NBA Power Rankings: Sacramento Kings rise after hot start to 2023 NBA Playoffs

With the 2022-2023 regular season in the books, our NBA power rankings are still active and are 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 check out the final NBA standings or this season, 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 ever had to be competitive in 2022-2023. Plus, while off-season acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic played very well, rookies Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey have not done much in their rookie campaigns.

Unsurprisingly, being the worst team in the league this season led to Dwane Casey losing his job as head coach. Fortunately for him, he was allowed to step away and take a different role in the organization instead of being outright fired. Pistons fans will be hoping this team can win this year’s lottery and land can’t-miss prospect Victor Wembanyama in the NBA Draft.

29. San Antonio Spurs (LW: 28)

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After a surprisingly fast start to the season, the San Antonio Spurs regressed to where many analysts figured they would be this season. At or near the bottom of the Western Conference. It has been another unimpressive year in San Antonio as the team slogs through another rebuilding season.

With the season over the only clear way out of the basement will be through the NBA Draft, and the Spurs will have as good a chance as any team to get Wembanyama. Landing the French star may be the only way this franchise gets back on the right track.

28. 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.

After another bottom-of-the-barrel season, the Rockets are expected to be major players in the NBA free agent market and on the trade block this offseason. As the front office has a directive to get the team back into the playoffs next season.

27. Charlotte Hornets (LW: 27)

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After such a promising showing last season, there was hope that the Charlotte Hornets could take another step forward in their development in 2022-2023. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened as the team only had star guard LaMelo Ball for 36 games. The only bright side to this lost season will be the chance to pair another young star with Ball through the 2023 draft.

26. Portland Trail Blazers (LW: 25)

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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 never recovered, even when he was back in the lineup.

While players like Anfernee Simmons and rookie Shaedon Sharpe had nice development steps forward, Portland is shockingly a lottery team at the end of the season despite the notable talent on the roster in ’22-’23. There could be some major decisions on the horizon for the team in the summer.

25. Orlando Magic (LW: 26)

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The young Orlando Magics, led by top pick Paolo Banchero was inconsistent throughout the season but that is to be expected with a team in a complete rebuild and full of prospects. However, there were many instances during the season where the Magic performed exceptionally well against elite teams and gave the Orlando fanbase something to hang their hat on heading into another rebuilding season in 2023-2024.

24. Indiana Pacers (LW: 24)

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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 could just never bounce back from that setback.

Instead, ’22-’23 will go down as a very frustrating season for Indiana after showing so much promise before they spiraled into oblivion in the second half of the season. They are no longer ahead of schedule and still are mired in a rebuild heading into the summer. The team has some money to burn and maybe they end up being players in free agency this summer.

23. Washington Wizards (LW: 23)

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The Washington Wizards were a solid squad after the first month of the season and they seemed playoff bound with their talented trio of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma playing well together. That unfortunately did not last long as many of their top stars missed close to 20 games each, with Beal sidelined for over 30.

Now they head into the offseason with Kuzma a free agent, extension talks ongoing with Porzingis, and Beal seeming like a player that needs to be traded while he still has value to some teams around the NBA.

22. Utah Jazz (LW: 22)

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The Utah Jazz were one of the best stories in the NBA power rankings for much of the season. They 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.

Unfortunately, as the season progressed and the team hit the stretch run they fell into a sharp decline, and reality set in. Nevertheless, there are a lot of upsides all of a sudden for Utah who has a couple of nice young chips and a boatload of assets to use in possible trades.

21. Dallas Mavericks (LW: 21)

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The Dallas Mavericks were an inconsistent group for much of the year and rarely reached the top 10 in our NBA power rankings. While Luka Doncic was often outstanding — including making NBA history recently — they constantly endured hot and cold streaks. Yet nothing changed when they swung a deadline blockbuster for Kyrie Irving.

In fact, the deal actually made them worst and the Western Conference finalists from the season before tanked their way out of the postseason and into a lottery spot to end a tumultuous and terrible season. This will be a massive off-season for Dallas.

20. Toronto Raptors (LW: 20)

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While the Toronto Raptors were solid for the first few months of the season, they struggled mightily heading into 2023. They battled injuries to key players and it had an effect. Nevertheless, their overall play was where they expected despite having an elite coach in Nick Nurse.

While they were the epicenter of trade rumors, the Raptors did not ship off any of their top players at the deadline and instead added sought-after big man Jakob Poeltl. That move has helped to lift the team in the final month of the season as Poeltl and Fred VanVleet have been a dynamic combo since the trade.

In the end, it didn’t matter in the Play-In as the team’s season was quickly ended by the Bulls. An offseason of great change is likely ahead in Canada.

19. Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 19)

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Despite not having first-round pick Chet Holmgren all season long, the Oklahoma City Thunder were way better than anyone expected this season and in these NBA power rankings. And that without a doubt is thanks to head coach Mark Daigneault and budding superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

SGA was a revelation in ’22-’23 as the first-time All-Star turned the Thunder into a far more competitive team than they ever should have been. They fell just short of making into the final eight in the West, but they finished much higher than most expected in the NBA power rankings, and head into next season looking like a team on the rise and ahead of schedule.

18. Chicago Bulls (LW: 18)

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The Chicago Bulls’ poor showing for much of the season was a product of several issues hindering the team. Certainly, Lonzo Ball’s absence was a major problem but no one expected the chemistry from last season between Demar DeRozan and Zach Lavine to completely disappear.

With Ball out for the rest of the season the Bulls had to figure things out and try to find their way into the Play-In. With the help of free agent addition Patrick Beverley, they were able to get into the tourney, but in the end, fell short of making it into the final eight of the East.

The Bulls now head into the postseason with major questions ahead. Should they make major changes to the roster and trade off one of their All-Star pieces, or make small tweaks and hope for the best in 2023-2024?

17. New Orleans Pelicans (LW: 15)

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

With Williamson dealing with physical and confidence issues, he missed their Play-in game and what seemed like a dark horse team for the playoffs ended up being ousted from the postseason far earlier than people would have expected earlier this year.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (LW: 14)

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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 ended up trending in the right direction to kick off March. Once Karl Anthony-Towns returned after months away, the team was back to full health and ready for a run in the Play-In Tourney.

However, they did not fare so well to start the tourney with a tough loss to LA. Nevertheless, they were able to gut things out and make it into the tournament for a tough matchup against the Denver Nuggets in Round 1.

15. Atlanta Hawks (LW: 16)

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The Atlanta Hawks were 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 as they tried to salvage a disappointing 2022-2023 season.

They showed their progress under new head coach Quinn Snyder when they walked into Miami and beat the Heat in their Play-In Tourney opener. The question is can Trae Young and the team take that confidence and do some damage against the Celtics in the first round?

14. Brooklyn Nets (LW: 17)

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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 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 after the organization dismissed Steve Nash.

Then the drama returned again in February and the team was forced to move both superstars in shocking blockbuster deals. Ever since they were trying to keep their head above water and make it to the postseason. Mission accomplished but they will have a monster task in front of them in the Philadelphia 76ers.

13. Miami Heat (LW: 13)

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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.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (LW: 11)

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More than any team in the NBA, health was the biggest story surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers this season. The talent is there for the Clippers to be title contenders, but both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George dealt with injuries throughout the season and into the playoffs.

What is a plus for the Clippers in these playoffs is the fact that they will get a Suns team still working out the kinks in their chemistry. If Phoenix is at all vulnerable, it will be in this series with a dangerous Clippers team.

In the end, the Clippers may not be able to test those issues with Kawhi Leonard suffering a knee sprain and is also likely out for the rest of this series. Injuries continue to be this team’s greatest weakness.

11. Los Angeles Lakers (LW: 12)

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After a disastrous start to the season the Los Angeles Lakers 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.

They head into the playoff with serious confidence and one of the best defenses in basketball over the last couple of months. They have a stout D, a legend still playing well, and a top-10 player competing at a high level. Suffice it to say, the Lakers are very dangerous.

NBA power rankings top 10

10. Golden State Warriors (LW: 10)

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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.

They entered the postseason at full strength and looking ready to defend their crown. However, they were knocked on their heels early by falling into a 2-0 hole against the Kings in their opening-round series. Putting their repeat hopes in serious jeopardy.

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 circled the wagons and even added superstar Kevin Durant for a strong finish to the season. The big question now is, did they get enough time to develop the necessary chemistry to beat elite teams in the postseason? That will surely be tested right away by a veteran-filled Los Angeles Clippers squad in the first round.

8. New York Knicks (LW: 9)

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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 and down the stretch to get back to the playoffs for the second time in the last three years.

Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson deserve most of the credit, but they also got strong play from several young players, including sixth-man of the year contender Immanuel Quickly. While Knicks fans are happy, this season will be a letdown if they continue their streak of first-round eliminations, and the team has a very tall task in trying to upend the Cavaliers.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (LW: 6)

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

When it comes to the powerhouse in the NBA the Cavs seem to be a popular pick to get upset in the first round by the New York Knicks. Mitchell and the team must now prove the regular season was just an appetizer for more dominance in the playoffs.

6. Memphis Grizzlies (LW: 5)

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Ja Morant has become one of the best players in the league and that automatically makes the Memphis Grizzlies a contender in the West. While they dominated and were near the top of our NBA power rankings for much of the season, they stumbled often in 2023.

Things got rough in March with Morant embroiled in several off-the-court scandals that landed him a suspension and investigation. Despite the off-the-court drama the team rallied around each other and got on a roll just in time for Morant’s return for the stretch run.

Now, they enter the playoffs on high and seemingly as a force to be reckoned with. However, the injury bug to Ja Morant that sunk their playoff hopes in 2022 has bit them again in 2023 and Morant’s availability is now up in the air after a new injury in Round 1.

5. Sacramento Kings (LW: 7)

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After a slow start to the ’22-’23 season, the young gun Sacramento Kings became the best surprise story in the league this season. Both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis played like All-Stars, and it led to Sacramento being a top-10 team in the NBA all year. 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.

Everything is gravy for the Kings from here on out, but they aren’t playing like that thus far and the team team with the Coach and Clutch Player of the Year are giving the defending champions a serious run for their money in the opening round of the playoffs.

4. Philadelphia 76ers (LW: 3)

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The Philadelphia 76ers dealt with a lot early in 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 and then Tyrese Maxey was forced to the sideline for weeks as well after his own hot start.

However, they recovered from all of that and eventually rose up to be a true elite in the East. Nevertheless the trio of Embiid, Harden, and head coach Doc Rivers has a lot to prove in this postseason. Overcoming the Bucks in a likely second-round series will be the first major hurdle for the 76ers in these playoffs.

3. Denver Nuggets (LW: 4)

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It’s been another year of MVP-level performances from superstar Nikola Jokic. The big man was 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 the creme of the Western Conference crop all season, but now things get real in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. This group must at least make it to the Conference Finals and not waste another amazing season from their top star. They’ve gotten off to a strong start with a pair of absolutely dominant wins over the T-Wolves in their playoff opener.

2. Milwaukee Bucks (LW: 1)

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Unsurprisingly, the Milwaukee Bucks are again an elite squad this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo has played like a legitimate MVP candidate and the team’s defense is one of the best in the league. Before and after the trade deadline, the team has also made notable roster tweaks to strengthen their chances of a serious playoff run.

There are some concerns about Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton’s health heading into the postseason, but if they can avoid any setbacks or new issues (ie; Antetokounmpo’s back injury), they are a favorite in the Eastern side of the playoff bracket this spring.

1. Boston Celtics (LW: 2)

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Even without suspended head coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics were near or at the top of our NBA power rankings all season. Their offense was 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.

At this point, it would be shocking if they don’t make it all the way to the conference finals, but if the Bucks are there waiting for them it could be a pick ’em for who represents the East in the championship series.

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

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