NBA Power Rankings: Running Out of Magic?

Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic have lost 10 of their last 13 contests. Can they turn it around in time to secure a playoff berth?

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

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
30Cleveland Cavaliers13-4017.2300
29Atlanta Hawks15-4023.0290
28Golden State Warriors12-4226.427-1
27Charlotte Hornets17-3627.228+1
26New York Knicks17-3730.5260
25Washington Wizards19-3336.9250
24Chicago Bulls19-3637.4240
23Minnesota Timberwolves16-3638.8230
22Detroit Pistons19-3740.721-1
21Sacramento Kings21-3241.022+1

- 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

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
20New Orleans Pelicans23-3144.5200
19Orlando Magic23-3146.515-4
18Memphis Grizzlies27-2646.6180
17Brooklyn Nets24-2846.819+2
16Phoenix Suns21-3347.1160
15San Antonio Spurs23-3147.314-1
14Portland Trail Blazers25-3047.617+3
13Philadelphia 76ers34-2157.0130
12Indiana Pacers31-2357.510-2
11Houston Rockets34-2058.49-2

- 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

- A one-point loss to the red-hot Toronto Raptors was the only thing that stood between the Brooklyn Nets and a great week. Brooklyn has improved their lead over the eighth-seed Magic to two games.

- 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

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
T9Oklahoma City Thunder32-2258.511+2
T9Denver Nuggets38-1658.512+3
8Miami Heat35-1859.47-1
7Utah Jazz35-1859.78+1
6Los Angeles Clippers37-1763.860
5Dallas Mavericks32-2265.050
4Boston Celtics37-1667.440
3Toronto Raptors40-1469.930
2Los Angeles Lakers40-1272.320
1Milwaukee Bucks46-785.810

- 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.