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NBA Power Rankings: Anthony Davis’ injury changes Western conference outlook

Chinmay Vaidya updates his NBA power rankings after the ninth week of the 2021-22 regular season.

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies
Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on December 09, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee. 
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The top three teams in the NBA power rankings as the 2021-22 season heads into Christmas week reside in the Western conference. The Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz all look like title contenders, but Utah’s consistency has gone unnoticed amid Golden State’s spectacular rise and Phoenix staying relevant. The Jazz have once again started the season strong but are looking up at two teams and due to that discrepancy, they’ve been somewhat overlooked. Not that Utah will complain about going under the radar. The Jazz have struggled in the postseason after strong regular season campaigns, so they know the job is nowhere close to being done.

The biggest developments over the last week has been Anthony Davis’ injury and the widespread impact of the league’s COVID protocols. Davis is expected to be re-evaluated in four weeks with a MCL sprain, so he could miss even more time. The Lakers have been underwhelming so far this season, and will likely shake out at around the same level of play as Davis recovers. The league’s protocols have claimed many stars, with Nets trio Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving going in this week. Hawks point guard Trae Young and Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley are also in the protocols, showing how things can change at a moment’s notice in the association.

Let’s take a look at Chinmay Vaidya’s power rankings for Week 10 of the NBA season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 10

Rank Team Previous Rank
Rank Team Previous Rank
1 Golden State Warriors 1
2 Phoenix Suns 2
3 Utah Jazz 4
4 Brooklyn Nets 3
5 Milwaukee Bucks 5
6 Miami Heat 6
7 Cleveland Cavaliers 7
8 Chicago Bulls 10
9 Memphis Grizzlies 12
10 Philadelphia 76ers 9
11 Los Angeles Clippers 8
12 Charlotte Hornets 14
13 Washington Wizards 11
14 Denver Nuggets 13
15 Los Angeles Lakers 16
16 Boston Celtics 18
17 Dallas Mavericks 15
18 Atlanta Hawks 17
19 Minnesota Timberwolves 22
20 Toronto Raptors 21
21 New York Knicks 19
22 Indiana Pacers 23
23 Portland Trail Blazers 20
24 Sacramento Kings 24
25 San Antonio Spurs 25
26 Oklahoma City Thunder 26
27 Orlando Magic 27
28 New Orleans Pelicans 30
29 Detroit Pistons 29
30 Houston Rockets 28