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NBA Power Rankings: Cavaliers rise, Lakers fall as top of rankings stays largely unchanged

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

Utah Jazz v Cleveland Cavaliers
Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers smiles before the game against the Utah Jazz on December 5, 2021 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns split their two meetings last week, maintaining their positions as the top two teams in the league power rankings. The Brooklyn Nets are the top team from the East in the latest rankings, but there are two Central division squads making some noise heading towards the end of the 2021 calendar year.

The Chicago Bulls registered a big win over the Nets, cementing them as a contender in the conference. The Bulls might not have the most recognizable stars, but they’re a cohesive group that plays solid basketball on both ends of the floor. Speaking of cohesive groups, the Cleveland Cavaliers have to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. Despite missing Evan Mobley and Collin Sexton, the Cavs have maintained their course as a a playoff contender. Cleveland’s rise has been so crazy that there was speculation of LeBron James going back to his hometown franchise this summer.

James’ current squad takes a small tumble in the rankings. The Los Angeles Lakers would be in the playoffs as a .500 group if the postseason started today, so not all is lost. The team has four very winnable games this week against the Celtics, Grizzlies, Thunder and Magic. If Los Angeles can go 4-0 and look good doing so, there will be significantly less noise surrounding the team.

Let’s take a look at Chinmay Vaidya’s power rankings for Week 8 of the NBA season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 8

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