Pickswise Week 12 NBA Power Rankings
The new year is here as the NBA season is getting more intense week by week. Let’s take a look at the NBA Power Rankings to see who is at the top heading into 2019.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
Behind MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo the Bucks look set for a big 2019. The Bucks could be the best in the east. Two wins for the Bucks in week 11. Trending Up
2. Toronto Raptors
Can Toronto keep up their strong start, and get the number one seed in the East? They have played the past 10 games without Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard.
3. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have the tools to be the best once again, but they haven’t played very well in recent games. Can they get it going? A pair of games against Portland last week gave the Warriors up and down, performances. As their home meeting, they fell in overtime, but then went to Portland and won.
4. Denver Nuggets
Arguably the best team in the West. Paul Millsap returned this past weekend but is still far from starting for the Nuggets. They have three games in week 12 and have the easiest January schedule of any West team.
5. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers were a hard team to place in this week’s power rankings as they are getting ready for their longest road trip of the season of five games starting on Friday in Boston. Pacers are playing great defense.
6. Boston Celtics
A 2-1 week that included making fourth-quarter comebacks has Boston sitting right where it needs. With games, this week against inferior opponents Boston is trending up.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
A pair of nail-biting losses against Houston and Dallas has the Thunder trending down a bit, but they aren’t that far off.
8. Houston Rockets
The Rockets have made a huge jump from 13th in the west all the way up to 5th. A 9-1 in their last 10 games tends to help. Houston is coming into form.
9. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers had a pair of games against Golden State, they split those games but got an important win on the road at the Warriors in overtime. They followed up the win last Thursday over the Warriors with a win over the 76ers over the weekend.
10. San Antonio Spurs
They split a home-and-home with Denver last week, and held three top 10 offenses under 104 points in their three games last week.
11. Los Angeles Lakers
No Lebron, no problem, the Lakers got a win against Sacramento, after their big blowout win over Golden State on Christmas Day.
12. Philadelphia 76ers
Philly came up just shy against Boston last week. After their game with the Clippers to start the week, they have a decent stretch with games against inferior opponents.
13. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have line-up issues. But on the bright side, a 2-1 week is promising.
14. Sacramento Kings
Two losses at Staples Center has the Kings trending down, but the leagues most improved offense won’t go down without a fight.
15. Utah Jazz
The defense is back, but if they can’t score Utah won’t be able to make the playoffs.
16. Dallas Mavericks
It has been a struggle on the road for Dallas as they have lost eight straight on the road.
17. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis has gone from 5th down to 10th in the standings during their grueling 12 of 15 game stretch against teams with winning records in December.
18. Miami Heat
Justise Winslow at point guard for the Heat. A 1-2 week keeps Miami at 18.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves
Three-straight road wins have Minnesota looking up, but they had a slip up at home on Friday.
20. Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn is hot, with a 9-3 record in their last 12 games, that has them knocking on the playoff door.
21. New Orleans Pelicans
It has been late-game issues for the Pelicans that have them trending down the Power Rankings.
22. Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte is in the midst of an up and down campaign. It doesn’t get any easier with a tough six road games in 10 days coming up.
23. Orlando Magic
A 2-7 stretch has Orlando trending down the rankings.
24. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have had bright moments, but lately, they have taken a nose dive off the cliff. They finished 1-4 to close 2018. Can they step in January, might not be likely with six of their first seven games against teams with winning records.
25. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta may be the best of the worst teams in the NBA as they have won five of their last six games. Rookie Trae Young looks like he is coming into his own, and Atlanta is trending up.
26. Chicago Bulls
This might be the highest Chicago will be all season, but they have looked worse since Lauri Markkanen’s return, especially shooting the ball.
27. Washington Wizards
John Wall is out for the rest of the season, so Washington looks like it is set for a tough rest of the season.
28. Phoenix Suns
It’s four losses in their last five that keep Phoenix from getting any higher. The positive for the Suns is they are finding ways to score the ball.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers
They added Patrick McCaw should help them defensively but the Cavs are barely staying afloat. Not too far ahead of New York in the power rankings.
30. New York Knicks
The Knicks have lost seven straight games, along with 13 of their last 14. New York has hit rock bottom this season. To tough road games in Denver and Los Angeles in week 12, and they will continue to free fall in the standings.