With 2017 winding down, it’s time to take a look at the NBA Power Rankings for the month of December. There are a lot of movers and shakers on this list and everything in between. Without further adieu, here’s the updated list for the NBA Power Rankings.
1.Golden State Warriors
The Warriors assume the top of the Western Conference and this list heading into 2018. With Stephen Curry returning from an injury, the Warriors are still back on track to make another Finals run in the postseason. Their next four opponents are Dallas, Houston, L.A. Clippers, and Denver.
2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics came up big in their win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday and look to end 2017 on a high note against the Brooklyn Nets. Boston’s next four opponents are Cleveland, Minnesota, Brooklyn (again), and Philadelphia.
3. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are still atop of the rankings in the West and in the league, but losing to Boston on Thursday knocks down them two pegs. It also doesn’t help that the Rockets lost against Oklahoma City on Christmas Day also. Houston’s next four opponents are the L.A. Lakers, Orlando, Golden State, and Detroit.
4. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are in second place of the Eastern Conference, and only continue to rise from there, winning 12 of their last 13. The Raptors have two meetings with Milwaukee, along with Chicago and Brooklyn for their next four games.
5. San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio got wins over New York and Brooklyn, but were blown out by Detroit last night. The Spurs just got Kawhi Leonard back, but they’re making sure the recovery is carefully being watched. The Spurs face New York again, followed by Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Portland.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs came up short against the Stephen Curry-less Warriors team on Christmas, and also suffered losses against Sacramento and Utah. With Cleveland losing three straight, they’ll have to pick up the pace heading into 2018 when they face Portland, Boston, Orlando, and Minnesota.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Speaking of the Timberwolves, they came up big against the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver, only to fall to Milwaukee on Thursday. The Wolves face Indiana, the Lakers again, followed by Brooklyn and Boston.
8. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons earned victories over Indiana and San Antonio, but they fell shorthanded against the Orlando Magic. Detroit are still in the Eastern Conference race, and will have their next four opponents in Miami, Philadelphia, Houston, and New Orleans.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder
In the beginning of the season, things looked out of sync for the Thunder, but lately they’ve managed to bring it all together with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony working in tandem with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams. The Thunder have a long way to go as their next four are Dallas, L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and Phoenix.
10. Washington Wizards
Despite being in sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, the Wizards came up with a Christmas miracle against Boston and another huge win against the Houston Rockets. The Wizards look to continue their climb up the rankings as they face Chicago, New York, Memphis and Milwaukee as their next opponents.
11. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are ahead of the Wizards in the East standings, but losses against Oklahoma City and Chicago may hinder their position. Milwaukee got back Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell from injury, which means Giannis Antetokounmpo will have others helping him the carry the load with him. Milwaukee face Indiana, Washington, and two games with Toronto.
12. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets continue their ascend into the Western Conference top eight, thanks to playing from Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried, and Nikola Jokic. Despite losing to Minnesota and Philadlephia, the Nuggets are still fighting their way in an arduous Western Conference. Denver faces Phoenix, Utah, Golden State, and Sacramento.
13. Miami Heat
The Heat got back Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson from injury, but the latter ended up back on the shelf again. Nevertheless, the Heat bounced back from this setback and the loss against the Brooklyn Nets with two wins against Orlando. The Heat face Detroit, New York, Utah, and Toronto.
13. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers share the same record as the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat, but losing three in a row doesn’t look good for them either. The Pacers take on Minnesota, Chicago, and face Milwaukee twice for their next four games.
15. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers had a win against Atlanta and a loss against Philadelphia, a sign that their offense is touch and go. Portland are without Damian Lillard, which also hinders them even more. The Blazers’ next four games are against Chicago, Cleveland, San Antonio, and a rematch with Atlanta.
16. New York Knicks
The Knicks are still the surprise team of the Eastern Conference as evidenced by the stellar playing of Kristaps Porzingis. Last night, the Knicks gained a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans and will look to ring in the new year against their next four opponents, who are San Antonio, Washington, Miami, and Dallas.
17. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans and the Knicks share the same record, but after last night’s loss against the Knicks, and a loss against the Dallas Mavericks, the Pelicans are behind the Knicks in the power rankings, despite being eighth in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans’ next four opponents are Utah, Minnesota, Detroit, and Memphis.
18. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers were one of the surprise teams in the East. Since that time, they were on a five game losing streak before getting a win over the Knicks on Christmas. The Sixers can still make some noise heading into the new year as their next four opponents are Phoenix, San Antonio, Detroit, and Boston.
19. Utah Jazz
With Rudy Gobert out with an injury, the Jazz have turned their attention to rookie Donovan Mitchell to pick up the scoring load and Derrick Favors on the defensive end. Utah are still competitive and they’ll have to remain that way until Gobert’s return. Utah’s next four opponents are New Orleans, Denver, Miami, and Washington.
20. Los Angeles Clippers
The good news for the Clippers is that they got Blake Griffin back from injury and defeated the Lakers. The bad news is that they have a long way to go in order to get back into the top eight of the Western Conference and DeAndre Jordan could leave Lob City. For now, the Clippers will have to make a run and fast, because their next four opponents are Charlotte, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Golden State.
21. Phoenix Suns
The Suns came away with a clutch win in Memphis and another win against Sacramento. With Tyson Chandler’s leadership and Devin Booker continuing to improve his game, Phoenix could build upon this momentum heading into the new year. The Suns face Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, and San Antonio.
22. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls, the Hornets, and the Nets have same record, but the Bulls have been on a three-game winning streak, thanks to victories over Milwaukee, New York, and Indiana. Lauri Markkanen looks to guide his team for more wins as they face Washington, Portland, Toronto, and Dallas.
23. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets made quick work of the Miami Heat Friday night with a 111 to 87 victory. Brooklyn may also get D’Angelo Russell back from injury, too. Brooklyn’s next four are against Orlando, Minnesota, and two games against Boston.
24. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are look to regain some ground after a series of inconsistent scoring and some tough games. Charlotte will have to build upon their victory against Golden State as their next four opponents are L.A. Clippers, Sacramento, L.A. Lakers, and Dallas.
25. Sacramento Kings
Though Sacramento had two losses against Phoenix and the L.A. Clippers, their only highlight was a win against Cleveland, which saw Vince Carter turn back the clock and score 24 points against LeBron’s triple-double. Next up for the Kings are Memphis, Charlotte, Denver, and San Antonio.
26. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are on a three game win streak after losing three straight against Detroit, Miami, and Atlanta. Dennis Smith Jr. continues to impress for the Mavs and Dirk Nowitzki is still consistent as ever. The Mavs’ next four come against Oklahoma City, Golden State, Chicago, and New York.
27. Orlando Magic
Orlando started out the season as a surprise team in the Eastern Conference that looked to secure a playoff spot. Since then, they’ve fallen down the standings due to injuries. last night and even last Tuesday, the Magic loss twice against Miami, the last game seeing the return of Aaron Gordon for Orlando. Heading into the new year, Orlando will have to face Brooklyn, Houston, Cleveland, and Dallas to regain some ground.
28. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are without Lonzo Ball at the moment, but Kyle Kuzma has been doing his part to keep the Lakers going. Recently, the Lakers have lost three in a row, including a loss against Minnesota on Christmas Day. Now, the Lakers have Houston, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, and a rematch against Minnesota.
29. Memphis Grizzlies
Could things get any worse for the Memphis Grizzlies? How about a Stephen Curry return as the Warriors all-star guard torched them for 38 points against them. Along with injuries, inconsistencies and even firing coach David Fizdale, the Grizzlies can’t sink any lower than where they are now. Memphis’s next four games are against Sacramento, L.A. Clippers, Washington, and New Orleans.
30. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta are still going through their rebuild with Dennis Schroder at the helm. There’s also some bright spots from John Collins, too. However, the Hawks still find themselves at the bottom. The Hawks face Phoenix, L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and a rematch with Portland for the new year.
And that’s the second NBA power rankings for OutLoud Culture. There will be another one coming soon.