NBA Power Rankings, Week 24: Bucks retake top spot as Sixers slide

As we enter the 24th week of the 2022-23 NBA regular season, the race to secure a place in the playoffs is becoming extremely intense. As the season nears its conclusion, some teams will advance to the postseason while others will be eliminated. With most teams having only 6-8 games remaining, the battle to secure playoff and play-in positions has become incredibly competitive. We can expect to see even more exciting and unpredictable NBA games in the weeks to come. Let’s take a look at where all 30 teams are in our NBA Power Rankings as we enter Week 24 of this season.

The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves sliding down a few spots this week. As such, they have been replaced at the top of the NBA Power Rankings. This time, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks overtaking the Sixers and retaking their spot at No. 1. Two other teams have also throttled past the 76ers — the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Right now, the Celtics sit at No. 2 as the Cavs remain at No. 3.

Aside from the Sixers, the Kings, Suns, Thunder, and Nets also had pretty big tumbles. On the flip side, the Bulls, Clippers, and Warriors all gained some ground. By far, however, our biggest climbers in this week’s NBA Power Rankings are the New Orleans Pelicans. They’ve defied expectations to move up 12 spots! That shouldn’t be surprising as they’ve won four straight games.

Aside from leading our NBA Power Rankings, the Bucks also hold the best win-loss record in the league. Following them are the Celtics, Nuggets, Sixers, and Grizzlies. Memphis, in fact, is currently the hottest team in the league with six wins in a row. Meanwhile, the Pistons and Rockets have each lost five straight.

How about the other teams, though? Where does each team stand when it comes to the most current NBA Power Rankings?

Remember that our NBA Power Rankings take into account various factors, including overall win-loss records, recent performances, net rating differentials, and streaks or slumps.

Previous 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings: Week 23 | Week 22 | Week 21 | Week 20 | All-Star Edition | Post-Trade Deadline

Now without further ado, let’s look at our 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings entering Week 24 of the new season.

1. Milwaukee Bucks (+1)

Yes, the Bucks just got blasted by the Nuggets. Still, this team has won seven of its last 10 games. They also have the second-best win-loss record post-All-Star Break. Three players have also led them in scoring over their last four games. That augurs well for their well-rounded offense heading into the playoffs.

Giannis records his 37th thirty-point game of the season.

31 PTS | 9 REB | 4 AST | 59 FG%

— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 26, 2023

2. Boston Celtics (+3)

The Celtics have won seven of their last nine games. That includes their last wins over the Kings, Pacers, and Spurs. It may yet be too soon to say if the Celtics have fully rediscovered their groove. However, there’s hardly any team out there raring to face Boston in a postseason series anytime soon.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (no change)

The Cavs continue to carry the best win-loss record in March. Not surprisingly, they have succeeded in clinching an outright playoff berth. If they keep their spot among the top four in the East, that would be their first since LeBron James left the team in 2018.

4. Philadelphia 76ers (-3)

The past week was hella tough for the Sixers. They lost three of four games and squandered a chance to hold on to the No. 2 spots in the East. It will be a tough stretch this week also as they face the Nuggets, Mavs, and Raptors.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (+2)

It must be really good to have Ja Morant back. The Grizzlies have not lost since his return a few days ago. In fact, Memphis has won nine of its last 10 games, including six in a row. That’s important because it gives them some breathing room against the Kings, who are nipping at their heels in the West.

6. Denver Nuggets (+2)

There’s no better way to cap off the week than by beating the top team in the league. That’s exactly what the Nuggets did, and it bumps them up two spots in our NBA Power Rankings. There’s still a mathematical chance the Grizzlies can catch them at the top spot in the West. However, we’re not counting on it.

7. Sacramento Kings (-3)

The Kings have a lot of things going for them. They have won eight of their last 11 games and own the best win-loss record post-All-Star Break. Still, they did lose to the Jazz and Celtics this past week. And with such a crowd at the very top, it’s just inevitable someone had to slide down alongside the Sixers. The Kings just had to be it.

8. New York Knicks (-2)

The see-saw weekly performance keeps on going for the Knicks. A week after winning three games in a row, they lost three straight. They dropped assignments to the Wolves, Heat, and Magic. Those are three teams they should have beaten, and this exposes some of the team’s weaknesses heading into the postseason.

9. Chicago Bulls (+3)

These Bulls are on a roll. They own the fourth-best win-loss record post-All-Star Break and have won seven of their last nine games. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are both scoring at will, with Coby White also catching fire. We’re not sure if this streak is legitimate, but Bulls fans shouldn’t complain, yes?

10. Los Angeles Clippers (+4)

The Clips are coming off a 21-point loss against the Pelicans. However, they’ve also won six of their last nine games and might still finish among the West’s top four seeds. That would be pretty interesting if they actually pulled it off. Of course, not having Paul George for a few weeks is really going to hurt.

11. New Orleans Pelicans (+12)

We might be buying too much Pelicans stock here, but we feel good about them. This team has won four games in a row and is back in contention for a West playoff spot. They’re just one game outside of fifth place in the West, and Brandon Ingram has been on a tear.


— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 26, 2023

12. Miami Heat (+1)

Heat fans don’t like how inconsistent this team has been. That said, Miami has won five of its last eight games. They also could still book a top-six spot in the East by the time the smoke clears. They aren’t considered title favorites, but they’re definitely contenders.

13. Phoenix Suns (-4)

Life without KD has been a struggle for the Suns. They’ve lost three of their last four games, including going .500 this month. Don’t be surprised if the Clippers and Warriors overtake the Suns in the coming weeks.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (-4)

The Thunder are still a very exciting team. That said, they’re back under .500 after losing two of their last three games. Their next three against the Hornets, Pistons, and Pacers are all winnable, though. If OKC can sweep those teams, the Thunder may even move up to the top six.

15. Golden State Warriors (+4)

The defending champs are climbing our NBA Power Rankings. They have won three of their last four games, including huge ones over the Mavs and Sixers. A three-point loss to the Wolves stings, but the Dubs have a chance to bounce back against the Pels and Spurs this week.

16. Los Angeles Lakers (-1)

The Lakers can still make the playoffs. Heck, they SHOULD make the play-in. Some feel they will be among the most dangerous teams in the postseason. We will agree, but they also have to stop losing to teams like the Rockets, Mavs, and Bulls first.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (+5)

About a week ago, the Wolves were under .500. Now, they’re back above .500 after putting together a three-game win streak. That’s why they move up quite a bit in our NBA Power Rankings. Big ones await this week, though. The Wolves play the Kings, Suns, and Lakers. Yowza.

18. Brooklyn Nets (-7)

Ah, this is the Nets team we expected to see. BKN has lost six of its last seven games and is in a full freefall out East. They’re in a tie with the Heat for sixth place and very likely won’t hold on for very long. They should still finish among the top 10, though.

19. Toronto Raptors (-3)

Going 2-2 this past week didn’t do the Raptors any favors. Yes, they’re in ninth place in the East, but they surely want a shot at catching the Nets or the Heat at the sixth spot. The Raptors have the personnel to do it. They just have to stop losing to teams like the Pacers again.

20. Atlanta Hawks (-3)

The Hawks are tied with the Raptors for eighth place in the East. ATL, however, has lost five of its last eight games and is not looking very dangerous right now. I mean, Trae Young is exciting, but he’s not Steph-Curry-exciting, you know?

21. Utah Jazz (no change)

For a while this season, we thought maybe the Jazz would join the Kings as upstart teams in the postseason. Alas, that just won’t happen. The Jazz lost three in a row this past week after beating (ironically enough) the Kings. Those losses were enough to sink Utah down to 12th place in the West. Still, they’re not really worse than any of the other teams below them in these NBA Power Rankings.

22. Dallas Mavericks (-4)

Does Luka Doncic want out? Is Kyrie Irving staying in Dallas after they fail to make even the play-in? The drama is simmering in Mark Cuban’s backyard, and we’re all here for it. Sorry Dallas fans, your team has fallen so far down.

Luka Doncic makes the money motion at the referee after a no-call late vs. the Warriors

— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 23, 2023

23. Orlando Magic (+2)

Whoa. Maybe the future is starting now in Orlando? Don’t look now but the Magic have won four of their last five games. They surely won’t make the play-in, but we might be looking at a potentially noisy team for next season. Wins over both New York teams aren’t anything to dismiss, after all.

24. Indiana Pacers (-4)

The Pacers are the East’s version of the Jazz. For a while this season, Indy looked good enough to stay in the thick of the play-in race. Well, they mathematically can still make it. However, they just don’t look good enough to do so anymore.

25. Washington Wizards (-1)

The Wiz have looked pretty awful these past couple of weeks. The win over the Spurs was the lone bright spot in what has been a somber stretch. Oh well, they won’t make it to the play-in anyway, right?

26. Portland Trail Blazers (+1)

The Blazers have gone 1-8 in their last nine games. Damian Lillard deserves so much better. We cannot fault him for maybe just maybe demanding a trade before next season begins. It’d be out of character, but again, he deserves so much more than this. The win over Utah gives them a one-spot raise in our NBA Power Rankings, though.

27. Charlotte Hornets (+2)

These Hornets are buzzing. They’ve won three of their last four games. Those include a win over the Pacers and back-to-back dubs over the slumping Mavs. Maybe Charlotte’s the reason Luka might want out?

28. Houston Rockets (-2)

After booking a three-game win streak a couple of weeks ago, the Rockets reminded everyone of exactly who they are. This is a jumpin’ jack team of players that just doesn’t have much outside of their collective athleticism. Fans are hoping either Wemby or Scoot can change that next season.

29. San Antonio Spurs (-1)

The Spurs have lost four straight. They have the second-worst record in the West. At this rate, Gregg Popovich won’t be able to “quit while he’s ahead,” so to speak.

30. Detroit Pistons (no change)

Who cares what the Pistons are still doing, right? Heck, we don’t even think many of their fans still do. They’re all checked out of 2022-23 and checked in for the possibility of Wemby next season.

The post NBA Power Rankings, Week 24: Bucks retake top spot as Sixers slide appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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