Welcome back to the Unwrapped Power Rankings. As we touch on all things that went down in the Association this week, you will have to read on to see our biggest movers and losers after the week that was in the NBA. There will be a couple of surprises in here. Be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree on where your team currently stands.


  1. Utah Jazz 

Utah was No. 1 last week and they are not moving as this team just keeps rolling. Donovan Mitchell is starting to become a low-key MVP candidate and the Jazz work so well as a team. The core of Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert and Mitchell has done a great job all year. The role players have been pretty special as well as Jordan Clarkson is the Sixth Man of the Year so far and will be tough to catch.


  1. Brooklyn Nets

Last week Brooklyn was No. 5 and they get a big bump to No. 2 this week mainly due to their recent play. Up until Saturday night they were on an eight-game run without Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving didn’t play Saturday and the Nets faltered to the Dallas Mavericks. However, their 8-2 record in their last 10 and their improved defensive metrics helped them move up in the power rankings.


  1. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers just drop one spot. However, they are still top in the East. The way Simmons has turned it on offensively has opened some people’s eyes all over the league. I like Philly’s depth but if they add the likes of Kyle Lowry to this already stacked roster, the 76ers just may get to the Finals.


  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Alright, I admit having another East team in the top-4 is a little ridiculous but I don’t care since my last power rankings the Bucks have done nothing but win. Albeit, it wasn’t the best competition. Jrue Holiday will hopefully be back soon as this team is looking to find its groove again, and if they do, watch out.


  1. Phoenix Suns

I gave the Suns a two-spot bump this week up from No. 7 and passing the Los Angeles Lakers for the time being. While I don’t think it will be for the long term, I do like what I am seeing from a Suns team that finally has some leadership guiding them. Can Deandre Ayton and the other ancillary pieces keep getting better? Time will tell and right now the Suns are playing good basketball.


  1. Los Angeles Clippers 

Clippers are ho-humming along despite an ugly defeat to the Grizzlies that they quickly bounced back from by defeating the Grizzlies the next night. When you have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on your team it is tough to knock them too much. Depth is my worry for this team and can they get enough from the likes of Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris to keep them in first place in the Pacific.


  1. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers take the fall this week all the way to the No. 7 spot. No Anthony Davis has been a problem but also the injuries to Dennis Schroder proved too hard to overcome. As the Lakers showed against their drubbing of the Portland Trailblazers, Schroder is a nice piece that can be a No. 2 scorer on certain nights. The Lakers badly missed his playmaking ability alongside LeBron James, however for this team to win the title again they will need a healthy Anthony Davis.


  1. San Antonio Spurs 

The Spurs (yes the Spurs) are at No. 8!!! Look I have no idea and you don’t either but they keep getting the job done. The likes of Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson along with DeMar DeRozan make them an ambitious bunch that has them at the top of the Southwest division. That being said, there are questions that continue to persist around if they are buyers or sellers. No one seems to know and they will have to make a decision on free agent-to-be DeRozan soon enough.


  1. Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have been on a tear the last few games and their move up the charts is a sign of what has been impressive wins over Utah and Toronto recently. The Heat are getting healthier and Jimmy Butler has been a stat-stuffing machine. I think the Heat will be buyers at some point during the season as they look to make a push into the top in the East.


  1. Denver Nuggets

Denver is gradually making their way up the power rankings but I do not want to overreact too much to beating teams that they should beat. Nikola Jokic is an enigma and playing at an MVP level. Michael Porter Jr. needs to continue to get better and I am totally out on Jamal Murray. The Nuggets I believe made a mistake by not moving him in an attempt to get James Harden. That being said, they are playing better and he does get some credit for that.


  1. Portland Trailblazers

Trailblazers are lucky to retain a top-12 spot, to be honest. They have not been playing well of late. To be fair to Portland, they have played the Lakers, Nuggets, and Suns in their last three – all of which have been losses. Damian Lillard is forced to do a lot of the heavy work and Gary Trent Jr. is doing his best sidekick impression but is it enough? Time will tell but this team badly needs CJ McCollum back to compete with the elites.


  1. New York Knicks

I’m putting the Knicks at 12 and I am not apologizing for it. So much excitement for Knicks fans and I’m here for it. The Knicks have been impressive. Julius Randle and the rag tag bunch of young and old. Immanuel Quickley had a breakout game this week. The addition of Derrick Rose has been a plus so far and the Knicks are scrappy to beat you any night of the week.


  1. Toronto Raptors

Rumors abound with this team alongside COVID-19 issues are among troubling signs for the Raps. They haven’t fallen off or anything, I just don’t think that they are going to try and win this year. I feel a big trade coming and if it is Lowry, I think they could get enough back to help them contend in the future.

  1. Golden State Warriors

Warriors have wins over the Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets the last week and have been playing inspired basketball. Draymond Green is playing like his best self of late, being the ultimate glue guy and playing the point forward in this offense. Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre have done the bulk of the scoring, but you have to be impressed with their current form.


  1. Dallas Mavericks

Have had nice wins over Boston and Memphis this week and capitalized on it all with a win against a very hot Brooklyn team. There was a sign of life from the ancillary pieces of this Mavs offense this week and they got back Kristaps Porzingis, who is still looking to get back to where he was a couple of years ago. The Mavs will go as far as Luka Doncic takes them but the Mavs may need to make a move in the coming weeks. What that looks like? Only time will tell.


  1. Washington Wizards

Washington makes a leap from No. 25 last week to No. 16 and they probably deserve to be higher as they have won eight of their last nine games. Russell Westbrook looks different right now and back to triple-doubles every night. Bradley Beal has been scorching hot and a walking bucket nightly leading the league at 32.8 PPG. Wizards are fun to watch right now and maybe they can fight back into the playoff picture where some of us saw them at the beginning of the year.


  1. Chicago Bulls

Bulls are still in the mix despite key injuries. Coby White has been playing better and once again the play of Zach LaVine has been impressive. Are the Bulls a trade away from being relevant again? I would like to see Chicago active in the trade market.


  1. Boston Celtics

I thought I had Boston low last week. They take another drop in my latest power rankings. They are clearly missing Marcus Smart. The thing is it doesn’t get any easier for Boston with their next four vs the Wizards, Clips, Raps and Nets. It is make or break time for this Celtics team and if they come out the other end of this losing all of those. There will be some very tough questions.


  1. Indiana Pacers 

The Pacers are sputtering and missing two starters does not help the situation. Domantas Sabonis and Malcom Brogdon were both left off the All-Star roster and they are proving the critics right at the moment. They need to find the cohesiveness that they played with at the beginning of the year. Caris LeVert is getting healthier and is practicing again and his addition would add a lot of firepower to this team.


  1. Charlotte Hornets

They had a nice win over Phoenix this week but that was about it. LaMelo Ball has been playing well and so has Terry Rozier. Gordon Hayward is the guy that they need to get going again. Not sure if it is possible with so many guys looking to score, but they need a go-to guy and it seems to move around on this team.


  1. Memphis Grizzlies 

A nice win over the Clippers this week couldn’t buoy the Grizzlies in their spot very long. Until this team gets more consistent it will be tough for them to string together games. I still don’t believe Ja Morant is 100 percent healthy. With no Jaren Jackson Jr., who is going to be the next guy to step up? Is it Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke or Xavier Tillman? Who is it? I like what I see from big Jonas Valanciunas but they are missing a piece.


  1. New Orleans Pelicans

ZION!!! What a beast he is and Lonzo Ball has been on a tear as well. This team as I said last week is really fun. Sure they don’t play tons of defense but that’s okay. They are here for our entertainment right….right.


  1. Atlanta Hawks

I bumped the Hawks up the rankings but I was left a bit cold. They had impressive wins over the Nuggets and Celtics but then lost to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Hawks want to move up I need to see more consistency from Trae Young and the Hawks. It would be nice to get De’Andre Hunter back in the lineup and give them some consistent effort on both ends. I look forward to that day when they are fully healthy. The Hawks have a move to make at the trade deadline. I am interested to see how they play it.


  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC is steadily hanging in there and had wins over the Hawks and San Antonio this week. I love what Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is doing nightly. He just needs some more from the role players they have around him. Whether or not that player is on the roster yet is to be seen.


  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs deserve a little credit here beating the Hawks, Rockets and the 76ers recently. Collin Sexton is a real player and a budding star in my opinion. The likes of Darius Garland, and even Jarrett Allen, have been nice additions. I think the Cavs will continue to surprise teams on certain nights and disappoint in others. This team just lacks guidance and consistency.


  1. Orlando Magic 

I want to like Orlando, however, it is just not happening. No Aaron Gordon still and this team is a number of parts and Nikola Vucevic. What Orlando does going forward here in ‘21 will be telling. The best package they could get back would be to offer up Vucevic to a contender. Not sure if they would be willing to do that considering their history of giving up on franchise centers.


  1. Sacramento Kings

Kings were on a nasty nine game slide until their recent win over lowly Detroit. Something isn’t right about this team right now and whether that is coaching or personnel, that is something this front office will need to figure out. I like the pieces here but I could see Marvin Bagley packing his bags soon no pun (intended).


  1. Houston Rockets

John Wall is doing what he can but no Christian Wood for some time now and I am not liking anything that they are getting from  Victor Oladipo at the moment. He can’t buy a bucket and this Rockets team is in full rebuild mode, if you didn’t know that already. Look for Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker to be moved potentially at the deadline.


  1. Detroit Pistons

Like I said last week, I dislike this team and not sure of the direction of it going forward. I think they will be drafting high next year and looking to give their young guys more opportunities as the year goes on. Look for potential weekly as the likes of Saddiq Bey and others get more looks.


  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

T-wolves fired their coach and now have lost seven straight. No light at the end of the tunnel for Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns play has been better recently but Malik Beasley’s off-the-court issues and D’Angelo Russell’s injury woes continue to plague this team that has some promising pieces in Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid.


Thank you for checking out my power rankings of the NBA season. I will be back weekly with updated ranks. This is a really fun exercise and feel free to give me some feedback. Remember to check out the 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 five dollars a month will get you in and a chance for some cool prizes. At ten dollars 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