NBA action never disappoints. This past week we saw more game winners, triple doubles, another 60-point game and an MVP matchup on primetime Saturday. The trade deadline is quickly approaching and so far, only the Lakers and Wizards are the only ones to make headlines with LA sending Kendrick Nunn to Washington for Rui Hachimura. The Philadelphia 76ers have become the hottest team in the league and are riding a 7-game win streak while jumping to second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Grizzlies just went 0-5 on their five-game road trip but they still remain solidly in second place in the standings. Teams like the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers are creeping up behind them in the standings but how does it look in the new power rankings?
These are my power rankings based on games played through 1/29/2023.
- Philadelphia 76ers (32-16)
Only played two games this past week yet managed to extend their win streak to now 7 games and have won 20 of their last 24 games. After not being named an All-Star game starter, Joel Embiid put up a stellar MVP performance at home against the Denver Nuggets, torching them for 47 points, 18 rebounds and 5 assists. Philly is looking like a real contender like I said last week and are pushing the line as a top five offensive and defensive team. The team has had the second easiest schedule through Week 15 and will have their schedule get a little tougher as 11 of the next 12 will be against teams over .500.
- Boston Celtics (36-15)
The Celtics were on a 3-game losing streak before winning in overtime against the LA Lakers Saturday night. When they were on their 9-game win streak, the team was lights out offensively and moved up to number one ranking offensively in the league. Over this three-game skid, they’ve dropped down to fourth. Turnovers have been the key problem and will need to fix that if they wish to remain atop the Eastern Conference standings. The 76ers are only one game back in the loss column and could take over that spot.
- Denver Nuggets (34-16)
Went 1-2 on their three-game road trip this past week. Nikola Jokic’s return was needed against the Pelicans as he notched yet another triple double and also the game winning shot. The next day they played the hot Milwaukee Bucks and sat four of their starters. The loss against the Sixers showed another flaw of the Denver Nuggets which is their defense. In both games against the Pelicans and 76ers, the Nuggets gave up 19- and 15-point leads to lose both games. They need to pick it up on the defensive end to turn things back around. They currently are ranked 15th defensively.
- Milwaukee Bucks (33-17)
The Bucks went 4-0 this past week and looked great throughout each game. Winners of six of their last seven, the team will hope to keep Kris Middleton healthy into the All-Star break as they try to steadily move back atop the Eastern Conference standings. Over this four-game win streak, Giannis has shown why he is the most dominant player in the league averaging 38 points and almost 13 rebounds per game.
- Memphis Grizzlies (32-18)
The Grizzlies have been struggling largely in part to the poor shooting and went 0-5 on their five-game road trip. Ja Morant had to go beast mode against the Indiana Pacers and drop a triple double in order for the team to improve in the win column. The win also extended their home game win streak to 8 in a row. They are now 21-3 at home this year while only being 11-15 in road games. The dramatic difference from who they are at home compared to on the road will raise some eyebrows but they’re still a top two defensive rated team and just need to simply be more efficient offensively on the road.
Next in line: Brooklyn Nets (30-19)
Some of the top performances this week include:
- Jalen Green scored a career high 42 points and the Houston Rockets secured a 119-114 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Damian Lillard had 37 points and 12 assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the San Antonio Spurs 147-127.
- A 14 point, 10 rebound, 11 assist triple double from Domantas Sabonis helped lead the Sacramento Kings to a 133-100 beat down on the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Bam Adebayo led the Miami Heat in scoring with 30 points and the Heat went on to win 98-95 against the Boston Celtics.
- Nikola Jokic tallied another triple double (25,11,10) and the Denver Nuggets won on the road 99-98 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
- Paul George lifts the Los Angeles Clippers past the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to his 27 points and 9 rebounds. Final score 133-115.
- Julius Randle had 36 points while raining in eights threes and the New York Knicks get the win 105-103 at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points and the Washington Wizards won 108-103 on the road against the Houston Rockets.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo put in 33 points as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Denver Nuggets 107-99.
- Damian Lillard caught fire on the Utah Jazz and racked in 60 points and the Portland Trail Blazers went on to win 134-124.
- Trae Young tallied 33 points and 11 assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 137-132 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Julius Randle scored 37 points as the New York Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics in overtime 120-117.
- Terry Rozier scorched the Chicago Bulls with 28 points and led the Charlotte Hornets to a 111-96 victory.
- Spencer Dinwiddie put in 36 points and led the Dallas Mavericks to a 99-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns on the road.
- Paul George went to work on the San Antonio Spurs and finished with 35 points and the Los Angeles Clippers won 138-100.
- Stephen Curry had 35 points and 11 assists to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 129-117 victory against the Toronto Raptors.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder won 112-100 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Anthony Edwards finished with 25 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 111-100.
- Joel Embiid lit the Denver Nuggets up with 47 points and 18 rebounds which led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 126-119 win.
- Kyrie Irving led the Brooklyn Nets with 32 points and helped them win the battle of New York defeating the Knicks 122-115.
- DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine each scored 32 points as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Orlando Magic 128-109 on the road.
- Jaylen Brown came up clutch and helped lead the Boston Celtics to a 125-121 win in overtime over the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points as the Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks at home 108-100.
- Ja Morant had himself a triple double of 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 112-100 victory at home against the Indiana Pacers.
- Terry Rozier scored 31 points to lead the Charlotte Hornets over the Miami Heat 122-117.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo had a double-double of 50 points and 13 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks destroyed the New Orleans Pelicans 135-110.