NBA Power Rankings: Running Out of Magic?
With just two days left before the NBA All-Star break, it's time to 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.
Only seven teams moved multiple 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
|28||Golden State Warriors||12-42||26.4||27||-1|
|26||New York Knicks||17-37||30.5||26||0|
- Not a single team in this tier moved multiple spots or won more than two games.
- The trade for Andrew Wiggins hasn't paid dividends yet, as the Golden State Warriors lost each of their three games this week. Golden State has increased their lead in the tank standings to 1.5 games.
- Who knew that dumping Andre Drummond for a pack of disposable wipes would result in the Detroit Pistons losing games? I'm guessing Detroit did. The Pistons went 0-3 without Drummond, including losses to the pitiful New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.
- The Sacramento Kings had the most impressive week of this bunch. Sacramento racked wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat and played a competitive game in their only loss to the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
The Middle of the Pack
|20||New Orleans Pelicans||23-31||44.5||20||0|
|15||San Antonio Spurs||23-31||47.3||14||-1|
|14||Portland Trail Blazers||25-30||47.6||17||+3|
- The Orlando Magic take home our esteemed Faller of the Week Award. Orlando lost three times in four games, including one defeat at the hands of the bottom-feeding Knicks. The Magic currently have the fourth-worst offensive rating and second-worst effective field goal percentage in the league
- There's no doubt that winning on the road is tough in the NBA, but losing three games on the road in a given week is going to drop you in the rankings. In the case of the San Antonio Spurs, their rough week also dropped them to 4.5 games out of the eighth-seed in the West.
- Speaking of the eighth-seed, the Portland Trail Blazers are only three games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for that spot in the West. Portland has won six of their last nine and have the league's best offensive rating during that stretch.
- The Indiana Pacers played four games this week -- three at home -- and lost all of them. Indiana's margin of defeat was just 4.5 points, but losses are losses. The Pacers now sit 4.5 games back of the fourth-seed and 2.5 back of the fifth-seed, putting a dent in their hopes of securing a round of home-court advantage in the playoffs.
- Inconsistent play continues to hamper the Houston Rockets. Houston had two impressive victories this week against the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics but also lost to both the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. No surprise here, but in their last eight games without Clint Capela healthy or on their roster, Houston has the league's worst rebounding percentage.
The Best of the Best
|T9||Oklahoma City Thunder||32-22||58.5||11||+2|
|6||Los Angeles Clippers||37-17||63.8||6||0|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||40-12||72.3||2||0|
- Our Riser of the Week Award goes to the Denver Nuggets. Denver came out victorious in each of their three contests this week, and now have a one-game lead for the second-seed in the West. The Nuggets have won 24 of their last 32 games, with Nikola Jokic averaging 23.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists on 54.9/39.3/81.1 shooting splits.
- The Utah Jazz move up to seventh in our rankings after beating Portland, Houston, and the Dallas Mavericks in three consecutive games this week. The Jazz have a 1.5-game lead over the fifth-seeded Rockets in the West.
- No team inside the top six saw their rankings change. It's worth noting that the gap in nERD score between the Lakers and the third-place Raptors is as close as it's been in three months.