The only certainty in the NBA is uncertainty. You can quote me on that, unless someone else has already said it -- which they probably have. Illnesses and injuries have led to some wild results over the past week, including the Memphis Grizzlies beating the Oklahoma City Thunder by an NBA-record 73 points, the Houston Rockets extending their improbable winning streak to seven games after starting the season 1-16 and the New York Knicks dropping out of play-in position.
More predictable, however, are the teams at the top of the Power Rankings, who flip-flopped this week after the Golden State Warriors exacted revenge on the Phoenix Suns in their second of three matchups over the span of three weeks. Right behind them are the Utah Jazz, who rode their high-powered offense to an undefeated week and are the closest challenger to the Warriors and Suns for Power Rankings supremacy.
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The Grizzlies, L.A. Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers all made big jumps this week thanks to a series of wins, with Memphis and Philadelphia cracking the top 10. In contrast, the Minnesota Timberwolves were the biggest fallers of the week, dropping 11 spots amid a four-game losing streak, while the Portland Trail Blazers are in free fall after a rash of on- and off-court issues.
Here are this week's NBA Power Rankings.
*Please keep in mind that our Power Rankings are based on the team's performance the previous week, not the entire season.
|The Warriors followed up an electric revenge win over the Suns with a predictable let-down loss to the Spurs that even Golden State saw coming. They bounced back for wins over the struggling Magic and Blazers to cap off a 3-1 week, behind 25.8 points and five assists per game from Stephen Curry, who knocked down 41 percent of his absurd 14.5 3-point attempts per game. Andrew Wiggins has also caught fire from deep, averaging 18 points per game this week on 15-for-25 3-point shooting, including a career-high eight treys in their win over Orlando.||1||41-37|
|The Suns finally lost a game this week in a rematch against the Warriors, but picked up two more wins facing the Pistons and Spurs. The loss (without Devin Booker) doesn't do much to dispel the notion that the Suns are one of the best teams in the NBA, and they got right back to their winning ways against a hot San Antonio team. Eight players averaged double figures for Phoenix this week, a testament to their well-rounded offensive approach.||1||42-35|
|With wins over the Celtics, Cavs and Wolves this week, the Jazz extended their winning streak to five games. The offense was absolutely humming, putting up 128.6 points per 100 possessions. That assault was led by Donovan Mitchell, who averaged 35 points and 4.7 assists for the week on 44 percent 3-point shooting. Five other Utah players averaged double figures, including Mike Conley, who went a ridiculous 12 for 16 from 3-point range this week.||2||36-41|
|The Bulls went 3-1 this week, with their only loss coming to the Cavs on Wednesday with DeMar DeRozan out of the lineup due to health and safety protocols. Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball expectedly stepped up in terms of both scoring and playmaking with DeRozan out, combining to average 66 points and 15 assists over the last two games.||3||37-40|
|The Nets beat the Wolves and Mavs this week, with losses to the Bulls and Rockets (the latter without Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge). Durant averaged 27.3 points, nine rebounds and 4.3 assists in the three games he did play, while James Harden struggled from the field this week, shooting 33 percent, including 25 percent from 3-point range. The Nets have struggled to find consistent scoring outside of Durant, Harden, Aldridge and Patty Mills since Joe Harris has been out of the lineup.||2||42-35|
|The Bucks lost to the Raptors without Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a calf issue to start the week, and also split with the Heat while beating the Cavs. Giannis struggled mightily in the loss to the Heat, going just 4 for 13 from the field, which is almost unheard of for him. Jrue Holiday had an excellent week, averaging 22.3 points, 6.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds on 52 percent 3-point shooting.||2||55-22|
|The Heat went 2-2 this week, splitting with the Bucks while beating the Pacers and losing to the Grizzlies. Miami continues to cope with Bam Adebayo's absence, and this week it was without Jimmy Butler for all but 25 minutes due to a tailbone issue. Kyle Lowry led the team with 18.3 points and 9.3assists per game, while Tyler Herro added 16.5 points per game on 39 percent 3-point shooting.||3||41-37|
|The Cavs picked up impressive wins over the Wizards and Bulls this week, while losing close games to the Jazz and Bucks. Darius Garland has been phenomenal of late, averaging 24.3 points and 7.5 assists this week on 14-for-24 3-point shooting. Jarrett Allen continues to dominate the paint, putting up 20.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this week. Cleveland's defense has remained stout all season, so it's hard to beat them when the offense is clicking as well.||1||48-30|
|Setting an NBA record with a 73-point win is always a good way to start the week, and the Grizzlies saw their winning streak reach five games before Wednesday's loss to the Mavericks. Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks have stepped up offensively with Ja Morant out of the lineup, but the Grizzlies' improvement has been sparked on the defensive end. They allowed just 94.3 points per 100 possessions this week, after being dead last in defensive efficiency for a large chunk of the season.||7||49-28|
|The 76ers picked up three wins this week, first beating the Hawks and then earning back-to-back victories over the depleted Hornets. Despite admitting that he's still nowhere close to 100 percent following a bout with COVID, Joel Embiid put up absurd averages of 34.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and five assists this week on 55 percent shooting. Tobias Harris only played in two of the games, but averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds on 4-for-10 3-point shooting.||9||51-26|
|The Clippers shook off a three-game losing streak to win three out of four games this week, taking down the Lakers, Blazers and Celtics. For some reason they can't seem to figure out the Kings, who beat them twice in a span of three days. Marcus Morris has looked great after an injury-plagued start to the season, leading the team with nearly 20 points per game this week on 15-for-29 3-point shooting. Second-round pick Brandon Boston Jr. has taken advantage of his increased minutes, putting up a career-high 27 points, five 3-pointers and four steals in Wednesday's win over Boston.||10||41-38|
|The Hornets picked up a gritty win over the Hawks despite being without LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and others, but the lack of depth caught up to them in consecutive losses to the 76ers. Kelly Oubre Jr. seized the opportunity with Ball, Rozier, Ish Smith, Jalen McDaniels and Mason Plumlee all missing games, averaging 28.3 points and six rebounds while making five 3-pointers per game. Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward and Cody Martin stepped up with strong weeks as well.||1||26-52|
|The Hawks lost a late lead in a loss to the 76ers and then fell to the depleted Hornets to start the week, finishing things off with a win over the Timberwolves on Monday. Overall, the offense looked good, particularly in the last two games, with Danilo Gallinari coming alive to the tune of 18.3 points per game on 47 percent 3-point shooting this week. Trae Young continued his strong play with 26.3 points and 12 assists per game.||7||38-39|
|The Wizards salvaged what could have been a winless week with an overtime victory over the Pistons on Wednesday. Bradley Beal led the team with almost 22 points per game for the week, but made just 18 percent of his 3-pointers as his season-long struggles continue. Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were the only other Wizards to average double figures in four games this week.||6||34-43|
|The Lakers only had two games this week, losing to the Clippers before pulling out a solid victory over the Celtics on Tuesday. LeBron James returned to the lineup after an ambiguous saga with an inconclusive COVID test, averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 52 percent shooting in the two games. They only allowed 102 points to the Celtics, marking the Lakers' third strong defensive effort in the last four games -- a trend that must make Frank Vogel happy.||2||39-38|
|Denver beat the Knicks and Pelicans this week, with a loss to the Bulls. With his teammates dropping like flies, Nikola Jokic is doing everything he can to keep the Nuggets afloat, averaging 29.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists this week on 63 percent shooting. Will Barton, Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green have all taken on larger offensive roles with Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray nursing injuries.||4||51-26|
|The Celtics drop back to .500 after a 1-3 week with losses to the Jazz and both L.A. teams. Boston put up some big point totals this week, but its defense let it down by allowing at least 114 points in each game, including 137 to Utah. Jaylen Brown missed the entire week with a hamstring issue, leaving the offense to Jayson Tatum (32.8 points per game) and Dennis Schroder (21.5 points, six assists per game).||5||54-24|
|Dallas started the week with three straight losses to the Pelicans, Grizzlies and Nets before Wednesday's win in a rematch with Memphis. Luka Doncic missed one of the games, but averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and 7.7 assists in the other three. Kristaps Porzingis made his return for the final two games of the week, averaging 18 points and eight rebounds in just over 27 minutes per game. Overall the offense struggled, putting up just 101.6 points per 100 possessions.||3||37-41|
|Something is not right in New York, as the Knicks lost to the Bulls, Nuggets and Pacers this week, with their only win coming against the Spurs. The defense, which has struggled all season, allowed 121.8 points per 100 possessions this week, which usually doesn't result in many victories. Julius Randle led the team with 21.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the week.||6||45-33|
|The scorching Rockets have now won seven games in a row, becoming the first NBA team to ever do so after also having a 15-game losing streak. Christian Wood has taken off since Houston removed Daniel Theis from the rotation, averaging 18.3 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks this week on 44 percent 3-point shooting. Eric Gordon also looks rejuvenated with extra opportunity due to the absence of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., leading the team with 22.7 points this week on 53 percent 3-point shooting.||3||19-59|
|San Antonio ran its win streak to four games with a huge road victory over the Warriors, but came back down to earth with losses to the Suns and Knicks to end the week. Derrick White and Dejounte Murray led a balanced offensive attack, while the defense continued the positive trajectory it's shown the last couple weeks.||1||19-58|
|The Raptors were on their way to an undefeated week after wins over the Bucks and Wizards, but lost to the Thunder in overtime on Wednesday. Pascal Siakam has found his groove offensively, averaging 24.7 points this week on 54 percent field goal shooting. Scottie Barnes continued to fill the stat sheet, putting up 14 points, seven rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game for the week.||3||38-39|
|Reports of the Pacers front office being ready to commence a rebuild by trading away multiple players were followed by Indiana rattling off back-to-back impressive wins over the Wizards and Knicks. Caris LeVert, a central name among the trade rumors, averaged 20.3 points for the week on 50 percent shooting, while Domantas Sabonis continued his steady production with 21.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.||1||34-44|
|Look out for the Kings, who have won three straight games, including victories over the Clippers and Magic this week. Terence Davis has been a revelation recently, averaging 22 points and 4.5 rebounds this week on 8-for-16 3-point shooting. De'Aaron Fox led the team with 25 points in the two wins this week, while Tyrese Haliburton averaged 18 points, eight assists and 4.5 rebounds.||3||47-30|
|The Wolves lost to the Nets, Hawks and Jazz this week to bring their losing streak to four games. They dealt with injury issues to Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, resulting in a meager 104.6 offensive rating. The defensive side wasn't much better, as they allowed 110, 121 and 136 points in their three games this week, respectively.||11||39-39|
|Portland is officially in the danger zone after falling out of play-in position with four straight losses this week. Damian Lillard may be back soon, but CJ McCollum is out indefinitely with a collapsed lung -- definitely scary stuff. With Lillard missing all four games and McCollum missing two this week, the Blazers only mustered 96.7 points per 100 possessions, and their defense isn't good enough to get wins with that dearth of scoring. As the main focal point of the offense, Norman Powell averaged almost 20 points per game this week, but shot just 34 percent from the field.||8||32-45|
|Only the Thunder could suffer an NBA-record 73-point loss and actually move up in the Power Rankings. That's because OKC bounced back for consecutive wins over the Pistons and Raptors to close out the week. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who missed the record-setting shellacking, averaged 28 points and 11 assists in the subsequent wins, while Lu Dort put up 21.7 points for the week on 42 percent 3-point shooting.||3||38-40|
|The Pelicans went 1-2 this week, beating the Mavericks before losing to the piping-hot Rockets and then the Nuggets in overtime. Zion Williamson experienced a setback in his rehab, which has to be frustrating for New Orleans fans (and Zion fans), and Brandon Ingram has continued to carry the load offensively. Ingram averaged 26.7 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the week, while Jonas Valanciunas added 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.||2||40-38|
|Four more losses for the Pistons this week, bringing their overall skid to 10 games. They missed out on chances for wins against an OKC team coming off a 73-point loss and then in overtime against the Wizards. Jerami Grant had a strong week offensively, averaging 27.3 points and 3.7 assists on 5-for-9 3-point shooting. Cade Cunningham is starting to put things together, averaging 22.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists this week on 10-for-20 3-point shooting.||--||16-61|
|Orlando fell to the Rockets, Warriors and Kings this week despite 22.7 points and 5.3 assists per game from Cole Anthony on 39 percent 3-point shooting. Rookie Franz Wagner also shot the ball well while filling the stat sheet with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. The defense continues to be an issue, as the Magic allowed 127 points per 100 possessions in the three losses this week.||2||33-44|