NBA Power Rankings, Week 10

It is not too early to place Jacque Vaughn within the NBA Coach of The 12 months dialog. The Brooklyn Nets head coach has helped spearhead one of many league’s most dramatic turnarounds within the early season, because the Nets have gone from controversy-laden underachievers to one of many hottest groups within the Japanese Convention.

Vaughn’s management and a few sensible play from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving over the previous few weeks have Brooklyn trying like the kind of contender it was in the course of the 2020-21 marketing campaign. The group’s stars look centered and motivated to make a run, and the Nets may find yourself being an actual menace to the now-struggling Boston Celtics.

The Celtics seem mortal for the primary time in weeks after dropping 4 out of their previous 5 video games, together with back-to-back losses to the lowly Orlando Magic. The Milwaukee Bucks have taken over first place within the convention in consequence, however the Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers are inside placing distance as the highest of the East tightens up.

Talking of former first-place groups which have tumbled recently, the New Orleans Pelicans’ seven-game win streak and surge to the highest of the Western Convention has been buried by a four-game skid. The Pelicans’ latest chilly streak has allowed the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets to rise right into a share of the convention lead.

Notice: All through the common season, our panel (Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is rating all 30 groups from high to backside, taking inventory of which groups are enjoying the perfect basketball now and which groups are trying most like title contenders.

Earlier rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2022-23 document: 22-8
Earlier rating: 2

The brand new East leaders simply preserve rolling. They beat the Jazz by 26 factors over the weekend with out Giannis Antetokounmpo, enhancing to 4-1 on the season with out their MVP. — Collier

2. Boston Celtics
2022-23 document: 22-9
Earlier rating: 1

Robert Williams III has returned following surgical procedure on his left knee in September, however it was an unpleasant weekend for the Celtics after dropping a pair of dwelling video games to the Orlando Magic, making it 4 losses in 5 contests for Boston. That has allowed the Bucks to surge previous the Celtics and into the highest spot within the Japanese Convention — including one other spicy factor to what already is the juiciest Christmas Day matchup of the five-game slate. — Bontemps

3. Memphis Grizzlies
2022-23 document: 19-11
Earlier rating: 4

Memphis has the West’s greatest dwelling document at 13-2, together with six of the seven victories throughout its latest profitable streak. But it surely has been a mediocre 6-9 on the highway. The Grizz began a four-game journey with losses to Oklahoma Metropolis and Denver to slide right into a tie for first within the West standings. — MacMahon

4. Cleveland Cavaliers
2022-23 document: 21-11
Earlier rating: 6

Since Jarrett Allen returned from a hip damage, the Cavs are 6-2. Cleveland has held its opponent beneath 100 factors in three out of the 4 video games throughout its four-game profitable streak. The stingy stretch has pushed the Cavaliers again to the No. 1 defensive score within the league after permitting 106.8 factors per 100 possessions. — McMenamin

5. Denver Nuggets
2022-23 document: 19-11
Earlier rating: 5

Nikola Jokic turned simply the third participant in NBA historical past to register a 40-25-10 recreation when he scored 40 factors and had a career-high 27 rebounds in his first of two triple-doubles this week. The Nuggets are tied for first place in a jam-packed Western Convention. — Andrews

6. Brooklyn Nets
2022-23 document: 19-12
Earlier rating: 8

With six wins in a row and 10 of their previous 11 video games, the Nets simply preserve churning out victories as they observe the lead of Kevin Durant, who continues to play at an MVP degree. Durant is averaging 30.4 factors a recreation, and he tallied 43 in Sunday’s overcome the Pistons. Durant is taking pictures 60.6% from the sphere in December. — Friedell

7. Phoenix Suns
2022-23 document: 19-13
Earlier rating: 7

The Suns have been everywhere in the information previously week, from Devin Booker’s elegant 58-point efficiency towards the Pelicans and Baxter Holmes’ report detailing a difficult office tradition past disgraced proprietor Robert Sarver to Adrian Wojnarowski saying the approaching sale of the franchise to Mat Ishbia within the neighborhood of $4 billion to teach Monty Williams getting right into a shouting match with Deandre Ayton on the bench throughout a loss to the inferior Wizards. It makes you surprise what’s going to come subsequent. — McMenamin

8. New Orleans Pelicans
2022-23 document: 18-12
Earlier rating: 3

After a seven-game profitable streak, the Pelicans stumbled into 4 consecutive defeats whereas dropping two video games to Utah and one every to Phoenix and Milwaukee. In opposition to the Bucks, Jonas Valanciunas had 37 factors, 18 rebounds and 5 assists whereas taking pictures 7-of-10 from deep. In the meantime, CJ McCollum had 31 factors, eight rebounds and 9 assists on 6-of-10 taking pictures from 3. They turned the primary teammates in NBA historical past with 30 factors, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 3s in the identical recreation. — Lopez

9. Philadelphia 76ers
2022-23 document: 17-12
Earlier rating: 10

An extra time choice versus the Raptors on Monday was the fifth win in a row for Philadelphia, which is now 16-8 for the reason that dismal 1-4 begin to the season — the fourth-best document within the league over that span. With Tyrese Maxey anticipated again as quickly as Christmas, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, maybe Philadelphia additionally will lastly be at full energy for the primary time since that stretch started. — Bontemps

10. LA Clippers
2022-23 document: 18-14
Earlier rating: 9

The Clippers lastly bought a break of their packed schedule with a uncommon three-day respite between video games. They wanted the remaining, with Paul George, Ivica Zubac, Reggie Jackson and Norm Powell all nursing accidents. The aid, although, got here proper as Kawhi Leonard is enjoying his greatest basketball since his ACL damage. Leonard made 10 of 12 pictures and had 25 factors, 9 rebounds and 6 assists to steer the Clippers to a 20-point rout over the Celtics on Dec. 12. He registered 19 factors and eight rebounds towards Minnesota, adopted by a season-high 31 factors and 9 rebounds towards Washington. Leonard is beginning to discover a rhythm, however the Clippers want an extended stretch of video games with all their gamers wholesome to kind some much-needed continuity. — Youngmisuk

11. New York Knicks
2022-23 document: 18-13
Earlier rating: 15

What a distinction two weeks makes. After beating Golden State on Tuesday, the Knicks have gained eight video games in a row, and now get the struggling Raptors Wednesday earlier than going through the fading Bulls at dwelling Friday night time. A month in the past, nobody would’ve guessed Philly and New York can be among the many hottest groups within the league heading into their Christmas Day matinee, however right here we’re with that precise situation happening. — Bontemps

12. Portland Path Blazers
2022-23 document: 17-14
Earlier rating: 12

Damian Lillard handed Clyde Drexler because the Path Blazers’ all-time main scorer, however the Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoiled the second by hitting a jumper on the buzzer to beat Portland on Monday. After profitable 5 of six video games, the Blazers have misplaced two of their previous three video games. Lillard will get an opportunity at payback when Portland faces OKC once more on Wednesday earlier than ending a six-game journey at Denver on Friday. — Youngmisuk

13. Sacramento Kings
2022-23 document: 16-13
Earlier rating: 11

The Kings suffered some powerful losses on their six-game East Coast journey then began their homestand with one other defeat, towards a lowly Hornets group. However the shiny aspect is that Kings coach Mike Brown says De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are enjoying at All-Star ranges. — Andrews

14. Miami Warmth
2022-23 document: 16-16
Earlier rating: 20

The Warmth have gained 4 of their previous 5 outings whereas getting a giant contribution from Tyler Herro. He went off for a mixed 76 factors in victories over the Thunder and Rockets final week. Herro is averaging 24.9 factors a recreation and taking pictures 48.0% from past the arc this month. — Friedell

15. Atlanta Hawks
2022-23 document: 16-15
Earlier rating: 16

The Hawks bought a big enhance to their lineup on Monday night time with the returns of Dejounte Murray and John Collins, who have been each coping with left ankle sprains. Murray missed 5 video games, and Collins sat out for eight. Collins had 12 factors and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes of motion, whereas Murray had 17 factors, 5 rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. After a 12-point Atlanta lead with three minutes left evaporated, Murray hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to provide the Hawks a 126-125 win over the Magic. — Lopez

16. Dallas Mavericks
2022-23 document: 15-16
Earlier rating: 14

Dallas has misplaced 10 of its previous 16 video games, permitting 115.6 factors per 100 possessions throughout that span, which ranks close to the underside of the league. Extra dangerous information is that the Mavs’ three greatest defenders are injured now. Maxi Kleber is out indefinitely with a torn proper hamstring. Josh Inexperienced has missed the previous six video games with a sprained proper elbow. And Dorian Finney-Smith exited Monday’s loss in Minnesota resulting from a strained proper adductor. — MacMahon

17. Utah Jazz
2022-23 document: 18-16
Earlier rating: 17

Lauri Markkanen scored 38 factors in Tuesday’s win over the Pistons, matching his profession excessive set earlier this season. He was 9-of-13 from 3-point vary, tying Channing Frye for essentially the most 3s hit by a 7-footer in a recreation, based on ESPN Stats & Info analysis. Markkanen is averaging 22.8 factors whereas taking pictures 53.5% from the ground and 44.0% from 3-point vary. — MacMahon

18. Golden State Warriors
2022-23 document: 15-17
Earlier rating: 13

Issues are trying drab for Golden State. Stephen Curry is sidelined for just a few weeks with a left shoulder subluxation, and there are not any solutions for a way the Warriors will overcome his absence, as he has been their most important contributor this season. They thought that they had a blueprint for fulfillment with out Curry after they tallied their third highway win of the season towards Toronto, however simply two days later, the Warriors bought blown out by the Knicks at Madison Sq. Backyard. — Andrews

19. Minnesota Timberwolves
2022-23 document: 16-15
Earlier rating: 21

The Timberwolves had their worst offensive efficiency of the season final Wednesday, taking pictures simply 18% from 3-point vary and scoring simply 88 factors. However on Sunday, that they had their greatest exhibiting, taking pictures 53% from 3 and placing up 150 factors. — Andrews

20. Indiana Pacers
2022-23 document: 15-16
Earlier rating: 18

After being one of many shock groups early within the season, the Pacers have fallen again to earth, dropping eight of their previous 11 contests to go underneath .500. Their subsequent three video games are towards Boston, Miami and New Orleans. — Collier

21. Los Angeles Lakers
2022-23 document: 13-17
Earlier rating: 22

The Lakers’ season may pivot in both path based mostly on what the group finds out about Anthony Davis’ proper foot damage. Davis had been enjoying among the greatest basketball of his profession earlier than struggling the damage towards Denver. Davis has missed two video games to this point, with L.A. going 1-1. Lakers coach Darvin Ham stated the group was nonetheless evaluating remedy choices for Davis days after the damage occurred — which, typically, will not be a superb signal. — McMenamin

22. Toronto Raptors
2022-23 document: 13-18
Earlier rating: 19

The hits simply carry on coming for Toronto, which merely cannot purchase a basket. The Raptors are twenty ninth within the NBA in 3-point proportion over their previous 11 video games — which coincides with a 2-9 document (that additionally ranks twenty ninth over the span, forward of the Wizards). It is protected to say this isn’t what the Raptors have been anticipating from their season, as they now sit 5 video games beneath .500 regardless of having scored precisely the identical variety of factors as they’ve given up this season. — Bontemps

23. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder
2022-23 document: 13-18
Earlier rating: 25

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a baseline jumper on the buzzer to defeat the Path Blazers on Monday night time. In keeping with ESPN Stats & Info analysis, it was Gilgeous-Alexander’s third go-ahead discipline aim within the remaining two seconds of the fourth quarter/extra time this season. The one participant with extra in a single season over the previous 25 years is Kobe Bryant, who had 4 such pictures in the course of the 2009-10 season. — Lopez

24. Orlando Magic
2022-23 document: 11-21
Earlier rating: 26

Orlando is within the midst of its greatest stretch of the season, having gained six out of its previous seven video games, together with back-to-back selections over the Celtics in Boston final week. Paolo Banchero continues so as to add to a powerful potential Rookie of the 12 months marketing campaign, averaging 20.6 factors, 6.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists in December. — Friedell

25. Chicago Bulls
2022-23 document: 12-18
Earlier rating: 23

The Bulls have misplaced seven of their previous 10 video games, dropping them to eleventh within the Japanese Convention. They surrendered 150 factors to the Timberwolves on Sunday, essentially the most the group has given up since 1982. — Collier

26. Washington Wizards
2022-23 document: 12-20
Earlier rating: 24

Bradley Beal is again after straining his proper hamstring, and he helped the Wizards snap a 10-game dropping streak in Phoenix. Beal made 4 free throws within the remaining 13.1 seconds left, and Kyle Kuzma had 29 factors, six rebounds and 6 assists to get the Wizards again within the win column. After opening the season 10-7, the Wiz misplaced 13 of 14 earlier than the victory in Phoenix. Washington nonetheless has six of its subsequent eight video games on the highway. — Youngmisuk

27. San Antonio Spurs
2022-23 document: 10-20
Earlier rating: 27

In his first two NBA seasons, Devin Vassell had seven 20-point video games. Simply 24 video games into his third season, Vassell has scored at the least 20 factors in 14 of them. Vassell tied a profession excessive with 5 3-pointers in a win towards the Rockets on Monday. On the season, Vassell’s scoring (20.0 factors per recreation), taking pictures fee (45.5 FG%, 41.2 3P%) and assists (3.5) are all at career-best ranges, whereas his quantity (10.8 FGA to 16.0 FGA per recreation, 5.4 3PA to 7.1 3PA, 1.4 FTA to three.1 FTA) are all up, as nicely. — Lopez

28. Houston Rockets
2022-23 document: 9-21
Earlier rating: 28

The Rockets are assured that rookie ahead Tari Eason, chosen with the No. 17 general decide acquired from the Nets, will likely be a long-term a part of their core. Eason leads all rookies with 1.2 steals per recreation and is considered one of 5 gamers within the draft class who’ve optimistic plus-minuses as common rotation gamers. He has improved offensively over the course of the season, averaging 9.7 factors on .493/.438/.800 taking pictures splits in December. — MacMahon

29. Charlotte Hornets
2022-23 document: 8-23
Earlier rating: 29

Steve Clifford known as out his group publicly final week, and Charlotte lastly responded by beating the Kings on Monday night time to snap an eight-game skid. Having LaMelo Ball again actually makes issues smoother, because the third-year guard is averaging 26 factors and seven.8 assists over 4 video games since getting back from an ankle damage final Wednesday. — Friedell

30. Detroit Pistons
2022-23 document: 8-25
Earlier rating: 30

Detroit has put collectively one of many highest-scoring benches within the league this season. Their second unit averages 38.5 factors, the seventh highest within the NBA, and is paced by Alec Burks, who’s averaging 13.6 factors off the bench. — Collier