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NBA Power Rankings: Milwaukee Bucks Hold On to No. 1 Spot As Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings Soar
- The Milwaukee Bucks kept hold of the top spot after beating Sacramento on Monday
- The Philadelphia 76ers nabbed the second spot after winning five consecutive games
- The Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics both dropped due to their recent struggles
It’s been a good week for the Eastern Conference, with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers claiming the top two spots.
The Sacramento Kings also excelled, soaring to the No. 6 position after reaching the 40-win mark.
With the playoffs drawing nearer, Sports Brief takes a look at this week's NBA Power Rankings.
1. Milwaukee Bucks (49-19)
The Bucks extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference standings to 2.5 games after Monday’s victory against the Sacramento Kings.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded a monster double-double in his return from injury, scoring 46 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the 133-124 win, per ESPN.
2. Philadelphia 76ers (45-22)
There is no hotter team in the NBA right now than Philadelphia. The 76ers have won their last five games to close the gap with the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.
Joel Embiid and James Harden have been playing some outstanding basketball lately, with the All-Star duo leading the Sixers’ charge in their current winning streak.
3. Denver Nuggets (46-22)
The Nuggets have been struggling mightily lately, losing their last three games. They remain on top of the Western Conference, but their lead has been whittled down to just 4.5 games.
Nikola Jokic recorded triple-doubles against San Antonio and Brooklyn, but his efforts went for naught as Denver lost to the Spurs and Nets.
4. Boston Celtics (47-22)
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Another team that is looking out of sorts right now is the Boston Celtics. They have lost four of their last six games, including Monday’s humiliating defeat against the Houston Rockets.
They are now in danger of falling to third place in the East, with the Sixers just one game behind them.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (43-27)
The Cavaliers have steadied the ship after a poor run of form, winning four of their last five games.
They remain on course to have home-court advantage in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, with the Cavs holding a three-game lead over the fifth-place Nets in the team standings.
6. Sacramento Kings (40-27)
Sacramento is on the cusp of ending the longest playoff drought in NBA history, with the Kings in third place in the Western Conference.
Mike Brown has done a fantastic job with the Kings as he became the second Sacramento coach to win at least 40 games in an NBA season.
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7. Brooklyn Nets (39-29)
Many feared the worst for the Nets when they traded superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving before the deadline. The new additions ensure the Nets are all right, with Brooklyn climbing up to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
They have been playing some solid basketball lately, winning five of their last six games, including a massive road victory against the Denver Nuggets.
8. Memphis Grizzlies (41-26)
Memphis’ great season was in danger of unraveling after Ja Morant’s sabbatical due to his gun display in an Instagram Live video.
The Grizzlies have stepped up without their best player, winning their last three games to regain second place in the Western Conference.
9. New York Knicks (40-30)
The Knicks came crashing back to earth after their nine-game winning streak, losing three in a row to the Hornets, the Kings, and the Clippers. They managed to end that losing streak on Sunday, beating the red-hot Los Angeles Lakers in a 112-108 thriller.
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The Knicks are holding on tightly to that guaranteed playoff spot, as they remain three games ahead of the Heat for sixth place in the East.
10. Golden State Warriors (36-33)
Here come the Warriors! Golden State is now in fifth place in the Western Conference standings following impressive wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
Steph Curry is back, which is terrible news for the Warriors’ rivals in the West.
Rankings of other NBA teams:
11. Phoenix Suns (37-31)
12. Miami Heat (37-33)
13. LA Clippers (36-33)
14. Minnesota Timberwolves (35-34)
15. Atlanta Hawks (34-35)
16. Los Angeles Lakers (33-35)
17. Dallas Mavericks (34-35)
18. New Orleans Pelicans (33-35)
19. Oklahoma City Thunder (33-35)
20. Toronto Raptors (32-36)
21. Utah Jazz (33-36)
22. Chicago Bulls (31-36)
23. Washington Wizards (31-37)
24. Portland Trail Blazers (31-37)
25. Indiana Pacers (31-38)
26. Orlando Magic (28-40)
27. Charlotte Hornets (22-48)
28. San Antonio Spurs (17-50)
29. Houston Rockets (16-52)
30. Detroit Pistons (16-53)