NBA Power Ranking Week 18

The Trade Deadline last week was one of the most exciting in recent seasons. After not doing a power ranking last week, here is a post-deadline ranking of all 30 teams.

1.Houston Rockets 42-13

*The Rockets’ hot stretch continued as Houston has now won 11 of their last 12 matchups.

*The Rockets decided not to make any moves at the trade deadline but did sign 11-year vet, Brandon Wright. Drafted back in 2007, Wright will be playing for the sixth team in his career.

2.Golden State Warriors 44-13

*After a minor rough stretch of games where GSW lost 3 out of 4, the Warriors have gotten back on track with wins in three straight contests.

*In their 46 point win over Phoenix on Monday night, the Warriors shot a scorching-hot 58.4% from the field.

3.Toronto Raptors 39-16

*Toronto topped the Charlotte Hornets for their fifth straight win on Sunday. With the struggles of the Boston Celtics, the Raptors have jumped into first place in the Eastern Conference.

*Toronto traded guard Bruno Caboclo for former Syracuse star Malachi Richardson. In 26 games with the Kings this season, Richardson is averaging 3.4 points per game.

4.Boston Celtics 40-18

*The Celtics have endured a rough period, as they are 6-8 in their last 14 games.

*The more recent struggles may be due to the loss of Marcus Smart. Since Smart injured his hand before Boston’s Jan. 24 matchup against the Clippers, the Celtics have allowed 103.3 ppg in comparison to allowing just 99.7 ppg on the season.

5.Cleveland Cavaliers 33-22

*Maybe it was fluke. However, Cleveland looked great Sunday against the Celtics; and for the first time in over a month, the Cavs looked like they were having fun playing.

*All four of their new players are defensive improvements, and they combined for 49 points in their first game with the Cavs.

6.San Antonio Spurs 35-23

*The injuries have built up all year for the Spurs, and in their loss Monday night to Utah, Rudy Gay, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Kawhi Leonard were all inactive with injury.

*The play of Dejounte Murray has improved. As a starter, Murray is averaging 9.5 ppg in comparison to 5.2 ppg off the bench.

7.Oklahoma City Thunder 32-25

*The Thunder chose not to make any moves at the trade deadline to replace Andre Roberson.

*They tried to replace Roberson with Terrance Ferguson in the starting lineup, but he only had 2 points in five starts. Josh Huestis and Alex Abrines have also started since Roberson’s injury.

8.Milwaukee Bucks 31-24

*Jabari Parker finally made his return from ACL surgery last February. In four games back, Parker is averaging 9.3 ppg.

*Parker did not play Monday night on the back end of a back-to-back. Very similar treatment to Joel Embiid in Philly. The Bucks should be very cautious with Parker, as he has had two major knee injuries.

9.Minnesota Timberwolves 35-24

*Minnesota has also hit a rough stretch of games. Similar to Boston, the Timberwolves are 6-8 in their last 14 matchups.

*With many young players on Minnesota’s roster, the All Star break couldn’t come at a better time for the team.

10.Washington Wizards 32-24

*Since John Wall had knee surgery, he has been replaced by forward Tomas Satoransky in the starting lineup. Satoransky had a career-high 25 points in their win over Chicago last Saturday.

*The Wizards don’t have a true point guard in their starting lineup. Derrick Rose and Ty Lawson are both potential replacements in free agency, after Washington did not make any moves at the trade deadline.

11.Portland Trail Blazers 31-26

*Despite 39 points from Damian Lillard, the Trail Blazers couldn’t beat the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

*Lillard was on fire last week as he had 50 points in three quarters to beat Sacramento last Friday.

12.Philadelphia 76ers 29-25

*Coming off the bench, T.J. McConnell became the first bench player in 76ers history to record a triple-double. McConnell is just the 25th player since 1963 to record a triple double off the bench.

*After a minor rough stretch, the 76ers are back on track headed into the All Star break.

13.Utah Jazz 29-28

*After it seemed as though the Jazz weren’t going to have any chance of making the playoffs, they have exploded for a ten game win-streak that puts them just 1.5 games out of the eighth seed.

*That eighth seed is presently New Orleans, who have struggled since losing Demarcus Cousins, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Jazz passed them in the playoff picture.

14.Indiana Pacers 32-25

*Victor Oladipo is showing no signs of slowing down. In four games this month, Oladipo is averaging 29.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg.

*In their win over the Knicks, Oladipo recorded 30 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds, and 6 steals (the second most steals he has recorded this season).

15.Denver Nuggets 30-26

*Very quietly, the Denver Nuggets are having a good season and are seventh in the Western Conference.

*In the absence of Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles has stepped up. He is averaging a career-high 11.0 ppg this season.

16.Miami Heat 30-26

*Miami has been on the downside of late as they dropped from the fourth seed into the eighth seed over the course of the week.

*Dwyane Wade was traded back to Miami as part of the Cavalier’s series of moves at the deadline.

*The Heat play the Raptors on Tuesday and the 76ers on Wednesday before they get ready for the All Star break.

17.New Orleans Pelicans 30-26

*The Pelicans have been inconsistent since the loss of Demarcus Cousins, but pulled out the win over the Pistons on Monday night.

*While he isn’t the same talent that Cousins is, Nikola Mirotic has been a decent replacement, averaging 15.4 ppg in five games for the Pelicans.

18.Detroit Pistons 27-29

*After starting 5-0 with Blake Griffin, the Pistons have dropped three straight games.

*They are currently the ninth seed in the East and 3 games behind the Heat and 76ers.

19.Los Angeles Clippers 29-26

*After trading Blake Griffin, the Clippers were tame at the trade deadline and did not makes moves to trade Deandre Jordan or Lou Williams.

*The Clippers are ninth in the West and just 0.5 out, but the sudden hot streak of the Jazz makes the Clippers’ playoff hopes seem bleak.

20.Los Angeles Lakers 23-32

*In his first game as a Laker, Isaiah Thomas scored 22 and shot 4-8 from three off the bench.

*With Lonzo Ball out, Josh Hart has been starting at point guard, so it will be interesting to see what will happen when Ball returns after the All Star break.

21.Charlotte Hornets 23-33

*I guess this is where my Philadelphia bias comes out, but seriously, how does Kemba Walker make the All Star game over Ben Simmons? Simmons averages more assists and rebounds per game and has a higher field goal percentage than Walker. Also, the Hornets aren’t in a playoff position. Don’t get me wrong: Walker is a great player, but Simmons earned that All Star spot.

22.Chicago Bulls 20-36

*Zach Lavine had a late game steal and dunk to clinch the win over Orlando on Monday. In 13 games since his return, Lavine is averaging 17.3 ppg and a career-high 1.1 steals per game.

23.Atlanta Hawks 18-39

*Despite being last in the East, the Hawks have shown some some signs of improvement as they are 4-4 over the past two weeks.

*Taurean Prince has been good this month, averaging 14.2 ppg in six games.

24.Sacramento Kings 17-38

*The Kings were part of a three-team trade that resulted in their getting Iman Shumpert while losing George Hill.

*The trade will likely result in more playing time for the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft, De’Aaron Fox. Fox is seventh among rookies in points per game, averaging 11.3.

25.Orlando Magic 18-38

*While still irrelevant, the Magic have gone back to being a team that isn’t known as one of the worst in the NBA.

*Orlando has won four of its last seven games.

26.Dallas Mavericks 18-39

Dallas has continued to have an underwhelming season as they are 2-8 in their last ten games. The Mavericks have had trouble scoring points this season as they are 26th in ppg, averaging 101.9 as a team on the season.

27.Memphis Grizzlies 18-37

*Memphis has slumped even further as they are on an abysmal six game losing streak. During that six game stretch, Memphis is just averaging just 91.8 ppg.

*On the season, Memphis is second to last in points per game, averaging 98.9.

28.New York Knicks 23-35

*A team that at one point looked as though they could make playoffs has gone completely downhill since their Christmas loss to the 76ers. They are just 6-19 since then.

*With Porzingis out for the year, the Knicks have no chance of making the playoffs.

29.Brooklyn Nets 19-39

*An underwhelming team, the Nets are on a six game losing streak and are 1-9 in their last ten games.

*The bright spot for the nets has been rookie center, Jarrett Allen. Since being promoted to the starting lineup, Allen has averaged 13.4 ppg and 7.1 rpg.

30.Phoenix Suns 18-40

*The Suns are on a six game losing streak and have looked terrible during that span. On two occasions last week, the Suns lost by 40+ points.

*Devin Booker has been inactive the past three games but Phoenix will likely get him back after the All Star break.

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