With less then 25-games left this season, the NBA Playoff race is tightening up. In addition to the Playoff race, the Tank-Race is in full effect too. Take a look at this week's NBA Power Rankings to see where your favorite team stacks up against the rest of the league.
All Stats and Information were collected on Sunday (2/25/2018) at 10:00 AM EST
30) Memphis Grizzlies: The Memphis Grizzlies have lost 9-straight games and are now opting to not start Marc Gasol. It is clear that the Grizzlies are in full tank mode for the finals 24-games of their season.
Offensive Rating: 27th (102.1)
Defensive Rating: 20th (107.0)
Net Rating: 26th (-4.9)
Record: 18-40 (Lost 9 in a row)
Last Ranking: 24th
29) Phoenix Suns: The Phoenix Suns are the worst team statistically in the league. They have young, impactful players for the future so that is why they are not 30th in my ranking. The Suns however are in complete tank mode once again this season.
Offensive Rating: 29th (101.5)
Defensive Rating: 30th (110.5)
Net Rating: 30th (-9.0)
Record: 18-43 (Lost 9 in a row)
Last Ranking: 25th
28) Brooklyn Nets: The Brooklyn Nets have disappointed me here lately. They have no reason to lose games, so the fact that they have lost 8-straight means they’re just not talented enough to win the necessary games. The only solid thing about the Nets losing, is that the Cavaliers look like genius for holding onto the Nets 2018 1st overall draft pick.
Offensive Rating: 26th (103.0)
Defensive Rating: 23rd (108.0)
Net Rating: 27th (-5.0)
Record: 19-41 (Lost 8 in a row)
Last Ranking: 23rd
27) Orlando Magic: Orlando is a team that is too in tank mode. The race at the bottom of the NBA is close to 33% of the league vying to tank. Orlando has a lot of questions they will have to answer this off-season, and that first question will be addressing restricted free agent, Aaron Gordon. The Magic can easily match any offer and continue to rebuild the roster, or they could let him walk and commit to Jonathan Isaac as their power forward of the future.
Offensive Rating: 19th (104.7)
Defensive Rating: 27th (109.0)
Net Rating: 24th (-4.3)
Record: 18-41 (Lost 5 in a row)
Last Ranking: 30th
26) Atlanta Hawks: I got to see the Atlanta Hawks in person Friday evening, and they are not a good basketball team. Remember a few summers ago when they signed Kent Bazmore to a 4-year/$70M contract? During Friday’s game I didn’t even realize he was on the floor. Dennis Schroeder continues to underwhelm me, and I have doubts that the Hawks will be relevant in the East in 5-years.
Offensive Rating: 23rd (103.6)
Defensive Rating: 22nd (108.0)
Net Rating: 25th (-4.3)
Record: 18-42 (Lost 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 29th
25) Sacramento Kings: The Kings are completely committed to the tank/rebuild phase of their franchise for the 10th straight season and they’ll be players in the Draft Lottery come May once again. It is rather disappointing to see a franchise that once was competing against Shaq and Kobe in the NBA Western Conference Finals, to the bottom 3 of the Western Conference on a yearly basis. There seems to be hope in De’Aaron Fox and Bogdon Bogdanovic, but outside of those 2, they are years away.
Offensive Rating: 30th (101.0)
Defensive Rating: 29th (110.0)
Net Rating: 29th (-8.7)
Record: 18-41 (Lost 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 28th
24) Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks have a solid coach and a point guard of the future. Unfortunately, the Mavericks have been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. While this depressing story hangs over the franchise, we are souring the storyline of Dirk’s career coming to an end. Dallas has the right pieces to rebuild properly, but it will take time.
Offensive Rating: 21st (104.1)
Defensive Rating: 21st (107.4)
Net Rating: 23rd (-3.3)
Record: 18-42 (Lost 4 in a row and losers of 8 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 26th
23) New York Knicks: The Knicks are not in a good place. With Hornacek looking to coach for his job, he is playing Jarrett Jack over his younger guards Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina. This is not what is best for the Knicks, as they too need to fully embrace tanking, so they can add talent to surround Kristaps Porizingis.
Offensive Rating: 22nd (104.0)
Defensive Rating: 19th (106.8)
Net Rating: 22nd (-2.9)
Record: 24-37 (Lost 9 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 22nd
22) Chicago Bulls: The Chicago Bulls have never been the same since Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan left the Bulls following their Finals victory in 1998. During that timeframe we have seen them rebuild 3-times. So, in 20-years the Bulls have tried to rebuild their roster numerous times and to no avail. They were extremely close with Rose, but once injuries got the best of him, they were doomed. I think the league is a better place when Chicago is in the playoff hunt, but it won’t be happening soon.
Offensive Rating: 28th (101.8)
Defensive Rating: 26th (108.4)
Net Rating: 28th (-6.6)
Record: 20-39 (Lost 8 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 27th
21) Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers have a solid future ahead of them. Julius Randle often gets critiqued for his play, but I am a fan of his game. Randle recorded a triple-double Friday evening and continues to impress as the season prolongs. Lonzo Ball has been injured often this season, and it should concern Lakers fans, because this could be more of a problem then his father.
Offensive Rating: 25th (103.2)
Defensive Rating: 12th (105.6)
Net Rating: 21st (-2.4)
Record: 25-34 (Winners of 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 21st
20) Detroit Pistons: Since the Pistons traded for Blake Griffin they have gone 6-5. They are 5-5 in the games that Blake has played. After a hot start, the Pistons have cooled off and as I always say “water has met its’ level”.
Offensive Rating: 20th (104.6)
Defensive Rating: 11th (105.2)
Net Rating: 19th (-0.6)
Record: 28-30 (Winners of 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 17th
19) Miami Heat: After looking like a top team in the East, the Heat have been on the unlucky side of things. In their last 10-games, 5 of the Heat’s losses have been 1-possession games. The Heat have a relatively light schedule the remainder of the season, so Heat fans can expect to be on the positive side of some of those losses they have received recently.
Offensive Rating: 24th (103.3)
Defensive Rating: 7th (104.1)
Net Rating: 20th (-0.8)
Record: 31-29 (Losers of 8 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 16th
18) Charlotte Hornets: In the Hornets 3-game winning streak they are 5th in offensive rating and 6th in defensive rating. The Hornets are only 4.5 games back of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs, but they are going to push for it. Also, keep an eye out on the Hornets front-office moves for this summer. There could be a huge shakeup in Charlotte, even if it is a year or two, too late.
Offensive Rating: 15th (105.4)
Defensive Rating: 14th (105.7)
Net Rating: 18th (-0.3)
Record: 26-33 (Winners of 3 straight and 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 20th
17) Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers are fighting hard every single night and are looking to make a push to get in the playoffs. The Pelicans are without Cousins for the remainder of the season and that has given both LA and Utah optimism to try and make a late season push. Lou Williams continues to be the focal point for this offense.
Offensive Rating: 9th (107.4)
Defensive Rating: 17th (106.4)
Net Rating: 13th (1.0)
Record: 31-37 (Winners of 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 19th
16) San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs are in trouble. Pop has publicly made it known that he is beyond frustrated with Kawhi Leonard and his injury situation. The Spurs are not a threat in the Western Conference without Kawhi. This is a huge disappointment to many Spurs fans around the NBA, but if they don’t fix their problems on the court, they could fall even further down the standings than 4th.
Offensive Rating: 16th (105.3)
Defensive Rating: 2nd (102.2)
Net Rating: 6th (3.1)
Record: 35-25 (Losers of 4 straight and 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 6th
15) Oklahoma City Thunder: I am still a believer in OKC, especially come playoff time. The loss of Andre Roberson is troublesome, but Paul George, Steven Adams and Russel Westbrook are too talented. They are struggling some right now, but I believe this ship will be righted. With injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, the Thunder have a very solid shot of becoming the 3rd overall seed in the Western Conference.
Offensive Rating: 12th (106.8)
Defensive Rating: 8th (104.3)
Net Rating: 8th (2.5)
Record: 34-27 (Losers of 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 10th
14) New Orleans Pelicans: I love what the Pelicans are doing, winning 4-games in a row. During their 4-game winning streak the Pelicans have led the league in Pace at 107.14. Alvin Gentry may have found something that he can hang his hat on the remainder of the season, to ensure that his team doesn’t miss out on the postseason, despite the loss of Cousins.
Offensive Rating: 8th (107.6)
Defensive Rating: 18th (106.7)
Net Rating: 14th (0.9)
Record: 32-26 (Winners of 4 in a row)
Last Ranking: 13th
13) Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves have been mediocre at best the last 10-games. After Saturday’s game, heartbreaking news followed, the Wolves will be without All-Star Forward, Jimmy Butler (yes, he was an All-Star, he just decided to REST). The load will have to be lifted by All-Star Karl Anthony Towns and veteran leaders Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson. I still believe in the talent of the Wolves, but I am fearful that they will get leap frogged by the likes of Portland, Denver and Oklahoma City if they can’t find the perfect game plan to patch the loss of Butler.
Offensive Rating: 3rd (111.3)
Defensive Rating: 25th (108.3)
Net Rating: 7th (2.9)
Record: 37-26 (Winners/Losers of 5 of the Last 10 Games)
Last Ranking: 5th
12) Milwaukee Bucks: Milwaukee looked incredible in their win against the Raptors on Friday night. The Bucks are still figuring things out with Parker returning to the lineup, but they can only get better from here. Kudos to Jason Terry as well for making big plays when called upon despite his inconsistency in the rotation.
Offensive Rating: 10 (107.4)
Defensive Rating: 16th (106.1)
Net Rating: 12th (1.3)
Record: 33-25 (Winners of 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 8th
11) Utah Jazz: The Utah Jazz have been on fire recently. In the last 14-games the Jazz are number 1 in Defensive Rating. They are hanging their hats on the defensive end of things and running an offensive system that fits their makeup perfectly. It is still yet to be determined if they can sneak into the playoffs before the season is over, but if they play like they were before the All-Star Break (and not the two games after) it would be hard to bet against them.
Offensive Rating: 14th (105.5)
Defensive Rating: 6th (103.7)
Net Rating: 10th (1.8)
Record: 31-29 (Winners of 12 of their last 13)
Last Ranking: 15th
10) Washington Wizards: No Wall, no problem. The Wizards have been playing well for John Wall being on the shelf. I get that Wall is the face of the franchise and that the Wizards are a deeper team with Wall on the floor, but I really like what I am seeing from Beal and Porter with Wall not on the court. These two players are thriving in Scott Brooks system and you have to wonder if John Wall will be willing to play off the ball more once he returns.
Offensive Rating: 11th (107.3)
Defensive Rating: 13th (105.7)
Net Rating: 11th (1.6)
Record: 34-25 (winners of 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 7th
9) Portland Trailblazers: The Blazers are an above-average, average team. I know, that doesn’t make since entirely, but what I am trying to say is that the Blazers are easily better than 15-18 teams in the NBA, but after that, they are just average. With 22-games left in the season, I would love to see the Blazers make a crazy push for the 3rd seed in the Western Conference. They have the talent to do it, but as we have seen in past seasons, the Blazers could wind up just making the playoffs on the last day of the season.
Offensive Rating: 17th (105.3)
Defensive Rating: 9th (104.6)
Net Rating: 15th (0.7)
Record: 34-26 (Winners of 3-straight and 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 12th
8) Denver Nuggets: NBA Twitter blew up this summer about Nikola Jokic and I was all excited to watch that hype train cruise into the sunset as the Nuggets Center wins Most Improved Player of the Year. However, that is not what happened the first half of the season. We would see flashes of Jokic’s greatness, but it was never a consistent thing. During the last month or so, Jokic has started playing like the player peopled raved about this summer. I believe the Nuggets are the most underrated team in the Western Conference and are the biggest threat to upset a top seed come April.
Offensive Rating: 6th (108.4)
Defensive Rating: 24th (108.0)
Net Rating: 17th (0.4)
Record: 33-26 (Winners of 4-straight and 7 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 14th
7) Indiana Pacers: The Indiana Pacers have one of the toughest schedules remaining for the season. In the month of March, they have a game every other day. This schedule could really make or break the Pacers, because they still have a chance to get into a top-4 seed in the East. Indiana currently sits 1.5 behind the 3rd place Cavaliers, but if they do wind up in a tie with Cleveland, they have already won the season series 3-1. The return of Glenn Robinson III will help increase the athleticism on this team, and once Darren Collison returns from his knee surgery rehab, this Pacers squad could be a real threat in the Eastern Conference.
Offensive Rating: 7th (108.4)
Defensive Rating: 15th (106.0)
Net Rating: 9th (2.4)
Record: 34-25 (Winners of 4-straight and 8 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 9th
6) Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. With Joel Embiid able to play back-to-back games now, the 76ers are going to be a force in the Eastern Conference. In this 7-game winning streak the 76ers are 2nd in defensive rating and 4th in net rating. They have been a top-3 team in the league the last 7-games.
Offensive Rating: 13th (105.8)
Defensive Rating: 3rd (102.7)
Net Rating: 5th (3.1)
Record: 32-25 (Winners of 7-straight games)
Last Ranking: 18th
5) Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers are excited about their moves at the trade deadline. While the moves are significant upgrades, they are still going to miss Kevin Love. They acquired four solid role players, but nobody who can help take over a game like Kyrie Irving did last season. While I sill think Cleveland is the favorite to win the East, you have to worry about their lack of star talent outside of LeBron.
Offensive Rating: 5th (109.8)
Defensive Rating: 28th (109.3)
Net Rating: 15th (0.5)
Record: 35-23 (Winners of 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 11th
4) Boston Celtics: The Celtics offense is a little low for me to really believe in them as a contender in the East. You can’t argue on how great their defense has been all season long, but they are going to need help from their young starters Tatum and Brown come playoff time. I am excited to see the type of player Tatum is come playoff time. If he relishes in the moment, he could be a major x-factor for them. Other than that, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart are going to be huge contributors to their success.
Offensive Rating: 18th (104.8)
Defensive Rating: 1st (101.0)
Net Rating: 4th (3.8)
Record: 42-19 (Winners of 6 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 3rd
3) Golden State Warriors: Golden State is still the team to beat in the NBA, despite their inconsistent play over the last 10-games. After their dominating win over the Thunder Saturday, questions begin to rise about the careless play and acts of Zaza Pachulia. Watching the tape over and over, I have to agree that it was excessive and unnecessary, similar to his play on Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference Finals. The NBA will be monitoring this closer than before, and the Warriors need to monitor his actions too. The last thing you want if you’re the Warriors is your starting center out of the rotation in a crucial playoff series.
Offensive Rating: 1st (114)
Defensive Rating: 103.5 (5th)
Net Rating: 1st (10.5)
2) Toronto Raptors: I find it hysterical that every NBA podcast over the past three weeks has been raving about the Raptors, but they always start off by saying, “I want to talk about a team that nobody is talking about. I want to talk about the Toronto Raptors”. It’s like, hello, everyone is noticing the Raptors now, and rightfully so. Toronto has been phenomenal this season. There are still going to be concerns come playoff time because that is where it matters the most, and that is where the Raptors have struggled the most. I am all on board for the job Casey has done and like Charles Barkley has been saying, the Raptors are the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Offensive Rating: 4th (110.7)
Defensive Rating: 4th (102.8)
Net Rating: 7.9 (3rd)
Record: 41-17 (Winners of 8 of their last 10)
Last Ranking: 4th
1) Houston Rockets: The Rockets have been the hottest team in the NBA the last month. Their willingness to share the basketball and defend ensures they are a team destined to for greatness come April, May and June. Everyone is proclaiming the Rockets to be the biggest threat to the Warriors, but that job is much easier said than done. The Rockets will be a legitimate threat if they can overcome their ghosts of playoffs past.
Offensive Rating: 2nd (113.4)
Defensive Rating: 10th (104.7)
Net Rating: 2nd (8.8)
Record: 45-13 (Winners of 11-straight games)
Last Ranking: 2nd