Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis are sidelined. Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh are out for the season. And LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Kemba Walker and several other big-name players are hobbled by injuries.
Yet somehow, the NBA hasn’t crumbled to the floor like Chris Paul absorbing a screen.
That’s because the league continues to be more team-oriented than ever. Atop this week's rankings are well-rounded squads like the Warriors, Grizzlies and Hawks—teams that feature All-Stars but aren’t comprised of all stars. Teams like the Clippers and Rockets—who are playing without Griffin and Howard for extended periods of time — are still winning games despite missing their franchise big men. L.A. has gone 4-1 since losing Griffin, beating all three Texas teams along the way, while Houston has got by without Howard for half the season, going 15-8.
Not every team is built to endure those types of losses. Miami will struggle to make a playoff run without Bosh and Washington hasn’t been the same without Beal. There’s also the case of the Knicks and Lakers, who aren’t sniffing mediocrity with or without their injured stars. But as a whole, the NBA appears to be trending toward balance and away from star-dependency. Some of the best players in the league are currently sidelined, yet the best teams in the league remain unaffected.
After taking a one-week hiatus for All-Star Weekend, here’s where all 30 teams stand in this week’s NBA Power Rankings.
(All stats and records through Feb. 22)