NBA Power Rankings: Nikola Jokic and Nuggets closing in on top spot

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 the newest NBA trade rumors ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline.

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. Houston Rockets (LW: 30)

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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. They seemed bad before, but a recent nine-game losing skid, where they gave up 125 or more points five times, has taken them to a new low.

29. Charlotte Hornets (LW: 29)

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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. The group that surprised in reaching the NBA Play-In tourney last season have completely disappeared in ’22-’23.

28. Detroit Pistons (LW: 28)

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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.

The big story as the team makes their way to the Feb. 9 trade deadline will undoubtedly be about what the team can land in a deal for Bogdanovic.

27. San Antonio Spurs (LW: 27)

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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. The team lost seven of eight games recently and seems on pace for a record-setting bad season. However, despite the poor results, Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson have been bright spots and could be key parts of the team’s eventual turnaround in the future.

26. Orlando Magic (LW: 26)

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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 have tried to hang in there with teams that are superior. They won’t be in the playoff hunt but this young unit is getting a good deal of valuable learning minutes.

25. 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 star trio of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma playing well together. However, that changed as 2022 reached a close, and they plummeted down the NBA power rankings after losing 11 of 12 at one point.

24. Chicago Bulls (LW: 22)

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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. If things continue to play out as they have, this season could devolve into the organization choosing who they want to go forward with: Zach LaVine or head coach Billy Donovan.

23. Toronto Raptors (LW: 24)

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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. It has been reported recently that the organization is open for trade business, however, their asking price has turned off teams around the NBA.

22. Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 25)

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Despite not having first-round pick Chet Holmgren all season long, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been a competitive bunch. Thanks to head coach Mark Daigneault and budding superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA has been a revelation in ’22-’23 and looks headed to his first All-Star appearance in a season where the team could land a spot in the Play-In tourney.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (LW: 19)

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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 means they could be without their top player for the foreseeable future.

If Davis does not return this year, the Lakers will need to make an impact trade or miss the playoffs for a second straight season.

20. Portland Trail Blazers (LW: 16)

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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 well of late and are still slumping. If this continues, one has to wonder if now could be the time that Portland finally blows things up and deal Lillard.

19. Phoenix Suns (LW: 17)

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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. They had one of, if not the best record in the West for the first couple of months. But then MVP candidate Devin Booker was sidelined with an injury, and the Suns have not been able to maintain the standard in his absence.

The Suns have consistently fallen in our NBA power rankings since.

18. Atlanta Hawks (LW: 20)

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The Atlanta Hawks have been hit by a plague of drama as the season continues to play out, and it’s shown as they have plummeted down the NBA standings and our rankings in recent weeks. However, the bigger issue may be a growing divide between stars Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan. As well as new rumors that Young could be the next superstar asking for a trade.

With new reports of the issues going on in their front office, the Hawks seem on the cusp of a notable period of upheaval throughout the organization.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (LW: 21)

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Following a calf injury that knocked Karl-Anthony Towns for over a month, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been up and down to start 2023. Losing streaks are now often followed by runs of the hot play. While they aren’t bad, the fact that Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert haven’t been able to lead the team to a better than .500 record is worrying.

16. 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 gotten off to a far better start than expected due to outstanding performances from Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson. As well as great leadership from new head coach Will Hardy. The team expected to be sellers at the NBA trade deadline may actually surprise and be buyers in February.

15. Los Angeles Clippers (LW: 15)

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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 this season. It has led to hot and cold streaks for the team. They are once again in a down period having lost 7 of their last 10 as George battles a hamstring issue.

14. Golden State Warriors (LW: 13)

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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 seemed headed in the right direction until an injury to superstar Stephen Curry put the momentum in danger.

However, they persevered due to strong play from Jordan Poole, and seem primed for a move up our NBA power rankings now with Curry back on the court.

13. Indiana Pacers (LW: 12)

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The Indiana Pacers continue to be better than expected and have the makings of a new dynamic duo on their hands in Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Benedict Mathurin. Unfortunately, they have the tough luck of being in the same division as powerhouses like the Cavaliers and Bucks. Nevertheless, the Pacers have far exceeded expectations and seem poised for a return to the postseason in 2023 based on the play of their young stars.

12. Miami Heat (LW: 14)

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After a rough couple of months to start the season, the Miami Heat have finally started to look more like the team that went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in the spring. Bam Adebayo has played well this season and has been a key in getting them back in the chase to avoid a play-in game.

If Miami can swing a notable deal at the trade deadline, they could be a contender again in 2022-2023.

11. Sacramento Kings (LW: 11)

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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. De’Aaron Fox is playing like an All-Star and Domantas Sabonis has been an excellent No. 2 option. They are headed to ending a 16-year streak of missing the playoffs in 2023 led by one of the elite offenses in the league this season.

NBA power rankings top 10

10. New York Knicks (LW: 10)

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After an inconsistent start, the New York Knicks caught fire to start December. It helped them make a major jump in our NBA power rankings as Julius Randle was playing like the MVP candidate he was two years ago, and Jalen Brunson continued to look like one of the best free-agent signings by any team this summer.

Unfortunately, an injury to Brunson derailed things temporarily. However, he is back on the court and has New York among the top six squads in the Eastern Conference.

9. New Orleans Pelicans (LW: 8)

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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 has hit Williamson and their strong play was hit with a setback.

After being near the top of the conference for a time, they have fallen firmly behind Memphis and Denver again.

8. Dallas Mavericks (LW: 9)

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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 — and the team has played well defensively, they have constantly endured hot and cold streaks. However, they have been on a notable upward swing in recent weeks and are one of the hottest teams in the league to begin the new year.

7. Philadelphia 76ers (LW: 7)

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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, the future Hall-of-Famer is healthy, Embiid is playing like an MVP candidate and their defense is one of the best in the NBA. This team is a serious force in the East, and finally has Maxey back.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (LW: 5)

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are the dark horse team not just in the East, but in the whole NBA. That is just how deep and talented they are in the starting five. That has shown all season long as they have one of the best records in the Eastern Conference and look to be well ahead of schedule as a title contender now, and not later.

Mitchell has been everything they hoped for and more and showed it with a record-setting 71-point masterpiece early in January. They have also been a top-shelf defensive squad, which will be a game-changer in the playoffs.

5. Brooklyn Nets (LW: 2)

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After being an absolute dumpster fire for more than a month to start the season, the Brooklyn Nets are the hottest team in the sport after winning 12 straight over the last couple of weeks. The early season drama has seemingly awakened a beast and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have started to wreck house every night with interim head coach Jacque Vaughn guiding them back to elite status in the league.

Unfortunately, the team was hit with another major setback with Durant suffering a knee injury that could keep him out for some time. If the team can maintain their play with Irving and Ben Simmons leading the way, they could forge a unified front that makes them a serious title contender when Durant returns.

4. Milwaukee Bucks (LW: 6)

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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. However, what has been impressive is they racked up a bunch of wins early in the season without Kris Middleton.

After being one of the top two teams in our NBA power rankings for much of the season, the Bucks slumped a bit to begin the new year and have slipped out of the top two over the last two weeks.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (LW: 4)

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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 stumbled for a couple of weeks entering December, the Grizz kicked off the new year on fire. They are again looking like the squad that had NBA Finals potential late last season and could soon add a big trade chip to strengthen their chances.

2. Denver Nuggets (LW: 3)

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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 Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are back and are playing well. But, Aaron Gordon’s strong play this season has been massive in making the Nuggets as deep as ever and a serious threat to reach the NBA Finals.

1. Boston Celtics (LW: 1)

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Even without suspended head coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics are off to another fantastic start this 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. Boston is the team to beat in the NBA and has been all season long.

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

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