With nearly half of the season completed. It feels like history is being written almost every night. The MVP race is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. As the calendar turns to 2023, now is as good a time as any to assess the league with some good old-fashioned Power Rankings, 30-1.
NBA Power Rankings 2022-23
- Detroit Pistons
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Charlotte Hornets
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Chicago Bulls
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Toronto Raptors
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Atlanta Hawks
- New York Knicks
- Golden State Warriors
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
- Utah Jazz
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- Phoenix Suns
- Dallas Mavericks
- LA Clippers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets
- Boston Celtics
30. Detroit Pistons (9-29)
It’s no surprise that the Pistons value Bogdanovic’s leadership and production, but he’s not on the same timeline as the rest of the team, and Cade Cunningham‘s injury dashed their hopes of making the Play-In Tournament this season.
29. Houston Rockets (10-26)
Gordon is no stranger to rumors, but the Rockets have turned down offers in each of the previous two seasons. He still has enough oomph to help a contender, and Houston could get another asset in exchange for him, opening up even more opportunities for the young players.
28. San Antonio Spurs (12-24)
The Spurs are clearly all in for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, owning the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
27. Charlotte Hornets (10-27)
The franchise is built around a 21-year-old — there’s no reason why Kai Jones, Nick Richards, and Mark Williams shouldn’t see more time next to LaMelo Ball. Charlotte can afford to let its young big men make mistakes in a season like this.
26. Orlando Magic (13-24)
The Magic have an abundance of exciting young players, and it’s clear that they want to build around Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Wendell Carter Jr., but after this season, it may be time to trade some promising prospects for an established star.
25. Washington Wizards (16-21)
24. Chicago Bulls (16-20)
It’s become clear that the Bulls’ current structure will not work. Find trade partners to take on DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, develop the young players, and keep your first-round pick from going to Orlando.
23. Los Angeles Lakers (15-21)
It may seem self-evident, but the Lakers cannot continue to squander the tail end of LeBron James’ career. He’s averaging nearly 30 points per game in Year 20, but his team can’t even make the Play-In Tournament!
22. Oklahoma City Thunder (15-21)
21. Toronto Raptors (16-20)
Yes, it’s been a rough start, but the Raptors had an almost identical record at this point of last season.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-21)
The Timberwolves need to figure out how to put the key pieces of this puzzle together.
19. Atlanta Hawks (17-19)
Murray’s addition was supposed to make Young’s life easier, but his usage rate hasn’t changed much.
18. New York Knicks (19-18)
17. Golden State Warriors (19-18)
If the Warriors were even.500 away from Chase Center, they’d be competing for the No. 1 spot in the West with the Grizzlies, Suns, Nuggets, and Pelicans. Instead, they’re hanging out with teams that would be delighted to make the Play-In.
16. Miami Heat (19-18)
The Heat came into the season expecting to be one of the best teams in the East, but they are now hovering around.500.
15. Indiana Pacers (20-17)
The Pacers have discovered their future backcourt core in these two young players, propelling them into the playoff picture.
14. Utah Jazz (19-20)
After trading Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert during the 2022 offseason, the Jazz were widely expected to be in rebuilding mode.
13. Portland Trail Blazers (18-17)
The Portland will struggle to compete in the cutthroat West if it doesn’t improve defensively.
12. Sacramento Kings (19-15)
The Kings have been on a roll, lighting the lamp and reigniting the excitement in Sacramento. Keep things light, and the victories — and playoffs — will follow.
11. Phoenix Suns (20-17)
10. Dallas Mavericks (21-16)
Dallas has needed Herculean efforts from Doncic to stay around .500.
9. LA Clippers (21-17)
The Clippers have one of the most dangerous rosters on paper, but injuries have limited availability to key players.
8. Philadelphia 76ers (21-14)
7. Milwaukee Bucks (23-12)
The Bucks have been woeful from beyond the arc this season. While Khris Middleton’s absence has been a significant factor Giannis Antetokounmpo’s life becomes all the more difficult.
6. Memphis Grizzlies (22-13)
Ja Morant boldly declared that the Grizzlies are “fine” in the Western Conference, and to his credit, he hasn’t backpedaled.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (23-14)
4. New Orleans Pelicans (23-13)
The Pelicans are a top-10 team in offensive, defensive and net rating, and they’re fighting for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
3. Brooklyn Nets (24-12)
Nobody is paying attention because the Nets are winning. Let the NBA world talk about the Lakers, Warriors, Bucks, and Celtics while you keep winning. Brooklyn appears to perform best when expectations are low.
2. Denver Nuggets (23-12)
Despite Michael Porter Jr. missing games and Jamal Murray returning from injury, Nikola Jokic’s MVP level of play has propelled the Nuggets to the top of the Western Conference. Denver will be a frightening team once it hits full stride.
1. Boston Celtics (26-10)
The Celtics have the league’s best record. Jayson Tatum is playing at an MVP level, and Jaylen Brown is on the verge of making his first All-NBA team. Everything is in place for a return to the NBA Finals.