Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

Sometimes the Power Rankings gods simply smile upon you. It's pretty easy two decide who the top team in the league is when the two most dominant teams face each other, and after a convincing win over the Boston Celtics, there's no denying that the Denver Nuggets are the team to beat in the NBA right now.

As Denver climbs to No. 1 with a 9-1 record after the All-Star break, the Celtics fell two spots because of a second loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Squeezing in between them were the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are no slouch at 8-2 since the break and actually lead the Nuggets in the Western Conference standings.

Crashing their way into the top five like the Kool Aid Man are the Phoenix Suns, the week's biggest climbers after jumping 10 spots on the heels of Devin Booker's return and Kevin Durant's brilliance. On the other side, two teams who met in the first round of last year's playoffs -- the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat -- both suffered precipitous falls. The Bucks dropped out of the top 10 after a loss to the LeBron James-less Lakers, while the Heat slipped eight spots after losing to the -- ahem, ahem -- Washington Wizards.

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league's biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.

Speaking of the Wizards, we have to say it because we're not sure how long it will be until we can say it again: The Wizards and Pistons each won two games this week. Welcome to Silly Season.

With that, 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
10 Suns
8 Bucks
1 Nuggets The Nuggets appeared to be unstoppable, but then they were stopped by the Suns at home in overtime. The confidence returned quickly, however, as they beat the Celtics in a tremendous potential NBA Finals preview behind Nikola Jokic's 32-12-11 stat line and essentially flawless clutch play. Despite the hiccup early in the week, Denver continues to assert itself as the postseason nears. 1 57-25
2 Thunder OKC shook off last week's loss to the Spurs to rattle off three straight wins, making it four of their last five. Who would have thought they'd be perched atop the Western Conference looking down at the Denver Nuggets at this point in the season? What a story. 3 57-25
3 Celtics The Celtics reached 50 wins this week, but all anyone will talk about is their inability to perform down the stretch in their latest loss to the Nuggets. Jayson Tatum's subpar clutch stats were all over social media afterward, then all he did was put up 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to beat Kevin Durant and the Suns on the road the very next game. For the season, the Boston is first in offensive efficiency and second in defense. Insanity. 2 64-18
4 Clippers The defense still has issues, but the Clippers got back on the winning track this week before a "load management" loss to the Bucks on Sunday without Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. The offense kicked back into gear this week, averaging nearly 125 points per 100 possessions with their stars in the lineup. After being relatively flawless for most of the season, Leonard is shooting 27% from 3-point range in his last 10 games. Just something to keep an eye on. 3 51-31
5 Suns The Suns got back on track this week, stopping the Nuggets' steamroller in overtime in Denver before beating the Raptors and Cavs. Their only loss came in a hard-fought battle with the Celtics. Much to Suns fans' delight, Devin Booker returned for the win in Cleveland, putting up 27 points on 22 shots in 38 minutes -- just like riding a bike ... or one of his vintage cars. 10 49-33
6 Cavaliers It was a busy run of five games in seven nights for the shorthanded Cavs, who beat the Celtics and Wolves (yay!), but also lost to the Hawks and Nets (boo). They finished things up with a home loss to Phoenix on Monday as they continue to play the waiting game while Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley get healthy. Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen combined to average over 42 points for the week. -- 48-34
7 Timberwolves Anthony Edwards went insane in the fourth quarter of the team's first game since Karl-Anthony Towns' knee injury, scoring 11 straight points and performing one of the greatest feats of athleticism you'll ever see on a game-saving block against the Pacers. Things got rough after that, however, as Edwards went just 17 for 50 from the field and 2 for 16 from 3-point range in losses to the Cavs and Lakers. He's going to have a lot on his shoulders offensively until Towns gets back. 3 56-26
8 Pelicans You can only play who's on the schedule, and the Pelicans showed no mercy against three hobbled opponents this week to bring their overall win streak to four games. On a team with Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum, it was Trey Murphy III who led the team in scoring this week with 24 points per game, making 53% of his more than 11 3-point attempts per game. 1 49-33
9 Kings Barely hanging on to beat the Spurs without Victor Wembanyama wasn't a great look in their own building, and then the Kings managed just 104 points in a loss to Houston on Sunday, but a road win over the Lakers was convincing. Malik Monk is making a bid to turn Sacramento into a Big Three next to Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox, averaging 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the week. 7 46-36
10 Lakers The week belonged to two Lakers -- neither of which is named LeBron James. First D'Angelo Russell went off for 44 points against the Bucks, including the game-winner, with LeBron on the sidelines. James returned on Sunday, scoring 29 points (whatevs), but Anthony Davis became the first player in NBA history to record at least 25 points, 25 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game. The Lakers continue to play well, but moving up in the West is a tall task. -- 47-35
11 Bucks A borderline inexcusable loss to the Lakers without LeBron James solicited the ire of Doc Rivers, who addressed the team's shoddy pick-and-roll defense. They cleaned things up to collect a road win over the skeleton Clippers (no Kawhi Leonard or Paul George) on Sunday, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard combining for 69 points, 21 assists and 14 rebounds. Milwaukee is now 10-9 under Rivers. 8 49-33
12 Pacers The Pacers got some of their mojo back this week, picking up solid wins over the Mavs and Magic while only losing to the Wolves because of one of the most ridiculously athletic plays in NBA history by Anthony Edwards. Tyrese Haliburton is still struggling mightily from 3-point range, but he was a combined plus-32 in the three games this week. 6 47-35
13 Mavericks It's hard for Mavs fans to be upset at Luka Doncic's streak of six straight 30-point triple-doubles coming to an end, because it happened in a 35-point win against Chicago. He also finished with 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, so not much to sulk about. The Mavs shook off a loss to the Pacers by rattling off three straight wins to finish the week, but still find themselves in Play-In position. 4 50-32
14 Knicks Jalen Brunson used a colorful word that rhymes with "smogschmidt" to describe how he played in the Knicks' loss to the 76ers on Sunday in which they scored just 73(!) points. The word applies to the entire offense, which scored just over 101 points per 100 possessions in a 1-2 week, but Knicks optimists will point to the fact that they only allowed a sterling 99.6 to their opponents. More reason for excitement -- OG Anunoby is reportedly set to rejoin the lineup soon. 3 50-32
15 Magic After beating up on the Hornets and Wizards, the Magic offense went arid, scoring just 74 points in a loss to the Knicks and 97 in a loss to Indiana -- which is like scoring 60 against a competent NBA defense. Franz Wagner averaged just 16 points for the week, while shooting 15% from 3-point range. That helps explain the drought. 3 47-35
16 Heat You can excuse road losses to the Mavs and Thunder, but pretty sure "Heat Culture" does not tolerate a home loss to the 2023-24 Washington Wizards. Miami has averaged just 110 points per 100 possessions during their three-game losing streak. 8 46-36
17 Warriors After throttling Milwaukee, the Warriors suffered consecutive rough losses to the Bulls and Spurs (without Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell), also losing Steph Curry to an ankle injury along the way. They bounced back to take down those pesky Spurs with Wembanyama back on Monday, but Golden State missed an opportunity to gain some ground in the standings and remain in 10th ... for now. 4 46-36
18 76ers The Sixers lost three straight games to start the week -- and their lone win may have actually been uglier than all of them. Philly managed just 79 points on Sunday, but the Knicks were somehow even worse, putting up 73 points in the lowest-scoring NBA game since 2016. No surprise that the 76ers struggled to generate offense without Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, scoring fewer than 105 points per 100 possessions for the week. The good news is, Maxey is set to be back in the lineup this week. 4 47-35
19 Hawks Were all three teams the Hawks beat this week injury-riddled? Certainly. Do the Hawks care? Absolutely not. They're predictably having trouble generating offense without Trae Young, but -- also predictably -- the defense has gotten much better. Unfortunately, they're going to have to go the rest of the season without key wing Saddiq Bey, who suffered a torn ACL. 3 36-46
20 Rockets A three-win week for the Rockets was soured by a scary injury to Alperen Sengun, who had to be wheeled off the court in Sunday's victory in Sacramento. The 6-foot-11 center from Turkey has been the focal point of Houston's offense all season, as they've scored 114 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and just 106 without him. It sounds like he avoided major injury, but will still miss significant time. -- 41-41
21 Bulls The Bulls ran their winning streak to three games with victories over the Jazz and Warriors to start the week, but then lost to the Clippers and Mavericks -- the latter by 35 points in a game that wasn't competitive for very long. DeMar DeRozan had a massive, go-ahead, and-one jump shot with 25 seconds left to beat Golden State, as he continues to be one of the league's best clutch performers. 2 39-43
22 Nets The Bizarro Nets beat the 76ers and Cavs this week, but also lost to the Pistons and Hornets -- a real head-scratcher. Cam Thomas, who thinks he should get more consideration for Most Improved Player, averaged 30 points in the two games he played against Charlotte and Cleveland. 1 32-50
23 Jazz No Lauri Markkanen generally spells trouble for the Jazz, and that was the case again with two losses this week. Thrust into regular minutes, rookie Brice Sensabaugh averaged 15.5 points and seven rebounds on 63% shooting for the week, but Utah allowed and unfathomable 135 points per 100 possessions in the two games. -- 31-51
24 Grizzlies The Grizzlies took down a 76ers squad nearly as beset by injuries as they've been, then lost to the Hawks and Thunder. Jaren Jackson Jr. actually played in all three games (*confused dog GIF*), averaging 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. 3 27-55
25 Wizards You know how great shooters just need to see one go in to immediately turn a slump around? Well, the Wizards snapped their 16-game losing streak by beating the Hornets, and now they're simply never going to lose again. OK probably not, but they beat the Heat in Miami on Sunday, marking one of the most improbable victories for any team this season. Wizard hats off to Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Poole and Co. 5 15-67
26 Spurs Who guessed that the Spurs' only win this week would come without Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell ... on the road ... against one of the hottest teams in the league? Maybe Pop? Nah, not even him. The Dom Barlow Show was in full effect, as the youngster had 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists off the bench in the win over Golden State, while Keldon Johnson, Malaki Branham and Jeremy Sochan all scored 20 points or more. 1 22-60
27 Pistons A two-win week for the Pistons, who are riding high after taking down the Nets and Hornets. Cade Cunningham has been playing like the No. 1 overall pick he was, averaging 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the week on 39% 3-point shooting. 1 14-68
28 Trail Blazers The Blazers only won one game this week (in overtime against Toronto), but we all got front-row seats to the Dalano Banton Experience. The unique 6-foot-8 guard averaged 19 points, six rebounds and five assists on 46% 3-point shooting in four games this week, including a career-high 30 points in a loss to Houston. It may be irrelevant in terms of the standings, but it's times like this when players make an impression on a front office. 2 21-61
29 Hornets Charlotte lost to the Wizards and Pistons in the same week -- but at least they beat the Nets! It sounds strange, but maybe they're missing Tre Mann? Rookie Brandon Miller averaged 20 points and six rebounds in the four games, but the team mustered just 103 points per 100 possessions. Not gonna get it done. -- 21-61
30 Raptors Toronto flirted with a major upset on Monday, but failed to close things out against the Nuggets as they lost their fourth straight. It sounds like Jakob Poeltl may not return this season, leaving plenty of minutes for newly-extended Kelly Olynyk, who averaged 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the week on 41% 3-point shooting. 6 25-57