Basketball

NBA Power Rankings Week 25

A week from today, the 2018/2019 season will have come to an end. It’s been an incredibly close race, and seeding is still up in the air. There are only four games left before we know who will be matched up in the first round. Most of the playoff spots have been clinched in the Eastern Conference, as there are just three spots left. The Western conference has filled all 8 spots. Lets take a look at the Eliminated, the Best and the Rest.

The Eliminated

  • New York Knicks: 15-62; L10 2-8
  • Phoenix Suns: 18-60; L10 2-8
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 19-59; L10 2-8
  • Chicago Bulls: 21-57; L10 3-7
  • Atlanta Hawks: 28-50; L10 5-5
  • Dallas Mavericks: 31-46; L10 2-8
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 31-46; L10 3-7
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 32-46; L10 2-8
  • Washington Wizards: 32-46; L10 3-7
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 35-43; L10 3-7
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 35-43; L10 4-6
  • Charlotte Hornets: 35-42; L10 5-5
  • Sacramento Kings: 38-40; L10 5-5
  • Orlando Magic: 38-40; L10 8-2

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Rest

  • Miami Heat: 38-40; L10 6-4
  • Brooklyn Nets: 39-40; L10 3-7
  • Detroit Pistons: 39-39; L10 4-6
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 45-33; L10 3-7
  • San Antonio Spurs: 45-34; L10 5-5
  • Indiana Pacers: 47-32; L10 3-7

Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Best

10. Boston Celtics: 47-32; L10 5-5

Currently 4th seed in the East, the Celtics have only lost one of their last 5 games. In back to back games against the Heat, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Gordon Hayward unveiled a great rhythm together just in time for playoffs. They will play the 5th seeded Pacers tomorrow for the tiebreaker for home-court advantage.

9. LA Clippers: 47-32; L10 8-2

The Clippers have been dominating non-playoff teams but can’t seem to do the same with teams that have already clinched a spot. The only two games the Clippers have lost have been to the Bucks last Thursday and to the Rockets on Wednesday. If seeding holds as is, Clippers will match up against the Rockets in the first round. After a 32 point loss, the Clippers have some work to do if they want to make it into a deep playoff stretch. They will play the Lakers tomorrow and then go on to play two more play off teams, the Warriors and the Jazz.

8. Utah Jazz: 48-30; L10 9-1

The Jazz have the highest win streak in the league with 6 straight wins. Holding steady at the 5th seed, it’s looking like they will get the home-court advantage in the first round because they will most likely have the tiebreaker over the Trail Blazers.


AP Photo/Michael Conroy

7. Portland Trail Blazers: 50-28; L10 8-2

The Trail Blazers have been right on Houston’s tail for the 3rd seed in the West for the past few weeks. They are currently half a win behind the Rockets. They will play the Nuggets in back to back games this week. After Jusuf Nurkic’s gruesome season-ending leg injury, the Trail Blazers have utilized Enes Kanter who has proved his worth by scoring 20 pts and 15 rebounds in a loss to the Pistons.

6. Philadelphia 76ers: 49-29; L10 6-4

The 76ers have won three of their last 5 games but will take on the 1st seed, Milwaukee Bucks, tonight. Joel Embiid has sat out the past three games for load management and the 76ers have a 4.5 game lead on the Celtics and Pacers, so Embiid sitting out shouldn’t affect their position at the 3rd seed in the East too much.

5. Denver Nuggets: 52-26; L10 6-4

The Nuggets have had their worst five game stretch offensively since the season started. Losing to Houston (3rd seed) last Thursday, Washington on Sunday and Golden State (1st Seed) on Tuesday. The will play two more Western conference playoff teams, back to back games against the Trail Blazers and then the Jazz and finally will close out the season against the Timberwolves.


David Zalubowski/Associated Press

4. Toronto Raptors: 56-23; L10 7-3

The Raptors had an easy schedule this week, beating the New York Knicks once and the Chicago Bulls twice. Kawhi Leonard sat out on two of those games, returning Monday in a win over the Orlando Magic. The Detroit Pistons are likely to hold on to the 6th seed so either the Magic, Brooklyn Nets or Miami Heat are looking to be the Raptors first round opponents.

3. Houston Rockets: 51-28: L10 8-2

The Rockets have won the last four games, and the last two by 30 or more points. They are still in the race for the 2nd seed after defeating the current 2nd seed, the Denver Nuggets. In a game against the Sacramento Kings, James Harden scored 50 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Kenneth Faried and Gerald Green sat out a few games to heal from injuries but Faried came back against the Kings at full strength. Green played 6 minutes in Wednesdays game against the LA Clippers but will likely have a minimal role in the remaining three games to prepare for the post season.

Butch Dill/Associated Press

2. Golden State Warriors: 53-24; L10 7-3

The Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night 116-112, bringing them one win closer to sealing their spot as 1st seed in the West. The Warriors had a little trouble with the refs last week, resulting in Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green being fined. They will take on the Los Angeles Lakers today at 9:30 pm central and have 4 more games remaining in the regular season.

1. Milwaukee Bucks: 58-20; L10 7-3

Still holding the best record in the league, the Bucks had a couple of losses last week because they were missing their three star players. Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle injury), Khris Middleton (groin injury) and Eric Bledsoe (rest) did not play in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Antetokounmpo played on Monday in a win against the Brooklyn Nets, so hopefully his ankle is on the mend. The Bucks play the 76ers today at 7 pm central.

Frank Gunn/Associated Press

Featured Photo Credit: ViaMedia

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