NBA Power Rankings: Trade deadline shakes things up for Heat, Clippers, Rockets; Raptors, Celtics keep rolling
A few contenders made big moves at the deadline, and now they're tasked with fitting in their new pieces
The 2020 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and this week we got to see some familiar faces in new places. It was a bit odd watching Andre Iguodala play in a Miami Heat jersey after so many high-profile years with the Warriors, and Marcus Morris and Robert Covington both made their debuts for the Clippers and Rockets, respectively.
While the deadline moves could change the landscape of the league, two teams who stayed silent -- the Raptors and Celtics -- continued their impressive winning streaks. Toronto is now up to a franchise-record 14 in a row, while Boston is halfway there at seven straight. The Bucks remain No. 1 after another undefeated week, but the Lakers dropped a spot (which the Raptors were happy to fill) after losing to the new-look Rockets and struggling to put away a depleted Warriors squad.
Here are the first post-trade deadline NBA Power Rankings, with the All-Star break right around the corner.
|1||Bucks||Milwaukee just keeps on rolling with victories over the Pelicans, 76ers and Magic this week, and it has a chance to go into the All-Star break with 47 wins. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on quite a tear -- even for him -- posting unreal averages of 29.3 points, 18.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the week. The Bucks will also add Marvin Williams, a low-maintenance stretch-four who seems to fit in perfectly with Mike Budenholzer's system, and they'll try to incorporate him as they prepare for the playoffs.||--||50-8|
|2||Raptors||What else can you say about these Raptors? They've won 14 straight games and are now just two games back of the Lakers in the loss column for the second-best record in the NBA. Two of this week's wins were particularly exciting, as they pulled out one-point victories over the Pacers and Nets. If you're not watching the Raptors right now, you're making a big mistake.||1||42-16|
|3||Lakers||The Lakers haven't looked great recently, with coach Frank Vogel saying they're nowhere close to where they need to be. They beat the Spurs this week before losing to the small-ball Rockets and turned in an uninspiring effort in a win over a Warriors team comprised mostly of G Leaguers and players on 10-day contracts. The Lakers made no additions at the trade deadline, and now it looks like they won't be getting Darren Collison, who reportedly plans to stay retired. The All-Star break could be a good time for the team to regroup and for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to get some much-needed rest.||1||44-12|
|4||Celtics||They're being slightly overshadowed by the Raptors' impressive streak, but the Celtics have won seven games in a row, and have done it with different players in and out of the lineup. They finally had a full roster on Sunday, and they needed every one of them for a one-point win in Oklahoma City. Jayson Tatum averaged nearly 30 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on a blistering 21-for-39 3-point shooting in four games this week.||1||41-17|
|5||Nuggets||Winners of three straight and seven of their last 10, the Nuggets are finally starting to get healthy, with Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap making their return to the court this week. Murray wasted no time finding his groove, averaging 29 points per game this week on 61 percent shooting and 57 percent 3-pointers. He scored 36 points on 14-of-17 shooting against the Suns with an effective field goal percentage of 100. Nikola Jokic continued his MVP-level play, averaging 27.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists for the week.||1||40-18|
|6||Clippers||The Clippers were having a great week, beating the Heat on Wednesday before acquiring Marcus Morris before the trade deadline. Then they turned around and suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season, a 27-point drubbing at the hands of a depleted Minnesota team that hadn't won a game in a nearly a month. Luckily for the Clippers, they played Cleveland on Sunday and won by 1,000 points, even without Kawhi Leonard. Morris had 10 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes in his Clipper debut.||2||39-19|
|7||Rockets||Houston went all-in on small-ball by trading away Clint Capela and picking up Robert Covington, and it picked up a huge road win against the Lakers -- a team with the size to exploit those small lineups. The Rockets followed that up, however, with a stinker against the Suns, one of the worst losses in franchise history, and then had their hearts broken on one of the most difficult game-winners you'll ever see from Bojan Bogdanovic. Time will tell whether they can get away with playing PJ Tucker at center for the rest of the season and beyond, but it will be fascinating to watch.||1||38-20|
|8||Jazz||The Jazz bounced back from a five-game losing streak to beat the Blazers and Rockets to close out the week, both in close games. Mike Conley looked more like his old self this week, averaging 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and five assists while shooting 45 percent from deep, and he was a plus-2.3 in three games. Bojan Bogdanovic played hero on Sunday night, making a miraculous buzzer-beater to snatch the game from the Rockets.||2||36-22|
|9||Heat||In the short-term, this was a rough week for the Heat, who went 1-3. In the long-term, however, the week was a huge positive. They picked up Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, who immediately showed how impactful they can be in Sunday's loss to Portland (Crowder was a plus-nine and Iguodala was a plus-10). Jimmy Butler left the Clippers loss early with a shoulder injury and missed the next two games. Once he gets back, we'll get to see how this new-look Miami team fits together.||2||36-22|
|10||76ers||Philly saw its losing streak extend to four games with losses to the Heat and Bucks to start the week, but it rebounded to beat the Grizzlies and Bulls at home. The 76ers have the best home record in the league at 24-2, but are just 9-19 on the road. That's something they'll have to fix since, as of now, they won't have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Furkan Korkmaz was the unlikely hero of both of the team's wins this week, averaging 32.5 points on 13-of-20 3-point shooting against Memphis and Chicago.||1||36-23|
|11||Thunder||The Thunder took care of business against the Cavs and Pistons to start the week, then lost a close game to the Celtics on Sunday. OKC was reportedly close to a deal that would have sent Danilo Gallinari to the Heat before the deadline, but it ultimately held onto the sharpshooter. That's good news for Thunder fans, as OKC looks to be a tough out for whichever team draws them in the playoffs.||2||36-22|
|12||Mavericks||The Mavs continue to stay afloat while Luka Doncic rehabs his ankle, going 2-2 this week, including an impressive win over the Hornets without Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Seth Curry put on a show in the win, scoring 26 points off the bench on 6-of-8 3-pointers. Porzingis has been excellent with Doncic sidelined, averaging 29 points and 11.3 rebounds on 41 percent 3-point shooting over his last four games.||--||36-23|
|13||Pacers||It was a rough week for the Pacers, who lost all four games this week and have dropped seven of their last 10. Victor Oladipo has struggled since returning from a year-long absence, shooting just 28 percent from the field and 21 percent from 3-point range in five games. All-Star Domantas Sabonis has been excellent lately, averaging 19 points, 11.8 rebounds and seven assists for the week.||4||34-24|
|14||Grizzlies||It's official. The Grizzlies, at the beginning of their rebuild from Grit N' Grind, are above .500. They went 3-1 this week with wins over the Pistons, Mavericks and Wizards while losing at Philadelphia. They also picked up Justise Winslow, who could be a nice piece for this young team, before the trade deadline. The Grizz are planted firmly in the eighth and final playoff spot out West.||1||28-30|
|15||Trail Blazers||Damian Lillard has averaged over 30 points and 8.3 assists on 41 percent 3-point shooting over his last four games, and it seems like he had a bad week. Opponents consistently threw double-teams at Lillard just beyond half court, and the Blazers went 2-2 against the Nuggets, Spurs, Jazz and Heat. Gary Trent Jr. is starting to come into his own on a team in desperate need of wings, averaging 16.8 points on 15-for-27 3-point shooting over the past week.||1||26-33|
|16||Pelicans||The Pelicans lost to the Bucks, as most teams do, to start the week, then beat the Bulls and Pacers on the road. Zion Williamson has not disappointed in his first handful of NBA games. He averaged 20.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games this week, as six players averaged double figures for New Orleans this week. They find themselves five games out of the No. 8 seed with two games to play before the All-Star break.||1||25-33|
|17||Nets||The Nets continue to play well without Kyrie Irving, beating up on the Suns and Warriors before dropping a one-point game to the piping-hot Raptors. We're used to Spencer Dinwiddie picking up the slack with Irving out, but this week it was Caris LeVert, who averaged 29.7 points and 6.3 assists on 11-of-16 3-point shooting this week. That's a great sign for the Nets, who are hoping that LeVert can once again become a reliable offensive option.||1||26-31|
|18||Kings||The Kings put together some much-needed positive momentum by going 3-0 this week with wins over the Timberwolves, Heat and Spurs. Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, making 16-of-28 3-pointers in the three games this week, averaging 22.7 points in the process. The Kings jettisoned a disgruntld Dewayne Dedmon and put to bed any rumors of a Bogdan Bogdanovic trade, which could help with chemistry moving forward. They also acquired Jabari Parker, who they think can be a helpful rotation player.||3||24-33|
|19||Spurs||The Spurs lost all four games this week as their Rodeo road trip got off to an awful start. They don't play another home game until Feb. 26, and they're already sitting 4.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final Western Conference playoff spot. It's definitely danger time for San Antonio.||3||24-33|
|20||Suns||The Suns went 1-3 this week, with bad losses to the Nets and Pistons, but they did hand the Rockets one of their worst losses in franchise history. After going 3-7 over their last 10 games, the playoffs are looking less and less realistic for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton has been putting up massive numbers of late, averaging 22.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this week, with Kelly Oubre leading the team with 27.5 points per game over their last four.||1||24-35|
|21||Magic||The Magic didn't trade Aaron Gordon or Evan Fournier before the deadline, instead remaining relatively quiet. They went 1-3 this week, including a loss to the lowly Knicks at MSG. Orlando has the second-worst offense in the NBA, and it doesn't appear that it will get better any time soon. The Magic's defense is good enough to win them games, but it's going to be a struggle unless they figure out a way to put the ball in the basket more consistently.||1||26-32|
|22||Wizards||Washington lost at home to the Warriors this week -- not great -- then beat the Mavericks becore losing to the Grizzlies on Sunday. Bradley Beal averaged 32.7 points for the week, while Davis Bertans, who the Wizards decided not to trade despite plenty of suitors, averaged 18 points on 13-of-24 3-point shooting. Thomas Bryant had a setback with his foot and might miss extended time, but Washington did welcome back Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner this week.||--||21-36|
|23||Bulls||The Bulls lost both games this week, to the Pelicans and 76ers, and surprisingly remained silent at the trade deadline. They have some pieces that other teams were reportedly interested in, namely Thaddeus Young, but it seems they didn't find a deal to their liking. As bleak as things are for the Bulls, they're still only 3.5 games out of the playoffs in the East. Maybe the All-Star festivities in Chicago will help spark some energy for the stretch run.||--||20-39|
|24||Hawks||The Hawks picked up wins over the Timberwolves and Knicks (a double-overtime thriller) this week, while losing twice to the Celtics, once without Trae Young. They also added Clint Capela before the deadline, a 25-year-old rim protector and lob threat to help shore up the middle for a soft Atlanta defense. They also brought back Dewayne Dedmon, who must be happy to be out of Sacramento -- he put up 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in 32 minutes against the Knicks.||1||17-43|
|25||Knicks||Break up the Knicks! They built their win streak to four games by starting the week with victories over the Cavs, Magic and Pistons, and their loss to the Hawks went to double-overtime. Sure the schedule has been soft, but even beating bad teams is a major accomplishment for the Knicks this season.||2||17-41|
|26||Pistons||Not a great week for the Pistons, who went 1-3 and traded Andre Drummond to the Cavs for a bag of potato chips. It was a bit surprising that they held onto Derrick Rose, considering that they likely won't be anywhere near contention this season or next. On the positive side, Reggie Jackson is back in the lineup and they're going to get a really good look at Christian Wood with Drummond out of town.||2||19-41|
|27||Timberwolves||The Wolves snapped their 13-game losing streak in style by hitting a franchise-record 26 3-pointers in a 27-point win over the Clippers. Seven of them came from new addition Malik Beasley, who the Wolves picked up from Denver before the deadline. With D'Angelo Russell now on the team to help make Karl-Anthony Towns happy, perhaps the Wolves can start a more positive new chapter.||3||17-40|
|28||Hornets||Charlotte has lost five in a row and 13 of its last 14, and it has begun the process of buying out the veteran players who it didn't move at the deadline. All of this week's three losses were by 12 points or more, including a rough one at home to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. If you're looking for a silver lining, Devonte' Graham seems to have broken out of his slump, hitting 38 percent of his 3-pointers this week en route to 19 points and 8.3 assists per game.||2||20-38|
|29||Warriors||The Warriors picked up their fifth road win of the season against the Wizards, then were blown out by the Nets and played the Lakers closer than expected in Andrew Wiggins' Golden State debut. Wiggins put up 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and had five steals in his first game, about as good of a performance as you could expect given the whirlwind couple of days he experienced. He'll bear the brunt of the scoring responsibility with D'Angelo Russell in Minnesota and Stephen Curry not expected back until March.||1||12-46|
|30||Cavaliers||Cleveland lost all three games this week, including a home overtime game against the Knicks, and came out of nowhere to pick up Andre Drummond for salary filler and a second-round pick. The big man put up 19 points and 14 rebounds in his Cleveland debut, a game it lost by 41 points to the Clippers -- the worst home loss in franchise history. Yeah, there's a long road ahead.||1||17-41|
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