NBA Week 21 Power Rankings & Week Review

03 / 06 / 2023 By Donald Anderson Jr.

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Week 20 was full of elite matchups and the games did not disappoint. Teams roughly have between 15-18 games left in the season to secure their playoff spot. Did the Knicks make the best trade at the deadline? They’ve gone 9-0 since acquiring Josh Hart and he seems like a perfect fit for them. They are currently the hottest team in the league. The Clippers finally got a win with Russell Westbrook on the team after losing the first 5 games with him. Dallas has gone 2-6 when both Kyrie and Luka play. Are they looking at an early exit out of the playoffs?

These are my power rankings based on games played through 3/5/2023.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (46-18)

Although the win streak ended with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers there’s not much to worry about with the Bucks as Giannis continues to carry the load. This past week he averaged 30 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 7 assists. The Bucks now lead the Eastern Conference by 2 games over the Celtics and also own the best record in the entire league. Production from Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez continues to be key as they keep things afloat. The addition of Jae Crowder has been a seamless fit as well.

  1. Denver Nuggets (45-19)

The Nuggets are winners of seven of their last eight games and are now 6.5 games ahead of everyone in the Western Conference for first place. MVP frontrunner, Nikola Jokic now sits at 25 triple doubles on the year and the team has not lost this year when he secures one.

  1. Boston Celtics (45-20)

Week 20 was a tough one for the Celtics. They lost to the New York Knicks twice and blew a 28-point lead to the Brooklyn Nets. It seems to be that they are looking to tighten up their bench rotation before the playoffs start and have played with different line-ups. Their lone win this past week was against the Cavaliers, who they will face again this week. After having their worst three-point shooting game of year against the Knicks, we can expect them to bounce back this week as they face the Hawks and Trail Blazers who aren’t the best of defensive teams.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (41-22)

Their win over the Bucks kept them in the top five this week. The duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid continue to be working well together and Tyrese Maxey has solidified himself as the team’s third guy no matter if he is in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. As long as nothing traumatic happens, Philadelphia will likely stay locked in at third in the Eastern Conference as seven of their next nine games are against teams with records below .500.

  1. Phoenix Suns (36-29)

With Kevin Durant now playing for the Suns they lit up defenses this past week and went 3-0. Durant averaged nearly 27 points in the three games while teammate Devin Booker seemed to be unstoppable as well and averaged 36 points and 7 assists on the week. The pairing of these two might make them the best scoring duo in the league. The team currently trails the Sacramento Kings by three games for third place in the Western Conference and will face them this week. If the Suns continue to stay hot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them climb all the way up to second place.

Next in line: New York Knicks (39-27)

Some of the top performances this week include:

Monday (2/27)

  • Paolo Banchero put in 29 points to lead the Orlando Magic over the New Orleans Pelicans 101-93.
  • A 23-point performance from Julius Randle helped lead the New York Knicks over the Boston Celtics 109-94.
  • Jimmy Butler put in 23 points to give the Miami Heat a 101-99 victory over his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Tuesday (2/28)

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 15 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over the Brooklyn Nets 118-104 on the road.
  • Ja Morant secured a triple double of 39 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 121-109.
  • Nikola Jokic recorded his 100th career triple double (14, 11 & 10) and the Denver Nuggets eased by the Houston Rockets 133-112.
  • Tyrese Haliburton had 32 points and 6 assists as the Indiana Pacers went into Dallas to beat the Mavericks 124-122.

Wednesday (3/1)

  • Kevin Durant scored 23 points in his first game with the Phoenix Suns but Devin Booker led all scorers with 37 points and the Suns won 105-91 over the Charlotte Hornets.
  • Jayson Tatum (41 points) and Donovan Mitchell (44 points) dueled and the Boston Celtics went on to win 117-113 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Led by Jalen Brunson’s 39 points, the New York Knicks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 142-118.
  • Brandon Ingram scored a season high 40 and led the New Orleans Pelicans over the Portland Trail Blazers 121-110.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to their 16th straight win by putting in 31 points and 7 rebounds on the Orlando Magic. The Bucks went on to win 139-117.

Thursday (3/2)

  • Kyle Kuzma finished with 30 points as the Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 119-108 at home.
  • Luka Doncic scored 42 points and teammate Kyrie Irving put in 40 points to give the Dallas Mavericks a 133-126 victory at home over the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Jordan Poole put in 34 points to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Los Angeles Clippers 115-91.

Friday (3/3)

  • Dejounte Murray scored a career high 41 points and led the Atlanta Hawks over the Portland Trail Blazers 129-111.
  • Mikal Bridges led the Brooklyn Nets with 38 points as they secured the largest comeback win of the season after being down 28 points against the Boston Celtics. Final score 115-105.
  • Nikola Jokic notched his 25th triple double of the season and led the Denver Nuggets to a 113-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • De’Aaron Fox’s 33 points led the Sacramento Kings to a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers 128-127.

Saturday (3/4)

  • Bam Adebayo’s 30 points lifted the Miami Heat over the Atlanta Hawks 117-109.
  • James Harden poured in 38 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Milwaukee Bucks 133-130.
  • Anthony Edwards scored 27 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings 138-134.

Sunday (3/5)

  • Kevin Durant’s 37 points lifted the Phoenix Suns past the Dallas Mavericks 130-126.
  • Tyrese Haliburton scored 29 points and hit the game winning three-pointer to give the Indiana Pacers a 125-122 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
  • Anthony Davis came up huge and carried the Los Angeles Lakers over the Golden State Warriors 113-105 and finished with 39 points.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned to the floor and dropped 38 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Utah Jazz 129-119.
  • Paul George scored 42 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over the Memphis Grizzlies 135-129.
  • Immanuel Quickley had a career high 38 points and led the New York Knicks to a double overtime win over the Boston Celtics 131-129.


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