NBA

NBA Power Rankings: The Suns Are Rising

The Phoenix Suns have been one of the most dominant teams since the NBA resumed play. How much of a bump did they get in our rankings?

It's been two weeks since the NBA resumed play, which means it's a good time to see where each team stands.

For 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.

Make sure to read my odds update in order to find the best championship bets to make at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Let's take a look at the rankings.

The Bottom Feeders

Rank Team Record nERD numberFire
Playoff Odds
numberFire
Champs Probability
Last
Ranking
Plus/Minus
23 Washington Wizards 24-44 36.7 0.0% 0.0% 22 -1
21 Sacramento Kings 29-39 43.6 1.7% 0.0% 21 0
20 Brooklyn Nets 32-36 45.7 100.0% 0.0% 18 -2
19 New Orleans Pelicans 29-39 46.1 4.7% 0.0% 16 -3
18 San Antonio Spurs 29-38 46.6 6.1% 0.1% 19 +1
16 Phoenix Suns 30-39 47.5 3.6% 0.0% 20 +4
16 Memphis Grizzlies 32-37 47.5 40.5% 0.1% 14 -2


- The Washington Wizards somehow rank 23rd out of the 22 teams in the bubble. On the plus side, they didn't lose by double-digits in two of their four games

- The New Orleans Pelicans went from having 14.0% playoff odds to 4.7%. Losing three out of four will do that.

- Since the restart, the Phoenix Suns are 4-0 with the third-best net rating and fourth-best defensive rating. In their last three games, Phoenix has beaten the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Indiana Pacers. Phoenix gets the biggest bump in our rankings.

- The Memphis Grizzlies saw their playoff odds drop by 8.1%. I'll have to double-check, but I'm pretty going 0-4 had something to do with that.

The Middle of the Pack

Rank Team Record nERD numberFire
Playoff Odds
numberFire
Champs Probability
Last
Ranking
Plus/Minus
15 Portland Trail Blazers 32-38 47.8 43.80% 0.00% 17 2
14 Orlando Magic 32-37 48.4 100.00% 0.00% 15 1
13 Denver Nuggets 45-24 54.6 100.00% 0.70% 13 0
12 Philadelphia 76ers 41-27 56.2 100.00% 0.70% 12 0
11 Utah Jazz 43-25 56.4 100.00% 1.20% 10 -1
10 Indiana Pacers 42-27 57.7 100.00% 0.60% 11 1
9 Houston Rockets 43-25 58.3 100.00% 1.90% 9 0
8 Miami Heat 43-26 58.6 100.00% 0.90% 7 -1
7 Oklahoma City Thunder 42-25 58.8 100.00% 1.20% 8 1
6 Dallas Mavericks 41-30 63.5 100.00% 2.50% T5 -1


- Before the bubble began bubbling, the Portland Trail Blazers had 9.1% odds of making the playoffs, according to our models. They now sit at 43.8%. Damian Lillard is averaging 31.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 11.5 assists through those four contests.

- The Indiana Pacers have gone 3-1 on the back of T.J. Warren averaging 33.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.8 blocks on 58.7/53.6/85.7 shooting splits.

- The Dallas Mavericks have lost to the Houston Rockets, Suns, and Clippers and are now 3.0 games clear of the 7 seed in the West. Dallas has surrendered an average of 126.5 points per game through four games.

The Best of the Best

RankTeamRecordnERDnumberFire
Playoff Odds
numberFire
Champs Probability
Last
Ranking
Plus/Minus
5Los Angeles Clippers46-2265.6100.0%8.0%T51
4Boston Celtics45-2365.9100.0%4.7%40
3Toronto Raptors49-1869.1100.0%8.8%30
2Los Angeles Lakers51-1769.4100.0%17.6%20
1Milwaukee Bucks55-1481.1100.0%51.0%10


- According to numberFire's models, the odds that the title winner comes from this group is 90.1%.

- Continuing their Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonation, the Los Angeles Clippers alternated losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and Suns with handlings of the Pelicans and Mavericks. They just can't seem to string together consistent quality play.

- The Toronto Raptors are undefeated in the bubble with victories over the Lakers and Miami Heat included. They've allowed just 98 points per game since the restart, which, in today's NBA, is the equivalent of playing defense like the '85 Chicago Bears.

- Neither the Milwaukee Bucks nor the Lakers have looked dominant to start. The Lakers have lost three of their last four by an average of 16.7 points per game. Though, it's worth noting that both teams have very little to play for right now.