NBA Power Rankings: Can Brooklyn Right the Ship?

Kyrie Irving's return hasn't given the Brooklyn Nets the boost they'd hoped for. Can they still turn their season around?

More than half of the 2019-20 NBA season is in the books, so let's take a look at numberFire's 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.

Not a single team moved more than two spots in our rankings, as most squads have already established their identity. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at how each team stacks up.

The Bottom 10

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
30Cleveland Cavaliers13-3519.2300
29Atlanta Hawks12-3621.3290
28Golden State Warriors10-3825.827-1
27Charlotte Hornets16-3128.226-1
26New York Knicks13-3528.628+2
25Washington Wizards15-3133.8250
T23Sacramento Kings17-2939.024+1
T23Minnesota Timberwolves16-2939.022-1
22Chicago Bulls19-3040.523+1
21Brooklyn Nets19-2642.519-2

- The Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings were the only teams in this tier to win more games than they lost this week. The Kings have won two in a row after dropping six straight. Meanwhile, Chicago has won 6 of their last 10.

- The Golden State Warriors are hanging on for dear life to the league's worst record. Golden State went 0-3 this week and has now lost a whopping 14 of their last 15. The Warriors have the league's worst offensive rating by 1.2 points.

- Kyrie Irving's return hasn't prevented the Brooklyn Nets from earning our Faller of the Week Award. The Nets, who have essentially played .500 ball (13-14) without Irving, are now 6-12 with him in the lineup. Brooklyn has the league's third-worst offensive rating since Kyrie returned, as well as the second-worst assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Middle of the Pack

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
20Detroit Pistons17-3142.7200
19New Orleans Pelicans19-2943.221+2
18Memphis Grizzlies23-2444.3180
17Portland Trail Blazers20-2745.6170
16Orlando Magic21-2747.314-2
15San Antonio Spurs20-2648.716+1
14Phoenix Suns20-2749.015+1
13Denver Nuggets32-1555.612-1
12Oklahoma City Thunder28-2057.913+1
11Miami Heat32-1559.110-1

- Our Riser of the Week Award goes to the New Orleans Pelicans, who have won 7 of their last 11 contests. Rookie phenom Zion Williamson has already made his presence felt, especially in the Pelicans' 123-108 victory over the Boston Celtics -- Zion posted 21 points and 11 rebounds in that one.

- An 0-4 week is enough to knock the Orlando Magic a couple pegs down in our rankings. At -11.2, Orlando has the league's worst net rating over their last seven games.

- In their last six games, the Phoenix Suns have gone on the road and beaten the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks. In the 15 games since Deandre Ayton returned, the Suns have ranked inside the top-12 in net and defensive efficiency.

- In the month of January, only six teams have a better net rating than the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have been doing it on both ends, as they're inside the top-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency for the month.

The Best of the Best

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
10Philadelphia 76ers31-1759.78-2
9Indiana Pacers30-1760.011+2
8Houston Rockets29-1760.29+1
7Utah Jazz32-1463.170
6Los Angeles Clippers33-1464.460
5Boston Celtics31-1566.250
4Dallas Mavericks29-1866.73-1
3Toronto Raptors33-1468.24+1
2Los Angeles Lakers36-1072.220
1Milwaukee Bucks41-687.410

- Not being able to buy a road win is going to cost you in the NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers have come out victorious in just two of their last nine road games, and their 9-15 record away from home is by the worst of any team that's currently holding a top-six seed in either conference. There's an astronomical 12.8-point difference in Philly's net rating at home versus on the road.

- Despite James Harden's struggles, the Houston Rockets managed to go 3-1 this week, including defeats of the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.

- The Dallas Mavericks have lost three of their last five, and last night's 29-point thrashing by the Suns was not a pretty sight. That said, the Mavs still top the league in offensive efficiency at 115.8.

- Winners of eight straight, the Toronto Raptors are the only team to move up in our top five. Toronto's net rating since 2020 began is third in the league, behind only the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz.