It was not too long ago that the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks found themselves as two championship contenders struggling to prove their worth. Ahead of the All-Star break, the Nuggets had lost three straight games, and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic was looking a little sluggish. For the Bucks, they lost eight out of 12 games from the end of January into the start of February, leading to many questions about whether they made a mistake hiring Doc Rivers. Now, both Denver and Milwaukee find themselves as two teams working their way back to the top of the NBA Power Rankings as true title threats.

Obviously, the Boston Celtics have the league's attention with their 48-12 record, as well as their current 11-game win streak. Although this is the longest current win streak in the league right now, right behind Boston are the Nuggets with six straight wins, followed by the Bucks with five straight wins.

Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, two superstars who have earned multiple MVP honors early on in their careers, have put their organizations in a position to still contend for the top spot in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. The Bucks may be 8.5 games back of the Celtics for the 1-seed in the East, but they have a firm lock on the 2-seed right now, with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks beginning to struggle.

As for the Nuggets, their six-game win streak has resulted in them being tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves at 42-19 this season, just a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the West. Right behind the Celtics, the Nuggets were picked by NBA media members at the All-Star break as the team with the second-best chance of winning the 2024 NBA Finals. With how well Jokic has been playing as of late, as well as Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray continuing to step up, Denver is beginning to show their potential of repeating as champions.

At the end of the day, all roads still lead to Boston, as they have had firm control over the rest of the NBA since the very start of the 2023-24 season. The Nuggets and Bucks may have been struggling just a few weeks ago, but things change quickly in this league. Currently getting hot at the right time, Denver and Milwaukee are two teams near the very top of this week's NBA Power Rankings.

Previous 2023-24 NBA Power Rankings: Week 19 | Week 18 | Week 17 | Week 16 | Week 15 | Week 14 | Week 13 | Week 12 | Week 11 | Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2Week 1

1. Boston Celtics (-)

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots a free throw against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

2023-24 Record: 48-12, Upcoming schedule: at CLE (3/5), at DEN (3/7), at PHX (3/9)

It is safe to call the Celtics the team to beat this season. A 60-win season looks very likely for Boston at this point, and it's not like this team is beating up on bad teams. Just last week, the Celtics extended their double-digit win streak with home victories over the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, two teams that have been surging in the Western Conference recently.

This upcoming week will surely be a test for the Celtics as they embark on a five-game road trip. Cleveland, Denver, and Phoenix are all tough places to play, which is why this week will serve as a playoff preview for Boston.

Still, there are no flaws with this team, especially after they added Xavier Tillman Sr. to their frontcourt recently. The Celtics are locked in and looking to capture their first title since 2008.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (-)

2023-24 Record: 42-18, Upcoming schedule: at LAL (3/4), at POR (3/6), vs. MIA (3/8), vs. MEM (3/10)

The best team from the Western Conference in the NBA Power Rankings has to be the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are definitely a more well-rounded team than the Timberwolves, and the Thunder have proven to be better than the Nuggets after defeating them three different times this season.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the primary factor in Oklahoma City ranking inside the top 5 in both offensive and defensive ratings this season. A true MVP candidate in his own right, Gilgeous-Alexander also leads the league in total points scored this season, as well as 30-point games.

The main reason why the Thunder are so dangerous is because they are young, athletic, and seem to play with a major sense of freedom. From pushing the tempo in transition to knocking down threes at a high rate, there truly are no weaknesses to the Thunder's game on offense. However, they can be weak on the interior despite having Chet Holmgren. This could wind up being their downfall come playoff time.

3. Denver Nuggets (+1)

2023-24 Record: 42-19, Upcoming schedule: vs. PHX (3/5), vs. BOS (3/7), vs. UTA (3/9)

When the Nuggets entered the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak, many were beginning to claim that Denver was looking vulnerable and unmotivated. Well, sometimes all certain teams need is a little bit of a break. This was true for the Nuggets, as they have looked every bit like a championship contender since the week-long hiatus.

The Nuggets have won six straight games by an average margin of 14.7 points per game, and Jokic has been incredible in recent weeks. Over the course of this win streak, Jokic has averaged 24.8 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game while shooting 62 percent from the floor.

What has gone severely unnoticed with the Nuggets is that Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 22.3 points and 9.3 rebounds over his last six games. If he continues to stay hot, this team will be extremely tough to stop come playoff time, much like last season. Who knows, maybe the Nuggets will continue their winning ways with victories over the Phoenix Suns and Celtics this week, which would move them up even higher in the NBA Power Rankings.

4. Los Angeles Clippers (+2)

2023-24 Record: 39-20, Upcoming schedule: at MIL (3/4), at HOU (3/6), vs. CHI (3/9), vs. MIL (3/10)

A loss to the Los Angeles Lakers to begin last week wasn't ideal for the Los Angeles Clippers, especially since they had blown a 19-point lead entering the fourth quarter. However, this team still finds themselves moving back into the Top 5 of the NBA Power Rankings due to a clutch road victory over Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves. In a low-scoring 89-88 affair, it was the Clippers' strong defense that stepped up to claim a huge victory.

Even though they have had their fair share of struggles recently, the Clippers are still going to be tough to stop in the playoffs as long as they are healthy. We have seen what they can do on defense, and the tandem of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can get red hot offensively. Not to mention, Mason Plumlee and Daniel Theis have really stepped up in the frontcourt as of late, behind Ivica Zubac.

Two matchups against the Bucks this upcoming week will be tests for the Clippers. A better read of what this team is capable of achieving will be given in these games.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (-2)

2023-24 Record: 42-19, Upcoming schedule: vs. POR (3/4), at IND (3/7), at CLE (3/8), at LAL (3/10)

The Timberwolves continue to be a tough team to fully believe in because of their inconsistencies on offense. Edwards can only do so much in terms of scoring, and Karl-Anthony Towns is not the most dynamic big man in the league. While he can get going as a scorer, he's not like Antetokounmpo for the Bucks, who can score at will on every single possession. Outside of Edwards, there really isn't anyone on the Timberwolves roster who can truly create scoring opportunities for themselves.

This is the main reason why Minnesota ranks 17th in offensive rating and why they could realistically fall to the 3-seed in the Western Conference by the end of the regular season.

Upcoming matchups on the road against the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers should prove to be interesting for a Timberwolves team that tends to play slow and at their own pace. Both the Pacers and Lakers can really score in transition.

6. Milwaukee Bucks (+1)

Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shake hands before the start of the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

2023-24 Record: 40-21, Upcoming schedule: vs. LAC (3/4), at GSW (3/6), at LAL (3/8), at LAC (3/10)

The main reason why the Bucks have turned around their season and are once again on the radar for the NBA Finals is due to the fact that they have locked in defensively. In the midst of a five-game win streak, the Bucks are only allowing an average of 97.2 points per game to their opponents. Milwaukee is also forcing roughly 12.4 turnovers per game in this span.

What has made the Bucks so dangerous over the last few years is that they would contest every single shot in the paint and limit their opponent's scoring opportunities. Well, this is what they have done perfectly over the last week or so, as there now appears to be a sense of urgency from this group.

Prior to Rivers taking over on the sidelines for Adrian Griffin, the Bucks had held their opponents under 100 points just once this season. In 15 games with Doc at the helm, the Bucks have held their opponents under 100 points on six different occasions. This is why the Bucks are right on the verge of being at the top of the NBA Power Rankings once more.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (-2)

2023-24 Record: 39-21, Upcoming schedule: vs. BOS (3/5), at ATL (3/6), vs. MIN (3/8), vs. BKN (3/10)

While Donovan Mitchell is clearly the No. 1 option for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who is their second-best player? This has been one of the main questions this franchise has yet to answer, and has resulted in their downfall in some games. The good news is that Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen continue to grow as arguably the best frontcourt duo in the league when it comes to rebounding and scoring in the paint. Come playoff time, Cleveland will need to lean on these two for immediate scoring production when teams double-team Mitchell.

On defense, the Cavs have some yellow flags right now. The fact that Cleveland has lost five of their last nine games is concerning because they have allowed the third-most second-chance points in this span. The Cavs should be a great rebounding team, but that has not been the case as of late when it comes to keeping their opponents off the glass. If this trend continues, the Cavs will slip down the NBA Power Rankings.

This is a huge week for the Cavs to make a statement, as matchups against Minnesota and Boston give Cleveland a chance to prove that they can be title threats in the East.

8. Miami Heat (+1)

2023-24 Record: 34-26, Upcoming schedule: vs. DET (3/5), at DAL (3/7), at OKC (3/8), vs. WAS (3/10)

Why is nobody talking about the Miami Heat right now? Every year, the Heat end up being an average team at the All-Star break, but they always find a way to turn things around ahead of the playoffs. Well, about a month after having just about a .500 record for the season, the Heat are now eight games above .500 and have won eight of their last 10 games.

In addition to their defense really stepping up, the Heat have started to look a lot more comfortable and confident on the offensive side of the floor. Since the start of February, the Heat have had eight different players averaging at least 10 points per game, and they are still finding ways to win with their depth despite Tyler Herro and Josh Richardson dealing with injuries.

Jimmy Butler always takes his play to new levels around this time of the year, which is why the Heat continue to be the biggest sleeper team in the NBA Power Rankings. It wouldn't be surprising to see this team lose in the opening round of the playoffs, but it also wouldn't be shocking to see them go on yet another deep postseason run.

9. Orlando Magic (+4)

2023-24 Record: 35-26, Upcoming schedule: at CHA (3/5), at WAS (3/6), at NYK (3/8), vs. IND (3/10)

The Orlando Magic are another team that has flown under the radar this season and is not receiving the recognition they deserve. Jamahl Mosley should be receiving love for Coach of the Year, Franz Wagner should receive recognition for Most Improved Player, and Paolo Banchero should get votes for the All-NBA teams when all is said and done.

Maybe the Magic aren't true title contenders, but this young team has the capability to win a playoff series and be a tough out in a seven-game series due to their defensive tenacity and length. Orlando has won six of their last seven, and Banchero looks healthy once more after back-to-back 29-point games.

There is a scenario where the Magic can enter this week with a 35-26 record and end things with four more wins. Charlotte and Washington will be no problem for this group, the New York Knicks are banged up, and the Pacers have really struggled as of late. A 4-0 week could result in the Magic moving up to the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference, thus likely seeing them rise up a few spots in the NBA Power Rankings as well.

10. New Orleans Pelicans (+2)

2023-24 Record: 36-25, Upcoming schedule: at TOR (3/5), at PHI (3/8), at ATL (3/10)

Just how good can the New Orleans Pelicans be? The highlight of the season so far for this group has been them making the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament, as the Pelicans have really struggled during the second half of the season to prove that they can be real title threats.

Some nights, this team looks like a powerhouse on offense, given all the players they can receive production from. On other nights, their defense fails them, and the Pelicans surrender over 120 points. The good news for New Orleans is that they have won 10 of their last 14 games and are just four games behind the Clippers for the 4-seed in the conference.

Although they will be on the road this week for three games against Eastern Conference teams, two of these matchups are against teams with losing records. The other is against a Philadelphia 76ers team that is still trying to mold their identity without Joel Embiid. There is really no reason why the Pelicans shouldn't win all three of these games and continue moving back up the NBA Power Rankings.

11. Phoenix Suns (-1)

2023-24 Record: 35-26, Upcoming schedule: at DEN (3/5), vs. TOR (3/7), vs. BOS (3/9)

In last week's NBA Power Rankings, the Suns had moved into the Top 10, and it appeared as if they were finally turning things around with their Big 3 on the court together. However, injuries are once again a problem for this team. Bradley Beal recently returned to the court after yet another ailment, only for Devin Booker to suffer a sprained ankle. As a result, the Suns dropped two straight games to the Houston Rockets and the Thunder late Sunday night.

The biggest problem for Phoenix right now is their inconsistent play at the “point guard position.” The reason this is in quotes is because the Suns don't have a true facilitator and playmaker like other top teams in the West do. For the Timberwolves, they have veteran Mike Conley dishing out assists every night. For the Thunder, that role belongs to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Regarding the Suns, Beal, Booker, and Kevin Durant all take turns as the primary ball-handlers for this team.

The only problem is that all three of these stars are known for their scoring abilities, not being facilitators for their team. This has led to various games with 20-plus turnovers, most recently in Sunday night's battle against Oklahoma City.

Now, the Suns enter a very tough part of their schedule as matchups against Denver and Boston approach this week. To make matters worse, 10 of their next 14 games will be on the road. Between having to deal with injuries yet again as well as offensive struggles, the Suns are in danger of slipping in the NBA Power Rankings quickly.

12. Dallas Mavericks (-4)

2023-24 Record: 34-27, Upcoming schedule: vs. IND (3/5), vs. MIA (3/7), at DET (3/9)

A seven-game win streak for the Dallas Mavericks has rapidly changed to them losing four of their last five games. The main reason for the Mavs' recent struggles is that Jason Kidd is simply overcoaching his team and not letting them play as is. Dallas was rolling defensively when they constantly shifted their frontcourt rotations, allowing PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford to thrive alongside rookie Dereck Lively II. Now, Gafford isn't in the main rotation anymore, and Kidd is favoring Maxi Kleber for more offensive production.

Well, this has not worked, which is why it's time to stop changing lineups in Dallas and just go with what works.

While they have defended the interior well, Dallas' defense has struggled on the perimeter. Effort and intensity are really the only two things holding the Mavs back right now. If they can make some small adjustments and really focus on their goals at hand, this is a team that can avoid falling into the play-in tournament region of the Western Conference standings.

13. Sacramento Kings (+1)

2023-24 Record: 34-25, Upcoming schedule: vs. CHI (3/4), at LAL (3/6), vs. SAS (3/7), vs. HOU (3/10)

A four-point overtime victory against the Timberwolves saved the Sacramento Kings from going 0-3 this past week. Even though they have been inconsistent as of late, the Kings have really only had one bad loss since the start of February, and that was a 13-point loss at home to the Detroit Pistons.

Other than that game, the Kings have been able to add some resume builders to their name, picking up wins against the likes of the Clippers, Timberwolves, and Nuggets twice. When they want to, the Kings have proven that they can step up defensively against some of the better opponents in this league. Then again, the will to fight has not always been there this season from this group, which is surprising seeing as the Kings played with arguably the most intensity out of any team in the league last season.

Another grand opportunity presents itself to Sacramento this upcoming week, as they can realistically go 4-0 to move to 39-25 on the season. This could season them inch closer to the Clippers for the 4-seed in the conference. It would also likely result in a Top 10 appearance in the NBA Power Rankings.

14. New York Knicks (+1)

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2023-24 Record: 36-25, Upcoming schedule: vs. ATL (3/5), vs. ORL (3/8), vs. PHI (3/10)

With Julius Randle and OG Anunoby already out with no clear timetable for returning to the court, the last thing the New York Knicks need right now is Jalen Brunson missing time. Brunson appeared to suffer some sort of non-contact left knee injury against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday evening and had to be helped off the court. Upon further review of the play, Brunson bumped knees with Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein, likely contributing to what the team is now calling a knee contusion.

Without Brunson, the Knicks were able to come away with an impressive road win in Cleveland, a team New York always seems to play their best basketball against. This win stopped a lot of the bleeding for the Knicks, who have lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Knicks' chances of being competitive and rising back up the NBA Power Rankings depend on whether they can get healthy before the playoffs. Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic are great secondary contributors, but this team needs Brunson, they need Randle, and they need Anunoby healthy in order to contend for a championship. Right now, the Knicks find themselves in the same boat as the 76ers in terms of trying to mold their identity and limp to the finish line.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (+1)

2023-24 Record: 35-25, Upcoming schedule: at BKN (3/5), vs. MEM (3/6), vs. NOP (3/8), at NYK (3/10)

Speaking of the 76ers, they come in right behind the Knicks in this week's edition of the NBA Power Rankings. Philadelphia went 2-1 last week, picking up wins over Charlotte and upsetting Dallas in a Sunday afternoon matchup. Although they had an injury scare in this game with Tyrese Maxey going down, the first-time All-Star downplayed this after the game.

“A knee to the head on video, so I just slipped. Probably went too fast thinking I’m Flash or something,” Maxey joked after the game. “[The] doctor said I was good. So that was great.”

Just one game separates the 76ers from the play-in tournament region of the Eastern Conference standings, which is why the alarm is officially going off in Philadelphia. Every game this team loses from here on out without Joel Embiid inches them closer to playoff elimination. If the Sixers don't avoid the play-in tournament, they would be extremely lucky to advance past the first round of the playoffs, assuming they even make the postseason.

16. Indiana Pacers (-5)

2023-24 Record: 34-28, Upcoming schedule: at DAL (3/5), vs. MIN (3/7), at ORL (3/10)

Things are not looking good for the Indiana Pacers right now in regard to the NBA Power Rankings. They have moved down five spots due to losing three out of four games this week. Although some teams have looked worse than Indiana, the Pacers look out of sorts on the offensive end of the court pertaining to who takes the shots late in the shot clock. Also, they still can't defend any team in this league.

Tyrese Haliburton hasn't scored 18 or more points since February 22. Without scoring production from Haliburton, the Pacers are simply an athletic team with potential. When they traded for Pascal Siakam, the Pacers envisioned the All-Star big man as the final piece of their puzzle.

Now, it has become abundantly clear that Siakam is simply a piece of their puzzle. Indiana still has a lot of work to do just to make the playoffs at this point, which is a shame because they have put together a really solid season. Various losing streaks right now could actually ruin their chances of making the playoffs.

17. Golden State Warriors (-)

2023-24 Record: 32-28, Upcoming schedule: vs. MIL (3/6), vs. CHI (3/7), vs. SAS (3/9)

The Golden State Warriors took on the Celtics over the weekend in a rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals. This game was over with about four minutes left in the first quarter, as Boston doubled up the Warriors 44-22 in the opening quarter of play. At halftime, they led Golden State 82-38 in what was a complete embarrassment.

This loss basically encapsulates Golden State's season to this point. While the Warriors still view themselves as legit title contenders who can compete with any team in the league and outscore them on any night, every other team is no longer afraid of them. The Warriors look old, they look confused, and there are still no steady offensive contributions coming from this roster outside of Stephen Curry.

As things currently stand, the Warriors are only 2.5 games out of the 6-seed in the Western Conference. They can still realistically make up ground and avoid the play-in tournament. However, they are going to have to avoid 50-plus-point losses like the one they had against Boston, and the Warriors will need to get some help from other teams.

Besides a tough matchup against Giannis and the Bucks, the Warriors should be able to get two home wins over Chicago and San Antonio at the end of the week.

18. Los Angeles Lakers (-)

2023-24 Record: 33-29, Upcoming schedule: vs. OKC (3/4), vs. SAC (3/6), vs. MIL (3/8), vs. MIN (3/10)

Similar to the Warriors, the Lakers need to win games right now and get help from other teams. Los Angeles is currently in the 10-seed spot in the Western Conference due to their inability to close out games. Nobody fears the Lakers, and this team hasn't given the rest of the league a reason to fear them.

Anthony Davis has disappeared in big moments throughout the season, LeBron James cannot do everything for his team, and the Lakers don't really have a bench unit to turn to. Defeating the Clippers for the second time this season is obviously a big morale booster for the Lakers, but there is nothing sticking out about this group suggesting that they can go on a similar run to the one they went on last season.

If the Lakers can simply lock in defensively and make that their core identity down the stretch, they can make a run for a Top 6 spot in the conference. Until then, this is a team that will be on the brink of elimination every time they play.

19. Houston Rockets (+1)

Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. (10) and head coach Ime Udoka walk off the court after the game against the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2023-24 Record: 26-34, Upcoming schedule: vs. SAS (3/5), vs. LAC (3/6), at POR (3/8), at SAC (3/10)

Keep an eye on the Houston Rockets down the stretch run of the season in regards to the NBA Power Rankings. The Rockets recently picked up a key win over the Suns, and Jabari Smith Jr. has really played well as of late.

The second-year forward has recorded a double-double in seven of his last 10 games, including a 22-point, 16-rebound performance against Phoenix at the end of February. With Smith's offensive contributions, as well as Jalen Green starting to look more comfortable, the Rockets could wind up being a surprise team down the stretch run of the season.

Houston could really do well for themselves and re-enter the playoff picture in the West with a win over the Clippers or Kings this week.

20. Chicago Bulls (-1)

2023-24 Record: 28-32, Upcoming schedule: at SAC (3/4), at UTA (3/6), at GSW (3/7), at LAC (3/9)

After trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter against the Cavs, the Chicago Bulls were able to pull out a 132-123 double-overtime victory last Wednesday. This is probably the Bulls' best win of the season and could serve as a point of momentum for them the rest of the way.

However, the Bulls' offense only revolves around Coby White, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic right now. This is the main reason why they have not been able to make up any ground regarding their play-in tournament spot.

Set to embark on a four-game road trip against Western Conference foes, the Bulls will first see the Kings on Monday night. Just about a month ago, Chicago erased a 30-point deficit against Sacramento and only lost by eight points.

21. Toronto Raptors (+2)

2023-24 Record: 23-38 Upcoming schedule: vs. NOP (3/5), at PHX (3/7), at POR (3/9)

Wins over Indiana and Charlotte helped the Toronto Raptors inch closer to the play-in tournament. Now, they are just 3.5 games behind the 10-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the East.

The only problem is that the Raptors are set to be without Scottie Barnes due to a left hand fracture. It wouldn't be shocking if the first-time All-Star missed the remainder of the 2023-24 season. Toronto is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second straight season, something they haven't done in over a decade.

22. Brooklyn Nets (+3)

2023-24 Record: 24-36 Upcoming schedule: vs. MEM (3/4), vs. PHI (3/5), at DET (3/7), at CHA (3/9)

When the Brooklyn Nets fired Jacque Vaughn and found themselves on a four-game losing skid last week, it seemed like their season was coming to an end. Since then, the Nets have won three out of four games, granted that they were against teams with losing records.

Hey, you never know in this league, and the Nets are two games back from the Atlanta Hawks for the 10-seed in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. The Hawks are also set to be without Trae Young, so maybe the Nets could sneak their way into some postseason action. At the very least, maybe they can play one extra game this year.

23. Atlanta Hawks (-2)

2023-24 Record: 26-34, Upcoming schedule: at NYK (3/5), vs. CLE (3/6), at MEM (3/8), vs. NOP (3/10)

Back-to-back losses against the Nets have resulted in the Hawks being on the verge of falling further down the NBA Power Rankings. At this point, the Hawks have turned their attention to the offseason and what is to come.

Has Trae Young played his final game in a Hawks uniform? Will Dejounte Murray be on the move? Is Jalen Johnson the guy the Hawks want to build around long-term?

These are all questions many around the league are asking regarding Atlanta. Funny enough, there are no clear answers to any of these questions. The Hawks are the team making everyone scratch their heads right now, especially since it seems like they aren't throwing in the towel just yet in order to evaluate the youth on their roster.

24. Utah Jazz (-2)

2023-24 Record: 27-34, Upcoming schedule: vs. WAS (3/4), vs. CHI (3/6), at DEN (3/9)

The Utah Jazz dropped three straight road games last week and have lost eight of their last nine games. Once inside the Top 20 of the NBA Power Rankings, the Jazz are back near the bottom of the league standings.

Since the trade deadline, the Jazz have been getting a better look at the youth on their roster, specifically 2023 first-round pick Taylor Hendricks. Over his last five games, Hendricks has looked like a solid contributor, averaging 9.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor.

Utah has a chance to be a very long team moving forward, with their starting lineup consisting of Hendrick, Lauri Markkanen, and John Collins.

25. San Antonio Spurs (+2)

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) speaks to the fans after a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Frost Bank Center
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

2023-24 Record: 13-48, Upcoming schedule: at HOU (3/5), at SAC (3/7), at GSW (3/9)

Victor Wembanyama sealed the deal on the Rookie of the Year race this past week when he and the San Antonio Spurs took down Chet Holmgren and the Thunder. In this game, Wemby had 28 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, and two steals.

Not only is Wembanyaa in contention for Rookie of the Year, but a really strong case could be made for him to win Defensive Player of the Year as well. The French phenom has recorded at least five blocks in 17 games this season, including six of his last eight games. Regarding his steals and blocks, which many refer to as “stocks,” Wembanyama is averaging 6.0 stocks per game.

The 20-year-old is a generational talent that has the Spurs on the verge of being a force once more.

26. Charlotte Hornets (-)

2023-24 Record: 15-46, Upcoming schedule: vs. ORL (3/5), at WAS (3/8), vs. BKN (3/9)

The Charlotte Hornets looked good for a little bit, but they have come back down to earth, losing four straight games this past week.

Overall, the Hornets are a team that definitely has potential moving forward. LaMelo Ball has a chance to get fully healthy in the offseason, Miles Bridges is likely going to return on a new contract, and Brandon Miller has been fantastic during the second half of the season. Miller has dropped at least 20 points in seven games since the start of February.

27. Portland Trail Blazers (+1)

2023-24 Record: 17-42, Upcoming schedule: at MIN (3/4), vs. OKC (3/6), vs. HOU (3/8), vs. TOR (3/9)

A nine-game losing streak was snapped by the Portland Trail Blazers this past week with two straight victories over the Memphis Grizzlies. The good news for Portland is that after going winless in the month of February, they find themselves undefeated in March.

This is going to be short-lived, as the Blazers travel to Minnesota on Monday night, followed by a matchup with the Thunder in their next game. The Blazers do not have many chances left on their schedule to get to 20 wins on the season.

28. Memphis Grizzlies (-4)

2023-24 Record: 20-41, Upcoming schedule: at BKN (3/4), at PHI (3/6), vs. ATL (3/8), at OKC (3/10)

The Grizzlies have only won two games since January 28. After back-to-back losses against Portland, it may be time for the Grizzlies to throw in the towel on the season. Even though Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart could return in the final few weeks of the regular season, there is no need for Memphis to risk injury to any of their key talents.

This has been a lost season from the very start for this franchise, but the Grizzlies are going to be a force to be reckoned with. They may be the third-worst team in the NBA Power Rankings right now, but the Grizzlies have a chance to be special during the 2024-25 season, assuming everyone is healthy.

29. Detroit Pistons (-)

2023-24 Record: 9-51, Upcoming schedule: at MIA (3/5), vs. BKN (3/7), vs. DAL (3/9)

Last week, we said that the Pistons would get a win. They accomplished this with a victory on the road against the Bulls.

Cade Cunningham continues to put up All-Star-like numbers for the Pistons, and Jalen Duren is a double-double machine at the center position. What has flown under the radar for the Pistons is their addition of Simone Fontecchio at the trade deadline.

Since arriving in Detroit, Fontecchio has averaged 14.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 41.5 percent from three-point range.

30. Washington Wizards (-)

2023-24 Record: 9-51, Upcoming schedule: at UTA (3/4), vs. ORL (3/6), vs. CHA (3/8), at MIA (3/10)

Like the Blazers, the Washington Wizards did not win a game in the month of February. In fact, this team hasn't won a game since January 29 against the Spurs. Their losing streak is now up to 14 games, which is half of what the Pistons achieved earlier this year.

Will the Wizards win another game this year?

Well, their best chance to do so is this week, with matchups against the Jazz and Hornets. Should they go 0-4 this week, the Wizards' next opportunity to win a game will be on March 12 when they visit the Grizzlies.

It is certainly possible that the Wizards finish 9-73 this season.