NBA Power Rankings Update

There have been some surprising starts to this NBA season. The Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Washington currently sits in first place in the conference, while last year’s Eastern Conference finalists would miss the playoffs if the season were to end today. Milwaukee is under .500 and Atlanta is just 4-9 due to having the conference’s second worst defense.

1. Brooklyn Nets

This Week’s Odds: +260

Last Week’s Odds: +250

Brooklyn is on a roll. The Nets have only lost to the Chicago Bulls since late October, taking the lead in the Atlantic Division. Kevin Durant has been exceptional, averaging 29.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 5.2 APG, and James Harden has been playing his way into shape. Veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge has been superb off the bench too.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

This Week’s Odds: +550

Last Week’s Odds: +500

Second half collapses have become all too common for the Los Angeles Lakers. They have knocked off Charlotte and Miami in overtime over the last week, but they were outscored by 28 points in the third quarter by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

3. Milwaukee Bucks

This Week’s Odds: +750

Last Week’s Odds: +800

When is it time to start worrying about the Milwaukee Bucks? The defending champions are under .500, and they have lost back-to-back games coming into Wednesday night’s showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. They are just 1-4 at home this season, so they could be an underdog to the Lakers in this game.

4. Golden State Warriors

This Week’s Odds: +800

Last Week’s Odds: +850

The Warriors still have the best record in the NBA. Golden State has been the top team in the league although rookie Jonathan Kuminga looks like he will need a lot of time to develop. The futures odds on Golden State will continue to drop as the team gets healthier too.

5. Utah Jazz

This Week’s Odds: +1000 (No Change)

Oddsmakers are giving the Utah Jazz too much respect. They are in a logjam behind Golden State in the Western Conference, but they have yet to put it together in the postseason. It’s hard to back them until that point.

6. Miami Heat

This Week’s Odds: +1200 (No Change)

The Heat have knocked off the Utah Jazz twice in the last 10 days. Those victories were sandwiched with losses to Denver and the two Los Angeles teams though. Miami’s schedule is about to get much easier, so this team could go on a run starting Monday.

7. Phoenix Suns

This Week’s Odds: +1400

Last Week’s Odds: +1600

A 1-3 start to the season is in the rear-view mirror as the Phoenix Suns have been red hot since Halloween. They have won eight straight games, and all of those victories have been by four points or more.

8. Philadelphia 76ers

This Week’s Odds: +2000

Last Week’s Odds: +1800

COVID is running through Philadelphia’s lineup. Joel Embiid has not played for the last week since contracting the virus, and Matisse Thybulle is sidelined with it too. That has led to the Sixers dropping four in a row.

9. Los Angeles Clippers

This Week’s Odds: +2000 (No Change)

Paul George is playing very well for the Clippers. He is the leader of the team with Kawhi Leonard out, and he leads LA in points (26.4 PPG), rebounds (7.9 RPG), assists (5.2 APG), and steals (2.3 SPG).

10. Denver Nuggets

This Week’s Odds: +2200

Last Week’s Odds: +2000

The current NBA MVP is posting monster numbers this season. Nikola Jokic has been even better than he was during the 2020-21 campaign, and he has shown a fearsomeness too. He was suspended against Indiana early last week, but Denver has won five straight games.

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