What are the latest NBA power rankings?

 


This season’s NBA campaign kicked off on the 20th of October, as the defending champions the Milwaukee Bucks took on the Brooklyn Nets. As was expected, the Bucks carried on their strong form from the previous campaign and didn’t look overly troubled, with the final score ending up 127-104. 


Since then, however, their form has been fairly mixed. At the time of writing, they have played 11 times, winning 5 matches, but losing 6. This means they are quite unpredictable, so fans using sports betting sties like draftkings sportsbook might think twice before placing bets on them to win in their upcoming fixtures, against the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.


The current official power rankings on the NBA website have the Bucks as low down as 16th. They have injuries to Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez to contend with, so it will be hard to see them climbing up the rankings in the next few weeks.


Let’s take a look at which teams are thriving this season in the NBA, and who already looks like they will be struggling to make it to the playoffs.

Miami bringing the heat

After 9 games played, the Miami Heat are top of both the Eastern Conference and the power rankings, despite losses to the Celtics and the Denver Nuggets in the last week (the rankings were published before the game against the Nuggets, so this could well change in the next few days).

 

Instead of focusing on the defeats, which have been fairly shocking, instead let’s look at the positives, which saw them win all but 1 of their opening 8 matches. The stand out results would be a 137-95 of the current NBA champions (even if, as mentioned previously, the Bucks haven’t hit their stride just yet) and the big score achieved against the Memphis Grizzlies, which finished 129-103 to the Heat.


A  big test for them is in their next game, against the LA Lakers. It is made all the more interesting as the Heat’s former star player (and NBA MVP during his time in Miami) , LeBron James, now plays for the Lakers, helping them to win the 2020 Championship. Will the Heat show LeBron what he is missing by beating them this week at the Staples Center? Given LA’s average start, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen.



The Warriors topping the Western Conference

Over on the other side of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors are looking like a force to be reckoned with, having won 9 and lost just 1 of their opening fixtures. They opened up the campaign with a 121-114 win over the Lakers, and also ran out big scores against the New Orleans Pelicans (126-85) the Charlotte Hornets (114-92) and the Sacramento Kings (119-107). 


Given that their next 2 matches see them take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in front of their home crowd at the Chase Center, before welcoming the Chicago Bulls there on Saturday the 13th, we expect their record to not only improve, but for them to also rise up to the top spot in the NBA power rankings.


The Warriors were the dominant force in basketball for a period, winning 3 championships between 2015 and 2018. With Stephen Curry still looking like a world-beater, it wouldn’t be a total shock to see them lift another championship later this year.

Nets and 76ers looking beyond the Conference Semifinals

Last year in the playoffs, both the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers made it as far as the Eastern Conference Semifinals, before being beaten by the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks respectively. While making it to the last 8 is certainly admirable, both sides will be wanting to go even further if possible this year.


It could be achievable, as both sides are in good form in this early part of the season. The 76ers have a record of 8-4 so far, recording positive results against the Detroit Pistons and the Hawks. However, they are currently on a 2 game losing streak, having lost to the New York Knicks and the Bucks in their most recent fixtures. They will be hoping to turn things around against the Toronto Raptors next time out.


The Nets meanwhile have recovered from their opening day defeat to the Bucks, with solid wins against the Washington Wizards, the Indiana Pacers, and the 76ers. They were on the wrong end of a 118-95 scoreline against the Bulls in game 11, so will be looking to get back on track against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.

Rockets not firing

Spare a thought for the Houston Rockets, who are currently rock bottom of the power rankings. It is not a good time for the city of Houston, who also have the Houston Texans at the bottom of the NFL power rankings. Hopefully the Rockets will pick up their second win of the season against the Pistons in a few days time.


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