NBA Power Rankings: The Boston Celtics are back, baby

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The top of our latest NBA Power Rankings are heavy on the Eastern Conference, thanks to the resurgent Boston Celtics.


Chicago Bulls 6-22

Last week: 1-3
Last rank: 29

If you had to pick one low point for the Bulls this week, where would you go? Firing Fred Hoiberg? Losing by 56 points? A player-led mutiny and Jim Boylen’s nonsensical explanation for what happened? The Sacramento Kings having a laugh at their expense? I’d like to say the Bulls have hit rock bottom but…well…I’m not sure how to finish this sentence.


Phoenix Suns 4-23

Last week: 0-4
Last rank: 30

The Suns lost all four games they played this week, by a total of 60 points. But, hey, at least their players aren’t working on forming a “leadership committee” to handle interactions with their coach.


New York Knicks 6-20

Last week: 0-3
Last rank: 25

In a much-needed positive sign, Frank Ntilikina has followed three DNPs with a pair of really strong games. On Saturday, he played 15 minutes, totaling seven points and three assists, making half his shots from the field. He followed with an 18-point outing on Sunday, hitting 4-of-4 on 3s. Ntilikina is still a big part of the Knicks hypothetical future ceiling so seeing him break through is great news.


Cleveland Cavaliers 6-21

Last week: 1-3
Last rank: 28

Hey, at least Dellavedova is back?


Atlanta hawks 6-20

Last week: 1-1
Last rank: 27

John Collins had another monster week, averaging 28.0 points, 13 rebounds and 2.5 assists in their two games. He and Trae Young are still working on their chemistry but the pieces are continuing to look impressive in isolation in Atlanta.


Washington Wizards 11-16

Last week: 1-2
Last rank: 26



San Antonio Spurs 13-14

Last week: 2-2
Last rank: 23

The Spurs split their two games this week but their point differential has continued to slide towards the bottom of the league. Even while racking up two wins, they still allowed 116.1 points per 100 possessions in their four games this week, a thoroughly un-Spursian number.


Orlando Magic 12-15

Last week: 1-3
Last rank: 22

What the Magic are doing is not a trick, Michael, it’s an illusion.


Brooklyn Nets 10-18

Last week: 2-1
Last rank: 24

The Nets had a nice week, losing a very close game to the Thunder before picking up wins over the Raptors and Knicks. However, in the grand scheme, they’re really just treading water and it might be time for them to look for some ways to shake things up.


Houston Rockets 11-14

Last week: 0-2
Last rank: 17

We’re well past the point of considering the Rockets a championship contender waiting for a breakthrough. Chris Paul has regressed, the supporting cast is worse and they just aren’t very good right now.


sacramento Kings 14-12

Last week: 3-1
Last rank: 20

As De’Aaron Fox goes, so go the Kings. Fox was electric this week, averaging 22.3 points, 7.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game, shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 60 percent on 3s. The Kings went 3-1.


Miami Heat 11-15

Last week: 2-2
Last rank: 21

The Miami Heat are going nowhere fast and it seems like it might be time for them to explore diving headfirst into the trade market in search of a rebuild. While the roster isn’t working as constructed they have plenty of useful pieces that could be cannibalized by better teams.


Detroit Pistons 13-12

Last week: 0-4
Last rank: 8

This was a disastrous week for the Pistons, dropping games against the Bucks, Pelicans and 76ers (twice). This should only serve to emphasize how delicate things are for the Pistons and how susceptible they are to wild swings because their outside shooting is so inconsistent.


minnesota timberwolves 13-14

Last week: 1-2
Last rank: 16

The Timberwolves have found their footing since the trade but there is still a ways to go for them to cement themselves as a playoff team. If it wasn’t for Robert Covington’s defense, they’d really be in a tough spot.


Utah Jazz 13-15

Last week: 2-2
Last rank: 18

When a flaming hot first quarter ejection by Rudy Gobert was the most interesting moment of the week, things probably aren’t going well. The Jazz are in danger of becoming the Kenny G of basketball.

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