Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

Even when the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets aren't playing each other, it still seems like they're engaged in a heavyweight fight. Just when you think one of them has assumed the title of the NBA's "best team," the other throws a haymaker, going on a dominant winning streak to curry favor in the other direction.

That was the case this week, as the Celtics ripped off four wins in juggernaut fashion, extending their overall streak to six and supplanting the Nuggets as the No. 1 team in this week's NBA Power Rankings. The Nuggets dropped to No. 2 after falling victim to Kyrie Irving's absurd game-winning lefty floater, and right behind them are two teams that could easily win the Western Conference's No. 1 seed ahead of Denver: The Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Speaking of which, the seeding battle is frenzied in the league right now, as the Play-In Tournament has once again provided some excitement in both conferences that might not normally exist. Each victory or loss seems to carry extra weight this time of year, which is why a team like the Clippers having a rough stretch might cost them home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. They're this week's biggest fallers, dropping eight spots to No. 12.

Shooting their way up in the opposite direction are the New York Knicks, who just won't go away despite injury after injury to key players. Who had Miles McBride dropping 29 points in a road win on their bingo card? Congratulations! It's quite admirable how the Knicks have put together these victories -- doing it with defense, rebounding and ball security along with tremendous leadership and star quality from Jalen Brunson. They had the league's best defensive rating this week, allowing just 100 points per 100 possessions.

With less than a month remaining in the regular season, here are this week's NBA Power Rankings.

*Please keep in mind that our NBA Power Rankings are based on weekly performance (Tuesday to Monday), not the whole season.

Biggest Movers
8 Knicks
8 Clippers
1 Celtics Forty games over .500 is pretty decent, right? Boston cruised to a home victory over the Suns on Thursday, and avoided any letdowns against the Jazz, Wizards and Pistons to run its winning streak to six games. Jaylen Brown is making a late All-NBA push, averaging 34 points in the two games he played this week on 53% 3-point shooting. 2 64-18
2 Nuggets The Denver train kept on rolling this week until it was halted by the savvy left hand of Kyrie Irving, who snatched a victory in Dallas. The Nuggets have the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA since the All-Star break to go along with their prolific offense, as the chase for the West's No. 1 seed continues with a big matchup against the Timberwolves on the horizon. 1 57-25
3 Timberwolves It appears Anthony Edwards still hasn't landed yet after catapulting for the Dunk of the Year over John Collins, but otherwise the Wolves appear to be adjusting well to life without Karl-Anthony Towns. They won all three games this week to remain in a virtual tie for first place in the West. It should be a fun race that comes down to the wire. 4 56-26
4 Thunder OKC lost to the Pacers to start the week, but followed that up with wins over the Mavericks and Grizzlies. Chet Holmgren averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the three games on 51/54/100 shooting splits, as the Thunder keep marching toward a potential No. 1 seed in the West. 2 57-25
5 Cavaliers The Cavs picked up wins over the Pelicans and Pacers this week, while losing to the red-hot Rockets. Donovan Mitchell returned to the lineup against New Orleans and Houston and looked a bit rusty, but Cleveland was able to beat Indiana on Monday without him. The No. 2 seed is still very much in play. 1 48-34
6 Knicks "Belief" and "fight" were two of the words Tom Thibodeau used to describe his team's recent run, which included wins over the 76ers, Blazers, Kings and Warriors this week. OG Anunoby missed Monday's win in Golden State with some soreness at his surgically repaired elbow, but it doesn't seem to matter who's been on the floor for the Knicks lately. Case in point, Miles McBride got the start in Anunoby's place against Golden State and put up a career-high 29 points and six 3-pointers. It didn't hurt that Jalen Brunson averaged 35 points for the week, either. 8 50-32
7 Pelicans New Orleans picked up a huge win over the Clippers on Friday that helped it gain ground on the No. 4 seed in the West, which would give the team home-court advantage in a first-round matchup. Zion Williamson is playing some of the best basketball of his career, averaging 31 points and nine rebounds this week on 64% shooting. 1 49-33
8 Kings The Kings blasted the Bucks by 35 points to start the week, then to end it they barely hung on to squeak past the Grizzlies in overtime at home -- that's pretty much Sacramento's season in a nutshell. The fight for the rest of the season will be to stay in the No. 6 seed and avoid the Play-In Tournament. 1 46-36
9 Bucks This week was really about one thing for Milwaukee -- the return of Khris Middleton, who raises their ceiling to a potentially championship level. He scored 22 points in 25 minutes in Sunday's win over the Suns, his first game since early February. It's certainly noteworthy that Milwaukee was able to put up 140 points against the Suns without Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Middleton's presence has everything to do with that. 2 49-33
10 Mavericks If Mavs fans are looking for a "team of destiny" moment, they certainly got one with Kyrie Irving's mind-breaking lefty floater game-winner against the Nuggets that set social media ablaze. Dallas has won five of six as it attempts to avoid a Play-In matchup that could potentially feature one of the Suns, Warriors or Lakers. 3 50-32
11 Magic Orlando cleaned up on some Eastern Conference bottom-feeders this week to make it 10 wins in its last 13 games. The run has given it a legitimate chance at hosting a first-round playoff series, with the No. 2 seed a dark-horse possibility. What a season. 4 47-35
12 Clippers Well, this isn't great. The Clippers lost three of four games this week, including Sunday's home embarrassment against the Trae Young-less Hawks. The Clippers are now 6-8 since the All-Star break with a bottom-five defense, and that's with relatively healthy stars. They're in serious danger of losing home-court advantage in the first round if they keep this up. 8 51-31
13 Suns The Suns lost both matchups against top Eastern Conference contenders this week (the Celtics and Bucks), showing they've still got a long way to go -- even with all three stars on the court. Devin Booker went into a major shooting slump in the 1-2 week but the real issue was the defense, which allowed 124 points per 100 possessions. 8 49-33
14 Pacers The Pacers picked up a signature win in Oklahoma City, though Tyrese Haliburton still doesn't look like himself, shooting 17% from 3-point range in the 2-2 week. The good news is that Indiana's defensive rating since the All-Star break ranks 17th in the league -- a far cry from how bad it was to start the season. 2 47-35
15 76ers Though the 76ers aren't scoring a whole lot (they put up 79 points in back-to-back games against the Knicks), they managed to pick up two wins this week to stay out of the dreaded Play-In Tournament spots. Tyrese Maxey had even more of the offensive weight on his shoulders with Tobias Harris missing a couple of games, and the lightning-quick guard averaged 27 points and six assists this week on 41% 3-point shooting. 3 47-35
16 Heat The Heat suffered some injury issues this week (what's new?), but fortunately for them they played the Pistons twice. Miami's currently in the eighth seed and, while it's done damage from that spot recently, it's likely not where it wants to be. -- 46-36
17 Warriors Steve Kerr is just as confused as the rest of us as to why the Warriors -- one of the best home teams in the league who couldn't win a road game to save their lives last season -- have been better away than at home this season. Gary Payton II said the team hasn't put together a full 48-minute effort in a couple of weeks, and it's shown with their lack of movement in the standings. The good news is, the Warriors' win in L.A. on Saturday gave them the tiebreaker over the Lakers, which could prove valuable down the stretch. -- 46-36
18 Lakers Losses to the Kings and Warriors could prove costly down the stretch as the Lakers attempt to climb as far north of the 10 seed as they can. All five Lakers starters averaged at least 17 points this week, led by 28 per game from LeBron James, and they were happy to see Anthony Davis get back on the court for Monday's blowout win over Atlanta. 8 47-35
19 Rockets Credit to the Rockets for at least making the Warriors and Lakers sweat in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament race. Seizing the 10th spot still seems a bit far-fetched, but winning seven of eight games is a great start. 1 41-41
20 Bulls The Bulls continued their steady climb toward .500 with a 3-1 week, and they now have a realistic shot of getting out of the one-and-done No. 9 vs. No. 10 Play-In Tournament game. DeMar DeRozan scored 46 points in Wednesday's overtime win over the Pacers. 1 39-43
21 Jazz Utah lost three games to two very good teams this week, also pulling off a close victory against Atlanta. Lauri Markkanen returned from a six-game absence in Monday's loss to Minnesota, putting up 22 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. 2 31-51
22 Hawks An otherwise rough week for the Hawks was brightened by a solid win against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Jalen Johnson returned from a three-game absence to average 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists on 41% 3-point shooting in three games this week. 3 36-46
23 Trail Blazers Deandre Ayton attributed his bad start to the season on sleeping on an air mattress -- hey, we've all been there, right? He's been on a tear of late though, averaging 27 points and 14 rebounds this week on 68% shooting. He put up 33 and 19 against the Hawks in Portland's only win of the week. 5 21-61
24 Spurs Victor Wembanyama brushed aside struggles against the Rockets and Nuggets to put up a casual 33 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks in Sunday's overtime win over the Nets. There's not much else that you can say about this kid, and it's even more exciting now that the Spurs are actually starting to win a few games. 2 22-60
25 Nets Any thoughts of a Brooklyn Play-In appearance are rapidly declining following losses to the Magic, Pacers and Spurs this week. Mikal Bridges hasn't continued his progression from last season and Cam Thomas' production seems largely volume-dependent. Not a lot of beaming reasons for hope with the Nets these days. 3 32-50
26 Hornets Five players averaged double figures for the Hornets this week -- two of which (Vasilije Micic and Tre Mann) you may not have even heard of. Rookie Brandon Miller struggled offensively, but Charlotte managed to pick up a win over the banged-up Grizzlies before losses to the Suns and 76ers. 3 21-61
27 Grizzlies Finally some good news on the injury front for the Grizzlies, who saw Desmond Bane take the floor for the first time since mid-January. He picked up where he left off, averaging 23 points and six assists on 38% 3-point shooting in losses to the Thunder and Kings. 3 27-55
28 Pistons The Pistons proved they aren't the worst team in the NBA right now by beating the Raptors, but that was the extent of this week's winning. Deadline acquisition Simone Fontecchio led the team in scoring this week, putting up 16 points per game on 41% 3-point shooting. 1 14-68
29 Raptors It was three more losses for Toronto this week to make it seven in a row and nine of its last 10. The offense was absolutely anemic this week, scoring just 99 points per 100 possessions. 1 25-57
30 Wizards Last week's brief blip of winning basketball was quickly swallowed by Washington's usual brand of losing, dropping all four games this week with a startlingly horrendous net rating of minus-21. If we're looking to signs of encouragement for next year, Jordan Poole averaged 20 points on 49/43/86 shooting splits this week, as he attempts to salvage what was an otherwise disappointing season. 5 15-67