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: 30)
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 terrible 13-game losing skid exposed how this roster is still deep in a rebuild.
Players young and old are starting to air their frustration, but this organization needs to be in sell mode at the deadline in what seems to be an apparent tank for Victor Wembanyama strategy occurring to finish out the season.
29. Detroit Pistons (LW: 29)
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.
28. San Antonio Spurs (LW: 28)
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 solidified their spot as bottom-feeders recently during a horrible 1-9 run in a recent 10 games span. The big story for the Spurs in the near future will be if they are sellers at the deadline and gain some long-term assets.
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. The group that surprised by reaching the NBA Play-In tourney last season has completely disappeared this year.
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, even earning surprise wins over the Celtics and 76ers recently.
25. 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, the team has been middle-of-the-road at best and continues to struggle.
24. Indiana Pacers (LW: 23)
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 early in the month 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 several games under .500. At the trade deadline they added several well-aged veterans in Serge Ibaka and former Pacers star George Hill. If they can help return them to playoff contention remains to be seen.
23. Toronto Raptors (LW: 25)
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.
22. Los Angeles Lakers (LW: 22)
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. With some new toys, it is up to head coach Darvin Ham to guide this team into the playoffs at the very least.
21. Chicago Bulls (LW: 21)
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.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 20)
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.
19. Utah Jazz (LW: 18)
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.
They did not make major moves at the deadline like acquiring John Collins and instead made smaller moves in the direction of a continued rebuild in 2023. They could continue to fall on this list as the season progresses.
18. 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. The defense was one of their major weaknesses and they seemed to address that on Feb. 9 when they shipped off Josh Hart in one deal and added two-time All-NBA player Matisse Thybulle in another. It should be interesting to see how they perform in the coming weeks.
17. Brooklyn Nets (LW: 6)
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 in a full rebuild once again. Their fall in the latest NBA power rankings could be the early stages of even more drops in the weeks to come.
16. Atlanta Hawks (LW: 16)
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.
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (LW: 17)
Following a calf injury that knocked Karl-Anthony Towns for over a month, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been up and down this season. 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 have only been able to keep them around .500 is surprising.
However, there has been a sign of hope as they have been playing much better in the last couple of weeks and have steadily started to rise up the NBA power rankings after 44, 31, and 37-point outbursts from Edwards recently.
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. While it seems like a step backward, it might be exactly what the ‘Wolves needed.
14. New Orleans Pelicans (LW: 15)
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, the injuries have started to have an effect and the Pelicans have had a freefall in our NBA power rankings. Until they can get back to full health, they are no longer among the elites of the Western Conference.
13. Golden State Warriors (LW: 14)
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 with Curry back on the court. But they stumbled in recent weeks, and the superstar guard is expected to miss several more weeks with a new injury suffered to start February.
12. New York Knicks (LW: 12)
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.
In January they’ve been more middle-of-the-road. But now will have to deal with defensive anchor Mitchell Robinson set to miss significant time again. Despite his absence, they were still able to score their biggest win of the season with an overtime W against the Celtics and a massive 21-point comeback against the 76ers recently.
11. Dallas Mavericks (LW:11)
The Dallas Mavericks have been an inconsistent group for much of the year. While Luka Doncic has been outstanding — including making NBA history recently — yet they have constantly endured hot and cold streaks. They are in a cold spell again after losing seven of ten recently. That’s why it is unsurprising that Doncic uncharacteristically pushed the front office to make some moves before the trade deadline.
In February they delivered with an absolute game-changer in acquiring superstar guard Kyrie Irving. The dynamic duo of Doncic and Irving will be one to watch at the rest of this season plays out because the sky really is the limit for the superstar guards.
NBA power rankings top 10
10. Miami Heat (LW: 10)
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, but they did not make a major move at the trade deadline and have a built-in ceiling on this current roster.
9. Los Angeles Clippers (LW: 9)
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 caught fire recently and Leonard seems to be finding his vintage form with several 30-plus point outbursts in recent games. They could move even hight up the NBA power rankings after pulling off a trio of deals for players like Eric Gordon and Mason Plumlee that address major deadline deals.
8. Phoenix Suns (LW: 13)
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 a groin injury for nearly a month and they plummeted in the standings. However, they seemed to have circled the wagons just in time with Devin Booker back on the court.
However, they have made a massive jump in the latest NBA power rankings not just for their recent play, but by swinging the biggest deal of the 2023 NBA trade deadline for MVP candidate Kevin Durant.
7. 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.
While the team was reportedly sniffing around on the trade block, in the end, they held pat and will ride through the stretch run with their young nucleus.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers (LW: 7)
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 when they try and journey through the playoffs in a deep Eastern Conference this spring.
5. Memphis Grizzlies (LW: 5)
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.
However, that did not last long and the Grizz entered February losing eight of 10. It is no surprise then that as they struggled rumors of the team swinging a blockbuster deal at the NBA trade deadline picked up. However, the only move they made was to ship off Danny Green and bring back another talented three-point threat in Luke Kennard from the Clippers.
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, the group is healthy and clicking on absolutely every cylinder in the new year. They are one of the hottest squads in the league and are letting their defense do as much of the talking as their impressive offense.
3. Milwaukee Bucks (LW: 3)
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.
Despite some speculation, they could move Middleton at the NBA trade deadline, and with some clear needs on offense, the team only made one notable move by adding versatile veteran Jae Crowder. While he isn’t a massive haul he could fill a similar role as PJ Tucker on their championship team from 2021.
2. Denver Nuggets (LW: 2)
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 playing well. Furthermore, Aaron Gordon’s strong play this season has been massive in making this unit that much deeper.
They have been one of the most consistent teams for months and despite some strong challenges, they are without a doubt the best team in the Western Conference more than halfway through the season.
1. 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.
Since the first days of the season, Boston has been at the top of the NBA power rankings and continues to lead the pack as the league closes in on the All-Star game.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.