No one is playing basketball quite like the Boston Celtics. A team that looked completely dead after 50 games is now leading the Eastern conference with seven games left in the season. The Celtics are 22-3 since they were 25-25, led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. That duo was in trade rumors at one point, which seems like a decade ago. Boston is looking like a dangerous outfit in the playoffs, especially if it lands the top seed.
On the flip side of the country, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to crater. LeBron James is scoring at will but it’s not helping his team. The Lakers coughed up a massive lead to the Pelicans Sunday and now sit at 10th in the West, one game ahead of the Spurs. San Antonio has been playing with young guys all season, but that roster has managed to get into play-in contention. The Lakers seem like they no longer care about this year, and Anthony Davis isn’t walking through the door to be a savior. This is a disaster season in LA.
The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat remain at the top of the rankings, despite the Heat losing out on the top seed in the East for now. Phoenix got Chris Paul back early and has looked like the best team in the league, while Miami continues to deal with nagging injuries. We’ll see if the Heat can ultimately get back to the No. 1 seed in the East. The 76ers, Bucks, Grizzlies and Warriors remain threats in the playoffs, although only the two in the East can realistically elevate their seeding this late in the season.
Here’s a look at the full power rankings.
NBA Power Rankings: Week 23
|6||Golden State Warriors||6|
|18||Los Angeles Clippers||18|
|19||New Orleans Pelicans||19|
|20||New York Knicks||22|
|22||San Antonio Spurs||23|
|23||Los Angeles Lakers||20|
|26||Portland Trail Blazers||26|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder||27|