.