December 2, 2022 | 5:41 am
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Shaw Sports NBA Power Rankings

Just about a quarter of the way through the NBA season and it’s time to check in on each team’s power ranking. As stated at the beginning of the season trends take time to develop and now we have a good idea of who the contenders and pretenders really are.

Check out where we ranked all 30 teams as the season rolls through the month of December:

  1. Indiana Pacers: Paul George is a monster and this team will be able to ease Granger back into a support role once he’s healthy. Sky’s the limit.
  2. Portland Trail Blazers: Making believers out of the entire league, just ask the Pacers. Good on both sides of the ball and great team chemistry.
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Getting contributions from their bench but Ibaka has emerged as the third guy. Very dangerous team and Westbrook is back at an All-Star level.
  4. San Antonio Spurs: Duncan finally rounding into form while Parker has been coasting and they still lead their division…that system is undeniable.
  5. Miami Heat: Quietly churning along while battling injuries. Bench has been a huge surprise.
  6. Los Angeles Clippers: Not as dominant as they probably should be and Chris Paul has cooled. But DeAndre Jordan has blossomed and that bodes well for the playoffs.
  7. Houston Rockets: Their defense is suspect at best but with Harden and Howard they can win games on talent alone.
  8. Denver Nuggets: Hard to get a feel for who they really are. Roster shakeups have been threatened but this team is playing without two starters (Gallinari and McGee). Should be fine when healthy.
  9. Phoenix Suns: The surprise of the NBA season without a doubt. Jeff Hornacek deserves heavy consideration for coach of the year already.
  10. Dallas Mavericks: Despite having a revolving door at the center position, the Mavs have been competitive. The Ellis and Nowitzki pairing is working thus far.
  11. Golden State Warriors: Playing really bad defense on the road and the shots don’t fall as easy without the Oracle crowd behind them. The return of Iggy should help greatly.
  12. Atlanta Hawks: Treading above water in the murky Eastern Conference. Jeff Teague has slowed down but Paul Milsap and Al Horford have been pretty consistent.
  13. New Orleans Pelicans: Without Anthony Davis they have still been remarkably competitive. Ryan Anderson and Jru Holiday have picked up their games after injuries and a slow start.
  14. Minnesota Timberwolves: Need to evolve on defense if they want to make a playoff push. Kevin Love is still a man child though.
  15. Detroit Pistons: Starting to round into form. Should have beat the Blazers and went into Indiana and gave the Pacers their first home loss.
  16. Boston Celtics: Can they keep themselves near 500 all season? With Rondo on the way in January it would appear Boston has a shot at a playoff spot for real.
  17. Los Angeles Lakers: The return of Kobe Bryant hasn’t gone as smooth as the Lakers would have hoped. Serious point guard questions going forward with Nash and Blake both ailing.
  18. Memphis Grizzlies: So is coaching the issue or Marc Gasol’s injury? Either way things in Memphis aren’t going as planned and trade rumors are swirling as the team lacks an identity.
  19. Washington Wizards: John Wall has matured, Bradley Beal is back from injury and looks like the real deal. If they get consistent production from Nene and Gortat they can avoid the lottery.
  20. Charlotte Bobcats: Playing great defense but starting to slip after a nice start. Al Jefferson hasn’t exactly been worth the money yet. Does MKG have a future there?
  21. Toronto Raptors: Masa Ujiri is showing why the Raptors front office wanted him as their GM. On the court DeMar DeRozan has emerged as the focal point of the team in the wake of Rudy Gay’s exodus.
  22. Brooklyn Nets: Not fully healthy but the return of Deron Williams is huge. Don’t expect them in the bottom third of the standings much longer.
  23. Sacramento Kings: After the Rudy Gay trade this team should be as exciting to watch as any in the league. Solid starting group that should be competitive the rest of the way…assuming Gay and Cousins can get along.
  24. Chicago Bulls: Lots of heart and hustle but the loss of Rose is proving to be too much this time. Luol Deng is playing out of his mind but a massive shakeup might still be looming.
  25. Cleveland Cavaliers: An abysmal 2-11 road record explains some of their problems not to mention the rumored drama with Dion Waiters. Look for them to trade a player or two in order to change some of the chemistry and infuse life into the locker room.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers: I think the real 76ers have finally stood up. It was fun while it lasted.
  27. Orlando Magic: At some point they need to package some of these like-talented players for bigger names. Not enough ball to go around and they need to figure out who they are building around.
  28. New York Knicks: Coach Woodson has lost control of his favorite son J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert has no confidence, Carmelo is on island and nobody can stay healthy to run the offense. Something is going to give very soon. It can’t get much worse for this proud franchise.
  29. Utah Jazz: Trey Burke has been decent since returning from injury despite the terrible Summer. Enes Kanter hasn’t delivered the goods and Derrick Favors still needs some seasoning.
  30. Milwaukee Bucks: Nothing works. Rotations are all over the place, injuries have been plentiful and those who get minutes don’t do much with them. Fire the coach, players and GM. Maybe bring a D-League team up in their place.


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