NBA Power Rankings for the 2020-21 season. Updated every Monday.

Last updated: January 18, 2021 | Change in power ranking since last update | Championship contender | Deep playoff run | Buying tickets to the lottery

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Los Angeles Lakers

#1Los Angeles Lakers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #1, Nick #1, Tyler #1

In a week that saw the stars align in Brooklyn, the Lakers reminded the rest of the NBA why they are still top dogs. Los Angeles enjoyed yet another dominant week - going 4-0, with all four victories by a margin of 17 points or more. This also included a 3-game stretch where they trailed for only 11 seconds in total. After hosting the Golden State Warriors on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, LeBron James and the Lakers will put their unblemished road record to the test on Thursday in Milwaukee, as they take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Summary written by Nate Smith (@NateSmithNBA)

Los Angeles Clippers

#2Los Angeles Clippers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #2, Nick #3, Tyler #2

The Clippers made it 3 wins from 3 this week, and sit 2nd overall in the West with a record of 10-4. Dominant victories against Sacramento and a good Indiana side were the highlight this week. The starting 5 lineup of Beverly, George, Kawhi, Ibaka, and Batum are second for net rating, and first for defense across the league, they are blowing teams away at the moment but the second unit does need some tweaking. I will continue to wax lyrical about Paul George, this season; he's averaging 25 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists. The week ahead sees The Clippers play Sacramento, and a 2 game series against The Thunder.

Summary written by Gerard Fazackerley

Milwaukee Bucks

#3Milwaukee Bucks

Individual rankings:
Kevin #3, Nick #2, Tyler #3

The Milwaukee Bucks put up a perfect 3-0 week, as they maintain their place near the top of the Eastern Conference. The offense is humming, averaging over 120 points per game through their first 13 games. While Giannis continues to struggle from the free throw line (down to just 58% from the stripe), the Bucks are rolling right now. Their largest concern at the moment might not be in-house; their MLK Day game may end up serving as a harbinger of the coming postseason.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson (@NBAJohnson)

Brooklyn Nets

#45Brooklyn Nets

Individual rankings:
Kevin #4, Nick #4, Tyler #4

Did something happen in Brooklyn this week? For those who've been hiking in a remote location for the past few days: the Nets traded away control of their next seven first-round draft picks and threw in an additional first-rounder to get James Harden from the Houston Rockets. They also had to give up rotation stalwarts (and fan favorites) Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert in the process, along with Taurean Prince, but the early returns--42 points from KD and a 30-point triple-double in Harden's Nets debut on Saturday--have been pretty fantastic. With Kyrie Irving possibly available for Monday's game, it might soon be "scary hours" (as Harden said) in Brooklyn.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson (@NBAJohnson)

Boston Celtics

#5Boston Celtics

Individual rankings:
Kevin #5, Nick #5, Tyler #8

This week, Boston lost by 30 points to the Knicks, and I don't want to talk about it, so this entire summary is going to be about their only other game this week, a 124-97 victory against Orlando, which saw the return of Jeff Teague, and a Tacko Fall sighting where he played 8 minutes and tallied 6 points and 5 rebounds.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone (@josephmamone)

Utah Jazz

#62Utah Jazz

Individual rankings:
Kevin #7, Nick #6, Tyler #5

Utah looked really good for most of the last week. They won 4 straight heading into a goofy matchup Sunday night with Denver, where suddenly the Jazz couldn't get a rebound to save their life. Even so, Bojan is starting to get it back, Mitchell is up and down, but will predominantly be up, and Jordan Clarkson is the new Lou Williams. The Jazz are a really promising team, and perhaps most importantly, their bearded playoff-nemesis just moved to the eastern conference.

Summary written by Kevin Nye (@kevinpnye)

Indiana Pacers

#7Indiana Pacers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #6, Nick #8, Tyler #6

Indiana shook things up in a major way last week by shipping away 2021 free agent Victor Oladipo in exchange for the younger and cheaper Caris LeVert. On paper, LeVert should step into the starting lineup and pick up right where Vic left off. Unfortunately, the Pacers will have to wait to deploy him after an MRI discovered a mass on his left kidney that needs further evaluation. Still, we've seen Indiana win without Oladipo, and they can keep winning without LeVert, too. This week, the Pacers return home after a long, mostly successful road trip. Get well soon, Caris!

Summary written by Ethan Krieger (@KriegerSports)

Phoenix Suns

#84Phoenix Suns

Individual rankings:
Kevin #8, Nick #7, Tyler #7

Unfortunately, this week was lost to COVID protocols for the Suns. They did lose a disaster of a game to the Wizards on Monday where they purely got outplayed in Q1 and the Wizards continued to dominate from there. There were rumors and comments flying all over Twitter about a change to the starting lineups so there is something to potentially look out for on the horizon for the Suns. A statistic of note: the Suns Bench players are currently 2nd in the NBA in Bench NET Rating at +6.0. It will be interesting to see if any potential changes occur when we get to see the Suns play again hopefully on Monday against the Grizzlies.

Summary written by Tony Jacobsen (@mathskers)

Philadelphia 76ers

#93Philadelphia 76ers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #10, Nick #9, Tyler #9

The Sixers are 2-1 in their last three games but two of them came against a Miami Heat team that had their roster ravaged by health and safety protocols. So does that even count as normal NBA basketball? One concerning trend of late has been the defense, in their last six games, the Sixers’ defensive rating ranks 21st, after starting off the season first by a lot. The other issue is they CAN NOT win without Joel Embiid. The James Harden saga may be over, but Ben Simmons is firmly in the spotlight now, and he has to play better.

Summary written by Jordan Christmas (@Jordan_Xmas)

Portland Trail Blazers

#10Portland Trail Blazers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #11, Nick #10, Tyler #10

The Blazers went 3-1 this week, defeating a trio of sub-.500 teams, but falling to the Indiana Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back. However, the biggest news from Portland was the injuries to Jusif Nurkic and CJ McCollum, as well as rookie CJ Elleby. In his first game in a starting role this season, Enes Kanter put up a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds. Moving forward, the Blazers will need Kanter and other second unit guys to step up and replace McCollum’s scoring -- he was averaging 26.7ppg before suffering a foot sprain against the Hawks.

Summary written by Ciara (@CiaraMountains)

Denver Nuggets

#111Denver Nuggets

Individual rankings:
Kevin #9, Nick #11, Tyler #13

Nikola Jokic continued his scintiliating play and filled every major scoring column for the Denver Nuggets this past week. Yet despite this, Denver dropped two out of their three games and now sit at 6-7, and are currently 11th in the West. The team has struggled for consistency and is sorely missing Michael Porter Jr, who was confirmed to be out due to testing positive to COVID-19 (earlier reported as contract tracing). It's still early in the season, but the rocky start has made things difficult for the Mile High franchise. Denver will need to solidify and get back to winning ways next week, when they face the Thunder at home on Tuesday, before heading down to Phoenix to face the Suns in a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.

Summary written by Nick Paradise

Dallas Mavericks

#121Dallas Mavericks

Individual rankings:
Kevin #12, Nick #12, Tyler #14

Porzingis is back, and his shot has been rusty, shooting just 38.9% from the field in his first 3 games, but it's to be expected since he hasn't played for so long. Dallas has been forced to give big minutes to Iwundu and Josh Green in the absence of Josh Richardson, which has gone as well as you'd expect. Not even Luka's best efforts (averaging 32.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 4 3-pointers, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks on 49.4% from the field) has been enough to give them a winning record this week, going 1-2.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone (@josephmamone)

San Antonio Spurs

#134San Antonio Spurs

Individual rankings:
Kevin #13, Nick #13, Tyler #12

Has father time finally caught up to LaMarcus Aldridge? The reliable big man has been, less than reliable this season, and over his last 3 games, he has averaged 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3 assists, shooting 36.4% from the field. On the plus side, Keldon Johnson continues to ball, averaging 19.3 points and 6.7 rebounds across the same period of time.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf (@tmetcalf11)

Golden State Warriors

#144Golden State Warriors

Individual rankings:
Kevin #15, Nick #15, Tyler #16

Not many good things to say about the Warriors this week; They only played two games, and both were tough losses. Against the Pacers, Golden State led by 7 at half, but would go on to score only 38 points total in the second half. They lost the game 95-104. The Pacers effectively shut down Steph curry with the box-and-1 defense, and the remainder of the Warriors’ roster couldn't make up for his missing firepower. On Thursday, the Dubs fell behind and stayed behind the Denver Nuggets, who were missing 2 starters. Thirty five points from Curry wasn’t enough to make up for low scoring nights from the Golden State bench. The Warriors have yet to prove that they can consistently score enough to win without Curry dropping 50.

Summary written by Ciara Smith (@CiaraMountains)

Miami Heat

#154Miami Heat

Individual rankings:
Kevin #17, Nick #16, Tyler #17

The Miami Heat struggled through a difficult week, capping off an 0-3 stretch with a brutal 20-point loss to the Detroit Pistons. Miami has been one of the teams that has been hit the hardest by contract tracing protocols and Jimmy Butler has been in and out of the lineup, so the poor start is excusable. Still, the defending Eastern Conference champions certainly expected better than a 4-7 record through 11 games.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson (@NBAJohnson)

Orlando Magic

#162Orlando Magic

Individual rankings:
Kevin #14, Nick #14, Tyler #22

Orlando is dropping down the Eastern Conference standings, and fast, having now lost 6 games in a row. Starting guys like James Ennis, Dwayne Bacon, and Cole Anthony isn't going to get them into the playoffs.

Summary written by Kevin Brown (@ihaveaformula)

Charlotte Hornets

#173Charlotte Hornets

Individual rankings:
Kevin #18, Nick #18, Tyler #18

Three losses in a row has dropped Clarlotte down to the 8th seed, but there are winnable games just around the corner against Washington, Chicago, and Orlando. LaMelo Ball continues to impress coming off the bench, and it's only a matter of time before he starts.

Summary written by Wayne Thompson

Oklahoma City Thunder

#185Oklahoma City Thunder

Individual rankings:
Kevin #16, Nick #19, Tyler #20

It genuinely pains me to see the Thunder starting to slip. It's such a fun thing to watch the Bazley/Dort/SGA lineups run around with a combined 68 feet of arm-length. Throw in the hyper-athletic Hamidou Diallo for your occasional highlight-dunks and Al Horford (who is out for personal reasons at the moment) and this team is just outright frisky.

Summary written by Kevin Nye (@kevinpnye)

Cleveland Cavaliers

#19Cleveland Cavaliers

Individual rankings:
Kevin #20, Nick #17, Tyler #19

An odd week for the Cavaliers. The good news: Kevin Porter, Jr. has rejoined the team after missing extensive time for personal reasons, Andre Drummond had a 30/20 game, and they squeaked out a win despite an absurd list of injuries. The bad news: an ABSURD list of injuries thus far, a COVID cancellation Sunday, and 3 double-digit losses in a row before beating the Knicks on Friday. If guys can get healthy, and they can make things work with roughly 9 centers, the Cavs could honestly stay in the play-in hunt.

Summary written by Kevin Nye (@kevinpnye)

Memphis Grizzlies

#207Memphis Grizzlies

Individual rankings:
Kevin #22, Nick #24, Tyler #15

After a messy and injury-plagued start to their season, the Grizzlies have emerged from Week 4 boasting an even win/loss ratio, a 4 game win streak, and, most importantly, a healthy Ja Morant. Impressive team wins over the Cavs, Timberwolves, and Sixers have stabilized this previously shaky Grizz team. In the win over the Timberwolves, they even managed to set their franchise record for points in the paint with 80. Rookie Xavier Tillman has looked fantastic this week, averaging 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists to pair with 2.3 steals a game. With Ja back and JJJ and Justise surely not far off, look for the Grizzlies to start to push up the conference standings.

Summary written by Connor Hay

New Orleans Pelicans

#215New Orleans Pelicans

Individual rankings:
Kevin #21, Nick #20, Tyler #21

After a hot start to open the year the Pelicans now find themselves in the bottom-3 of the standings in the stacked Western Conference. Their stop in Los Angeles was a bumpy one that saw them drop games to the Clippers (111-106) on Wednesday, and the Lakers on Friday (112-95). It wasn’t all bad though, as 2nd-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker stepped up in a major way in the absence of Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball. Alexander-Walker put the team on his back, averaging 24.5 points and 5.5 rebounds with 3.5 threes per night in their 2-game set in Hollywood. Alexander-Walker wasn’t the only Pelican showing out in LA though, as Brandon Ingram (21 points, 4.5 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal) and Zion Williamson (21 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists) continued to impress, giving the Pelican’s faithful a legitimate reason to be excited about their young duo’s future in the big easy.

Summary written by Jordan Schultz (@dynoNFL)

Houston Rockets

#221Houston Rockets

Individual rankings:
Kevin #19, Nick #21, Tyler #27

Well, it finally happened- James Harden has been dealt to Brooklyn for Victor Oladipo and a bounty of first-round picks and swaps. It’s a worthy haul, and Oladipo is a quality fill-in, but he’s certainly no James Harden. The Rockets' short-term outlook is significantly weaker, and they’ll look for Wall Wood and Oladipo to carry the remaining ragtag group of rookies and unknowns as far as they can go. This week the Rockets went 1-2 splitting a pair with the Spurs and falling to the Lakers.

Summary written by Max Nathan (@maxnathan3)

Toronto Raptors

#233Toronto Raptors

Individual rankings:
Kevin #23, Nick #22, Tyler #24

This is the most talented bad Raptors team in franchise history. Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet are all-star caliber players. Do they all play at that level in the same game? No. The one player that consistently seems to shine is Chris Boucher, who blocks shots and hits threes. Boucher’s net rating this season is +6.1 with an ON-OFF of +13.7! As a team, the Raptors have a net rating of -0.8 this season. If their record reflected that they would be .500 or a smidge under. Congratulations are due for beating the Hornets twice in one week. They barely won both games, but I guess it’s a step in the right direction after losing two games by one point. Norman Powell showed up in a big way in that last game (6 of 9 from three & 6 of 6 from the free throw line). He’s been mostly terrible this season, but if he’s able to turn it around maybe the Raptors can as well?

Summary written by Jordan Kligman (@416Basketball)

New York Knicks

#249New York Knicks

Individual rankings:
Kevin #24, Nick #23, Tyler #23

This is most confusing team in the NBA right now. The Knicks finally started to see regression as opponents started making shots and NY started losing, but then they beat the Celtics - who are excellent - by 30 on Sunday. Julius Randle is still playing like a superstar, Immanuel Quickley might be the best Knicks point guard since Jeremy Lin, and Tom Thibodeau is still a really solid NBA coach. It's all very disorienting, but they're looking more like the Knicks we expected over the last week.

Summary written by Kevin Nye (@kevinpnye)

Atlanta Hawks

#253Atlanta Hawks

Individual rankings:
Kevin #26, Nick #25, Tyler #25

Remember when Atlanta started the season and NBA Twitter was hyping them up as the next hot team to make the jump to the playoffs? Well, after a 5-7 start, the play-in tournament is, well, in play. They're too talented (on paper) to be playing this poorly.

Summary written by Joseph Mamone (@josephmamone)

Chicago Bulls

#261Chicago Bulls

Individual rankings:
Kevin #25, Nick #27, Tyler #26

After seeing multiple games postponed early in the week, the Bulls stretch of impressive basketball continued on Friday in a close 127-125 loss in overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lauri Markkanen made his return to the lineup and kicked in a cool 16 points and 6 rebounds, and followed it up with a 29-point, 10-rebound double-double in a 117-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. His development is one of the Bulls’ most important storylines to follow this season as they will have to make some big decisions with him after the season. The Bulls will be back in action on Monday against the new-look Houston Rockets.

Summary written by Jordan Schultz (@dynoNFL)

Sacramento Kings

#273Sacramento Kings

Individual rankings:
Kevin #27, Nick #26, Tyler #28

The Sacramento Kings started off the week on a really positive note, putting together a hard-fought 127-122 win over a really good Indiana Pacers squad. The rest of the week? Not so great. The Kings lost three straight to fall to 5-9, and their defense slid from 29th to 30th as they set records for most points allowed through a team's first 12 and 13 games. De'Aaron Fox put up a career-high 43 points to go along with 13 assists against the Pelicans on Sunday, but even his career-best night wasn't enough to overcome giving up 128 points on the other end.

Summary written by Nick Agar-Johnson (@NBAJohnson)

Detroit Pistons

#282Detroit Pistons

Individual rankings:
Kevin #28, Nick #28, Tyler #28

The Pistons remain really bad, but they do compete. Blake Griffin still looks like he's basically done for, but Jerami Grant may be a legit All-NBA caliber player given how great he's been. Saddiq Bey and Beef Stew have shown flashes. Overall it's a tough season for Detroit, but there are good signs in the early going.

Summary written by Joe Sinke (@Joe_Truck)

Minnesota Timberwolves

#291Minnesota Timberwolves

Individual rankings:
Kevin #30, Nick #29, Tyler #29

The season keeps getting worse for Minnesota and Towns with news that he tested positive for COVID. With contract tracing in full effect, we don't know when their next game will be, but the priority right now is on Towns' health.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf (@tmetcalf11)

Washington Wizards

#301Washington Wizards

Individual rankings:
Kevin #29, Nick #30, Tyler #30

Washington split their last 2 games, with a win against Phoenix, and a loss to Miami, but with COVID sweeping through the team, it might be a while before we see them on the court again.

Summary written by Tyler Metcalf (@tmetcalf11)