NBA Power Rankings: Los Angeles Lakers hot streak leads to major jump

With the 2022-2023 season underway, our NBA power rankings are active, and here to let you know who are the top teams right now in the association.

Along with the latest pecking order around the league, you can also keep up to date with the current NBA standings, and take an early look at the NBA Draft.

Related: NBA scores – Get the latest results from last night’s NBA action

Now, let’s take a look at the NBA power rankings for all 30 teams in the top professional basketball league in the world.

30. Detroit Pistons (LW: 30)

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A season-ending injury to young star Cade Cunningham put an end to any real plans that the team had to be competitive in 2022-2023. Plus, while off-season acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic has played very well, rookies Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey have not been able to pick up the pieces and push Detroit beyond being a lottery-bound organization.

It has been a terrible season in Detroit after having so much hope to start the year. At this point, all the team can do is hope they finish dead last and rack up enough ping pong balls to win the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes in the spring.

29. Houston Rockets (LW: 29)

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While young stars like Jalen Green and Kevin Porter, Jr. have been solid in 2022-2023, neither they nor first-round pick Jabari Smith has done anywhere close to what is needed to make the Houston Rockets a competitive squad this season.

Players young and old have publicly aired their frustration this season, but the team continued its rebuild through the trade deadline by finally shipping off disgruntled veteran Eric Gordon and bringing back John Wall just to buy out his contract and send him packing. They will play out the schedule and develop as best they can with plans for big moves in NBA free agency this summer.

28. San Antonio Spurs (LW: 28)

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After a surprisingly fast start to the season, the San Antonio Spurs have since regressed to where many analysts figured they would be this season. At or near the bottom of the Western Conference. They have lived up to that expectation with a recent 10-game losing skid. After trading Jakob Poeltl, the roster is devoid of serious impact players.

27. Charlotte Hornets (LW: 27)

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Being without LaMelo Ball to begin the season was killer for the Charlotte Hornets. And despite the best efforts of the rest of the team, the Hornets resided in the back end of the Eastern Conference standings.

Yet, even with the young star back and posting double-double games, the Hornets have remained one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. Unfortunately, like his brother Ball has dealt with injury issues all season long and was hit with another that could possibly keep him out for the rest of the season.

26. Orlando Magic (LW: 26)

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The young Orlando Magics, led by top pick Paolo Banchero has been inconsistent throughout the season. But that is to be expected with a team in a complete rebuild and full of prospects. While the Magic are headed to another lottery selection in the spring, they have shown some heart and hung in there with far better teams, and even have earned notable wins over powerhouse squads like the 76ers and Nuggets.

25. Portland Trail Blazers (LW: 19)

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Back from a season-ending injury, Damian Lillard was playing like a monster to start the NBA season and helped the Portland Trailblazer gets off to a very fast start. However, he suffered a hamstring injury recently and the team immediately went into a slump soon after.

Yet, even with their anchor back, the Trail Blazers have not played as well as they did earlier in the season. If the team can’t reach the play-in tournament despite a strong effort to improve the roster over the last six months, heads could roll on the Portland bench and in the front office.

24. Indiana Pacers (LW: 25)

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The Indiana Pacers were riding high for the first few months of the season, as they surprised the league and were close to the top 10 of our NBA power rankings. However, All-Star candidate Tyrese Haliburton suffered a pair of injuries in January and the team has struggled mightily ever since

Despite the star from Sacramento being back in the lineup, what seemed like a team that was a shoo-in to make the playoffs in 2023, Indiana has fallen to the back of the standings and out of the playoff picture.

23. Chicago Bulls (LW: 24)

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The Chicago Bulls’ poor showing thus far has been a product of several issues hindering the team. Certainly, Lonzo Ball’s absence has hurt, but no one expected the chemistry from last season between Demar DeRozan and Zach Lavine to completely disappear.

Now, with Ball out for the rest of the season it looks like falling back into mediocrity will be the result for Chicago in 2023.

22. Washington Wizards (LW: 23)

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The Washington Wizards were a solid squad after the first month of the season. They seemed playoff bound with their talented trio of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma playing well together. However, that changed as 2022 reached a close.

Even with all their key players healthy in the new year, the team has been middle-of-the-road at best and continues to be an inconsistent unit despite the obvious talent.

21. New Orleans Pelicans (LW: 21)

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The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the biggest stories in the NBA this season. Zion Williamson, CJ McCollom, and Brandon Ingram have all hovered around averaging over 20 points a game, and been a three-headed monster that flew up the Western Conference standings. Unfortunately, that old injury bug hit Williamson and everything was derailed.

With Williamson still far away from making a return after his latest setback, the Pelicans have plummeted in our NBA power rankings and are barely holding onto a playoff spot in a weaker-than-usual Western Conference.

20. Utah Jazz (LW: 18)

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The Utah Jazz has been one of the best stories in the NBA power rankings this season. They’ve got off to a far better start than expected due to outstanding performances from All-Star Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson. As well as great leadership from new head coach Will Hardy.

Heading into March, they continue to be a competitive unit despite trading away more pieces at the deadline and not adding much back. Utah is one of the fascinating stories in the league as they are a rebuilding team with legit hopes to make the 2023 NBA playoffs.

19. Toronto Raptors (LW: 17)

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While the Toronto Raptors were solid for the first few months of the season, they have struggled mightily heading into 2023. They have battled injuries to key players and it has had an effect. Yet, their overall play has not been where they expected despite having an elite coach in Nick Nurse.

Despite being the epicenter of trade rumors, the Raptors did not ship off their top players, and instead added sought-after big man Jakob Poeltl. They are fully invested in making a serious run to and in the NBA playoffs and it may have paid off with the team playing much better lately and having a strong footing in the postseason picture.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 22)

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Despite not having first-round pick Chet Holmgren all season long, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been much better than expected. Thanks to head coach Mark Daigneault and budding superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

SGA has been a revelation in ’22-’23 as the first-time All-Star has turned the Thunder into a far more competitive team than they should be. March has been one of their best months yet as the team is now as high as eight in the Western Conference pecking order. Unbelievable.

17. Brooklyn Nets (LW: 16)

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After being an absolute dumpster fire for more than a month to start the season, the Brooklyn Nets made some key adjustments in their coaching staff and mindset and have returned to prominence in the NBA power rankings. As head coach, Jacque Vaughn was able to tap into the best of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and the duo was dominant at times since.

Then the drama returned in February and the team was forced to move both superstars in shocking blockbuster deals. Now, they are going with a far less star-studded group, however, Jacque Vaughn seems to still be getting the best out of his roster and Mikal Bridges has taken several steps forward in his game under his tutelage.

16. Los Angeles Lakers (LW: 20)

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After a disastrous start to the season where the Los Angeles Lakers were 2-10, LA slowly but surely rounded into a far more competitive squad. But, they unsurprisingly had to battle injuries to their top players and needed to revise the roster during this year’s trade deadline to finally get some consistently effective lineups.

When Lebron James and D’Angelo Russell went down with injuries, it seemed likely the team would again suffer setbacks in the standings. However, Anthony Davis has been outstanding in finally getting the team into a playoff spot and being one of the hottest teams out west despite the absence of the new scoring king.

15. Atlanta Hawks (LW: 15)

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The Atlanta Hawks have been hit by a plague of drama this season and its shows in their place in the NBA standings and in recent rankings. It came to a head recently when the team fired head coach Nate McMillan in February. Since the dismissal, the team has seemingly played better and there is hope they can salvage what has been a disappointing 2022-2023 season thus far.

Trae Young posted some of his best numbers of the season in March and has caught fire from the three-point line this month.

14. Dallas Mavericks (LW: 11)

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The Dallas Mavericks have been an inconsistent group for much of the year. While Luka Doncic has been outstanding — including making NBA history recently — they have constantly endured hot and cold streaks. That’s why it was no surprise that Doncic uncharacteristically pushed the front office to make some moves before the trade deadline.

Before Feb. 9, they delivered with an absolute game-changer in acquiring superstar guard Kyrie Irving. Yet, despite the upside in the pairing of the two superstar scorers, the Mavericks have struggled mightily and their big risk to make themselves a contender again in 2023 has not at all paid off.

13. Los Angeles Clippers (LW: 14)

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More than any team in the NBA, health is the biggest story surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers. The talent is there for the Clippers to be serious title contenders this season, but both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have again dealt with injuries off and on this season. It has led to hot and cold streaks for this veteran group.

However, they have played better recently and Leonard seems to be finding his vintage form with several 30-plus point outbursts in February. They added veterans Eric Gordon and Mason Plumlee at the trade deadline and finally answered their point guard problems by signing buyout market star Russell Westbrook. The question is, did they make themselves better, or worse? Thus far the results are mixed on the new-look Clippers.

12. Minnesota Timberwolves (LW: 13)

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At the deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves chose to go with age over youth in swapping out D’Angelo Russell and bringing in veteran floor general Mike Conley to lead the offense. It took some time, but the Timberwolves have been trending in the right direction to kick off March. Once Karl-Anthony Towns returns to the court, it will be interesting to see if the team’s front-court “Big Three” can find chemistry before the playoffs kick-off.

11. Golden State Warriors (LW: 12)

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The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors struggled big time early in the season. They were bad on the road and their usually solid defense was one of the worst in the league. Yet, they seemed to circle the wags on their season and were headed in the right direction until a pair of injuries sidelined superstar Stephen Curry and threw things back into disarray.

With their team icon finally back, the team has caught fire at just the right time and has steadily been climbing up the NBA power rankings. The unit that looked highly unlikely to go far in the playoffs seems to be rounding into form at just the right time.

NBA power rankings top 10

10. Miami Heat (LW: 10)

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After a rough couple of months to start the season, the Miami Heat are looking much more like the team that went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in the spring. Bam Adebayo has played very well this season and has been key in getting them back among the eight best in the conference.

The Miami Heat will be a tough out in the NBA Playoffs due to the talents of Jimmy Butler and the improved play of Adebayo. But Kevin Love won’t be enough to make them a serious Finals threat in a deep east.

9. Phoenix Suns (LW: 8)

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What head coach Monty Williams and the Phoenix Suns were able to do early this season, despite the Jae Crowder drama and with Chris Paul in a sharp decline, was remarkable. But then MVP candidate Devin Booker was sidelined with a groin injury for nearly a month and they plummeted in the standings.

However, they have made a massive jump in the NBA power rankings not just for their improved play after Booker’s return, and by swinging the biggest deal of the 2023 NBA trade deadline for MVP candidate Kevin Durant. But while they have played better, another injury to the new superstar has raised many questions about how much they can rely on the man known as “KD” this season.

8. Sacramento Kings (LW: 9)

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After a slow start to the ’22-’23 season, the young gun Sacramento Kings have become one of the best stories in the league this season. Both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are playing like an All-Stars, and it has led to Sacramento being a top-10 team in the NBA. It’s been a long time since that was a reality, but this team and their high-powered offense are legit and unlikely to slip from this lofty perch.

Now, they must finish the story and continue their surprise season by getting Sacramento back into the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

7. New York Knicks (LW: 6)

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After an inconsistent start, the New York Knicks caught fire in December, stumbled a bit in January, and righted themselves in February with another strong finish to the month. While they don’t have a superstar-level player on the roster, they have a well-rounded starting five led by Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson and have legitimate upside to be even better than they have been so far this season.

The end of Feb. and early March has looked much like Dec. with the team on absolute fire and one of the best in the league. What is most impressive is they are getting impact performances from players all over the roster and are playing some of the best team ball in the NBA.

6. Memphis Grizzlies (LW: 7)

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Ja Morant has become one of the best players in the league and that automatically gives the Memphis Grizzlies a leg up on most teams every night. While they dominated and were near the top of our NBA power rankings for much of the early winter, they have stumbled often in 2023.

Things have seemingly gotten worse lately with Morant embroiled in several off-the-court scandals that have landed him a suspension and investigation. Despite the off-the-court drama and it being unclear when their top player will be back, the team has played well of late and seemingly has gotten stronger with the dark cloud hovering over them.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (LW: 5)

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been strong all season with a deep and talented starting five. While they didn’t swing a major trade at the deadline they are well ahead of schedule as an elite squad in the East. Donovan Mitchell has been everything they expected and more as he has seemingly taken his game to a new level this season.

The Eastern Conference has the top teams in the NBA right now, but the Cavs are a legitimate force in the conference.

4. Denver Nuggets (LW: 2)

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It’s been another year of MVP-level performances from reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. The big man is a triple-double machine again in ’22-’23, however, the big difference compared to last season is the play of secondary stars like Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon.

They have been one of the most consistent teams for months and despite some strong challenges in the conference, they are without a doubt the best team in the West with Jokic on pace for a remarkable feat by winning a third straight NBA MVP award.

3. Philadelphia 76ers (LW: 4)

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The Philadelphia 76ers have dealt with a lot so far this season. Joel Embiid got off to a slow start. James Harden was playing terrifically before a foot injury knocked him out for a month. Then Tyrese Maxey was forced to the sideline for weeks as well after his own hot start.

However, in the new year, the group has been healthy and clicking on absolutely every cylinder. They have established themselves among the elites in the Eastern Conference by playing strong defense and having an MVP candidate leading the way. The Philadelphia 76ers are a force to be reckoned with in 2023.

2. Boston Celtics (LW: 3)

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Even without suspended head coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics are having another fantastic season. Their offense is one of the best in the league and the combo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are playing like a pair of All-Stars who learned a lot and got better from their NBA Finals defeat earlier this year. That is why the team gave an extension to interim coach Joe Mazzulla.

However, in March the Cs have struggled a bit and suffered a pair of surprise losses to the Knicks on the road and at home recently. For the first time since the earliest days of our NBA power rankings, Boston is not holding down the No. 1 spot and they may not get it back the way the Milwaukee Bucks are playing.

1. Milwaukee Bucks (LW: 1)

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Unsurprisingly, the Milwaukee Bucks are again an elite squad again this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing at an MVP level and the team’s defense is one of the best in the league. At and after the trade deadline the team has also made little tweaks to strengthen their chances of a serious playoff run.

In February they were the hottest team in the league as they reeled off 14 straight wins and they maintained that in March and were the first team in the league to lock up a 2023 playoff spot. The Bucks are playing their best at just the right time.

This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.

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