Before we get to the rankings, we need to go over how we came to our decision. This week, I (@kainzd) teamed up with fellow contributor Sean English (@SeanMEnglish) for the column and we each gave our own opinion on where each team should fall in the rankings.
The method: Sean and I sent each other our rankings 1-30. I assigned 30 points to the team that was ranked first, 29 points to the team ranked 2nd in each list, and so on – finishing with the team ranked last in each list receiving 1 point. I then added the two totals from each list together to get a final number. I finished by ranking the teams based on the total number of points from both lists. Without further ado – here are Dig In Denver’s week 13 NBA power rankings.
Previous rankings: Week 12
**Team records include all games through Thursday, January 19**
1. Golden State Warriors
Sean E: The Warriors are still the class of the NBA. They put their dominance on display with a trouncing victory over the Cavs on MLK Day, and followed that up with a 21 point win against the Thunder.
2. San Antonio Spurs
Derek K: The Spurs are the Spurs. Some of the faces may look different, but the results are the same. They play well together and have a superstar in Kawhi Leonard.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Sean E: Despite only being up 2.5 games on the Raptors, the Cavaliers are still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. As long as LeBron is on the Cavs, they’ll be there in the end.
5. Toronto Raptors
Sean E: As previously mentioned, the Cavs are the top dog in the east. The Raptors will be in a battle for the 2nd seed, and an addition at the trade deadline could solidify that spot.
6. (Tie) Utah Jazz
Derek K: Gordon Hayward, superstar? I think so – he has shown the ability to go toe to toe with whoever he’s playing against consistently. The Jazz have one of the best home court advantages in the NBA with a passionate fanbase coupled with the altitude.
6. (Tie) Boston Celtics
Derek K: There aren’t many (if any, at all) players that you’d want running your offense in the 4th quarter other than Isaiah Thomas this season.
8. Los Angeles Clippers
Derek K: Blake Griffin, and now Chris Paul are out for an extended period of time – are the Clippers cursed? The team is always one injury from another team away from competing for a title, but that’s tough when their own stars are constantly injured.
9. Memphis Grizzlies
Sean E: Year in and year out, the Grizzlies grind out the season, and this year is no different.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder
Derek K: I know there are limited spots, but Russell Westbrook deserves to be an All-Star starter. The Thunder have a staunch defensive team but Russell’s play is the key to their car on both offense and defense.
11. Washington Wizards
Sean E: The duo of Beal and Wall can always be dangerous. The Wizards are starting to get into a groove, and in the east, they could see themselves climb in the standings.
12. Atlanta Hawks
Derek K: The Hawks are 8-2 in their last 10 but many expect them to be sellers at the trade deadline. If they are honest with themselves – I don’t think they can compete for a title with the roster they have to build around.
14. Indiana Pacers
Derek K: The Pacers got trounced by the Nuggets in London, but they’ve played well since returning to the states. Paul George is still a force to be reckoned with.
15. Chicago Bulls
Sean E: The Bulls are an interesting team. The additions of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo have not made much of a difference this season, but they still find themselves in the 8th seed in the East.
16. Charlotte Hornets
Derek K: The Hornets have played well at times, but their record may be inflated a tad by the extreme weakness of the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
17. Denver Nuggets
Sean E: The Nuggets can score with the best of them, but defense is their downfall. Nikola Jokic is on an absolute tear, making them a fun team to watch. News has surfaced that Jusuf Nurkic will most likely be traded.
18. Detroit Pistons
Derek K: The Pistons had high hopes coming into the season to shoot for a top 4 seed in the East, but inconsistency from their better players keep them from moving up on this list.
19. Portland Trailblazers
Sean E: Portland has got to be one of the more disappointing teams this season. With Lillard and McCollum, you can’t count them out. If they pick up defensively, they could easily find themselves in the playoffs.
20. New Orleans Pelicans
Derek K: The Pelicans have been up and down all year, showing flashes of what they can do when they get any support to help Anthony Davis. I don’t see that changing too drastically throughout the rest of the year.
21. New York Knicks
Sean E: Things may start to boil over in the Big Apple. Carmelo Anthony recently stated he would be willing to waive his no trade clause and the Knicks are not meeting the lofty expectations set before the season.
22. Sacramento Kings
Derek K: The Kings have been miserable in their last 10 games (2-8) and have lost their 8th playoff spot to the Nuggets at the time of this writing. Boogie can’t do it all on his own, folks.
23. Orlando Magic
Sean E: With no real direction or cornerstone of the team, the Magic are just going through the motions.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Derek K: TRUST THE PROCESS! Joel Embiid is playing extremely well as the season progresses, and he’s just as entertaining off of the court as well.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves
Sean E: The Timberwolves also had some high expectations this season with the hiring of Tom Thibodeau and the growth of their young nucleus. Karl-Anthony Towns is the real deal, and put on a 37 point show in their most recent victory over the Clippers in LA.
26. Dallas Mavericks
Derek K: Dirk Nowitzki has shown signs of life since coming back from injury, which at least makes the Mavericks watchable. I want a couple more years of watching Dirk fade away off one leg.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Sean E: Luke Walton is doing his best with a young and talented roster, mixed in with a couple of veterans. After a somewhat good start to the season, the Lakers have definitely trended in the wrong direction.
28. Phoenix Suns
Derek K: There aren’t many bright spots for the Suns this season. Many experts were excited about the Suns future just a couple years ago, but that enthusiasm has almost completely faded.
29. Miami Heat
Sean E: Seems like forever ago that Miami was cruising through the east with the likes of LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Whiteside is a stud down low for them, but his supporting cast suffers from severe mediocrity.
30. Brooklyn Nets
Derek K: Will this finally be the year the Nets trade Brook Lopez? I personally think they should as I don’t think they can turn around their fortunes fast enough to have him still be a major contributor.