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NBA Power Rankings for FEBRUARY

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NBA Power Rankings for FEBRUARY

By @JieunSuzy

 

Heading into week 20, these are the 2020 NBA power ranking by the end of February.

 

Milwaukee Bucks (W52-L9)

Another dominant performance by the league’s best team. They have clinched the playoff spots already with 8 wins difference than the Toronto Raptors (2nd best in the eastern conference). Giannis Antetokounmpo, the star player of Milwaukee Bucks has been outstanding this entire season, carrying the Bucks with a total average 35 points, 15.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists.

 

Los Angeles Lakers(W46-L13)

Lebron James and Anthony Davis’ the new star duo have been carrying the Los Angeles Lakers to dominate the entire western conference (1st seed in the Western Conference). They've been playing Davis at the five a little more over the last month (16.2 minutes per game) than they were previously (12.0). After playing three games against potential first-round opponents last week, the Lakers will play a big game against Bucks (1st seed in the Eastern Conference table) on Saturday.

 

Houston Rockets (W39-L21)

Over the games in San Francisco and Salt Lake City, the Rockets’ points from 3-pointers in total are 135 and opponents 42. However, their defense should boost them, both in regard to the numbers and the eye test. With Russell Westbrook, Robert Covington James Harden, and P.J. Tucker on the floor together, their communication and cohesiveness with switching almost everything has been on point. The Rockets were executing very well in games against the Utah Jazz last Saturday which put the Rockets back in fourth place.

 

Boston Celtics (W41-L18)

Jayson Tatum got the spotlight for the Sunday game against the Lakers. He matched his career high with 41 points which forced the Lakers to send double-teams at him in the second half. In this game without Kemba Walker, the Celtics lost with two-points difference. This loss to Lakers affected Boston’s place in NBA power ranking.

 

LA Clippers (W41-L19)

Recently, LA Clippers full squad have won four straight wins and pushed the Clippers into the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency. However, They must suffer a defeat against the 76ers on Sunday, but their five-man bench unit came up big. The schedule gets even more interesting this week, with the Clippers' three opponents having the West's three best records over the last six weeks

 

Denver Nuggets(W41-L19)

In their most important game of the season to date (Friday in L.A.), the Nuggets had their worst game performance, allowing the Clippers to score 132 points on 99 possessions that gave the two teams identical records in the race for second place in the West. The defensive numbers should improve, because their next two opponents rank 29th and 30th offensively since the break. After hosting the Warriors on Tuesday, they'll play nine of their next 11 games on the road

 

Toronto Raptors(W42-L18)

The Toronto Raptors have come short Recently, They only won 3 of their last 4 games. Norman Powell and Patrick McCaw returned from absences over the weekend, but Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka took their places on the shelf and Marc Gasol hasn't played since late January. They came out strong against the Bucks on Tuesday, but the Milwaukee Bucks defense was just absolutely amazing. Now the Raps are in a real fight with the Celtics (who have a slightly easier remaining schedule) for the 2nd seed in the East.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (W35-L22)

The Oklahoma City Thunder won 3 of their last 4 games, but they must suffer a defeat against the League’s best defense’ Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.The Thunder's third five-game winning streak was their best stretch of offense this season. They shot 42% from 3-point range and all five guys in their closing lineup averaged between 16 and 21 points over the five games. After they host the Clippers on Tuesday, the Thunder will play 13 of their final 21 games on the road.

 

Utah Jazz (W37-L23)

Utah Jazz won only 1 of their 5 recent matches. The Jazz have committed more turnovers than their opponents in 16 of their last 17 games, and that's more about their defense than their offense. The Jazz shot 19-for-37 from 3-point range against the Wizards' 30th-ranked defense and got great minutes from their bench on Friday to put an end to their four-game losing streak.

 

Miami Heat (W39-L22)

Miami Heat won 3 of their last 5 matches, including a loss to Cleveland on Monday in a game they led by 22 points and a loss to Minnesota (1-18 over its previous 19 games) on Wednesday in a game they led by 11 with three and a half minutes to go. The Heat still rank 26th in clutch defense, but Adebayo is not uncomfortable defending on the perimeter. In their next games, The Heat will compete against Magic.

 

Dallas Mavericks (W37-L25)

Dallas now are standing on the 7th seed at the nba table. The in-season improvement you'd hope to see from a guy coming back from ACL surgery has come. Kristaps Porzingis has averaging 16.8 points on an effective field goal percentage of 46.9% through his first 36 games. In their next games, they will compete against the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, and Indiana Pacers.

 

Philadelphia 76ers (W37-L24)

The 76ers won 2 of their last 4 matches. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are now both on the shelf. Simons back-issues are impacting the 76ers performances right now, but if he can heal in the next six weeks, he will make sure to carry the Sixers to go back on top again. The Sixers have been pretty bad offensively with Milton and Simmons on the floor together, but they can obviously use all the shooting they can get and things might be different now that Milton knows he can play with the best.

 

New Orleans Pelicans (W26-L34)

Zion was outstanding play made the New Orleans Pelicans to win 3 of their 5 recent games. Zion Williamson has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games and set a new career high with 35 (all in the paint or at the free throw line) against the Lakers on Sunday. However, they still couldn’t stop the 1st seed at the NBA Western Conference table.

 

Indiana Pacers (W37-L24)

The Pacers now have 4 consecutives wins when they've started their five best guys together, and the lineup has allowed exactly a point per possession in its 86 total minutes. They're 15-14 on the road, though seven of the Pacers' final 12 road games, including two of the four this week, are against teams with winning records.

 

Memphis Grizzlies (W29-L31)

The Grizzlies' are in a slump right now, they lost all of their 5 recent matches. They had issues on both ends of the floor and some brutal starts. They were outscored by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets, and they went almost four full games without holding a lead. Before their schedule gets tough again, the Grizz will play five of their next six games against teams with losing records.

 

Sacramento Kings (W26-L34)

The Kings won 4 of their 5 recent matches, including won 2 times against the 8th seed at the table-Memphis Grizzlies. They rank fifth defensively since the break, only nine of the Kings' final 22 games are against teams with winning records. Six of those nine are at home, and one of those six is against the shorthanded Sixers on Thursday.

 

Orlando Magic (W27-L34)

The Magic won 3 of their 5 recent matches, and they are standing on the 7th seed at the table. They scored more than 124 points per 100 possessions over their last seven halves of basketball, and rank sixth offensively since the break. The Magic's four leading scorers have combined a good field goal percentage. But their defense has suffered some slippage; The Magic are 3-9 in Western Conference arenas, with their final three road games against the West on a four-game trip that begins Wednesday in Miami.

 

San Antonio Spurs (W25-L34)

The Spurs aren't very good defensively, so they can't afford to struggle on the other end of the floor. They only won 1 of their 4 recent matches, including a win 114-113 against the Magic (7th place in the eastern conference). Aldridge could return on Monday, but Jakob Poeltl is out with an MCL sprain in his right knee.

 

Brooklyn Nets (W26-L33)

The Nets had three heart-breaking losses last week, coming up short on last-second possessions against Orlando, Washington and Miami. The Nets have slipped into eighth place and have lost 13 of their last 16 road games, with two more four-game trips left on their schedule.

 

Portland Trail Blazers (W27-L35)

Recently, The Blazers crushed the Orlando Magic with a score of 130-107. The Blazers are still just 4 games in the loss column behind the eighth-place Grizzlies and just one game into a stretch of 13 straight that are either against teams with losing records (11 of the 13) or at home (seven of the 13). They will compete against the Wizards on Wednesday to conquer the 8th seed at the table right now.

 

Atlanta Hawks (W19-L43)

Atlanta won 2 of their 5 recent matches. They suffered a great loss 127-88 against Memphis Grizzlies (8th seed in the western conference) yesterday. Atlanta ranks third in pace, fourth in offensive efficiency, and 23rd in defensive efficiency, with the Hawks and their opponents having combined to average 245 points over the six games. They will compete against the Wizards next saturday.

 

Washington Wizards (W22-L37)

The Washington Wizards are still just 4 games in the loss column behind the eight-place Nets. Bradley Beal breaks the Wizards record with 18 straight 25-point games, and a big jump in usage rate has him averaging a career-high 6.1 assists per game this season. He carried the Washington Wizards with consecutives back-to-back 50+ points.They will compete against the Hawks next Saturday, to conquer the 8th seed at the table right now.

 

Phoenix Suns (W24-L37)

The Suns just won 2 of their 5 recent matches, including a great loss against the Warriors (15th seed in the Western Conference). Just when the Suns had settled on a starting lineup that functioned well on both ends of the floor (it's outscored its opponents by more than 20 points per 100 possessions in its 226 minutes), they lost Kelly Oubre Jr. to a knee injury. Without Oubre, the Suns have lost three straight games.

 

Charlotte Hornets (W21-L39)

Recently, They lost against the Bucks with only 8 points difference. It was a weird week in Charlotte. Malik Monk was playing the best basketball of his career and had just got his first career start when he got suspended for violating the league's Anti-Drug program on Wednesday. They will struggle to compete against the 2nd seed at the table (Denver Nuggets) and the 4th seed at the table (Houston Rockets).

 

New York Knicks (W18-L42)

The New York Knicks only won 2 of their 5 recent matches. Mitchell Robinson has taken 96% (298/310) of his shots in the restricted area, the highest rate among 214 players with at least 300 total field goal attempts. And as he scored a career-high 23 points in the Knicks' win over the Bulls last Saturday, all 16 of Robinson's shots came in the restricted area. The Knicks will compete against Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder this week.

 

Chicago Bulls (W21-L40)

The Chicago Bulls won 109-107 with the Mavericks on Monday, they recorded 46.8% field goal percentage in that game and Coby White carried the game with 19 points. The Bulls allowed the Knicks' 28th-ranked offense to score 125 points on just 94 possessions last Saturday, with New York's 70 points in the restricted area being the most for any team in any game this season. They’ve also lost their last six games that have been within five points in the last five minutes.

 

Detroit Pistons (W20-L42)

The Pistons have only won 1 game of their 8 recent matches, They put an end to a seven-game losing streak last Friday, getting two big, last-minute buckets from Derrick Rose, who matched his season high with 31 points and has taken almost three times as many clutch shots (for the team that ranks 30th in clutch offense). The Pistons' two most-used lineups this season included Blake Griffin, who hasn't played since December.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (W17-L44)

The Cavaliers lost 113-126 to the Utah Jazz on Monday. Even though Collin Sexton carried the game with 32 points, they still couldn't defeat the Utah Jazz. Collin Sexton can bend defenses with his acceleration and his willingness to push in transition but he still couldn’t lift up the team himself.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves (W18-L42)

The new Wolves are playing fast and free, attacking early off made baskets. Recently, They lost to the Mavericks 111-91. Their 107.4 possessions per 48 minutes since the All-Star break lead the league by a wide margin. With D'Angelo Russell in their team, he carried his new team on Friday, when the Wolves came back from 11 down with less than four minutes to go, having lost the previous 28 games that they trailed by double-digits. They will face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

 

Golden State Warriors (W14-L48)

The Golden State Warriors are in slump this season, they only won 2 of their 5 recent matches. They lost against the Wizards with 14 points difference on Sunday, recorded 47.2 pts field goal percentage but only 9/28 from the 3-points line (32.1%). With Curry and Klay Thompson absences, they are struggling to win right now.

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