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NBA Power Rankings 2020 Edition

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The hype for the NBA never subsides, even in a January that has seen many of the stars in suits, rather than on the court. Nevertheless, each game is as important as the rest as teams gear up for the trade deadline and the All-Star break in just a few weeks. Giannis Antetokoumnpo continues to do dominate, Norman Powell shows his scoring prowess for the Toronto Raptors, and a few teams continue to struggle as we near the end of January.

Morry Gash, AP

Bucks Still Atop the NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks (39-6) and Los Angeles Lakers (34-9) have continued their impressive dominance on the NBA, as both top the standings in their respective conferences. The Bucks have won seven consecutive games, with Antetokounmpo leading the team in points, rebounds and assists in five of those seven games. The Bucks only loss this calendar year was to the San Antonio Spurs on January 6th. The Lakers have been without Anthony Davis for the past five games, but have been able to weather with LeBron James leading the charge.

Mark J. Terrill, AP

Hot Streaks in the West

The Los Angeles Clippers (30-13) and Dallas Mavericks (27-15) are riding win streaks of three games or more, as both look to strengthen their positioning in the Western Conference. Although the Paul George hasn’t played since January 5th, the Clippers rolled through last week unblemished behind Kawhi Leonard and his 38.0 points per game. The Mavericks were a perfect 3-0 last week, scoring more than 120 points in every game.

Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports

Grizzlies and Jazz Rolling In The New Year

Led by Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz (29-13) have won nine of their last ten and have climbed up to 4th in the West behind their offense. They are only a game behind the Denver Nuggets (30-13), who have won seven of their last ten. In the surprise of the new year, the Memphis Grizzlies (20-23) were on a seven-game win streak before they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans (17-27) on Monday night. Despite the loss, the Grizzlies have won eight of their last ten and are 8th in the West.

Brandon Dill, AP Photo

For Some, It’s Getting Colder in the West

After giving up a fourth quarter lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder at home, the Houston Rockets (26-16) have lost four in a row, including the last three against the West as they continue to slide down standings. The Sacramento Kings have lost five straight and seven of their last ten. The Minnesota Timberwolves (15-30) are have lost six consecutive games, falling to the Denver Nuggets (30-13) Tuesday night.

Cole Burston, AP

Hot Streaks in the East

The Toronto Raptors (29-14) are on a four-game win streak after their victory over the Brooklyn Nets (18-24). The Raptors received offensive contributions from Norman Powell, averaging 23.6 points in his last five games. The Philadelphia 76ers (29-16) have also won four in a row, all with Joel Embiid on the sideline.

Kathy Willens, Associated Press

Cold Streaks in the East

The Brooklyn Nets (18-24) have lost four straight and nine of their last games, but are still planted in the 8th seed. The Charlotte Hornets (15-31) have now lost seven consecutive games, pushing them further down the East standings. The Cleveland Cavaliers (12-32) have lost five in a row and nine of their last eleven.

Mary Altaffer, AP

A Look Ahead To This Week’s Marquee Matchups

This week of NBA competition looks promising, starting with a standalone matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers (30-13) and Dallas Mavericks (27-15) on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers (29-16), led by Ben Simmons, will travel to Toronto as they face off against the Raptors (29-14). The Lakers (34-9) look to get back on track as LeBron James and Anthony Davis square off in New York against the Knicks (12-32) on Wednesday night.

Matthew Hinton, AP

Zion Williomson’s Debut Versus San Antonio

Zion Williamson is expected to make his season debut for the New Orleans Pelicans (17-27) on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs (18-23). The Pelicans are currently 3.5 games behind the surging Memphis Grizzlies (20-23) for the 8th seed. The Brooklyn Nets (18-24) will host the Lakers on Thursday night, and we’ll be able to find out if Kyrie Irving has a career high in points scored, or references of leadership are made in an Instagram post.

With another exciting NBA schedule ahead of us, let’s take a look at this week’s NBA Power Rankings.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Los Angeles Clippers
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Toronto Raptors
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Denver Nuggets
  8. Indiana Pacers
  9. Dallas Mavericks
  10. Philadelphia 76ers
  11. Boston Celtics
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder
  13. Houston Rockets
  14. Memphis Grizzlies
  15. Orlando Magic
  16. Phoenix Suns
  17. New Orleans Pelicans
  18. Brooklyn Nets
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Portland Trailblazers
  21. Detroit Pistons
  22. Chicago Bulls
  23. Charlotte Hornets
  24. Minnestota Timberwolves
  25. Sacramento Kings
  26. Atlanta Hawks
  27. Washington Wizards
  28. Cleveland Cavaliers
  29. Golden State Warriors
  30. New York Knicks

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports

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