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NBA Power Rankings: Warriors remain No. 1 with anticipation building for Klay Thompson’s return

Chinmay Vaidya updates his NBA power rankings after the 11th week of the 2021-22 regular season.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors looks on prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 25, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

As the 2021-22 NBA season enters the new year, now is a good time to take a look at some potential impact additions for the teams at the top of the league’s power rankings, starting with the Golden State Warriors.

There’s been hype surrounding Klay Thompson’s return for a while now. Many felt the All-Star guard would return Christmas Day, but Thompson reportedly wants to make his season debut in front of the home crowd. That leaves a variety of dates in January where he’s likely to come back. Thompson is going to be on a minutes limit during his return, but he’ll slowly ramp things up as the postseason nears. What does Golden State’s rotation and ceiling look like with Thompson back?

The Warriors aren’t the only contending team getting a significant player back. The Brooklyn Nets welcomed Kyrie Irving back as a part-time player, while the Miami Heat should be bringing Bam Adebayo back into the rotation soon. Both players will have an impact, although Adebayo will be the more consistent presence. The Los Angeles Lakers will be re-evaluating star big man Anthony Davis as well, so that’s yet another player who could change the outcome of the season if he comes back at 100 percent.

Let’s take a look at Chinmay Vaidya’s power rankings for Week 12 of the NBA season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 12

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