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NBA Power Rankings: Giving the Celtics Their Due

In this week's NBA Power Rankings, the Celtics shoot to the top, the Clippers continue to spiral out of control and the Pacers quietly rise. What about everyone else? Check it out.

It’s time for another edition of The Crossover’s weekly NBA Power Rankings! There wasn’t an abundance of phenomenal stretches this week, but we did see a continuation of dominance from the Celtics and utter despair in Los Angeles. Did the Celtics knock off the Warriors for the top spot this week? And more importantly, did the Clippers dethrone the Suns at No. 25? Let’s find out...

(All stats and records used through Nov. 19).

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30. Chicago Bulls (3–11)
Last Week: 30

Well, Lauri Markkanen is playing well enough to earn himself a killer nickname. What shall we call him? Seasoned Salt? MarkkyMarkk?

29. Dallas Mavericks (3–14)
Last Week: 29 

I was actually thinking today, it’s nice that Mark Cuban and Dirk were able to get a Finals victory in before LeBron and the Warriors decided to rule the basketball world forever.

28. Sacramento Kings (4–12)
Last Week: 27

Willie Cauley-Stein has gone for a combined 40 points in his last two games, and is certainly not “butt” as some writer proclaimed. 

27. Atlanta Hawks (3–13)
Last Week: 28

Dewayne Dedmon is leading this team in rebounding. Dewayne Freaking Dedmon!

26. Phoenix Suns (7–11)
Last Week: 25

Devin Booker is averaging 27.4 points over his last five games.

25. L.A. Clippers (5–10)
Last Week: 18

Can I even put a five-win team this high? Thank goodness Ray Felton got out of here and went to play for a contender.

24. Utah Jazz (7–10)
Last Week: 24

If not for Ben Simmons, I think Donovan Mitchell would be the favorite to claim Rookie of the Year right now.

23. Brooklyn Nets (6–10)
Last Week: 23

The bright side of D’Angelo Russell’s knee injury is the uncaging of Spencer Dinwiddie, who is proving he can do more than just tweet (seriously, he’s a top-five tweeter).

22. Charlotte Hornets (6–9)
Last Week: 21

Charlotte is poised to make enemies of UConn Huskies fans. Not only are they wasting one of Kemba Walker’s prime years, but they’re losing despite Jeremy Lamb’s breakout season as well.

21. Denver Nuggets (9–7)
Last Week: 16

They are currently No. 10 in Net Rating and also rostering Richard Jefferson. Two things that make zero sense.

20. Los Angeles Lakers (7–10)
Last Week: 22

Lonzo Ball is averaging 11 points, 11 assists and 16 rebounds since his father entered a feud with the President of the United States. I always knew LaVar would make his son a star.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (8–8)
Last Week: 17

Boy, getting blown out by Denver and briefly losing Anthony Davis to injury yet again sure feels like rock bottom. For their sake, I hope it is. This is a talented team.

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18. Miami Heat (7–9)
Last Week: 20

Miami has the fifth-worst offensive rating in basketball. Only one man can take them to the top.


17. Orlando Magic (8–8)
Last Week: 15 

16. Indiana Pacers (9–8)
Last Week: 26

Outside of the Celtics and Raptors, no one else really had a week to write home about in the NBA, hence the giant leap. As most of the East shuffled its feet, the Pacers made a statement. They came to play.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (8–7)
Last Week: 19

They’ve really played an incredibly tough schedule to this point and come away an impressive 8–7. Mix in that recent thriller against the Warriors and you’ve got a team that’s not fun to play.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (7–8)
Last Week: 13

Is Kevin Durant milking his injury so he doesn’t have to face Russ on Wednesday and deal with the storyline? Just throwing that out there.

13. New York Knicks (8–7)
Last Week: 12

Kristaps Porzingis had a bad game on Friday in Toronto and Jeff Hornacek brushed it off because Aaron Judge went through slumps during his historic rookie season this year. It was just one game!

12. Memphis Grizzlies (7–8)
Last Week: 6

Marc Gasol has four 25‐point, 10‐rebound games this season, which is more than he’s had in the past two seasons combined (three in 126 games). Memphis will be OK...I think.

11. Portland Trail Blazers (9–7)
Last Week: 11

Their defense has only allowed 100 points once in the past seven games, and now ranks as the second-best in the league. It was No. 21 last season.

10. Cleveland Cavaliers (9–7)
Last Week: 10

LeBron is averaging nearly 39 minutes per game and Cleveland is barely skating by middling teams. I smell a problem.

9. Milwaukee Bucks (8–7)
Last Week: 14

Giannis is second in scoring and No. 12 in field–goal percentage. The long-awaited MVP season may actually be upon us.

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8. Washington Wizards (9–7)
Last Week: 8
You can't blame the Wizards for losing without John Wall, but you can be worried about their depth. Bradley Beal can't carry an offense by himself.

7. Detroit Pistons (11–5)
Last Week: 4

Look at Detroit, doing it ALL to get the W.


6. Minnesota Timberwolves (10–6)
Last Week: 7

Jeff Teague has quietly been brilliant this year from three, shooting a career-best 41% from deep.

5. San Antonio Spurs (10–6)
Last Week: 5

Just as I was starting to think the Spurs were as boring as ever, they cranked up the pace against the Thunder and pulled off a 23-point comeback. Danny Green is in the midst of a career year and Pau Gasol has, statistically speaking, been the most important player on the floor. There are reasons to make San Antonio your League Pass team, even without Kawhi.

4. Toronto Raptors (11–5)
Last Week: 9

Don’t let the Raptors get hot. Toronto has won four straight and Kyle Lowry is starting to look like the Kyle Lowry we all know and love.

3. Houston Rockets (13–4)
Last Week: 2

I think I’m ready to call James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela a ‘Big 3.’ Is everyone OK with this?

2. Golden State Warriors (13–4)
Last Week: 1

They were actually in danger of falling to No. 3—which would have been unprecedented—if not for pulling it together in timely fashion on back–to–back nights. Despite the four losses, there is still no doubt this is the best team in basketball...but they’re not the hottest...

1. Boston Celtics (15–2)
Last Week: 3

...that would be the Boston Celtics. You wanted it, you got it. People are actually writing columns about this team potentially knocking off the Warriors in a seven-game series this summer. They’ve won 15 in a row. Just embrace the madness for now. It’s happening.