NBA Power Rankings: The Suns Are Rising

The Phoenix Suns' hot play has them rising up numberFire's power rankings once again.

With a couple of weeks of the 2020-21 NBA regular season in the books, it's time to take a look at numberFire's power rankings and see which teams saw the most movement since the last week.

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.

Here's a look at how each team stacks up.

The Bottom 10

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
30Chicago Bulls4-426.7300
29Minnesota Timberwolves2-529.1T23-6
28Detroit Pistons1-630.527-1
27Golden State Warriors4-331.3T23-4
26Oklahoma City Thunder2-432.522-4
25New York Knicks4-335.028+3
24Charlotte Hornets2-535.825-1
23Washington Wizards2-538.326+3
22Memphis Grizzlies2-539.321-1
21Miami Heat3-342.511-10

- The Minnesota Timberwolves have now lost five in a row and currently possess the worst net rating in the league. That definitely explains their six-spot drop in our rankings.

- Losses by 33 and 28 points in their last three contests have the Oklahoma City Thunder free-falling. The Thunder are right behind the Wolves with the league's second-worst net rating, and their offensive rating of 99.2 is 2.9 points worse than any other team in the league.

- With a 4-1 record over their last five games, the New York Knicks have started to ascend numberFire's power rankings. Each of those four victories has come against teams that currently have a winning record.

- After appearing in our top-10 to begin the season, the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat find themselves among the bottom-feeders, according to our metrics. Through six games, Miami has the fifth-worst offensive rating in the Association.

The Middle of the Pack

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
T19Portland Trail Blazers3-443.017-3
T19San Antonio Spurs3-443.0190
18Cleveland Cavaliers4-343.529+11
17Sacramento Kings3-444.518-1
16Houston Rockets2-345.920+4
15Toronto Raptors1-546.313-2
14Boston Celtics5-350.4T15+1
13Denver Nuggets3-450.59-4
12Orlando Magic5-253.1T15+3
11New Orleans Pelicans4-353.214+3

- As of this writing, the Portland Trail Blazers have the NBA's second-worst defensive rating (114.9). Portland has lost two of their last three games to the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls.

- The Cleveland Cavaliers have ridden the league's second-ranked defense to a 4-3 record and an 11-spot jump in our rankings. They'll need to improve their offense (currently second-worst), however, in order to continue winning.

- Winners of just one game, the Toronto Raptors continue to plummet in numberFire's power rankings. To date, Toronto owns the league's ninth-worst net rating and third-worst offensive rating. The Raptors are also second-to-last in effective field goal percentage.

- The Orlando Magic started the season 4-0, and despite losing two of their last three, they still possess the eighth-best net rating in the NBA.

The Best of the Best

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
10Los Angeles Clippers5-355.0T6-4
9Utah Jazz4-356.5T6-3
8Dallas Mavericks3-458.85-3
7Phoenix Suns5-259.812+5
6Indiana Pacers5-259.98+2
5Atlanta Hawks4-361.110+5
4Philadelphia 76ers6-163.740
3Brooklyn Nets4-468.72-1
2Los Angeles Lakers6-273.11-1
1Milwaukee Bucks4-378.63+2

- Picking up right where they left off in the bubble, the Phoenix Suns start the third week of the season with the second-best record in the Western Conference. Phoenix has the league's fifth-best net rating so far on the young season.

- Right behind Phoenix in terms of net rating is the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is currently top-10 in both offensive and defensive rating.

- The Atlanta Hawks continue to impress. Though Atlanta has lost three of their last four, none of those defeats came by more than five points. The Hawks' roster has dealt with plenty of turmoil this season, and yet they've maintained their consistency.

- Despite an uneven start, the Milwaukee Bucks have vaulted into the top spot of our rankings. Milwaukee's net rating is 2.9 points better than the next-best team in the NBA.