NBA Week 23 Power Rankings & Week Review

03 / 20 / 2023 By Donald Anderson Jr.

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Is Joel Embiid who should be crowned MVP this year? He’s averaging 36.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 blocks during the month of March. Why are the Houston Rockets not trying to lose games in order to better their chances at Victor Wembenyama? They defeated the Celtics, Lakers and Pelicans this past week. With about 10-12 games left per team, the fight for positioning will be coming down to the last games of the season and that only means more exciting games to watch before the playoffs.

These are my power rankings based on games played through 3/19/2023.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (48-22)

Philly has stayed hot and currently have an 8-game win streak going. For the month of March, they have only lost one game. Over the last 10 games, the 76ers own the best net rating of all teams, which is 13.6 and 4 points higher than the closest team behind them which is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joel Embiid has pretty much been unstoppable and his play now has him as the co-favorite for MVP with Nikola Jokic.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (51-20)

The Bucks went 3-1 this past week and still remain atop the Eastern Conference standings and 2.5 games in front of Philadelphia and Boston. Production from Kris Middleton and Brook Lopez have picked up dramatically over the last sort of games. Middleton knocked down 48% of his 3 pointers this past week and averaged about 22 points. Brook Lopez is averaging nearly 22 points per game over the last 13 games as he has been making his presence felt in the paint rather than the three-point line and is shooting 70%.

  1. Sacramento Kings (43-27)

Winners of 8 of their last 10, the Kings have the third best net rating over that stretch just behind Philadelphia and Cleveland. They now sit in a tie with Memphis for second place in the West. Overall, Sacramento still owns the best offensive rating in the league and All-Star guard De’Aaron Fox has remained one of, if not the most clutch player in the league. This past week he drilled another game winner to defeat the Chicago Bulls.

  1. Boston Celtics (49-23)

This past week Boston had a bad loss to the Houston Rockets and also blew a large lead against the Utah Jazz for another loss. They did manage to secure victories over Minnesota and Portland. They now sit in third place in the East after seeing drop offs in efficiency from star Jayson Tatum over the last handful of games. Fatigue may be starting to kick in from making all the way to the Finals last year. The team has one game remaining on their road trip in Sacramento and then will head home for two games to finish the week where they have been far more efficient than on the road.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (45-28)

The Cavaliers have won six of their last eight but the strength of schedule hasn’t been the toughest and they still remain to struggle against the top teams in the East. This past week was another example of that as they had wins over the Hornets and Wizards but lost to the 76ers. Cleveland has had the second-best net rating over their last ten games, where they have gone 7-3.

Next in line: Memphis Grizzlies (43-27)


Some of the top performances this week include:

Monday (3/13)

  • Anthony Edwards scored 32 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves easily defeated the Atlanta Hawks 136-115.
  • Jimmy Butler scored points and the Miami Heat won a close game against the Utah Jazz 119-115.
  • Jalen Green had 28 points to lead the Houston Rockets past the Boston Celtics 111-109.
  • Klay Thompson lit up the Phoenix Suns with 38 points and the Golden state Warriors went on to win 123-112.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had 46 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the floor and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Sacramento Kings 133-124.

Tuesday (3/14)

  • 26 points from Evan Mobley helped the Cleveland Cavaliers secure a 120-104 road win over the Charlotte Hornets.
  • Fred VanVleet scored 36 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Denver Nuggets at home 125-110.
  • Anthony Davis had 35 points and 17 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers went on the road to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108.
  • A triple double from Josh Giddey (15, 13 & 10) along with 35 points pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Brooklyn Nets 121-107.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 11 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 116-104.
  • Immanuel Quickley tallied 26 points and the New York Knicks defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on the road 123-107.

Wednesday (3/15)

  • Joel Embiid had 36 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-109.
  • Bam Adebayo scored 26 points as the Miami Heat got an easy win at home against the Memphis Grizzlies 119-138.
  • DeAaron Fox scored 32 points and hit the game winning three-pointer to lift the Sacramento Kings over the Chicago Bulls 117-114.
  • Jaylen Brown had 35 points and the Boston Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-102.
  • Despite 50 points from Stephen Curry, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors 134-126 and were led by Kawhi Leonard’s 30 points.

Thursday (3/16)

  • Nikola Jokic dropped 30 points and had 10 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets cruised past the Detroit Pistons 119-100.
  • Domantas Sabonis had 24 points and 21 rebounds as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Toronto Raptors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-111 and were led by Pascal Siakam’s 25 points and 14 rebounds.

Friday (3/17)

  • Trae Young’s 25 points lifted the Atlanta Hawks over the Golden State Warriors 127-119.
  • DeMar DeRozan scored 49 points and led the Chicago Bulls to a 139-131 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • The Memphis Grizzlies completed the largest comeback in franchise history (29 points) and defeated the San Antonio Spurs in overtime 126-120. Jaren Jackson Jr. led in scoring with 28 points.
  • Jayson Tatum had 34 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 126-112.
  • Kyrie Irving had 38 points and the game winning assist to Maxi Kleber as he hit a three pointer at the buzzer to give the Dallas Mavericks a 111-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Saturday (3/18)

  • Jalen Brunson’s 24 points and 5 assists led the New York Knicks to a 116- 110 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
  • Markelle Fultz scored a career high 28 points and led the Orlando Magic to a 113-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey each scored 31 points as the Philadelphia 76ers pounced the Indiana Pacers 141-121.
  • Lauri Markkanen scored 28 points and the Utah Jazz were victorious over the Boston Celtics 118-117.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. had 31 points and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors 133-119.

Sunday (3/19)

  • Nikola Jokic dropped a triple double (22,17 and 10) as the Denver Nuggets beat the Brooklyn Nets 108-102.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the Phoenix Suns 124-120.
  • Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum each scored 26 points to lift the New Orleans Pelicans past the Houston Rockets 117-107.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple double (22, 13 and 10) and the Milwaukee Bucks pushed past the Toronto Raptors 118-111.
  • Paul George had 29 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on the road 117-102.
  • Austin Reeves scored a career high 35 points and the Los Angeles Lakers secured a win over the Orlando Magic 111-105.

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