Tha Sports Junkies 101

NBA Power Rankings Update #4

nba, Power rankings, Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors Art Siegel via


NBA Power Rankings Update #4

2016 is coming to an end and the NBA season is already over a third of the way over which means it’s time for the more casual NBA fans to come out from their football coma and get more involved. Expect even more #BadTakes to be spewed all over the Internet, but just know that these Power Rankings are never wrong.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (23-7) – Previous Ranking: No. 2 (+1)

    [Record since last update: 7-2] The Christmas Day victory over the Warriors puts them at the top for now as Kyrie proves to once again be the kryptonite to Golden State. Two wins against the Bucks on a back-to-back helped numb the pain of losing JR Smith until close to the playoffs due to a broken right thumb.

  2. Golden State Warriors (27-5) – Previous Ranking: No. 1 (-1)

    [Record since last update: 7-2] Before Christmas Day, the Warriors had won seven games in a row. Curry seeming to shy away from the big moment (especially from Kyrie) yet again is starting to get a bit annoying for someone as talented as he is. The Warriors will continue to fight Cleveland for the top spot in the league, but they may not overtake them unless Steph takes on the challenge. 

  3. San Antonio Spurs (25-6) – Previous Ranking: No. 3 (=)

    [Record since last update: 7-1] The Spurs haven’t been challenged much lately (Nets, Suns, Pelicans… Well except for their incredible recent win over the Rockets) but they continue to win and win and win. The Spurs rank in the top 10 in both Offensive Rating (6th) and Defensive Rating (4th).

  4. Toronto Raptors (22-8) – Previous Ranking: No. 4 (=)

    [Record since last update: 6-1] The Raptors continue their unbelievable and unstoppable offense, which is ranked 1st in the NBA. In fact, their current Offensive Rating of 116.7 would become the highest rated offense of all time if they can manage to maintain it.

  5. Houston Rockets (24-9) – Previous Ranking: No. 6 (+1)

    [Record since last update: 8-2] The Houston Rockets, alongside my personal pick for MVP, James Harden, have not been letting up. The Rockets have one of the most deadly offenses in basketball and a majority of what they do is shoot threes and free throws. In their last 10 games, the Rockets have scored over 100 points in every game, including 6 games with 120+. Clint Capela has been out for over a week with fracture in his fibula but expects to return in 4-6 weeks.

  6. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-12) – Previous Ranking: No. 8 (+2)

    [Record since last update: 6-3] A recent 4-game win streak including wins over the Celtics and Timberwolves have the Thunder continuing to move up the rankings. Westbrook is now up to 15 triple doubles in only 32 games played and his current averages are 31.7 PPG/10.6 RPG/10.9 APG.

  7. Boston Celtics (19-13) – Previous Ranking: No. 10 (+3)

    [Record since last update: 6-3] The Celtics are finally healthy and their recent play reflects on that. Isaiah Thomas is playing like an MVP underdog and Al Horford is back to doing all the little things that made him an All-Star when he was in Atlanta.

  8. Utah Jazz (19-13) – Previous Ranking: No. 12 (+4)

    [Record since last update: 5-3] George Hill has been out with a toe injury since the start of December and there isn’t any official word on when he will return but some big wins against the Thunder and on the road against the Grizzlies and Lakers has the Jazz exactly where they want to be. The emergence of Gordon Hayward into an All-Star is beginning to take shape, make sure to check him out when he pops on your screen,

  9. Los Angeles Clippers (22-11) – Previous Ranking: No. 5 (-4)

    [Record since last update: 6-4]  Since the loss of Blake Griffin due to knee surgery, the Clippers are 2-3, and since Chris Paul went out with the same hamstring injury that has nagged him for years, their record is 0-3. Those three loses came at the hands of the Mavericks, Lakers, and Nuggets. With Griffin out for another month and Chris Paul’s status being uncertain, the Clippers could continue to slide.

  10. Memphis Grizzlies (20-14) – Previous Ranking: No. 7 (-3)

    [Record since last update: 4-5] Like the Clippers, the Grizzlies have also been slipping down the rankings in recent weeks. Losing tough games against the Cavs, Celtics (twice), and the Jazz is an unfortunate luck of scheduling, but if this team wants to finally take that next step, they have to win those games. Chandler Parsons is easing his way into the rotation and the more minutes he plays should positively affect the Grizzlies, but it is Chandler Parsons, and I STILL don’t know how good/bad he truly is.

  11. Milwaukee Bucks (14-15) – Previous Ranking: No. 14 (+3)

    [Record since last update: 3-4] Now the Bucks don’t necessarily deserve to be ranked so high, but neither do the teams below them. 3 of those 5 losses came against the Cavs and Raptors and besides, Giannis has been playing his way into the All-Star game (Maybe even into an All-Star starter) and the Bucks have been playing some impressively good defense.

  12. Charlotte Hornets (17-14) – Previous Ranking: No. 9 (-3)

    [Record since last update: 3-5] The hype for the Hornets has begun to slow down a bit. Losing recent games against the Pacers, Wizards, and Nets doesn’t exactly scream “Top 4 seed” but luckily they’re in the East and they still have Kemba Walker who has continued to excel and improve this season.

  13. New York Knicks (16-14) – Previous Ranking: No. 11 (-2)

    [Record since last update: 3-4] The Knicks have played some very average basketball lately which included a 3-game losing streak (all on the road, I might add) to the Suns, Warriors, and Nuggets. Even though they lost on Christmas Day, I did see some life from the Knicks team and I finally came to the conclusion that lots of others have already been saying, this is Porzingis’ team now. 

  14. Denver Nuggets (13-18) – Previous Ranking: No. 21 (+7)

    [Record since last update: 5-3] The last two teams that I’ll write about may seem a bit out of place, but when the teams that were in this range during the last update (Blazers, Pistons, Lakers, etc.) have either lost all momentum or decided that they want to tank their whole season, it isn’t too hard to make this kind of jump. Anyways, about the Nuggets. They have recently beaten some good teams like the Magic, Knicks and the Clippers while playing some fast paced basketball with a high(er) potent offense.

  15. Sacramento Kings (14-17) – Previous Ranking: No. 22 (+7)

    [Record since last update: 6-2] The Sacramento Boogies are on a nice little 4-game win streak in which Cousins has been averaging 34/9/4 while shooting 50% from the floor and 53% from three (while taking over 5 threes a game). From dropping “f bombs” towards local reporters to spanking Joel Embiid on the rump, the scene in Sacramento, as an outsider, seems somewhat positive (until George Karl releases another book).

  16. Atlanta Hawks (15-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 20 (+4)

    [Record since last update: 3-3]

  17. Orlando Magic (15-18) – Previous Ranking: No. 19 (+2)

    [Record since last update: 5-4]

  18. Chicago Bulls (15-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 13 (-5)

    [Record since last update: 3-6]

  19. Indiana Pacers (15-17) – Previous Ranking: No. 18 (-1)

    [Record since last update: 4-5]

  20. Detroit Pistons (15-18) – Previous Ranking: No. 15 (-5)

    [Record since last update: 2-6]

  21. Minnesota Timberwolves (10-21) – Previous Ranking: No. 25 (+4)

    [Record since last update: 4-4]

  22. New Orleans Pelicans (12-21) – Previous Ranking: No. 23 (+1)

    [Record since last update: 5-4]

  23. Portland Trail Blazers (13-20) – Previous Ranking: No. 16 (-7)

    [Record since last update: 1-8]

  24. Washington Wizards (14-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 27 (+3)

    [Record since last update: 6-3]

  25. Los Angeles Lakers (12-23) – Previous Ranking: No. 17 (-8)

    [Record since last update: 2-8]

  26. Phoenix Suns (9-22) – Previous Ranking: No. 24 (+2)

    [Record since last update: 2-6]

  27. Miami Heat (10-22) – Previous Ranking: No. 26 (+1)

    [Record since last update: 3-6]

  28. Dallas Mavericks (9-23) – Previous Ranking: No. 30 (+2)

    [Record since last update: 4-6]

  29. Brooklyn Nets (8-22) – Previous Ranking: No. 28 (+1)

    [Record since last update: 2-7]

  30. Philadelphia 76ers (7-23) – Previous Ranking: No. 29 (-1)

    [Record since last update: 2-5]