The NBA season has only just begun, but the vast majority of teams are in a dead heat for playoff spots. The top few teams in each conference will be battling it out every game to make their mark on the league and ‘prove’ themselves worthy of postseason play. With week 7 complete, here’s how our power rankings stand at this point:
The “nba player rankings” is a weekly ranking of the NBA’s best players. It is updated every Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM EST.
The race for first place in the NBA Power Rankings is heating up.
The Golden State Warriors, who have won seven consecutive games, will face the Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference matchup on Tuesday night with a league-best 18-2 record.
Meanwhile, Phoenix hasn’t lost in almost a month and is one victory away from tying the club record of 17 consecutive wins.
In other NBA news, the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks have resurrected their season and are no longer in the Eastern Conference play-in competition. Before facing LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks had won seven consecutive games.
The Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, have returned to form. The injury-plagued Denver Nuggets continue to fall in the Western Conference rankings, while the Memphis Grizzlies prepare to play without standout guard Ja Morant, who sustained a damaged left knee on Friday.
What are the final November rankings for all 30 teams?
Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin, and Ohm Youngmisuk) will rank all 30 teams from top to bottom, determining which teams are currently playing the best basketball and which teams are most likely to win the championship.
The Golden State Warriors have an 18-2 record in 2021-22. 1st place previously
The Warriors have a record of 18-2. Klay Thompson looked to be only a couple weeks away from reuniting with his teammates. Stephen Curry is looking like he’s on his way to winning his third MVP award. Draymond Green seems like he’s on his way to winning another Defensive Player of the Year award. On Tuesday, they have a chance to end Phoenix’s 16-game winning run, and they’ll face the Suns again on Friday. Right now, everything is going well for Steve Kerr and his excellent team. Friedell’s words
This week’s tweets are from @PHX, PHX, and SA.
2. Phoenix Suns: 17-3 in 2021-22. Previous position: 2
With one more victory, the Suns would have won 17 games in a row, tying their club record. They’ll get their shot on Tuesday night against the Warriors, who are the only club in the NBA with as many victories as the Suns this season. Phoenix’s 16-game winning run is also tied for the third-longest in NBA history for a club that has previously lost in the NBA Finals. Lopez’s words
GS, DET, and @DET are the teams to watch this week.
3. Brooklyn Nets: 14-6 in 2021-22. 3rd place before.
The Brooklyn Nets are a squad that may be regarded in a variety of ways. Good: The Nets have the third-best record in the NBA and the best record in the Eastern Conference, and Kevin Durant and James Harden are both healthy. Bad: They’ve played three games this season against other strong teams in the NBA — Milwaukee, Golden State, and Phoenix — and have lost all three. — Best wishes
This week’s games are in New York, Minnesota, and Chicago.
4. Milwaukee Bucks 2021-22 season record: 13-8 (previously ranked: 9)
The Bucks are once again looking like one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. They’ve won seven straight games, and they’re still unbeaten (9-0) this season with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday all in the starting lineup. Milwaukee has previously benefitted from some easy competition, but hosting the Hornets and Heat this week should give a better yardstick. Collier’s
CHA, @TOR, and MIA are the teams to watch this week.
5. Miami Heat: 13-7 in 2021-22. Previous position: 6
Despite missing Tyler Herro, the Heat defeated the Bulls on Saturday night, owing in part to the 20 points Gabe Vincent scored off the bench. Miami will face the Bucks again on Saturday night, but it has to be pleased with the way things are going, particularly with the way the defense is coming together around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Friedell’s words
DEN, CLE, @IND, and @MIL are the teams to watch this week.
6. Utah Jazz: 13-7 in 2021-22. Previous position: 5
The Jazz had a rough week, blowing late leads in home defeats to the Grizzlies and Pelicans. “This isn’t who we are,” Donovan Mitchell said after the team’s defeat to New Orleans on Friday. Mitchell was 6-of-21 from the field after shooting 5-of-20 against Memphis the night before. “We need to improve. I need to improve. We must begin to move the ball, or we will become who we are.” In a rematch the next night, Utah blew away the Pelicans. MacMahon (MacMahon)
POR, BOS, and @CLE are the teams to watch this week.
7. Chicago Bulls: 13-8 in 2021-22. Previous position: 4
With defeats to the Heat and Rockets, the Bulls lost three of four games last week, allowing some winnable games to slip away. Despite their great start, their half-court offense is still figuring out how to play against opponents who don’t let them to run in runaway. According to statistics from pbpstats.com, Chicago ranks 27th in offensive effectiveness following an opponent’s field goal. Collier’s
CHA, @NY, and @BKN this week
The Washington Wizards had a 13-7 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 7
After a 127-102 setback in New Orleans, the Wizards have won two consecutive games. They beat Oklahoma City by two points before beating Dallas by a comfortable margin. They’ll try to win their third consecutive game in San Antonio to round up their road trip. Davis Bertans has returned from injury, while Rui Hachimura has been gradually increasing his workload in preparation for a potential comeback in December. The Wizards continue to strengthen their defense and remain one of the East’s greatest surprises. Youngmisuk’s remark
@SA, MIN, CLE, and @TOR are the teams to watch this week.
The Dallas Mavericks had a 10-8 record in the 2021-22 season. Previous position: 10
In Saturday’s defeat to the Wizards, Kristaps Porzingis’ career-long record of seven straight 20-point outings came to an end. He was especially happy to be a featured act in two games against the Clippers, as opposed to being utilized almost exclusively as a spacer in the postseason series last season. “What a difference, right?” said Porzingis, who led the Mavs to a split of their two games in Los Angeles with 55 points on 19-of-34 shooting. “I haven’t felt like this in a long time. The last time I recall seeing you was probably in New York.” MacMahon (MacMahon)
This week’s theme: CLE, NO, MEM, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
The Charlotte Hornets had a 13-9 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 13
Every week, Charlotte manages to keep things interesting. On Friday, the Hornets defeated the Timberwolves, then lost in overtime to the Rockets on Saturday night. The Hornets face the Bulls, Bucks, and Hawks in three more fascinating road games this week. Kelly Oubre Jr., who has averaged 23.7 points per game over his last three games, must remain hot if the youthful club is to have a shot this week. Friedell’s words
This week’s tweets are from @CHI, @MIL, and @ATL.
11. Los Angeles Clippers: 11-9 in 2021-22. Previous position: 12
The Clippers are starting to look a lot better. Last week, Marcus Morris Sr. returned, and Serge Ibaka has returned, albeit he is not yet a key part of the rotation. The Clippers, on the other hand, are without Nic Batum, who has been out for the previous four games due to health and safety concerns. The Clippers are 2-2 over that span, and a healthy Batum may have made the difference in Tuesday’s 112-104 overtime defeat to the Mavericks. On Sunday, they battled the Warriors until Steph Curry put them away in the fourth quarter. Youngmisuk’s remark
This week’s theme: NO, SAC, @LAL, @SAC, NO, SAC, SAC, SAC, SAC, SAC, S
12. Philadelphia 76ers: 10-10 in 2021-22. Previous position: 11
76ers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3. At 10 p.m., the Clippers will face the Lakers.
Bucks vs. Heat, 7:30 p.m.; Trail Blazers vs. Warriors, 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8 Bucks vs. Heat, 7:30 p.m.
All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
On Saturday night, Philadelphia received Joel Embiid back after a nearly three-week absence due to COVID-19, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the 76ers from losing in double overtime to the Timberwolves. More importantly in the long term, Embiid seemed to be back to his old self when he returned to the floor. — Best wishes
ORL, @BOS, and @ATL are the teams to watch this week.
The Atlanta Hawks finished 13th in the 2021-22 season, with an 11-10 record. Previous position: 18
Atlanta’s seven-game winning run came to an end against the Knicks on Saturday, but Clint Capela had another outstanding performance, finishing with 16 points and 21 rebounds. Since joining the Hawks last season, he’s had 22 games with 15 points and 15 rebounds, tying Rudy Gobert for the most in that time. Capela has averaged 15.1 points and 15.1 rebounds in his last eight games. Lopez’s words
This week’s highlights are @IND, PHI, and CHA.
14. New York Knicks: 11-9 in 2021-22. 14th place before.
Tom Thibodeau will have to consider making a change to his starting lineup at the point if Kemba Walker continues to struggle. Of course, considering the Knicks’ starting lineup’s terrible overall performance (it has been outscored by almost 15 points per 100 possessions while being the most played five-man group in the NBA), some could argue that he should do so immediately. — Best wishes
@BKN, CHI, DEN this week
The Portland Trail Blazers had a 10-10 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 17
Last week, Portland won for the fourth time in a row, defeating Denver by 19 points. However, the Blazers were defeated by the Warriors by 15 points the next night in Sacramento. On Monday, they’ll wrap out a three-game road trip at Utah. With a 10-10 record, Chauncey Billups’ Blazers are still searching for stability. Youngmisuk’s remark
This week’s games include @UTAH, DET, SA, and BOS.
16. Denver Nuggets: 9-10 in 2021-22. Previous position: 8
The Nuggets’ season is rapidly deteriorating due to injuries. Denver has dropped its past six games, including the last four without MVP Nikola Jokic (wrist). The injury report for the Nuggets is lengthy. Jamal Murray (knee) and Michael Porter Jr. (back) are also out indefinitely and sit beside Jokic. Due to a ruptured ACL, Denver’s valuable reserve P.J. Dozier will miss the rest of the season. On Monday, the Nuggets begin a seven-game road trip in Miami, where they will meet the Heat for the first time since Jokic and Markieff Morris had their altercation, which led in Jokic’s one-game ban. Morris hasn’t appeared in a game since that one. Youngmisuk’s remark
This week’s tweets: @MIA, @ORL, and @NY
The Boston Celtics finished 17th in the 2021-22 season, with an 11-10 record. 15th place before.
The Celtics finished November above.500 with a victory against the Raptors on Sunday night, giving them some momentum heading into the tough month of December. How difficult will it be? The Celtics have 15 games left on their schedule, and everyone of their opponents has a.500 or higher record. — Best wishes
PHI, @UTAH, and @POR are the teams to watch this week.
The Los Angeles Lakers had an 11-11 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 16
After the Lakers’ victory against Detroit on Sunday, LeBron James said of the season, “I mean, it rates right up there with any other challenge I’ve had in my career.” “Which, in turn, brings out the best in me, which I adore.” After a week of ups and downs, L.A. supporters will be hoping for some stability from their squad. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
This week’s events include @SAC and @LAC.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a 10-10 record in the 2021-22 season. Previous position: 23
The Timberwolves are coming off a win in one of the most exciting games of the season so far, a double-overtime road triumph over the 76ers. It was Minnesota’s sixth win in its last seven games, including a five-game winning streak, the longest since the 2016-17 season. The Wolves seem to be prepared for a serious battle for at least a position in the play-in round, with a defense that ranks 10th in the NBA in efficiency. Minnesota would be making its first playoff appearance since 2003-04. Collier’s
IND, @WAS, and @BKN are the teams to watch this week.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 10-10 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 19
The return of Rookie of the Year front-runner Evan Mobley was all it took for Cleveland to stop its five-game losing skid. In Saturday’s 105-92 victory against the Magic, Mobley returned from an elbow strain to score 13 points, grab nine rebounds, and block four shots. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
@DAL, @MIA, @WAS, UTAH this week
The Memphis Grizzlies had a 10-10 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 21
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The MRI findings on Ja Morant’s damaged left knee were encouraging, but he will be out for at least a few weeks. Before Sunday’s game against the Kings, coach Taylor Jenkins noted, “We escaped severe harm.” “Just so everyone knows, there is no predetermined schedule.” Last season, the Grizzlies were able to remain afloat when Morant was out with a damaged ankle, going 4-4 during that period. MacMahon (MacMahon)
@TOR, @OKC, and @DAL are the teams to watch this week.
The Indiana Pacers had a 9-13 record in 2021-22. 22nd in the previous ranking
The Pacers have been one of the league’s more difficult teams to predict, and their up-and-down performance continued last week. They won easily on the road against the Bulls and at home against the Raptors, but they also lost in overtime to the Lakers and by a large margin to the Bucks. Collier’s
@MIN, ATL, and MIA are the teams to watch this week.
The Toronto Raptors are ranked 23rd in the NBA with a 9-12 record in 2021-22. They were formerly ranked 20th.
The Raptors started 6-3, riding a five-game winning run, but have since lost nine of their last 12 games, including Sunday’s home defeat to the Celtics. The Raptors need to get OG Anunoby back on the floor, after his injury cost them a game against Boston, who just wore Toronto out. — Best wishes
MEM, MIL, and WAS are the words of the week.
Sacramento Kings have an 8-13 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 25
The Lakers have a way of making the Kings feel good about themselves for a night. The Kings, who had lost eight of their previous ten games heading into Friday night’s game in Los Angeles, overcame a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and a seven-point deficit in the first overtime period to defeat the Lakers in triple overtime. Something to keep an eye on: With Alvin Gentry at the helm, Marvin Bagley III has returned to the rotation, averaging 11.5 points on 81.8 percent shooting and 7.5 rebounds in the Kings’ last two victories. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
LAL, @LAC, and LAC this week
Oklahoma City Thunder, 25th, had a 6-13 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 24
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been struggling lately after missing two games last week due to an injured right ankle. In his last five games, he has scored less than 20 points for the first time since the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. In this slump, Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting 30.8 percent from the field and 19.4 percent from 3-point range. MacMahon (MacMahon)
This week’s theme: @HOU, @MEM, @HOU, @HOU, @HOU, @HOU, @HOU
San Antonio Spurs had a 5-13 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 26
San Antonio has struggled at the free throw line this season. The Spurs have the fewest made free throws per game and the second-fewest attempted free throws per game. In addition, San Antonio is shooting a league-low 69 percent from the charity stripe. Despite ranking bottom in 3-pointers made and attempted, San Antonio is still 18th in scoring this season. Lopez’s words
WAS, @POR, and @GS this week
27. The Detroit Pistons had a 4-16 record in 2021-22. They were ranked 27th last season.
The Pistons’ week was highlighted by the consequences from LeBron James’ on-court altercation with Isaiah Stewart, but the team has also lost a season-high six games in a row. The Pistons have struggled to make shots all season, and their 3-point percentage is the lowest in the NBA (29.7 percent ). Collier’s
This week’s theme: @PHX, @POR
The New Orleans Pelicans had a 5-17 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 29
Willy Hernangomez struck a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the conclusion of the first half to give the Pelicans a lead going into halftime, and Devonte’ Graham drilled a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give New Orleans the victory. The Pelicans became the first team since 2013 to score go-ahead 3-pointers in the last two seconds of each half, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Lopez’s words
This week’s theme: DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL, DAL
The Orlando Magic have a 4-17 record in 2021-22. Previous position: 28
Orlando has lost six consecutive games and will begin a four-game trip to the West Coast later this week. Markelle Fultz has begun training with the Magic’s G League club and looks to be getting closer to returning to the court. The Magic are in desperate need of assistance, as young stars Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba are both suffering with ailments. Friedell’s words
@PHI, DEN, and @HOU are the teams to watch this week.
Houston Rockets, 30th, with a 3-16 record in 2021-22. 30th in the previous ranking
Because of John Wall’s desire to play, the Wizards must find out how to appreciate the five-time All-Star while still focusing on Kevin Porter Jr.’s growth. Porter’s first season as a full-time starting point guard has been rough, but he showed promise during the Rockets’ surprising two-game winning streak, averaging 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 10.5 assists in victories over the Bulls and Hornets that followed a 15-game losing skid. MacMahon (MacMahon)
OKC, @OKC, ORL, and NO are the teams to watch this week.
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The “nba team needs” is a weekly ranking of the NBA teams. The rankings are based on how well each team has been playing and their current needs.
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