Power Rankings – 2/26

By: Devin Zanskas

  1. Phoenix Suns

Phil Jackson said that a team that reaches 40 wins before 20 losses can win a championship. Does losing less than 10 games before winning 40 mean one could beat one of Phil’s teams?

  1. Golden State Warriors

Almost eight years after becoming a number one overall pick and being named “Maple Jordan”, Andrew Wiggins has been named an Allstar for the first time, and he’s even going to be a starter

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

It may be long overdue, but Joel Embiid is finally on top of the NBA’s MVP power rankings after losing the availability battle with Nikola Jokic last season and having the scoring title as of today

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

No one would’ve guessed that the Grizzlies would be on a 54-win pace through 53 games. This has analysts fantasizing of them trading for a third banana, but maybe they should be careful

  1. Miami Heat

The TNT crew sang praises for Tyler Herro and his case for becoming an Allstar in his third season. However, a deserving Sixth Man of the Year award would be plenty in his young career

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Since their first loss of the season, the Bucks haven’t lost as badly as they did against the Nuggets on January 30th. Although, fans shouldn’t forget that they’re still the reigning champs

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Regardless of losing of 2 starting caliber guards, Sexton and Rubio, the Cavaliers have continued to shine behind versatile forwards, an elite defense, and Garland making the offense hum

  1. Denver Nuggets

Given the injuries that the Nuggets have already incurred, it was wise of them to move quickly before to trade deadline to acquire Bryn Forbes for two players that weren’t in their rotation

  1. Dallas Mavericks

The redundancy between Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic has had the media wondering if paying Brunson around $20 million would take away too much of the Mavs’ flexibility moving forward

  1. Chicago Bulls

There’s always confusion surrounding Allstar voting because of the rules regarding positions. Many questioned the idea of voting in Demar as a guard. However, he clearly deserves to start

  1. Toronto Raptors

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ commentator, had the last laugh once news broke that Fred VanVleet would be an Allstar for the first time. No one had any qualms though given his two-way impact

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Other contenders have been happy to see the Nets’ recent losing streak. Even though they shouldn’t struggle so much with one of their Big 3, the Nets should get back on track with KD

  1. Boston Celtics

Before fans knew it, the Celtics went off on a 5-game win streak, the second-longest streak in the East. They still have the same questions, which led to trade rumors among their guards

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Considering how close the East is, there’s been increased competition, which means there are more potential Allstars. Ball and Bridges were left out, but they have many years ahead of them

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Twice since the New Year, the T-wolves have won 4 games in a row. That’s helped them climb to the 7th seed in the West. Some credit’s due to their versatile defender in Jarred Vanderbilt

  1. Utah Jazz

Losing five games in a row doesn’t sound nearly as disastrous when one recognizes that the Jazz were missing several starters. Unfortunately, they will also be without Joe Ingles for the season

  1. Atlanta Hawks

For many reasons, the Hawks are lucky that Trae is who he is. The least of which is that they traded Reddish, who was the 2nd piece the Hawks got for Doncic, for 75 cents on the dollar

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

The long-awaited return of AD finally came after he missed 17 games with a sprained MCL. The Lakers still haven’t come out like gangbusters since though, going 3-3 in the games to follow

  1. LA Clippers

The weekend before trade deadline, the Clippers were major winners for acquiring Norman Powell and Robert Covington from the Trail Blazers for fringe starters, and no first round pick

  1. New York Knicks

Even those closer to the Knicks might be confused with their direction, including trading a first rounder for Reddish, and not playing him. At this point, fans probably just want to see the youth

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

It must have been a hard pill for the Trail Blazers to swallow, when they realized that they likely couldn’t recoup the same number of draft picks that they send out for Powell and Covington

  1. Washington Wizards

Ironically, the Wizards’ only 2 wins since January 12th were versus the ‘6ers, including a clutch block on Embiid. The way their year’s gone has fans wondering if Kuzma’s their building block

  1. San Antonio Spurs

The unpredictable Allstar nod to Andrew Wiggins might have taken the final slot away from Dejounte Murray. Although the Warriors’ Draymond Green endorsed him as a replacement

  1. Indiana Pacers

Trading LeVert for Rubio’s expiring contract and a first rounder may not have been the move fans were expecting, as opposed to trading away a big man, but it aligns with their messaging

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Considering the forfeiture of the Trail Blazers and the general decline of the remainder of the western conference, the Pelicans are primed to reach the play-in tournament for Zion’s return

  1. Sacramento Kings

Coming off of a season-long 7-game losing streak, it may be a foolish for the Kings to continue their pursuit of the play-in tourney. They also have a lot of trade chips that could interest others

  1. OKC Thunder

Perhaps to the Thunder’s chagrin, they won 3 games in a row, including an OT win versus the Mavs. However, winning one game in over a 13-game stretch is keeping them in the bottom 4

  1. Orlando Magic

Both Cole and Jalen came back at the same time about a month ago. They alone didn’t bring wins to Orlando right away, but Cole and Jalen’s return soon paid dividends with a 4-2 stretch

  1. Houston Rockets

Besides a win over the Cavs, which had an impressive performance from Porter Jr. against his former team, the Rockets haven’t won a game since January 21st. This will help their lottery odds

  1. Detroit Pistons

The worst record in the league now belongs to the Pistons. Maybe this will earn them their 2nd 1st overall pick in as many years. Luckily, Cade will fit like a glove with whoever they bring in