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.
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. Houston Rockets (LW: 29)
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.
29. San Antonio Spurs (LW: 30)
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.
28. Detroit Pistons (LW: 28)
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.
Surprisingly, the team did not trade Bogdanovic at the deadline with his value at a career-high. They will now look to finish out the season string as they build up ping pong balls for the draft lottery in the spring.
27. Charlotte Hornets (LW: 27)
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)
The young Orlando Magics, led by top pick Paolo Banchero have 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 recent wins over powerhouse squads like the 76ers and Nuggets.
25. Indiana Pacers (LW: 25)
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 unsurprisingly struggled mightily with him out.
After being among the top 15 for some time, the Pacers have slumped in a major way by going 1-9 in a recent 10-game streak and are now well under .500. At the trade deadline they added several well-aged veterans in Serge Ibaka and former Pacers star George Hill. Neither will make a major impact on this team.
24. Chicago Bulls (LW: 23)
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.
23. Washington Wizards (LW: 22)
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.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 18)
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 had turned the Thunder into a far more competitive team than they should be. OKC actually has a chance of reaching the NBA Play-In Tournament and it’s why they are one of the better stories this season.
21. Los Angeles Lakers (LW: 24)
After a disastrous start to the season where the Los Angeles Lakers were 2-10, LA has been a bit less than terrible in recent weeks. Lebron James is healthy and playing like an All-Star still, and Russell Westbrook hasn’t been a complete hindrance to the team’s success. However, a foot injury to Anthony Davis showed this team needs him to really be competitive.
Following his return, the team made a slew of trades to bolster their bench, including for Rui Hachimure, Mo Bamba, and for talented scoring guard D’Angelo Russell. However, the positive hopes could be in serious trouble with news that James could miss several weeks with a foot injury.
20. Toronto Raptors (LW: 21)
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 have strong footing in the postseason picture.
19. Portland Trail Blazers (LW: 19)
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.
18. New Orleans Pelicans (LW: 14)
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.
17. Utah Jazz (LW: 20)
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.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (LW: 13)
Despite poor chemistry and a major injury to Karl-Anthony Towns, there has been a sign of hope recently as the Minnesota Timberwolves have been playing much better and have steadily started to rise up the NBA power rankings after outstanding performances from Anthony Edwards.
At the deadline, they 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 hasn’t shown results just yet but the ‘Wolves are a dangerous group because of their unabashed talent.
15. Brooklyn Nets (LW: 16)
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 this team could still land a playoff spot in 2023.
14. Atlanta Hawks (LW: 17)
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 a bit better and there is hope they can salvage what has been a disappointing 2022-2023 season thus far.
13. Golden State Warriors (LW: 15)
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 Draymond Green also missing some time recently, the Warriors have had to fight to stay around .500 and in the playoff chase in February.
12. Dallas Mavericks (LW: 9)
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 continue to be inconsistent as head coach Jason Kidd continues to try and find ways to make this unique combo work on the floor.
11. Miami Heat (LW: 12)
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.
NBA power rankings top 10
10. Los Angeles Clippers (LW: 11)
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 Clippers are one to watch in March.
9. Phoenix Suns (LW: 7)
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, but by swinging the biggest deal of the 2023 NBA trade deadline for MVP candidate Kevin Durant. They are already good without Durant in the lineup yet, which should be a scary thought for the top teams in the West.
8. Sacramento Kings (LW: 8)
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: 10)
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.
6. Memphis Grizzlies (LW: 6)
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.
Despite rumors they might swing a big deal at the deadline, they stayed pat and will ride with their young core and see if it can take its game to another level in the postseason.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (LW: 5)
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. They may not reach the finals but they are a formidable force that is still young and only getting better in 2023.
4. Philadelphia 76ers (LW: 4)
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 play strong defense and have an MVP candidate leading the way. The Philadelphia 76ers are a force to be reckoned with in 2023.
3. Denver Nuggets (LW: 3)
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.
2. Boston Celtics (LW: 1)
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.
Since the first days of the season, Boston has been at or near the top of the NBA power rankings and continues to be a serious title contender as the NBA enters the final months of the season.
1. Milwaukee Bucks (LW: 2)
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. They are a runaway train at the moment, however, a recent knee injury to Antetokounmpo could eventually derail their hot streak. Nevertheless, they are deserving of being in the top spot in our latest NBA power rankings.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.