Week 9 NBA Power Ranking! This week we’ll be looking at how the rookies are performing on every NBA team.
*Stats and scores from games on 2/23/21 are not included.
NBA Power Ranking:
1. Utah Jazz Record: 25-6 Previous: 1
For the third consecutive week, the Utah Jazz come in at the number spot after they went 2-1 in week eight. The Jazz haven’t needed to play their rookies, and their first-round pick, Udoka Azubuike, has only played 49 minutes this season.
2. Brooklyn Nets Record: 20-12 Previous: 6
The Nets have been on an absolute tear of late, winners of six straight, including wins over the Clippers, Lakers, and Suns. For a late second-round pick at number 57, Reggie Perry has been solid, providing some depth at forward for Brooklyn.
3. Phoenix Suns Record: 20-10 Previous: 5
The Suns continued their stretch of great basketball with blowout wins over New Orleans, Memphis, and Portland last week. Arguably, Phoenix’s only disappointment is Jalen Smith, who was sent to the G League despite being the tenth pick in the draft.
4. Los Angeles Clippers Record: 22-10 Previous: 3
The Clippers hit a difficult part of their schedule as they split a two-game set with Utah and lost to Brooklyn on Sunday. The Clippers’ top rookie, Daniel Oturu, only plays in garbage time as the 33rd pick in the 2020 draft.
5. Philadelphia 76ers Record: 20-11 Previous: 4
Road games continue to be the Sixers’ kryptonite as they dropped a game against Toronto in week eight. Tyrese Maxey started the year well but has since fallen out of the rotation. 49th overall pick, Isaiah Joe, has shown some flashes of potential and has begun to take minutes from Furkan Korkmaz.
6. Los Angeles Lakers Record: 22-10 Previous: 2
LeBron James is doing all he can, but the Lakers have struggled without Anthony Davis as they went 0-3 last week. After trading away their first and second-round picks, the Lakers have zero rookies on their roster.
7. Milwaukee Bucks Record: 18-13 Previous: 9
The Bucks finally got back on track last week, going 2-1, with wins over Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Second-round picks Jordan Nwora and Sam Merrill have each been in and out of the rotation but aren’t crucial contributors for Milwaukee.
8. Portland Trail Blazers Record: 18-12 Previous: 7
After a close win over New Orleans, the Trail Blazers dropped back-to-back games against Washington and Phoenix last week. Portland’s only draft pick, CJ Elleby, mostly sees the floor in garbage time.
9. San Antonio Spurs Record: 16-11 Previous: 8
The Spurs continue to be affected by COVID as all of their games were postponed last week. The 11th overall rookie, Devin Vassell, has been inconsistent at times on offense but has shown hints that he can be an elite defender later in his career.
10. Denver Nuggets Record: 16-14 Previous: 10
The Nuggets have yet to find wins consistently as they went 1-2 last week, with losses against Washington and Atlanta. While draft picks RJ Hampton and Zeke Nnaji have yet to crack the rotation, European UDFA Facundo Campazzo has been a solid backup point guard for Denver.
11. Toronto Raptors Record: 16-15 Previous: 14
After a 2-8 start, the Raptors have hit their stride, now over .500 after they went 3-0 last week with wins over Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. 29th overall rookie, Malachi Flynn, has struggled mightily, shooting 26.7% from the field this season.
12. Indiana Pacers Record: 15-14 Previous: 13
The Pacers won their only game in week eight against the Timberwolves before their next two games were postponed due to COVID. Indiana’s only rookie, Cassius Stanley, has played all of 23 minutes off the bench this season.
13. Golden State Warriors Record: 16-15 Previous: 11
The Warriors suffered a pair of close losses and went 1-2 last week as James Wiseman remained out. Speaking of Wiseman, he has been great as the second pick, averaging 12.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg as a critical piece of Golden State’s rotation this season.
14. Boston Celtics Record: 15-15 Previous: 12
The Celtics continue to stumble down the rankings as they went 1-2 last week with losses against Atlanta and New Orleans. While he’s cooled off recently, Payton Pritchard has been excellent as the 26th pick, making up for Aaron Nesmith, who has struggled.
15. New York Knicks Record: 15-16 Previous: 15
The Knicks went 1-1 in week eight while working around a COVID postponement against San Antonio. While Obi Toppin has been underwhelming as the eighth pick, Immanuel Quickley looks like the steal of the draft at pick 25, averaging 12.1 ppg.
16. Dallas Mavericks Record: 14-15 Previous: 16
After having a game against Houston get postponed, the Mavericks won their only game of the week, against Memphis. Tyrell Terry, Tyler Bey, and Nate Hinton have all appeared in garbage minutes for Dallas this season, with Terry playing the most minutes of the three (56).
17. Miami Heat Record: 14-17 Previous: 21
The Miami Heat had their best week of the season, going 3-0, and are now only a half-game back of being in a playoff position. Precious Achiuwa fits a need for Miami, filling in as the backup power forward after Jae Crowder went to Phoenix in the offseason.
18. Chicago Bulls Record: 14-16 Previous: 22
The Bulls took care of business in week eight, putting away bad teams in Detroit, Sacramento, and Houston. The fourth overall pick, Patrick Williams, has been solid, averaging 10.1 ppg on 46.6% from the field and 39.4% from three.
19. Memphis Grizzlies Record: 13-14 Previous: 17
The Grizzlies continue to play inconsistent basketball as they went 2-2 last week with wins over Oklahoma City and Detroit. 30th and 35th picks, Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman, have exceeded expectations in their first year as Memphis once again has proven they are elite when it comes to drafting.
20. Charlotte Hornets Record: 14-16 Previous: 18
The Charlotte Hornets went 1-1 last week with a win against Golden State and a loss against Utah. LaMelo Ball is the clear front-runner to win Rookie of the Year as he leads all rookies in scoring, rebounding and assists.
21. New Orleans Pelicans Record: 13-17 Previous: 19
The Pelicans lost their first two games of the week against Portland and Phoenix but came back down 24 to beat Boston on Sunday. 13th overall rookie, Kira Lewis Jr., has occasionally gotten minutes but has been very underwhelming as a rookie.
22. Atlanta Hawks Record: 13-17 Previous: 23
The Hawks finally got back on track in week eight as they recorded wins over Boston and Denver. Onyeka Okongwu has yet to consistently crack the rotation after dealing with a foot injury. 50th overall pick, Skylar Mays, has been a pleasant surprise and has shown flashes of potential these past two weeks.
23. Orlando Magic Record: 13-18 Previous: 26
The Magic finally had a winning week for the first time in nearly a month as they went 3-0 in week eight. Cole Anthony has been decent, but nothing special, filling in for Markelle Fultz as Orlando’s starting point guard this season.
24. Washington Wizards Record: 11-17 Previous: 27
The Wizards continue to play winning basketball as they went 3-0 last week with wins over Denver, Portland, and Los Angeles. Deni Avdija plays his role for the Wizards and has been a solid shooter on a low usage rate of 12.7% in 2020-21.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 12-19 Previous: 24
The Thunder had a 1-3 week, including losses against Memphis, Milwaukee, and Miami. 17th pick, Aleksej Pokusevski, struggled and was subsequently sent to the G League. However, 34th pick Theo Maledon has played well as the backup point guard, averaging 7.9 ppg.
26. Sacramento Kings Record: 12-18 Previous: 20
The Kings’ collapse continued in week eight as their losing streak has now extended to seven straight games. Tyrese Haliburton has been amazing, putting up 12.8 ppg on 49.8% from the field and 44.2% from three in 28 games this season.
27. Houston Rockets Record: 11-18 Previous: 25
Speaking of collapses, the Rockets are also in a downfall, now losers of eight consecutive games. Arguably the lone bright spot on this team has been Jae’Sean Tate, who came out of nowhere to provide meaningful minutes for Houston in 2020-21.
28. Detroit Pistons Record: 8-22 Previous: 28
The Pistons’ stretch of winning basketball did not last long as they went 0-3 last week with losses against Chicago, Memphis, and Orlando. The 19th pick, Saddiq Bey, has been great as of late as he recently earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers Record: 10-21 Previous: 29
The Cavaliers now possess the longest losing streak of any team this season as they have dropped ten consecutive games. Fifth overall pick, Isaac Okoro, has yet to find his rhythm as he’s shooting 39.1% from the field and 28.4% from deep this season.
30. Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 7-24 Previous: 30
For the second straight week, the Timberwolves get the bottom spot after going 0-3 in week eight. Anthony Edwards produced the dunk of the year on Yuta Watanabe last week but overall has been very inconsistent.
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