Week 13 NBA Power Rankings
1. Golden State Warriors (30-9) (+1)
Ranking the Bulls #1 last week was more of a shout-out to what they’ve been doing than anything else. The Warriors are the best team in the NBA, and they will be for a while–especially because Klay Thompson’s return went off without a hitch. Thompson missed a few shots in his return, but still managed to score 17 points in just 20 minutes of play. If he can tighten up the screws a bit and return to even a fraction of what he used to be, this Warriors team will remain in the #1 sport for a long time.
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Upcoming Schedule: 01/11 @Grizzlies, 01/13 @Bucks, 01/14 @Bulls, 01/16 @Timberwolves
2. Phoenix Suns (30-9) (-)
Devin Booker hasn’t been the same since his 12/19 return from injury. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still good for 20+ points on any given night, but he’s now more likely than not to shoot under 45% while doing it. He’s shot under 35% in three of his last five games but has still managed to average 20 points in each of those outings. Booker will find his shot again with time, so there’s no need to worry about some mid-season shotty shooting.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/11 @Raptors, 01/14 @Pacers, 01/16 @Pistons
3. Memphis Grizzlies (28-14) (+1)
After beating the Lakers last night the Grizzlies come into week 13 of the NBA season amidst a nine-game win streak. Ja Morant has been absolutely untouchable in this stretch, averaging almost 28 points per game in his last 8 games. The scariest part about this Grizzlies team though is opposing defenses have no idea who to focus on. Obviously, it has to be Morant, but commit too much and the conglomerate of Jaren Jackson Jr, Desmond Bane, and Dillon Brooks will make you pay. The Grizzlies take on the Warriors this Tuesday night in a game that could very well decide next week's top team.
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Upcoming Schedule: 01/11 vs Warriors, 01/13 vs Timberwolves, 01/14 vs Mavericks
4. Chicago Bulls (26-11) (-3)
Like I said, last week’s promotion to the #1 spot for the Bulls was giving props more than anything else–but don’t get me wrong! The Bulls are still one of the best teams in the NBA and are a nightmare matchup on any given night. A loss to the red-hot Mavericks on January 9th broke their 9-game win streak, and they’re about to be put to the test here in week 13 with a tough upcoming schedule. Should they prevail, they may see a bump up in the rankings next week. If not? It’s down to the dungeon they go (not really, they’ll probably be like 6 or 7 but you get the idea.)
Upcoming Schedule: 01/11 vs Pistons, 01/12 vs Nets, 01/14 vs Warriors, 01/15 @Celtics
5. Milwaukee Bucks (26-16) (-)
The Bucks saw a huge win in Brooklyn against the Nets last week, which cements their place in the top five for this week's power rankings. If the Bucks want to repeat as NBA Champions they will likely have to face the Nets on the way there, and they should feel comfortable knowing they are 2-0 on the season against their conference rivals. The Bucks have three tough games coming up this week, and will need a big performance out of Giannis Antetokounmpo in each if they want to stand a chance.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/10 @Hornets, 01/13 vs Warriors, 01/15 vs Raptors
6. Utah Jazz (28-12) (-)
The Jazz were one of the last teams to not be hit by the COVID-19 rocket launcher, but now are dealing with some key absences including Mr.COVID himself, Rudy Gobert. Hassan Whiteside has been playing well in Gobert’s spot, but it’s clear the Jazz miss him seeing as they’ve dropped the two games they’ve played without him. Even without Gobert the Jazz have one of the best offenses in the league, but it will be interesting to see how it continues to operate without him in the lineup.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/10 @Pistons, 01/12 vs Cavaliers, 01/16 @Nuggets
7. Miami Heat (25-15) (+1)
With Jimmy Butler still rehabbing with an ankle injury, the Heat have shown their ability to succeed without their star. They're 2-0 without Butler, and have seen production from all across the roster. The first night without Butler, third-year guard Max Strus went off for 25 points while shooting over 50% from three, and on the second night young guards Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro combined for 60 points. This Heat team continues to flex their muscles and shows why they are one of the best teams in the NBA.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/12 @Hawks, 01/14 vs Hawks, 01/15 vs 76ers
8. Brooklyn Nets (25-13) (-1)
9. Philadelphia 76ers (22-16) (-1)
The Sixers have been great this season when Embiid is able to stay healthy--but without the star center, they are one of the worst teams in the league. With a month to go until the trade deadline, the question remains: What will the Sixers do with Ben Simmons? If they're able to get Embiid some help, great. If Simmons continues to collect dust? It will be a great opportunity squandered.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/10 @Rockets, 01/12 vs Hornets, 01/14 vs Celtics, 01/15 @Heat
10. Dallas Mavericks (22-18) (+5)
Woah, where did they come from? The Mavericks are currently on a six-game win streak that has seen wins over the Bulls, Warriors, and Nuggets. Luka Doncic has played great over this stretch, scoring an average of 20 points while dishing out almost 12 assists per game. It's nice to finally see this Mavericks team click, because we've all always wondered what Luka could do in the playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule: 01/12 @Knicks, 01/14 @Grizzlies, 01/15 vs Magic
Here's How the Rest of the League Lines Up:
11. Toronto Raptors (+7)
12. Denver Nuggets (-2)
13. Los Angeles Lakers (-)
14. Cleveland Cavaliers (-2)
15. Charlotte Hornets (-3)
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (+3)
17. Los Angeles Clippers (-3)
18. Washington Wizards (-1)
19. Boston Celtics (-3)
20. New York Knicks (-)
21. Atlanta Hawks (-)
22. San Antonio Spurs (+1)
23. Indiana Pacers (+3)
24. Sacramento Kings (-2)
25. Portland Trail Blazers (+2)
26. New Orleans Pelicans (-1)
27. Oklahoma City Thunder (-3)
28. Houston Rockets (-)
29. Detroit Pistons (+1)
30. Orlando Magic (-1)