Welcome to the way too late to start Power Rankings Unwrapped edition. Brought to you by yours truly. I know I know I have started way too late so if I slighted your team’s early success I am sorry. Will do my best to put this out weekly and keep a running tally on where I believe the teams stack up. If you disagree that is great tell me who should be higher and who should be lower. That being said I may not agree with you but that is what makes power rankings so fun. So let us get into it as we approach All-Star weekend while only playing less than 37% of the games there is a lot of intrigue in the Association night in and night out.


  1.  Utah Jazz

Take Note fans are jamming their way into the top of my initial rankings taking their first L in a long time just recently. This team is just that A-TEAM that’s been together a while now and are benefitting from ultimate team chemistry.


  1. Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers are the best in the East right now and there is no question about it. Joel Embiid has taken the league over and scoring 50 points the other night put the league on further notice. Ben Simmons is playing his best basketball as the all-around do it sidekick to Embiid. Tobias Harris is doing his part and adding Seth Curry to this lineup has been exactly what Phila needed. Sixer fans have something special in Embiid and only time will tell if he can continue this fantastic pace.


  1. Los Angeles Lakers 

Not going to lie it was difficult ranking the Lakers and they have dropped a couple here of late without Anthony Davis. However, I do not believe this affects the Lakers as a whole throughout the year. As long as AD comes back fully healthy, I really don’t think the Lakers care what seed they get. That being said, it would be nice to stay in the top-4 in the West. Time will tell.


  1. Los Angeles Clippers 

The Clips are an interesting story and are just starting to get healthy again. They are 6-4 in their last 10 and Kawhi Leonard has been on a tear the last five games averaging 27.4 pts a game. I expect the Clippers to keep on ticking over the “Win” column as the team gets more and more healthy.


  1. Brooklyn Nets 

Brooklyn is so interesting and if this was a League Pass ranking (IDEA) then they might be first. No one is more entertaining than seeing three of the top 15 players in the league on the same team. The best part is that they play literally no defense. They have given up 117.3 points per game in 2020, which is 28th in the NBA. That being said, they are powerhouse based on offense alone but will it be enough?


  1. Milwaukee Bucks

The Jrue Holiday out has been costly for the Bucks as they are 5-5 in their last 10. Losing back-to-back games to the Toronto Raptors was a shock, to say the least. Giannis is still struggling from outside and the free throw line and maybe this is just who Giannis will be. Time will tell on that, but the Bucks need to figure something out quickly if they are going to get back in the top-5 of this power rankings. P.S. I realized they don’t care.


  1. Phoenix Suns 

Chris Paul keeps plugging along bringing the Suns with him. The Suns are a very deep team with not tons of experience but that is what CP3 brings with him. The Suns have been playing good basketball of late and are 8-2 in their last 10. They are creeping up the power rankings here and not sure how high they can go or where their ceiling might be.


  1. Portland Trailblazers 

Dame the disrespected? Well, that is what Twitter tells me. Lillard has been an absolute machine as of late with no CJ McCollum to help. It has been the Lillard and Gary Trent Jr show with contributions from the other Blazers such as Enes Kanter and Carmelo Anthony. I almost like this version of the Blazers better. Would the Blazers entertain a move to trade CJ? Alright, I am just trying to fire the Blazer fans up.


  1. Toronto Raptors 

I get it, you’re mad the Raptors are at 9 in these power rankings. How dare he? Aren’t they sellers? Well, I am giving them lots of credit for  the back-to-back wins over the Bucks, who I rate pretty highly. I love the way Norman Powell is playing and with Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry and the sporadic Pascal Siakam, there is a lot to like about this team. Whether or not they can put some more W’s on the board will be key on if this team is in the running or they look to move some of their key contributors.


  1. San Antonio Spurs 

I am as surprised as you are. No chance in hell did I expect the Spurs to be 16-11 and the sixth seed at this point in the season. It is almost like it doesn’t matter who is playing as long as Greg Popovich is coaching. LaMarcus Aldridge has been nothing more than baggage so far and it hasn’t mattered. DeMar DeRozen is playing well but is it enough for the Spurs to stand pat at the trade deadline or do they move on from the underrated star?


  1. Boston Celtics 

As surprised as I was about the Spurs ranking, I am equally surprised at this one. The C’s have been utterly disappointing this year and yes, they have had some key outs throughout the season, but this team is supposed to be better than that. Kemba Walker does not look entirely right and I am not sure he ever will again. I love both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and they can be sensational but something seems to be missing from this team. The answer is not simply that Marcus Smart comes back. Something needs to be done.


  1. Indiana Pacers

Pacers started out hot but are now 4-6 in their last 10. Domantas Sabonis has been playing like an All-Star and Malcom Brogdon is not far off the pace either. It just doesn’t seem like enough and while they added the likes of Caris LeVert, we aren’t sure if or when he will be able to play. Do the Pacers have enough firepower to keep them in the race? (Pun intended).


  1. Denver Nuggets 

Nikola Jokic is playing like a local folk hero and it wasn’t until recently that Jamal Murray showed any sign of the performances he had in the bubble. Murray will need to keep his form for this team to march up the rankings as there isn’t much more to expect out of the Joker. The fact that Murray was apparently off the table for a potential trade for James Harden seemed laughable until recently. Michael Porter Jr. is the real X-factor. Do the Nuggets go all in and try to win this year by moving MPJ or hold out hope that this core can be even better in the coming years?

  1. Charlotte Hornets

What an interesting team! The Hornets are 6-4 their last 10 and have a rag tag bunch of scorers and intriguing pieces. Whether or not it will all mesh for the Hornets to sneak their way into the playoffs, we don’t know. But they are fun to watch.


  1. New York Knicks

Julius Randle is a beast and the Knicks have been playing stellar defense all year long. They only give up a league leading 103.7 points a game. The No. 2 team the Lakers are 2.2 points behind them. It is an intriguing team going forward with a lot of young pieces playing hard for the new regime. They are currently the eight seed and will need their young guns to continue to grow quickly if they would like to stay there.


  1. Miami Heat

The Heat started off slow and have had a lot of outs due to COVID-19 and injuries but that is starting to subside. Jimmy Butler is back to lead the team from the doldrums. They are 6-4 in their last 10 and look to get back in the Eastern Conference race. There is little doubt that they will make their way back into the playoff picture more firmly.


  1. Golden State Warriors 

Warriors are playing hard and James Wiseman looks like a good draft pick, or at least when he is actually on the court. Steph Curry has been playing at an MVP level on a mediocre team. The likes of Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins have showed flashes and will have to continue to improve if the Warriors want to hang on to the eighth seed.


  1. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls find themselves in the mix despite Lauri Markannen missing the last handful of games. Zach LaVine has been playing at an All-Star level as well but the team has been mediocre to this point in the season. LaVine is not enough and the Bulls either have to move him or add to him to make this Bulls team relevant.


  1. Memphis Grizzlies

The ol’ Grit and Grind have faltered as of late but it is encouraging having Ja Morant back. However, it will take more from Dillon Brooks, Jonas Valenciunas and the younger Grizz players to claw their way back into the backend of the playoff race. Don’t count them out.


  1. Dallas Mavericks 

It saddens me I have to put Luka Doncic and the Mavs down so low, but until they get healthy and start clicking not much will change. What do the Mavs do with Kristaps Porzingis? We all know what Luka can do but right now he is a one-man band and that simply does not work in the league.


  1. Orlando Magic 

The Magic are the most blah team to me in the league. Not a lot of excitement from them night in and night out other than the occasional Terrance Ross blowup game. Yes, I like the blue collar work from Nikola Vucevic but he is now in trade rumors for the 20th straight year…..jokes. What will the Magic do? Will they punt the season and move some pieces and start playing their young guys or try and ride it out to make it work?


  1. New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelly Pels are a rag tag bunch of players that are skilled but not quite sure how it all fits together. The Pelicans are terrible defensively (yes that includes you Zion). However, on offense they can be extremely potent. Lonzo Ball has been talked about in trade rumors, but I could see anyone of the Pelicans moved to fit around Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. However, I am not sure exactly what makes sense.


  1. Sacramento Kings 

Not sure what to think of this Kings team as they had an impressive run earlier in the season with wins over the C’s, Nuggets, Raps and Clippers. Since then it hasn’t been pretty. I was really loving the way De’Aaron Fox had been playing but the inconsistency of Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley is confusing and I am kind over it. Will the Kings grow up in time to make a move or will it be a disappointing season in “Cow Town” once again?


  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

To be fair to OKC fans, I actually like watching this team compete night in and night out. I imagined Sam Presti putting this team together to not win anything but these young guys have gutted their way to some very impressive wins so far. Unfortunately, it isn’t consistent enough but this team will be a spoiler for the rest of the league going forward.

  1. Washington Wizards

What a strange season it has been for the Wizards. Bradley Beal drama aside he has been an elite scorer this year and has been impressive every night. The addition of Russell Westbrook has been nothing much more than a shoulder shrug. That being said, I am optimistic that Westbrook will get more healthy as the season progresses along with the rest of this banged up Wizards team and we see them make a run at least to the play-in game for the playoffs.


  1. Atlanta Hawks

I know the Hawks fans are mad at me right now, and rightfully so, but I am not a believer in Trae Young as of yet. There were some early season grumblings about the John Collins and Young chemistry, however that has started to work it self out or so it seems. The Hawks are 2-8 in their last 10. I do like the ancillary pieces in Atlanta and hopefully they can all get back and right the ship.


  1. Houston Rockets

Not quite sure what this team is now but the Christian Wood signing looked like a real win until the injury bug got him. The backcourt of Eric Gordon, John Wall and Victor Olidipo has some potential but they need to be healthy and clicking on all cylinders just to have a chance.


  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

What can we say about the Cavs as they are 1-9 in their last 10. They were frisky to start the year and much of that momentum has dissipated. Colin Sexton and Darius Garland need to play better as they mature. The Andre Drummond saga mixed in with the most big men in history in a rotation creates a mix that leaves little to be desired currently.


  1. Detroit Pistons

I dislike everything about this team. We knew why Jerami Grant signed here in the offseason and we are seeing that almost nightly as he gets all the stats that he wants as long as it is shots attempted and points. That hasn’t led this Pistons group to much success however and the questions about Blake Griffin’s future are real. I think the time is now for the Pistons to start prepping for the lottery.


  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

The injuries have just been an issue for this team. D’Angelo Russell can’t stay healthy and when he does play Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t. If they could find a way to get all their pieces playing at the same time maybe it would be different. I guess we will never know.


Thank you for checking out my first power rankings of the NBA season. I will be back weekly with updated ranks and tidbits for you to digest. This is a really fun exercise and feel free to give me some feedback and gentle ribbing when the T-Wolves somehow crush the Jazz in the coming weeks. Remember to check out Unwrapped Sports store at https://teespring.com/stores/unwrapped for all your gear. Also, want to talk with us 24/7? We have a discord set up through Patreon. Support the network and get all your daily sports talk, thoughts on the latest moves, signings and gambling lines all in one hit. Just $5 a month will get you in and a chance for some cool prizes. At $10 even bigger prizes are available. Follow me @Cmoney52 for daily player props and my DM’s are always open. See ya next week.

Corey Easley is a Contributor for Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on on Twitter @Cmoney52