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 Mallorie Salazar (@MallorieSalazar) for the column and we each gave our own opinion on where each team should fall in the rankings.
The method: Mallorie 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.
**Team records include all games through Thursday, January 26**
1. Golden State Warriors (Last week: 1)
Mallorie: There isn’t much to say about the Warriors except for the fact that they’re the Warriors. GSW not only continues to dominate the Western Conference, but the league overall. They’re leading the league #1 in offensive and defensive efficiency.
2. San Antonio Spurs (Last week: 2)
Derek K: The Spurs continue to defy expectations. Many thought they’d be good… but still this good?
3. Houston Rockets (Last week: 4)
Mallorie: James Harden had a rough night in Boston when the Rockets fell to the Celts 120-109. Following their impressive 20-2 run from 12/1 to 1/10, the Rockets dropped to 11th in the league in offensive efficiency as they dropped six of their last 9 games.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last week: 3)
Derek K: Trouble in Cleveland? I don’t think it’s much to worry about. Roughly this time last year the Cavs seemed like they were in trouble when they fired David Blatt. We all know how last year ended for the Cavs.
5. Utah Jazz (Last week: T6)
Mallorie: The Jazz have been very impressive this year as they hold the 5th seed in the Western Conference this year at 30-18 following first time All-Star Gordon Hayward.
7. Los Angeles Clippers (Last week: 8)
Mallorie: The Clippers have been doing an impressive job this year considering that they missed Blake Griffin for a long stretch of games due to his knee injury. The Clippers are currently on an 11 game road trip with their only home game coming up on February 2nd where they’ve been missing none other than Chris Paul due to his thumb injury.
8. Boston Celtics (Last week: T6)
Derek K: The Celtics have had their ups and downs this season, but once fully healthy consistently I see them as a tough out in the playoffs.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last week: 10)
Mallorie: All-Star reserve and the king of the triple-double this season, Russell Westbrook, has continued to be the power that the Thunder needs on both sides of the court.
10. Atlanta Hawks (Last week: 12)
Derek K: Was Kyle Korver bad for the locker room? I wouldn’t imagine so, but now the Hawks are in a position to keep their core of Howard and Millsap together if they keep winning.
11. Memphis Grizzlies (Last week: 9)
Mallorie: The Grizzlies, just as they do every year, continue to do well on the court with their 27-20 record.
12. Washington Wizards (Last week: 11)
Derek K: The Wizards started the season slowly, but have won 8 of their last 10 and are starting to play better team basketball.
13. Indiana Pacers (Last week: 14)
Mallorie: Since their return from London, the Pacers have played well and have gone 3-3 since January 12th. Paul George continues to dominate.
14. Charlotte Hornets (Last week: 16)
Derek K: The Hornets have surprised some with their play this year, but have lost 7 of their last 10 and are starting to come back down to earth.
15. Denver Nuggets (Last week: 17)
Mallorie: Need I say more than the words Nikola Jokic? The Joker is averaging 23.4 ppg, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in January and has hit a career high of 35 points in San Antonio. Jokic has lead the Nuggets to become the lone holders of the Western Conference 8th seed. Now the question is, whats going to happen with the Nuggets now that Jokic is injured following Thursday nights game against the Suns?
16. Chicago Bulls (Last week: 15)
Derek K: Uh oh.
17. Milwaukee Bucks (Last week: 13)
Mallorie: The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo has been killing the game, which became evident when he was chosen as a starter for the upcoming All-Star game in February. The Bucks are currently 21-24 and 5-8 in January, landing them in this spot in this weeks Power Rankings.
18. Detroit Pistons (Last week: 18)
Derek K: 5-5 in their last 10, the Pistons need to start playing more consistently if they want to make any noise in the East this year.
19. Portland Trailblazers (Last week: 19)
Mallorie: The Trailblazers continue to struggle through the season, having difficulties on the defensive end of the court.
20. New York Knicks (Last week: 21)
Derek K: Melo to the Clippers? Looks plausible, and it also looks like Phil Jackson is fine with getting little to no return in the deal.
21. New Orleans Pelicans (Last week: 20)
Mallorie: The Pelicans have had a very rollercoaster-esque season but I don’t see them going very far this season, as they currently sit two and a half games behind the 8th seeded Nuggets.
22. Sacramento Kings (Last week: 22)
Derek K: The official Kings twitter account was the talk of the NBA world after they upset the Cavaliers in overtime on Wednesday.
23. Philadelphia 76ers (Last week: 24)
Mallorie: Joel Embiid is a phenomenal player on both ends of the court and continues to bring life to the Sixers and their 17-27 record.
24. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last week: 25)
Derek K: The young wolves are about as up and down of a team as you could imagine. They are fun to watch, but haven’t quite developed as quickly as some would’ve hoped.
25. Orlando Magic (Last week: 23)
Mallorie: Orlando has been less than magical to watch this season and, as Sean mentioned last week, they’re just going through the motions.
26. Miami Heat (Last week: 29)
Derek K: Is there still room on Waiters island? …On second thought, no thanks. But he did hit the game winning shot against the Warriors on Monday and the Heat are winners of 5 straight.
27. Dallas Mavericks (Last week: 26)
Mallorie: The Mavs, who have been struggling this season, have had a little bit of a comeback since throwing Seth Curry into their starting lineup. Since the lineup change, Dallas is 5-3.
28. Phoenix Suns (Last week: 28)
Derek K: The Suns lost to the Nuggets in Denver on Thursday, but they’ll get their chance for revenge on Saturday in Phoenix against the Nuggets without Nikola Jokic.
29. Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: 27)
Mallorie: The Lakers are struggling this year, and that isn’t just apparent in their second to worst league record of 16-34. On Sunday, the Lakers were absolutely obliterated in a 49 point loss against the Mavericks.
30. Brooklyn Nets (Last week: 30)
Derek K: Move along, folks.