Week 7 NBA power rankings! This week we’ll be taking a look at the most significant question surrounding every NBA team.
*stats and scores from games on 2/9/21 are not included.
1. Utah Jazz Record: 19-5 Previous: 3
Owning the best record in the NBA, Utah takes the top spot in the ranking after going 4-0 in week six. Simply put, their biggest question as we advance is, can they keep it up? This team looks legit but has yet to make a deep playoff run in recent years.
2. Philadelphia 76ers Record: 17-7 Previous: 2
Despite a brutal loss against the short-handed Trail Blazers, Philly had a solid week, going 2-1. Joel Embiid is a top MVP candidate, but as always, the biggest question with this team is whether or not he can stay healthy come playoff time.
3. Los Angeles Lakers Record: 19-6 Previous: 4
While the Lakers went 3-0 last week, their overtime wins over Detroit and Oklahoma City were not exactly convincing. Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell have not been consistent, so the Lakers’ most central question is whether they have enough scoring around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
4. Los Angeles Clippers Record: 17-8 Previous: 1
The Clippers drop three spots from the top spot after going 1-3 last week, with losses against Brooklyn, Boston, and Sacramento. Until this organization proves otherwise, the Clippers’ biggest question is whether or not they can make it to the Western Conference Finals.
5. Milwaukee Bucks Record: 16-8 Previous: 5
The Bucks have finally seemed to hit their stride as they went 4-0 last week with wins over Portland, Indiana, and two against Cleveland. Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled in the playoffs last year, but Milwaukee’s most important question is whether or not upgrading from Eric Bledsoe to Jrue Holiday is enough to propel this team to the Finals.
6. Brooklyn Nets Record: 14-11 Previous: 6
Brooklyn’s 1-2 week was overshadowed by the NBA’s poor handling of Kevin Durant, who played for part of a game despite being exposed to COVID-19. The biggest question with this team will always be whether or not their three superstars’ personalities will interfere with the team’s success come playoff time.
7. Phoenix Suns Record: 14-9 Previous: 10
Phoenix jumps up three spots in the ranking after going 3-1 last week with wins over Detroit, Boston, and Cleveland. The Suns look destined to make the playoffs for the first time in Devin Booker’s career. How will Booker perform in the playoffs?
8. Boston Celtics Record: 12-10 Previous: 9
The Celtics have been somewhat inconsistent all year as they have battled injuries and went 2-2 last week. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are bona fide stars, but Boston’s most important question is whether or not they have enough scoring around those two.
9. San Antonio Spurs Record: 14-10 Previous: 15
Don’t sleep on the San Antonio Spurs! This team continues to play well, as they went 3-0 in week six. Coming into the year with low expectations, San Antonio’s biggest question now is whether or not they can keep it up and earn a playoff spot.
10. Portland Trail Blazers Record: 12-10 Previous: 10
The Trail Blazers have been derailed by injuries all year but still managed to go 2-1 in week six, including wins over Philadelphia and Washington. If everyone can get healthy simultaneously, Portland’s biggest question will be whether or not they have enough talent to make a deep playoff run.
11. Denver Nuggets Record: 12-11 Previous: 7
After a great stretch of games, Denver hit another slump as they went 0-3 in week six. Nikola Jokic has been playing at an MVP level, but Jamal Murray has been inconsistent, so Denver’s most significant question is whether or not Jokic has enough help around him.
12. Sacramento Kings Record: 12-11 Previous: 21
Soaring up the rankings, the Kings move up nine spots after going 3-0 last week, with wins over the Celtics, Nuggets, and Clippers. De’Aaron Fox has been amazing; hence, the biggest question for Sacramento is whether Fox can propel his team to the West’s playoffs.
13. Indiana Pacers Record: 12-12 Previous: 11
The Pacers are in a slump as they have lost five of their last six games, including going 1-3 last week; however, better days are ahead as Caris LeVert should be able to return soon. Therefore, Indiana’s biggest question is whether they can be legitimate contenders at full strength with LeVert.
14. Golden State Warriors Record: 12-12 Previous: 12
The Warriors have yet to fully hit their stride as they struggled last week, going 1-3, with close losses to Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Steph Curry needs help, and the biggest question for this team is whether or not they will make a move at the trade deadline to acquire more shooting.
15. Charlotte Hornets Record: 12-13 Previous: 18
LaMelo Ball has solidified himself as the top contender to win Rookie of the Year as Charlotte went 2-2 last week and now owns the sixth seed in the East. Ball has been great since joining the starting lineup, and the biggest question for this team is whether or not he can run away with the Rookie of the Year award.
16. Toronto Raptors Record: 11-13 Previous: 19
After their brutal start, the Raptors are finally back in playoff position as they went 3-1 in week six. However, this team badly misses Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, so the biggest question for Toronto is whether they bring in an upgrade at center.
17. Atlanta Hawks Record: 11-12 Previous: 16
The Atlanta Hawks drop one spot in the ranking after going 1-2 last week, including a win against Toronto. Trae Young has looked good, but Atlanta’s biggest question is whether or not they have enough to earn a bottom playoff spot in the East.
18. Dallas Mavericks Record: 11-14 Previous: 25
After a brutal stretch of games, the Mavericks finally got back on track in week six, going 3-1 with wins over Atlanta, Golden State, and Minnesota. Luka Doncic has had to carry the load for this team, and their most significant question is whether or not they have enough scoring around their superstar.
19. Houston Rockets Record: 11-12 Previous: 14
Houston had a down week in week six, going 1-2, with losses against San Antonio and Charlotte; however, with so many trade rumors surrounding this organization, their most important question is whether they commit to rebuilding and fire-selling their roster at the trade deadline.
20. New Orleans Pelicans Record: 10-12 Previous: 26
The Pelicans had their best week of 2020-21 in week six, going 3-0, with wins over Phoenix, Indiana, and Memphis. This roster is exceptionally young, and their most prominent question is whether they decide to trade Lonzo Ball elsewhere.
21. Miami Heat Record: 9-14 Previous: 22
Miami finally took baby steps in the right direction last week, going 1-2, with wins over Washington and New York. Jimmy Butler has struggled, and Miami’s most important question is whether or not he can regain his 2020 playoff form that led the Heat to the Finals.
22. Memphis Grizzlies Record: 9-10 Previous: 8
In possibly the most significant ranking plummet this late into the year, Memphis drops 14 spots after going 0-4 last week. Memphis’ biggest question is whether or not they decide to buy or sell at the trade deadline in a loaded Western Conference.
23. New York Knicks Record: 11-14 Previous: 23
Derrick Rose reunited with Tom Thibodeau last week as the Knicks went 2-1, with wins over Chicago and Portland. New York looks the best that they have looked in years, so their most significant question is whether or not they will make more moves to pursue a playoff spot in the East.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 10-13 Previous: 24
The youngest team in the NBA, Oklahoma City had a decent week, going 2-2, with wins over Houston and Minnesota. The organization committed to a rebuild, so their most prominent question is which young players can they build around for the future.
25. Chicago Bulls Record: 9-14 Previous: 20
Chicago struggled in week six as they went 1-3, dropping down five spots on the power ranking. Zach LaVine has been great, but with the team struggling, Chicago’s most significant question is whether or not they decide to trade him to a contender.
26. Orlando Magic Record: 9-15 Previous: 27
The Magic continued to struggle last week, as they went 1-2, splitting a two-game set against Chicago and losing to Toronto. With the team struggling, Orlando’s most significant question is whether they decide to trade Nikola Vucevic at the deadline.
27. Cleveland Cavaliers Record: 10-15 Previous: 17
After their surprisingly decent start, reality has hit the Cleveland Cavaliers, who went 0-4 last week. Andre Drummond is expected to depart from Cleveland, but the biggest question for this organization is how much value he has in trade.
28. Washington Wizards Record: 6-15 Previous: 28
The Wizards had a busy week, as they went 2-3, with wins over Miami and Chicago. Bradley Beal wants to stay, but if the Wizards decide to trade him, this team’s biggest question becomes his return value.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 6-18 Previous: 29
The Timberwolves continue to struggle with Karl-Anthony Towns absence, dropping three of the four games they played. First overall pick Anthony Edwards has been inconsistent, and the biggest question for this organization is whether or not he can blossom into an all-star caliber player down the road.
30. Detroit Pistons Record: 5-18 Previous: 30
The Pistons owning the bottom spot has become a weekly occurrence as they end my list for the seventh consecutive week. With poor roster construction, this team should fire-sell what they can at the deadline, and the biggest question for this team is whether or not they can acquire any future assets.
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