Eastern Conference teams continue to dominate the rankings. Surprisingly so, the Memphis Grizzlies are staying afloat with superstar Ja Morant out indefinitely. The Nuggets, Kings and 76ers had the easiest schedules through week 21 but the Nuggets went winless while the Kings and 76ers went perfect for the week. The top three teams in each conference are in a dog race to the finish line for who will finish in first place.
These are my power rankings based on games played through 3/12/2023.
- Milwaukee Bucks (48-19)
Milwaukee almost had a 3-0 week without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who has sat out games with a wrist injury. In their loss to the Golden State Warriors on the road, they had an 8-point lead vanish with about 2 minutes to go and ended up losing in overtime. Kris Middleton was moved back into the starting lineup this past week and will maybe start to get his minutes ramped up as they get ready for the playoffs. The return for Giannis is still looming as of now with him listed as questionable. My guess would be that he returns after these next two road games against the Kings and Suns when the team is back home to face the Indiana Pacers.
- Philadelphia 76ers (45-22)
Currently winners of 5 games in a row and have won seven of their last ten, the 76ers could possibly make a push for the top spot in the East as they now sit only 1.5 games behind Boston and 3 games behind Milwaukee. Team chemistry is clicking at the right time right along with Joel Embiid dominating every matchup. This past week, he averaged 39 points and shot 62% from the field. If he continues this into the playoffs, the Sixers can possibly see themselves making the Eastern Conference finals.
- Boston Celtics (47-21)
After starting the week with a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers without Jayson Tatum, the Celtics bounced back with two dominant wins against the Trail Blazers and Hawks. The next six games are on the road for Boston where they have been 21-12 on the year. They sit just 1.5 games back from first place behind Milwaukee and will need a good road trip to stay in contention of getting back into first place.
- Denver Nuggets (46-22)
No wins for Denver this past week (0-3), two of them being home losses which has been rare on the year. The team was 30-4 in games at home before losing two straight this past week. The Nuggets still own a 5-game lead over the Kings and Grizzlies who are tied for second place in the Western Conference. Nikola Jokic is still putting up crazy numbers and averaged a triple double this past week with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. They’ll need to get back to their winning ways as this week they begin a five-game road trip.
- Sacramento Kings (40-26)
The Kings remain a tough team to beat as their offense has been clicking on all cylinders since the return from All Star break. They also have the best record since the season resumed, being 8-1. The team put in 121.5 points per 100 possessions this past week and still remains the number one rated offense throughout the league. The team has now reached 40 regular season wins for the first time since 2006.
Next in line: Cleveland Cavaliers (43-27)
Some of the top performances this week include:
- Donovan Mitchell scored 40 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Boston Celtics in overtime 118-114.
- Joel Embiid scored 42 points and led the Philadelphia 76ers over the Indiana Pacers in a shootout 147-143.
- Damian Lillard secured a triple double of 31 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Detroit Pistons 110-104.
- Kevin Huerter scored 25 points and the Sacramento Kings rolled past the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108.
- Brook Lopez scored 26 points while teammates Kris Middleton and Jevon Carter each scored 24 points as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Orlando Magic 134-123.
- Joel Embiid tallied 39 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-94.
- Mikal Bridges scored 30 points as the Brooklyn Nets cruised past the Houston Rockets 118-96.
- Despite 40 points from Stephen Curry, the Oklahoma City Thunder left with the victory led by 33 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Final score 137-128.
- Anthony Davis had a monster game of 30 points and 22 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers got the victory over the Memphis Grizzlies 112-103.
- Zach Lavine led the Chicago Bulls in scoring with 29 points as they went on the road and defeated the Denver Nuggets 117-96.
- Devin Booker had his way against the Oklahoma City Thunder putting in 44 points to give the Phoenix Suns a 132-101 victory.
- 24 points from Kawhi Leonard helped the Los Angeles Clippers defeat his former team, the Toronto Raptors 108-100.
- Jayson Tatum scored 30 points and made six threes to push the Boston Celtics past the Portland Trail Blazers 115-93.
- Domantas Sabonis had a triple double of 24 points, 13 rebounds & 10 assists as the Sacramento Kings edged past the New York Knicks 122-117.
- Tyus Jones had 22 points and 11 assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the Golden State Warriors 131-110.
- Lauri Markkanen put in 31 points and the Utah Jazz defeated the Orlando Magic 131-124.
- Tyrese Haliburton had 28 points and a career high 19 assists as he led the Indiana Pacers to a victory over the Houston Rockets 134-125.
- Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 27 points as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Detroit Pistons 113-103.
- Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 120-119 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and put in 39 points.
- Mikal Bridges scored 38 points and the Brooklyn Nets won against the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime 124-123.
- D’Angelo Russel had 28 points and 9 assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Toronto Raptors 122-112.
- Jimmy Butler scored 33 points to push the Miami Heat past the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-115.
- Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points to lift the Los Angeles Clippers over the New York Knicks 106-95.
- Talen Horton-Tucker scored a season high 37 points and led the Utah Jazz to 119-111 victory on the road over the Charlotte Hornets.
- 36 points from Stephen Curry pushed the Golden State Warriors past the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime 125-116.
- Zach Lavine put in 36 points to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Houston Rockets 119-111.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 35 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 110-96.
- Joel Embiid scored 34 points as the Philadelphia 76ers cruised to a 112-93 victory over the Washington Wizards.
- Trey Murphy III knocked nine three pointers and finished with 41 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans over the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110.
- Julius Randle’s 33 points led the way for the New York Knicks as the defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 112-108.
- Mikal Bridges scored 25 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Denver Nuggets 122-120.