NBA Power Rankings, Week 25: Celtics back on top as Lakers, Raptors surge!

As the 2022-23 NBA regular season reaches its 25th week, the competition to secure a spot in the playoffs is getting fierce. With the season coming to an end, certain teams will progress to the postseason while others will be knocked out. With only 3-4 games left for most teams, the playoff and play-in pictures have become a bit clearer. A number of teams, in fact, have already been eliminated outright. This means we can anticipate more thrilling and unforeseeable NBA games in the upcoming weeks. Let’s take a look at where all 30 teams are in our NBA Power Rankings as we enter Week 25 of this season.

The Boston Celtics successfully retake their spot on the top of the NBA Power Rankings this week. They push the Milwaukee Bucks down to No. 2 even as a few other teams surge up the list. These include the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, and even the Orlando Magic.

Of the elite squads, the Cavs slide dow two spots to No. 5. The Bulls, meanwhile, fall four spots to No. 13 as the Clippers tuble five places to No. 15. The biggest “fallers,” however, are the Heat and Thunder. Miami slides seven places even as the Thunder find themselves falling eight places.

Despire no longer leading our NBA Power Rankings, the Bucks still hold the best win-loss record in the league. Following them are the Celtics, Nuggets, Sixers, and Grizzlies. The Suns are doing well, too. They are currently the hottest team in the league with five wins in a row. Meanwhile, the Pistons continue their terrible play with nine straight losses as of this writing.

How about the other teams, though? Where does each team stand when it comes to the most current NBA Power Rankings?

Remember that our NBA Power Rankings take into account various factors, including overall win-loss records, recent performances, net rating differentials, and streaks or slumps.

Previous 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings: Week 24 | Week 23 | Week 22 | Week 21 | Week 20 | All-Star Edition 

Now without further ado, let’s look at our 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings entering Week 25 of the new season.

1. Boston Celtics (+1)

The Celtics have won seven of their last nine games and are back on top of our NBA Power Rankings. They also just beat the Bucks by 41 points a few days ago, which was quite impressive. It’s also great that their roster is close to full strength as they close their regular season campaign.

fire & ice

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 2, 2023

2. Milwaukee Bucks (-1)

The 140-99 loss to the Celtics was really bad. That said, the Bucks are also fresh from defeating the Sixers on Sunday. If the Bucks can hold on to the best record in the league, they should obtain homecourt advantage throughout the postseason. It’s doable, with the Wizards, Bulls, Grizzlies, and Raptors as their last regular season foes.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (+2)

Speaking of the Grizzlies, they’ve looked really good over the past few weeks. They’ve won 11 of their last 14 games and have a puncher’s chance of stealing the top seed in the West. Also, Jaren Jackson Jr. has looked pretty much unstoppable, while Desmond Bane has been very good, too.

4. Philadelphia 76ers (no change)

The Sixers went 2-2 this past week. They lost to the Nuggets and Bucks but beat the Mavs and Raptors. That’s par for the course, I guess. They should finish no lower than the third seed in the East when all is said and done in the regular season.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (-2)

The Cavs just defeated the Pacers, but they did lose back-to-back to the Hawks and Knicks before that. Still, they have just three games left against the Magic (twice) and Hornets. That means that the Cavs should end their regular season campaign on a very strong note. They slide down our NBA Power Rankings this week, but they should also break 50 wins easily in the coming days.

6. Denver Nuggets (no change)

The Nuggets went 2-2 this past week with big losses to the Pelicans and Suns. Those defeats underscored what so many have quietly feared. These Nuggets just won’t last long in the postseason. Sure, they can wrap up the top seed with maybe two more wins, but even if they do, that doesn’t mean they’ll be safe in the playoffs.

7. New Orleans Pelicans (+4)

Here come the mighty Pelicans. Yes, even without Zion Williamson and Jose Alvarado, the Pels are doing more than just fine. They have won seven of their last eight games en route to being just half a game out of the top six in the West.

8. New York Knicks (no change)

It feels strange to keep the Knicks where they are even if they’ve won four straight. Remember, however, that prior to that win streak, the Knicks carried a 6-6 record in March. This is still a good team, but some chinks in their armor have definitely been exposed.

9. Phoenix Suns (+4)

Speaking of the Suns, man, they’re doing pretty well for themselves now that Kevin Durant is back. They have won five straight games, including big ones over the Sixers, Wolves, Nuggets, and Thunder. In his three games back, Durant has also averaged 27.0 points per game, including shooting 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.

10. Sacramento Kings (-3)

Even if the Kings went 2-2 this past week, they weren’t particularly as good as they usually are. They lost a close one to the Wolves several days ago and then lost Sunday in overtime to the Spurs. The Spurs! Before that, the Kings did beat the Blazers twice, but that’s not exactly very impressive.

11. Los Angeles Lakers (+5)

Get this — the Lakers own the third-best win-loss record since the 2023 All-Star Break. They’ve gone 19-13 in that stretch. That win percentage is behind just the Bucks and Kings. The Lakers also have the fourth-best net rating over their last 10 games and have a “winnable” homestretch of games against the Jazz (twice), Clippers, and Suns.

Six of our last seven. @AntDavis23: 40 pts (15/20 FG), 9 reb@rui_8mura: 20 pts, 12 reb, 3 blk@KingJames: 18 pts, 10 reb, 11 ast
Austin Reaves: 18 pts, 8 ast@mbeasy5: 13 pts

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 3, 2023

12. Toronto Raptors (+7)

We’re not sure if this is way too high. However, the Raptors have won four of their last five games and have moved up to eighth place in the East. They’ve also recorded the third-best net rating over their last 10 games. That’s behind just the Celtics and Pelicans. Maybe we’re too high on them, but the Raptors are one of the most dangerous teams around right now.

13. Chicago Bulls (-4)

The Bulls went 2-2 this past week. They lost to both Los Angeles teams before bouncing back with wins over the Hornets and Grizzlies. They’ve actually had a solid March campaign. However, they also still have a losing record and probably won’t last more than a game or two in the postseason.

14. Brooklyn Nets (+4)

The Nets have had a much better record than the Mavs after the trade deadline. That’s probably eating Mark Cuban inside. On the other end, Joe Tsai is loving every bit of it. They might not even need to play in the play-in tournament. Of course, they won’t get past the first round. Still, these Nets have wonderfully overachieved these past weeks.

15. Los Angeles Clippers (-5)

We cannot really say the same for the Clippers, who have just not really played their finest ball. They have lost three of their last five games and are in danger of losing their spot in the top six. Big games end the season for this team. A pivotal one against the Lakers is next followed by games against the Blazers and Suns (another HUGE one).

16. Golden State Warriors (-1)

The Dubs had solid wins over the Pelicans and Spurs, but they did just lose to the Nuggets. They also have to look over their shoulder as the Lakers and Pels are about to steal the sixth seed. Of course, the Warriors can prevent that if they win their last three assignments against the Thunder, Kings, and Blazers.

17. Orlando Magic (+6)

Oh my. We may be seeing how good the Magic can be next season. Orlando has won six of its last eight games. They’ve beaten the Clippers, Knicks, and Nets in that stretch. They may crash back to earth very soon, though, as they play the Cavs (twice), Nets, and Heat to end their season.

18. Atlanta Hawks (+2)

The Hawks deserve some props. They defeated the Cavs and Mavs this past week to continue hanging with the surging Raptors. A big one against the Bulls is coming up, too. We think ATL has done enough to make it to the play-in tournament, but we also don’t expect them to stay alive very long.

19. Miami Heat (-7)

Every time we think the Heat can overtake the Nets, Miami just finds ways to disappoint. They went 1-2 this past week, with Ls to the Raptors and Knicks. A seven-point win over a miserable Mavs squad is all that kept the Heat from a winless Week 24. That’s why they fall so far in our NBA Power Rankings.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (-3)

The Wolves are on a three-game slump. They went 1-3 this past week, with losses to the Suns, Lakers, and even the Blazers. As such, their play-in spot is suddenly in peril. A tough one against the Nets is coming followed by games against the Spurs and Pelicans.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder (-7)

A lone one-point win over the Pistons is all that saved this past week for the reeling Thunder. Losing to the Suns was expected, sure. However, losing to the Hornets and Pacers should not have happened.

22. Dallas Mavericks (no change)

I think the Mavs are clearly worse after they traded for Kyrie Irving. We don’t think Luka Doncic would say that out loud. However, the body language of this team has just been sapped of all energy. They’ve had just seven wins since acquiring Kyrie. Meanwhile, the Nets have won 11 since that transaction. Still, no way the Mavs fall even further, right? Now, OKC is barely hanging on to a play-in spot in the West.

Wins since the trade deadline:

11 — Nets
7 — Mavericks

— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 2, 2023

23. Utah Jazz (-2)

The Jazz continues to stink it up in Salt Lake City. They’ve lost six of their last seven games, including going 1-3 this past week. They can still make it to the play-in, but they’ll likely have to sweep their last four games against the Lakers (twice), Thunder, and Nuggets. Good luck.

24. Washington Wizards (+1)

The Wizards are officially eliminated from playoff contention. However, they did beat the Celtics this past week. How’s that for a small measure of late-season bragging rights, eh?

25. Indiana Pacers (-1)

The Pacers went 1-3 this past week to continue their season of futility. A win over the Thunder could be a spoiler of sorts, though. They’ve been relegated to that — spoilers for those teams still in playoff contention.

26. Charlotte Hornets (+1)

You have to give the Hornets props for having some late-season spirit. They had an impressive win over the Thunder this past week. They also looked competitive against the Bulls and Raptors. Maybe when they’re all healthy, this team can be something again.

27. Portland Trail Blazers (-1)

The Blazers have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. They went 3-13 in March and have had the worst net rating over the last 10 games. Do we really think Damian Lillard isn’t even pondering a move in the offseason?

28. Houston Rockets (no change)

The Rockets lost this past week to every team they faced except the Pistons. That just means the Rockets played to everyone’s expectations.

29. San Antonio Spurs (no change)

Not even an overtime win over the Kings will push the Spurs up these NBA Power Rankings. Remember that they sustained a six-game slump before that fortunate W.

30. Detroit Pistons (no change)

When is Wemby or Scoot coming? Pistons fans are hoping this miserable season would be worth it.

The post NBA Power Rankings, Week 25: Celtics back on top as Lakers, Raptors surge! appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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