Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to all basketball fans out there! As Santa Claus makes his way back to the North Pole after delivering presents to nice basketball fans around the world, let’s take a look at how each NBA team has been performing on the court. From Santa’s workshop up north to FTX Arena in Miami, it’s time for our NBA Power Rankings entering Week 11. Some teams have been very nice, like the Brooklyn Nets, who shoot up to the top. Meanwhile, some have been very naughty, like the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, who drop quite a bit. As for the other teams? Well, let’s find out as we rank all 30 teams for the last time in 2022.
Our NBA Power Rankings have fluctuated a lot, as usual, with certain teams standing out for their exceptional play and others shrugging their shoulders after each loss. While some teams are lamenting the eggnog that was spilled, it seems like other teams found a lot of treats in December. Examining each team’s performance during the preceding week will help us predict how they will fare as the year concludes.
Previous 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings: Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2
Now without further ado, let’s look at our 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings entering Week 11 of the new season.
1. Brooklyn Nets (+2)
Well, well, well. Look at you, Brooklyn. There was a time when we had the Nets in the bottom half of our NBA Power Rankings. Not anymore, though. These Nets look mighty different. They haven’t lost since Dec. 5, and they’re fresh from a big win over the Milwaukee Bucks, too. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been pretty unstoppable, while Nic Claxton has been a revelation in the middle. Sure, we still want to see more out of Ben Simmons. However, when Simmons is on his game, he’s an absolute triple-double threat.
Colder than the weather 🥶 pic.twitter.com/RKYtBhTgNV
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 24, 2022
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (+3)
The Cavs are fresh from a home loss to the Toronto Raptors, but before that, they strung together five straight Ws. They’re also just half a game behind the Bucks in the Eastern Conference and still have one of the best backcourt duos on the planet. They will end 2022 with a trio of East clashes against the Nets, Pacers, and Bulls.
3. Boston Celtics (-1)
December has easily been the Celtics’ worst month of the season so far. Not surprisingly, they’d rather be done with it as soon as possible, and they finish off the year with the Rockets and Clippers. Jayson Tatum & Co. did just handle the Bucks in impressive fashion on Christmas, so this should be a good sign for them moving forward.
4. Milwaukee Bucks (-3)
About a week ago, the Bucks looked borderline invincible. Just a few days later, however, it seems the world has been tilted off-kilter. Milwaukee is reeling from three straight defeats, though we have to contextualize it. The teams that beat Giannis Antetokounmpo & Co. are the Cavs, Nets, and Celtics. Take note that those are the only three teams ahead of them in these Week 11 NBA Power Rankings. They should rebound with wins over the Bulls and Wolves to end the year, but the Khris Middleton injury is concerning.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (+5)
Philly fans, please raise a glass to your Sixers. They very well deserve it. These guys haven’t seen an L since Dec. 6, and they have risen the standings and our Week 11 NBA Power Rankings. Joel Embiid has carried this team to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, with big wins over teams they should be beating anyway. That’s not a knock on the Sixers, mind you. It gives them the momentum they need as they try to close out 2022, though that James Harden-Rockets report is something to chew on.
6. Denver Nuggets (+2)
Yes, we’ve spent the first five spots of our Week 11 NBA Power Rankings talking about East teams. That’s how much the power balance has shifted so far this season. As such, the Nuggets are the first Western Conference squad popping up on this list. It’s well deserved, of course, as Denver just rose to reclaim the No. 1 spot in their conference. Of course, it’s mainly thanks to Nikola Jokic, who just notched his 83rd career triple-double in their latest win over the Suns. Jokic is just that dang good, and that’s no joke.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (-3)
Ja Morant and his Grizzlies weren’t able to back their big talk up when they entered the Chase Center and lost to the defending champions on Christmas Day. They could not beat a wounded Warriors side that missed the services of Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins. Sure, Morant was still good, finishing with 36 points. However, Memphis had no business being outrebounded and sure as heck let the Warriors just light up the scoreboard with 3-pointers left and right. It was not a good look.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (-2)
The Pelicans absorbed four losses in a row bridging Weeks 9 and 10 before back-to-back wins over the Spurs and Thunder halted their slump. They continue to miss Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance, though. That has forced guys like Trey Murphy III, Jaxson Hayes, and Naji Marshall to step up, with mixed results. They also have a pretty tough schedule to end 2022 as they face the Pacers, Wolves, Sixers, and Grizzlies.
back-to-back wins to send us into the holidays 🏀 pic.twitter.com/IgiDHsEOgD
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 24, 2022
9. Phoenix Suns (-2)
The Suns slide down two spots in our Week 11 NBA Power Rankings after absorbing three straight losses. Losing to the Grizzlies and Nuggets was not all that surprising, but losing to the Wizards? Man, that was tough to swallow, right? Their wing depth has definitely taken a hit with injuries to Devin Booker, Cam Payne, and Cam Johnson. They hope to end the year right when they face the Grizzlies, Wizards, and Raptors this week.
10. New York Knicks (-1)
The Knicks were among our top risers the past couple of weeks in the NBA Power Rankings. However, they’ve fallen back to earth after losses to the Raptors, Bulls, and Sixers in Week 10. New York is by no means a bad team, but some weaknesses have been exposed. Take note that they are bottom five in 3-point shooting and turnovers forced. They’re also 24th overall in defensive rating. Knicks fans hope their team can bounce back against the Mavs, Spurs, and Rockets as they take a Texas road trip this week.
11. Sacramento Kings (no change)
The Kings see no change in their NBA Power Rankings spot for this edition, though that might change sooner rather than later. They close out 2022 with a back-to-back against the Nuggets and one more against the Jazz. Needless to say, those are all losable games for the Kings, who have recently shown a bit of inconsistency.
12. Utah Jazz (+2)
Slowly but surely, it looks like the Jazz are leaning into trying to stay among the top 10 teams in the Western Conference. Are they abandoning the Victor Wembanyama race? Strangely enough, it looks like it, but we still have the first four months of 2023 to see what this team plans to do. We’re also not sure if they’re just fattening some guys up to be traded for more picks at the deadline. As we said, it’s so hard to tell with Utah.
13. Los Angeles Clippers (no change)
The Clippers are not doing too badly. They are No. 1 in the Pacific Division right now, though they did lose two of their last four games. The fact that their only wins in that stretch were against the Wizards and Hornets also does little to boost their stock. Having said that, it’s good to see the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard looking deadly, provided they’re both healthy and motivated.
14. Indiana Pacers (+4)
We have to give credit to the Pacers for beating both the Celtics and Heat this past week. Those wins did much to dull the sting of losing back-to-back to the Cavs and Knicks. Tyrese Haliburton was also unstoppable in those victories. The kid has looked like an absolute All-Star of late. If he continues playing like this, he SHOULD be in the 2023 ASG. At the very least, USA Basketball needs to put him on the long list for next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup pool.
15. Atlanta Hawks (+4)
The Hawks have won three of their last four games. That did a lot for them to keep the top spot in the Southeast Division and stay within striking distance of the sixth spot in the East. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray have been solid this past week, and of course, the Hawks want to see more of that as the season progresses.
16. Dallas Mavericks (+5)
Luka Magic is real, folks. The self-styled Dallas gunslinger did a number on the Wolves, Rockets, and Lakers this past week. He averaged 35.7 points per game in that stretch. He’s surely one of the most fun guys to watch on the planet, and he’s the biggest reason the Mavs climb five spots in our Week 11 NBA Power Rankings.
Luka’s Christmas Day fit 🤠 @brkicks
Dallas is rubbing off on him 😂
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 25, 2022
17. Portland Trail Blazers (-5)
The Blazers are heading downhill. They have lost three in a row, including four of their last five games. Those include losses to the Mavs, Nuggets, and back-to-back against the Thunder. They are limping their way to the end of 2022, but they can turn things around if they can beat the Hornets and Warriors this week.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (-2)
The Wolves are among the most inconsistent teams in the NBA this season. They lose three straight games in one week only to win three in a row the next. And then they return to their losing ways after that. What a schizophrenic squad, yes? And yet they’re still No. 10 in the Western Conference.
19. Miami Heat (-4)
The Heat went from red hot to ice cold quite quickly. After putting up four wins in a row, they just lost back-to-back against the Bulls and Pacers this past week. That was enough for Miami to relinquish the Southeast Division back to the Hawks. The Heat should get back on track against the Wolves and Lakers before closing out 2022 against the surging Nuggets and the Jazz.
20. Chicago Bulls (+3)
The Bulls are creeping up our NBA Power Rankings after they reeled in three straight wins last week, which came after it seemed like they were heading toward a roster blowup. Chicago defeated the Heat, Hawks, and Knicks to inch closer to .500. They’re also just half a game behind the Raptors for the No. 10 spot in the East. They can get at least two wins to close out 2022 as they face the Rockets, Bucks, Pistons, and Cavs this week.
21. Golden State Warriors (-4)
Though the Warriors certainly did not have a very good Week 10, they can still smile after they beat the Grizzlies on Christmas Day. Jordan Poole dropped a 32-piece on Ja Morant & Co. in that game. That won’t happen often, but it was still good for Dubs fans to see it on national TV. Does it improve the Warriors’ playoff chances? Not so much. Does it give them some bragging right still they next face Memphis on Jan. 26? Absolutely.
22. Toronto Raptors (no change)
We feel tempted to bump the Raptors up our Week 11 NBA Power Rankings, especially after they just beat the Knicks and Cavs. However, those two wins barely make up for the six-game losing streak that came before. We need to see more from Toronto. That’s just how good this team should be, especially with Pascal Siakam crushing it.
23. Oklahoma City Thunder (+2)
Yes, the Thunder just lost to the Pelicans. Keep in mind, however, that they did have a three-game winning run before that defeat. And the Thunder did not beat any pansies, too. They upended the Grizzlies before winning back-to-back against the Blazers. That’s not too shabby for the OKC young guns.
24. Orlando Magic (no change)
A loss to the Hawks was the only blot in an otherwise splendid last few weeks for the Magic. I mean, they are among the hottest teams in the league right now. They have won eight of their last 10. They are also just a couple of games behind the No. 10 spot in the East. Fancy that, right?
25. Washington Wizards (+1)
The Wizards finally found a way to win in December. And it was a big fish they fried, too. Washington scraped by the Suns last week thanks to 29 points from Kyle Kuzma. They lost to the Jazz after that but rebounded against the Kings before Christmas. Their schedule to finish 2022 won’t be easy (Sixers, Suns, Magic), but Wizards fans hope they can pull off at least one more win.
26. Los Angeles Lakers (-6)
We all love how LeBron James continues to wow at his age. We also continue to hate how much this Lakers squad just keeps on playing below its potential. Yes, this is an old team, but it should also be better than 13-20, right? James has been doing everything he can for the Lakers, but they just haven’t gotten much out of guys like Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schroder, and Patrick Beverley.
27. Charlotte Hornets (+3)
It’s rare for the Hornets to have more than one win in a week, but that’s exactly what they had in Week 10. They finished a tour of California with wins over the Kings and Lakers sandwiching a loss to the Clippers. That’s enough to pull them up from the cellar of our NBA Power Rankings.
28. San Antonio Spurs (no change)
The only reason the Spurs are ahead of the Rockets in these NBA Power Rankings is that San Antonio beat Houston this past week. They did it quite convincingly, too, thanks to Devin Vassell’s 26 points. Still, there’s not much to be happy about if you’re a Spurs fan. San Antonio just ain’t it this season.
29. Houston Rockets (-2)
Those December wins over the Bucks and Suns feel like they happened eons ago. Since then, the Rockets have dropped five straight games, and they’ve sunk to the very bottom of the Western Conference. In fact, Houston is the only West team right now with under 10 wins this season. Welp.
30. Detroit Pistons (-1)
The Pistons have the league’s worst record and have lost five straight. That’s more than enough to sink back into the abyss of our NBA Power Rankings. They have also lost their last three contests by an average of 20.0 points. That’s just sad. Can they salvage even one win before they close out 2022? We doubt.