NBA Power Rankings: Here Comes Brooklyn
More than two months of the 2019-20 NBA season are in the books, which means it’s time to check out where each team stands in our power rankings.
Teams will be ranked in terms of nERD, which is our efficiency metric based on in-game data. These ratings allow us to understand which teams and players are performing best. nERD is indicative of a team's expected winning percentage, so an average team will have a nERD score of 50.0.
Only seven teams maintained the same rank as last week, which means there’s been a lot of movement. Let’s take a look at how each team stacks up.
The Bottom 10
|29||New York Knicks||4-20||19.8||28||-1|
|27||Golden State Warriors||5-20||23.3||30||+3|
|24||New Orleans Pelicans||6-18||32.2||21||-3|
- The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 13 of their last 14 games...by an average of 18.9 points. The Cavs have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league and the second-worst offensive rating. They're well deserving of the bottom spot, and you know things are bad when your best player wants to be traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
- The Golden State Warriors didn't lose every game this week, which for them is actually progress.
- New Orleans has lost each of their nine games since November 23rd, and it doesn't look like Zion Williamson will be returning until at least early January. The Pelicans will travel to Milwaukee and Philadelphia to take on two teams that are a combined 24-1 at home. Good luck.
The Middle of the Pack
|20||San Antonio Spurs||9-14||41.1||20||0|
|18||Portland Trail Blazers||10-15||47.2||16||-2|
|13||Oklahoma City Thunder||11-12||53.4||14||+1|
- Our Faller of the Week Award goes to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After a promising start to their season, the Wolves have lost five in a row by an average of 12 points. Things have gotten so bad that Karl-Anthony Towns literally has to beg for the ball.
- The Orlando Magic won four straight before barely losing to the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. Orlando still has the league's sixth-worst offense, but their defense has cracked the top-10 in terms of efficiency.
- A 1-2 week has the Utah Jazz continuing to drop down our rankings. After starting 11-5, the Jazz have lost six of their last eight and find themselves at a season-low 16th in our rankings. Once the top-ranked team in defensive efficiency, Utah is now outside the top-10 in that category and inside the bottom-10 in offensive efficiency.
- Our Riser of the Week Award goes to the Brooklyn Nets, who have now won 8 of their last 10 games. The Nets, who were 4-7 with Kyrie Irving, are now 9-3 without the six-time all-star. Spencer Dinwiddie has averaged 23.8 points and 7.6 assists in Irving's absence.
The Best of the Best
|8||Los Angeles Clippers||18-7||62.7||7||-1|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||21-3||79.7||2||0|
- After losing two of their last three games -- including a seven-point defeat by the Pistons and a one-point win against the bottom-feeding Knicks -- the Indiana Pacers dropped two spots in our rankings. Victor Oladipo's return can't come soon enough.
- After beating the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets in back-to-back games, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves back inside our top-10. The Sixers are still struggling on the road, with just a 5-7 record, and few of their away wins have been convincing.
- The Toronto Raptors started the season 15-4 but have since lost three of their last four contests. In one week, their net rating dropped from third in the league to sixth.
- The Milwaukee Bucks haven't lost since December 8th, and the Los Angeles Lakers have lost once since December 10th. They are clearly the two best teams in the league right now.