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NBA Power Rankings: Celtics, Trail Blazers Rise Heading Into All-Star Break

Stan Son updates his 2021-22 NBA power rankings.

The Boston Celtics are the little green engine that could, as they keep chugging up the track. They went 4-1 last week on the heels of their 98.6 defensive rating, tops in the league. On the season, Boston boasts the second-best defensive efficiency rating and just acquired Derrick White, who should make that defense even stronger. Over the last 10 games, the Celtics are 9-1. Sure, there were some cupcakes but they beat the 76ers by 48 points and took care of the Nuggets and Heat. Choo choo.

There wasn’t much change at the tail end of the rankings as the good teams are who we thought they were while the bad teams just plain stink. The Suns, Warriors and Grizzlies are the class of the league right now. The Suns are 9-1 over their last 10 and have won seven straight. The Grizzlies are 8-2 over their last 10. All three teams are top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

The West may be the best but the East may have more depth. Dr. Dre needs to sign me right now! The Bucks, Heat, Bulls, Celtics, Cavaliers and 76ers fill the next six spots.

The biggest mover over the last week was the Portland Trail Blazers, moving up six spots. After losing six in a row, they’ve run off four straight with impressive wins over the Bucks and Grizzlies on the road. The winning streak happened right after CJ McCollum was traded. Things that make you go hmmm. The infusion of (Josh) Hart with Justise (Winslow) being served has been a short-term boom. Let’s see if it has staying power.

Let’s take a look at Stan Son’s power rankings for Week 18 of the NBA season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 24

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


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