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NBA Power Rankings: Jazz might be for real, Heat lacking sizzle early

Chinmay Vaidya updates his NBA power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

Utah Jazz v Washington Wizards
Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on November 12, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The biggest surprise of the 2022-23 season has been the Utah Jazz sitting at the top of the Western conference, something nobody could have predicted when the team dealt Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason. The players who came back in those deals have taken it upon themselves to prove the naysayers wrong, while veteran holdovers Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson provide some important guidance and consistency.

The Jazz could still be sellers at the trade deadline but players like Collin Sexton, Malik Beasley and Lauri Markkanen appear to be safe from trade talks. If Utah is winning with this group, the draft pick doesn’t really matter because the rebuilding timeline has been accelerated significantly.

On the flip side, the Miami Heat have not been able to replicate last year’s effort which helped them grab the No. 1 seed in the East. Miami is 6-7 because of two wins over the Hornets recently but that is hardly a measuring stick for Jimmy Butler and company. The Heat will get their first real test Monday against the Suns.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to flail and now have to deal with a LeBron James injury. The Brooklyn Nets have played well, especially defensively, while Kyrie Irving remains suspended. And nobody has been able to figure out the Milwaukee Bucks at full strength quite yet.

Here’s a look at the updated power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

NBA Power Rankings 2022-23: Week 5

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