NBA Power Rankings: Joel Embiid Leads Philadelphia 76ers to No. 1 Spot

NBA Power Rankings: Joel Embiid Leads Philadelphia 76ers to No. 1 Spot

Joel Reyes
  • The Philadelphia 76ers jumped to first place after winning eight games in a row
  • The Milwaukee Bucks dropped to second after holding the top spot for the past two weeks
  • The Denver Nuggets dropped to fourth place due to their recent struggles

It has been another excellent week for the Eastern Conference, with the Bucks, Sixers, and Celtics claiming the top three spots.

However, there has been a change at the top with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers swapping positions.

The Sixers now hold the No. 1 spot, thanks in large part to the excellent play of Joel Embiid.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Wells Fargo Center on March 20, 2023. Image: Tim Nwachukwu
Source: Getty Images

With the playoffs drawing ever closer, Sports Brief looks at this week's NBA Power Rankings.

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1. Philadelphia 76ers (48-23)

The Sixers are on fire right now. They have won eight of their last nine games, with their lone loss coming at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

They suffered a heartbreaking 109-105 double overtime defeat in that contest to snap their eight-game winning streak, per The Sixers still are in a good place right now, with that unbeaten run helping them grab the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid bolstered his MVP credentials during that hot stretch, scoring at least 30 points in each of those wins.

2. Milwaukee Bucks (51-20)

The Bucks have won three of their last four outings to extend their lead atop the Eastern Conference to 2.5 games. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in their previous game, recording his 33rd career triple-double in the 118-111 win against Toronto.

3. Boston Celtics (49-23)

The Celtics have steadied the ship after losing three in a row earlier this month. They have won four of their last six games to remain within striking distance of the Bucks for the top seed in the East.

4. Denver Nuggets (48-24)

The Nuggets are stumbling as we head into the regular season's final weeks. Their lead in the Western Conference has been reduced after suffering a four-game losing streak this month.

They are starting to regain their groove, winning two of their last three games. They hold a 3.5-game lead over the Grizzlies in the standings.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (44-27)

The Grizzlies are showing that they are a resilient bunch. They have been on fire even without their star player Ja Morant, winning six of their last seven games, including each of their previous three outings.

They delivered statement wins this past week, beating the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.

6. Sacramento Kings (43-28)

The Kings are finishing strong this season. They have won six of their last eight games to climb to third in the Western Conference standings.

The Kings are just one game behind the Grizzlies for second place in the West, a mind-boggling feat this late in the campaign, considering they have not reached the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (45-28)

Another team that’s playing well at the moment is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have won six of their last eight games to remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

That position is vital as that guarantees homecourt advantage for Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs.

8. New York Knicks (42-31)

The Knicks are trying their hardest to catch the Cavs in the standings. They trail Cleveland by three games with just nine games remaining on their schedule.

Julius Randle scored 57 points in their last game against Minnesota, but his spectacular performance went for naught as the Knicks suffered a gut-wrenching 140-134 loss to the Wolves.

9. LA Clippers (38-34)

Here come the Clippers. Ty Lue’s men are heating up, winning five of their last six games. They are in fifth place in the Western Conference, well within the guaranteed spots for this year’s playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard has been superb for the Clips lately, averaging 30 points over his last five games.

10. Golden State Warriors (37-36)

The Warriors finally snapped their three-game losing streak on Monday, beating the Rockets 121-108.

That victory was significant as Golden State ended its 11-game losing skid on the road. That’s the longest road losing streak under head coach Steve Kerr.

Rankings of other NBA teams

11. Phoenix Suns (38-33)

12. Brooklyn Nets (39-32)

13. Miami Heat (39-34)

14. Dallas Mavericks (36-36)

15. Atlanta Hawks (35-36)

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (36-37)

17. Toronto Raptors (35-37)

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (35-36)

19. Utah Jazz (35-36)

20. Los Angeles Lakers (35-37)

21. Chicago Bulls (34-37)

22. New Orleans Pelicans (34-37)

23. Washington Wizards (32-39)

24. Indiana Pacers (32-40)

25. Portland Trail Blazers (31-40)

26. Orlando Magic (29-43)

27. Charlotte Hornets (23-50)

28. San Antonio Spurs (19-52)

29. Houston Rockets (18-54)

30. Detroit Pistons (16-56)

What is the Bucks' schedule?

Sports Brief recently reported on the Bucks' remaining games this season.

They still have home games against the Celtics and Sixers, their main rivals in the East.

The Bucks own the best record in the NBA this season.