All NBA teams have now played anywhere between 12 to 15 games in the 2022-23 season. We're approaching the official one-month mark in the next few days, and it's time for the next iteration of our NBA Power Rankings as we enter Week 5. This week's edition sees a lot of fluctuation in the teams' positions as we have some strong risers and some heavy sinkers. On one hand, we have some of the hottest teams from the first few weeks fall into a slump this past week, most notably the Cleveland Cavaliers. On the other hand, some unheralded clubs have soared to unexpected heights like the Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, and even the Sacramento Kings. As such, let's take a look at how each team fared throughout the past week.
The NBA regular season is a helluva funny and unpredictable thing, yes? Who would have thought the Utah Jazz would still be this good one month in? Who would have thought that the Cavs — our second-best team a week ago — could stink up their play so quickly? Also, poor Charlotte Hornets. They cannot catch a break with injuries, and they're officially the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
We have also indicated how many rungs each team rose or sank based on their previous rankings in Week 4.
Now without further ado, let's look at our 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings entering Week 5 of the new season.
1. Milwaukee Bucks (No change)
The Bucks finally lost a game this past week. In fact, they lost two, falling to the Atlanta Hawks and, yes, the San Antonio Spurs. Both games were on the road, which sort of gave credence to the impression that the Bucks' home-heavy early schedule helped them get off to a strong start. They have a bunch more home games coming up, so they should get a few more wins this coming week.
2. Boston Celtics (+4)
The Celtics were maybe the best overall team this past week. They were 4-0 this past week with marquee wins over the Grizzlies and Nuggets. They even did work on the road, which was much more impressive. Also, Jayson Tatum looks MVP-ready.
3. Denver Nuggets (+6)
The Nuggets rise sharply in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings thanks to winning three of their four games this past week. Their only loss? To the Celtics in Boston. Apart from that, Denver had a solid week, though they didn't really go up against any title favorites (again, aside from Boston). Michael Porter Jr. had his best game of the season against the Bulls on Sunday.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 14, 2022
4. Portland Trail Blazers (+4)
The Blazers were riding high on a three-game win streak before losing a close one in Dallas. Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant continue to impress for this overachieving team, while of course, it was great to see Dame Dolla back on the floor. No more injuries, please.
5. Utah Jazz (-1)
The Jazz slide down one space after ending the week with back-to-back defeats. Don't let that fool you, though, since they had won four games in a row before that. Also, is Lauri Markkanen trending to be an early All-Star favorite?
6. Phoenix Suns (-3)
The Suns fall out of the top five after an up-and-down week, which even featured a loss to the Magic. What happened there, right? It'll be a gauntlet this week as well as the Suns have road games in Miami and Utah sandwiching a home game against the Warriors.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (-2)
The injury bug seems to have bitten the Grizzlies, who have three starters dealing with different ailments. They went 2-2 this past week, which was just enough to keep them among the top five in the West. Desmond Bane has also been playing at an All-Star level, though we hope he recovers from his injury sooner rather than later.
8. Atlanta Hawks (-1)
The Hawks are coming off a split against the Sixers, which is not too bad. Still, it's enough to push them down a rung in our Week NBA Power Rankings. They are also looking at a very tough stretch this week as they face the Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors in succession.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers (-7)
How fast the dominoes fall, don't they? A week ago, everyone was raving about this team's talent and chemistry. Now, we're looking at a team that has lost four games in a row despite a relatively healthy roster. A key game against the Bucks is their first test in the next few days.
10. Dallas Mavericks (No change)
No change for the Mavs in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings as they went 2-2 this past week. Wins against the Nets and Blazers were good, but losses to the Magic and Wizards were rather unexpected. The consolation is that Luka Doncic continues to play well. He is still putting up crazy numbers for Dallas.
11. Washington Wizards (+10)
The Wizards are the highest risers in our NBA Power Rankings in Week 5. That should not be too shocking since they have won four straight games without Bradley Beal, including victories over the Mavs, Jazz, and Grizzlies. Kyle Kuzma has been on fire lately, while we're continuing to see a Kristaps Porzingis resurgence. They also have a winnable schedule this coming week against the Thunder, Heat, and Hornets.
dubskiiiii 👐 pic.twitter.com/LiA4XnFpSG
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 14, 2022
12. Los Angeles Clippers (+1)
The Clippers went 2-1 this past week, highlighted by a scintillating comeback victory over the Cavs. Paul George has, of course, been absolutely excellent for this team, though we're still wondering when the heck Kawhi Leonard is gonna fully return to the rotation.
13. New Orleans Pelicans (-1)
The Pels remain among the most exciting teams to watch this season, though that does not necessarily mean they'll win every game they play. It's a young team with superb athletes who are still trying to find the kind of chemistry that can make them elite. They face the Grizzlies and Celtics this week, though, which is going to be a challenge.
14. Indiana Pacers (+3)
The Pacers went 2-1 this past week, and they were one 3-point bucket away from upsetting the Nuggets. Myles Turner and Buddy Hield are making Lakers fans thirsty, while Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin are an exciting young backcourt duo. They have the Hornets, Rockets, and Magic lined up this week, which means they could actually go 3-0.
15. Sacramento Kings (+8)
Are the Kings actually … decent?! They went 3-1 this past week, including wins over the Cavs, Lakers, and Dubs. De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis have both been really solid as this team has its eyes on trying to end the longest playoff drought in the NBA.
16. Philadelphia 76ers (+4)
It sure looked like another shaky week for Philly before they won back-to-back games against the Hawks and Jazz. Everything does seem much better when Joel Embiid is his double-double self (and when he drops 59 points!), and Sixers fans hope to see more of that as the weeks go by.
17. Toronto Raptors (-6)
Pascal Siakam was playing like a top-10 player before his injury, and the Raptors are clearly missing him. Also, the supposed emergence of Scottie Barnes just hasn't materialized yet. Maybe it'll happen at some point this season. Big drop in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings for the North.
18. Miami Heat (+4)
Miami creeps out of the bottom 10 after back-to-back wins to end the week. Yes, both were against the hapless Hornets, and both were at home. Still, wins are wins, folks, and those wins pushed the Heat into the top 10 in the East. This week will be an acid test, though, as they face the Suns, Raptors, Wizards, and Cavs.
19. New York Knicks (-1)
The Knicks literally went up and down over their four games this past week. This team still lacks a clear identity, and we're not confident they can really be a playoff threat as presently constructed, especially after giving up 145 points to OKC. Also, we need Jalen Brunson to shoot better than 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, please.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder (-1)
We had OKC much lower in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings before they ended the week with wins over Toronto and NYK. Of course, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to take names left and right, but where the heck did Eugene Omoruyi come from, right? It's probably a fluke, but we'll see down the road how this youngster does.
21. San Antonio Spurs (-7)
We guess the honeymoon period is done and dusted in San Antonio. They're finally playing like they're all in for Victor Wembanyama next season. It was nice to see them uncharacteristically snap a five-game slump with a home win over the visiting Bucks this past weekend, though.
22. Brooklyn Nets (+5)
A day after everyone was talking about the Nets playing well without Kyrie Irving, they go and get dumped by the Los Angeles Lakers. This is such a crazy unpredictable team, but we have to give them credit for some better play without Irving.
23. Chicago Bulls (-7)
It was an ugly finish to the week for Bulls fans. After beating the Raptors on Monday following a loss to them the day before, Chicago couldn't close out a win over the Pelicans and then got romped by the Nuggets to close out the week. The Bulls have just two games this week at New Orleans and home against the Magic, so wins are needed.
24. Minnesota Timberwolves (-9)
One team severely off track so far has been Minnesota, which just snapped a three-game slump with a surprising road win over the Cavs. A huge lead was almost blown, though. Defense was supposed to be much improved for the Wolves, but they're actually allowing more points now than last season. That's a big reason they're our big faller in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings.
25. Golden State Warriors (-1)
We really don't know what we're watching when the Warriors play. On one hand, they sometimes play like the defending champions, like in their win over the Cavs. More often than not, however, they also kinda suck, like in their loss to the Kings. While Stephen Curry is cooking, the Dubs are an embarrassing 0-7 on the road.
26. Orlando Magic (+3)
Isn't it strange that the Magic are just one rung below the defending champions in our Week 5 NBA Power Rankings? It is what it is, though. Magic fans have to love the fact that their team just won back-to-back games against the Mavs and Suns no less. If this level of play continues, they might actually sweep their Week 5 foes.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (-1)
This team was not built to be 3-10 one month into the season, and yet here we are. Sunday's win over a streaking Nets side was promising, but the five previous losses before were anything but. Also, LeBron James could miss more time due to an injury.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 14, 2022
28. Detroit Pistons (No change)
Like the Pacers and Magic, the Pistons are young. However, unlike the Pacers and Magic, the Pistons aren't really making anything out of it. They have lost three straight before facing the Raptors this week and then going for back-to-back road games in Los Angeles. Good luck, Pistons fans.
29. Charlotte Hornets (-4)
The Hornets are still smarting from the injuries of Gordon Hayward and Cody Martin. It was good to see LaMelo Ball back out there, though, getting 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists in his season debut. His 1-of-9 3-point shooting was atrocious, however.
30. Houston Rockets (No change)
Speaking of atrocious, the Rockets are mind-numbingly so. While there is young talent on this team, the 2-11 record is disappointing. Wemby, here we come?