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NBA Power Rankings: A new team sits at No. 1

Chinmay Vaidya updates his 2022 NBA power rankings.

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on February 26, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

We’ve officially entered the last leg of the 2021-22 NBA regular season, which means playoff positioning is going to start becoming a huge topic of conversation. And with that in mind, there’s a new No. 1 in the latest power rankings.

The Miami Heat have patiently stayed the course, overcoming injuries and absences along the way, to finally take the top spot in the rankings. Miami is leading the East at the moment and now has its roster intact. The Heat are 20-7 at home, which is not good news for the rest of the conference if the team does land the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Miami has won three straight and eight of its last 10.

The Golden State Warriors stay in the second spot and have overtaken the Phoenix Suns slightly due to Chris Paul’s absence. It’s unlikely Golden State catches Phoenix in the standings but the Warriors will feel they’re the better team if Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are healthy.

The Philadelphia 76ers finally got James Harden on the court and if the first two games are an indication of what’s to come, the rest of the league should be worried. Harden has looked like his MVP self, while somehow elevating Joel Embiid’s level of play. The 76ers will need some supporting players to find their form ahead of the playoffs, but this team is looking extremely dangerous.

Here’s a look at the updated power rankings as the final stretch of the season begins.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 19

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