TST’s NBA Power Ranking Week 10

Vintage Kawhi Leonard is back, Anthony Davis will miss an indefinite time with a foot injury, and a new top team emerges.

30. Charlotte Hornets, 7-23

The Hornets are by far the worst team in the NBA with the worst offensive rating (108.3), team eFG% of 49.9, and team TS% of 53.3, and also the fourth-worst defensive rating (115.3) in basketball. On the bright side, LaMelo Ball (26.8 points and 6.3 assists per game with a TS% of 67.5 over his last 4 games) looks to be taking another leap despite being on an atrocious team.

The loss of Miles Bridges hurt this team immensely and Terry Rozier (20.9 points and 5.5 assists per game with an eFG% of 45.8 and a TS% of 48.8) remains one of the least efficient players in basketball. Nonetheless, just imagine a duo of Ball and Victor Wembanyama taking over the Eastern Conference. That would be a scary sight and the Hornets are in the best position to make that happen.

29. Detroit Pistons, 8-24

Bojan Bogdanovic (21.3 points per game with a 3PT% of 42.3 and a TS% of 64.9) is one of the most efficient high usage offensive players in basketball this season, and if the Pistons continue to lose at this rate, they can use him as trade bait to accelerate their rebuild.

However, perhaps they are inclined on making him one of their core pieces alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey (15 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game with a TS% of 50.7) in a path to contention within a couple of years as Bogdanovic signed a 2 year, $39 million contract extension with the Pistons already.

28. San Antonio Spurs, 9-20

The Spurs went 1-2 last week with a surprising one point win over the Cavaliers and two bad losses to the Trailblazers and Heat. They have the worst defensive rating in basketball (118.7), and their offensive rating of 108.6 (ranked 29th) isn’t much better.

Still, even in the midst of a tanking season, Devin Vassell (19.8 points per game with a TS% of 56.8) and Keldon Johnson (21.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game with a TS% of 52.1) have solidified themselves as a big part of the Spurs future, and the team will have a good shot at the #1 pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

27. Houston Rockets, 9-20

Jalen Green (21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game with a TS% of 52.9) has been more consistent as of late averaging 23.3 points per game with a TS% of 52.5 over his last 4 games, Jabari Smith Jr. (12 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1 block per game with 3PT% of 35 and a TS% of 51.7) shut down Giannis Antetokounmpo defensively last weekend and has asserted himself as one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA already, and Alperen Sengun (14.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game with a TS% of 58.7) has drawn comparisons to a young Domantas Sabonis.

The Rockets rank in the bottom five of every advanced statistical category, but with a young core of Green, Smith Jr., Sengun, and Kevin Porter Jr. (18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game with a TS% of 52.7) and a possible top 3 pick in next year’s draft, the Rockets rebuilding process is well on its way to being complete.

26. Washington Wizards, 11-20

After starting the year 11-10, the Wizards are on a 10 game losing streak despite Kyle Kuzma (21.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with a TS% of 55.4) taking a leap to solidify a big 3 alongside Kristaps Porzingis (22.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game with a TS% of 59.3) and Bradley Beal (23.2 points and 5.3 assists per game with a TS% of 61.9). Beal returned against the Lakers and kept the Wizards in that game after missing 7 straight games (all of which the Wizards lost). With the team healthy now, perhaps they are due for some winning very soon.

25. Chicago Bulls, 11-18

It is time to rebuild in Chicago. Despite having a trio of DeMar DeRozan (25.9 points per game with a TS% of 60), Zach LaVine (21.8 points and 1.2 steals per game with a TS% of 55.8), and Nikola Vucevic (16.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game with a TS% of 59.5), the Bulls are only a game ahead of the 13th seed Magic and just 4.5 games ahead of the last place Hornets. They went 0-3 last week with losses to the Timberwolves and Knicks (twice), and have lost a total of four games in a row. Their defensive rating was ranked in the top 10 before Sunday night’s blunder against the Timberwolves, where they gave up 150 points.

Now their defensive rating has dropped to 113.2 (ranked 18th in the NBA) and their 22nd ranked offensive rating of 111.4 (ranked 22nd in the NBA) is not much better. It is mind-boggling that just under two years ago this team traded away Wendell Carter Jr. (who is already arguably as impactful as a player as Vucevic) and the 7th overall pick (which turned into Franz Wagner, an up and coming NBA Star) for Vucevic, one of the league’s worst interior defenders. Furthermore, it is evident that the Bulls are in panic mode heading into the 10th week of the season.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder, 12-18

Despite being without their best player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game with a TS% of 62.3), the Thunder pulled out an impressive win over the top seed Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Luguentz Dort (13.9 points and 1 steal per game with great on-ball defense) stepped up in SGA’s absence and had 24 points 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal, while Isaiah Joe hit 5 threes to will the Thunder to victory. Despite ending last week on a high note, the Thunder’s 113.1 defensive rating (15th in the NBA) is not sustainable because they still sport one of the worst rosters in basketball. Gilgeous-Alexander should be top 5 in MVP voting just for getting this team to 12 wins by the 10th week of the season.

23. Toronto Raptors, 13-17

The Raptors are going nowhere fast as they went 0-3 last week and are on a five game losing streak. Their last win came against the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-less Lakers, and their once top 15 defense is now ranked 20th (113.6 defensive rating) and their once top 8 offense is now ranked 12th (113.7 offensive rating).

Pascal Siakam (24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game), Scottie Barnes (23.3 points, 5.7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game with a TS% of 60 over his last 3 games), Fred VanVleet (27.8 points, 6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game with a TS% of 62.4 over his last 5 games), and Gary Trent Jr. (18.6 points and 1.4 steals per game with a TS% of 62.3 over his last 5 games) have all been fantastic on offense during the losing streak, so why have the wheels fallen off of this team?

One answer: OG Anunoby (19 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game with a TS% of 57.1). Anunoby is not only the best perimeter defender on the Raptors, but in the entire NBA. He last played in the Raptors first of their four straight losses, but he wasn’t himself in that game and now the defense has suffered immensely with him out.

Are the Raptors are bad as their record? Absolutely not, as their defense has always won them games over the past couple of seasons and without
Anunoby, the team is very beatable. Are the Raptors underperforming despite Anunoby being out? Absolutely. Once Anunoby returns, this Raptors team should start piecing together some wins.

22. Orlando Magic, 11-20

Winners of 6 straight games and the first team in the NBA to defeat the Celtics in back-to-back games, the Magic are clicking on all cylinders. Paolo Banchero (22 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game with a TS% of 55.9) is coming off of a 31 point masterful performance and Franz Wagner (19.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game with a TS% of 58.3) has taken a huge leap this season to solidify arguably the best young frontcourt duo in the NBA. The team still lacks a dominant trait (bottom 10 in almost every advanced statistic), but the 6 wins in a row is a good sign of things to come.

21. Minnesota Timberwolves, 15-15

The Timberwolves scored 150 points in a win against Bulls (who had a top 10 defense before the game began) on Sunday night without Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert. That certainly doesn’t surprise me since I’ve been adamant about the Gobert experiment not working since the trade was made last summer. Towns gets a pass since he’s missed three weeks already, but it is no surprise that the one game Gobert sits out the Wolves play the best basketball they’ve played all season long.

Anthony Edwards (22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game with a TS% of 56.4) went off for 37 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals, while D’Angelo Russell (26.6 points, 5 assists and 1 steal per game with a 3PT% of 54.5 and a TS% of 75 over his last 5 games) added 28 points and 8 assists as the Bulls had no answer for them. Without being at full strength, this Wolves team has proven they can win games on the backs of Edwards and Russell and that is a promising sign for the rest of the season.

20. Los Angeles Lakers, 13-16

Despite a two game win streak that included an impressive win against the Nuggets without Anthony Davis (27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game with a TS% of 66.1) for the second half, the Lakers still have a lot of flaws. They have trouble closing out games, especially in overtime (0-4 record in OT this season) and they don’t have the bench depth to take pressure off of LeBron James (27 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game with a TS% of 56).
Their offensive numbers have vastly improved over the past few weeks with an offensive rating of 111.7 (20th when it was 30th early on in the season), a team eFG% of 53.1 (ranked 19th now despite being ranked 28th early on in the season), and a team TS% of 57.3 (ranked 17th in the NBA despite being ranked 26th earlier this season). Their defensive rating of 112.5 is also up to the 11th best mark in the NBA (thanks to holding the 3rd best offense in the league to just 108 points on Friday night). Despite the many positives in recent weeks, losing your best player for an indefinite amount of time is never a good sign for a team with playoff aspirations.

The Lakers already severely lacked depth when Davis was healthy, but now with the uncertainty of his injury, will they be inclined to improve the roster through a trade? Perhaps that will take pressure off of James, Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, Thomas Bryant, and Lonnie Walker (15.4 points per game with a TS% of 58.9), who have been the only five consistently impactful players on the roster this season. The Lakers still have the worst bench in the league and will need to bolster their depth through a trade to continue to hover around .500 during Davis’ absence.

19. Indiana Pacers, 15-16

Tyrese Haliburton (19.5 points and 10.7 assists per game with a TS% of 59.8) and Bennedict Mathurin (17.9 points per game with a 3PT% of 35.4 and a TS% of 55.3) are already one of the best young backcourts in the NBA and will wreak havoc on the Eastern Conference for years to come.

However, after going 1-3 last week with a win against the Warriors and losses against the Heat, Cavaliers, and Knicks, the Pacers fell to 9th in the Eastern Conference and their best advanced metric is their offensive rating of 112.7 (which only ranks 17th in the NBA). Despite their hot start, the Pacers are coming back to earth and should consider moving on from their tradable assets (Myles Turner and Buddy Hield) to accelerate their rebuild.

18. Atlanta Hawks, 15-15

Trae Young is averaging 27 points and 9.9 assists per game, but has a 3PT% of 28.8, and an eFG% of 45.7, two of the worst marks in the NBA for a player of his usage percentage (33.7 USG%). Young’s abysmal shooting season has cost the Hawks many games and they are only 15-15 heading into week 10, despite being deemed one of the top teams in the East before the year began.

The Hawks had the 2nd best offensive rating in basketball last season, but even with the addition of Dejounte Murray (20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.8 steals per game with a TS% of 53.7), the Hawks now only have an offensive rating of 111.9, ranked just 19th in the NBA this year.

17. Miami Heat, 16-15

The Heat have went 4-0 last week with wins against the Pacers, Thunder, Rockets, and Spurs and Tyler Herro (21.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game with a TS% of 59.7) has been a big part of that including a two game stretch where he had back-to-back 9+ 3 pointers made games.

Bam Adebayo (20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1 steal per game with a TS% of 58.4) and Jimmy Butler (21.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game with a TS% of 62.8) have both been fantastic this season, and though they won four games in a row, three of those games were against some of the worst teams in basketball. The Heat still have serious depth issues after Herro, Adebayo, and Butler as Victor Oladipo is still trying to get healthy and Max Strus hasn’t been consistent.

16. Golden State Warriors, 15-16

Steph Curry (30 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game with a 3PT% of 43.4 and a TS% of 66.8) was having the best season of his career before suffering a shoulder injury that will keep him out roughly two months. This is a huge problem for the struggling Warriors, who have a qSP (quantified shooting probability) of 57.3 when he is on the court and just a 52.4 qSP without him on the court.

Their NET efficiency is +7 with him on the court, and -11.1 with him off the court, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this team will struggle tremendously during Curry’s absence. However, Jordan Poole is averaging 30.8 points per game without Curry in the starting lineup this season and is coming off a career high 43 point performance, where he led the Warriors to a victory over the Raptors. The biggest issue for this team is that they had the second best defense in basketball this season, but only sport a defensive rating of 113.2 (ranked 17th in the NBA) this season. For the Warriors sake, hopefully they can hover around .500 in Curry’s absence so that they can at least be in contention for the playoffs when he returns.

15. Utah Jazz, 17-15

Lauri Markkanen is averaging 22.3 points per game with an unreal 3PT% of 41.8 and a TS% of 65.7 and the Jazz are 17-15 with the fourth-best offensive rating in basketball (116.2). Markkanen will be on his way to his first All-Star game if he keeps this up, but I worry about if the Jazz can be a playoff team with an abysmal defensive rating of 115 (ranked 25th in the NBA).

14. Sacramento Kings, 16-12

De’Aaron Fox is coming off of back-to-back 24+ point-9+ assists performances and the Kings have won two straight games against the Raptors and Pistons and are sitting at 5th in the Western Conference standings. Domantas Sabonis (17.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game with a TS% of 68.4) should be heading back to the All-Star game as he’s led this team to the sixth-best offensive rating of 115.5 in basketball. Light the beam baby!

13. Dallas Mavericks, 15-15

Luka Doncic (33 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game with a TS% of 60.7) is having the best season of his young career, and his two-best supporting cast players, Spencer Dinwiddie (16.4 points and 5.3 assists per game with a TS% of 60), and Christian Wood (17.5 points and 8 rebounds per game with a TS% of 63.8), have been playing some of the best basketball of their careers as well. However, the Mavericks still struggle with depth and only sport a defensive rating of 112.6 (ranked 12th in the NBA) when their defensive rating last season was in the top 7.

12. Portland Trailblazers, 17-13

The Trailblazers have a 17-13 record despite having a defensive rating of 114.2 (ranked 23rd in the NBA). Their offensive rating of 114.8 is ranked 7th in the NBA and the Blazers could have three All-Stars this season with Damian Lillard (28.3 points and 7.1 assists per game with a TS% of 63.9), Anfernee Simons (23.4 points per game with a TS% of 59), and Jerami Grant (21.9 points per game with a 3PT% of 44.6 and a TS% of 61.2). If those three players can keep up their offensive production, there is no limit on where this team could go.

11. Philadelphia 76ers, 16-12

Joel Embiid (33.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game with a TS% of 64.3) and James Harden (22.4 points and 10.6 assists per game with a TS% of 59.8) have both been spectacular as of late leading the 76ers to five straight wins. This team already has two superstars and a defensive rating of 109.6 (ranked 4th in the NBA) and will be even scarier when Tyrese Maxey returns. Watch out Eastern Conference.

10. New York Knicks, 17-13

The Knicks have won 7 games in a row and sport the 8th best defense (defensive rating of 111.5) in basketball. Julius Randle (22.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game with a TS% of 58.4) is playing like the 2020-2021 season Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson (20.8 points and 6.2 assists per game with a TS% of 57.9) has been an amazing addition to the team, and R.J. Barrett (19.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with a TS% of 52.1) has averaged 25.2 points per game over his last 5 games. This team is clicking on all cylinders and if they continue to play defense, they’ll be lethal down the stretch.

9. Phoenix Suns, 18-12

Devin Booker (28 points and 5.8 assists with a TS% of 58.5) had to drop 58 points on Saturday night for the Suns to pull out a win against the Pelicans as the team severely lacks depth. With Cam Johnson still sidelined and Chris Paul (11.1 points and 9 assists per game with an eFG% of 46.9) looking like a fragment of himself, this team could struggle immensely for the rest of the season.

8. Los Angeles Clippers, 18-14

Kawhi Leonard is back. He has averaged 25 points and 8.7 rebounds over his last 3 games and is coming off of a 31 point-3 steal performance against the Wizards. The Clippers have the 3rd best defense in basketball (109.6 defensive rating) and have won four of their last five games. This will be a dangerous team once they hit their stride.

7. Brooklyn Nets, 19-12

Kevin Durant (30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game with a TS% of 67.4) is having arguably the second-best season of his career (after his 32+ point per game MVP campaign in OKC) and Kyrie Irving (26.1 points per game with a TS% of 60.2) is on fire right now as well. That tandem alone has the Nets ranked 9th in offensive rating (114.5) and the team has won 10 of their last 11 games.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers, 20-11

The Cavaliers have the best defense in basketball so far this season (107.6 defensive rating) as Jarrett Allen (13.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game with a TS% of 64.3) and Evan Mobley (15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game with a TS% of 60.3) have tortured opposing offensive players on the interior this season.

Donovan Mitchell (29.5 points and 4.6 assists per game with a TS% of 64) is a bonafide MVP candidate and was the best addition of the offseason, as he has single-handedly taken over games offensively this season. The Cavs are easily a top 3 team in the Eastern Conference.

5. Denver Nuggets, 18-11

Nikola Jokic (25.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 9 assists per game with a TS% of 69.2 and a PER of 32.5) just had one of the best games in NBA history as he finished with 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win against the Hornets. Jokic has the Nuggets 3rd in offensive rating (116.7), 2nd in team eFG% (57.3), and 3rd in team TS% (60.2) all without Michael Porter Jr. over the past four weeks.

4. New Orleans Pelicans, 18-11

The Pelicans had a rough week going 0-3 with losses to the Jazz (twice) and Suns. However, the team only dropped to 2nd in the Western Conference standings and still own an offensive rating of 115.6 (ranked 5th), and a defensive rating of 110.4 (ranked 6th in the NBA). Zion Williamson (25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game with a TS% of 65.4) continues to be an MVP candidate and one of the most dominant players in the NBA, and the Pelicans are easily still a top 5 team in basketball.

3. Boston Celtics, 22-9

After easily being the best team in the NBA for the first 8 weeks of the season, the Celtics looked lost last week losing 3 of 4 games with their only win being a miracle comeback down 13 with under four minutes to go against the Lakers. The return of “Time Lord” AKA Robert Williams III was supposed to solidify this defense and make this team even tougher to beat, but the Celtics have lost two in a row with him against the 11-20 Magic.

Granted, the Magic have won 6 straight games and also defeated the Clippers in back-to-back contests two weeks ago, but there are no excuses for how this team is performing. They had an offensive rating of over 120 (would have been the best offensive rating in NBA history), but with an abysmal 92 point showing in the 3 point loss to the Magic on Sunday afternoon, it is down to 117.1 (still first in the NBA, but not by much).

Jayson Tatum (30.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game with a TS% of 61.1) continues to be a leading MVP candidate and Jaylen Brown (26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game with a TS% of 59.5) continues to be amazing as well. This team will be fine once they adjust to having Williams III playing and anchoring this defense, but as of right now, they have fallen to the 3rd best team in the NBA.

2. Milwaukee Bucks, 21-8

The Bucks suffered a brutal 41 point loss to the Grizzlies on Thursday night, but they bounced back against the Jazz on Sunday with a 123-97 win. Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists with a TS% of 58) didn’t even play in the win on Sunday, as it was Bobby Portis yet again (22 points and 10.7 rebounds per game with a TS% of 69.3 over his last 3 games) stepping up and leading the Bucks to victory as he finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds.

The Bucks have the 2nd best defense in basketball (defensive rating of 108.6), but with the way Portis, Brook Lopez (14 points and 2.8 blocks per game with a TS% of 60.4), and Jrue Holiday (19.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game with a TS% of 56.1) have been playing, they will have the top defense in the NBA within a few weeks.

1. Memphis Grizzlies, 19-10

Despite an embarrassing loss to the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-less Thunder in a game where Ja Morant (26.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game with a TS% of 54.8) was ejected, the Grizzlies still finished last week with an impressive blowout 41 point win over the Bucks, and two other wins against the Hawks and Pistons. Jaren Jackson Jr. (17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game with a 3PT% of 37.1 and a TS% of 62.9) may be the Defensive Player Of the Year so far with how he has almost single-handedly improved this defense from being ranked in the 20’s in defensive rating early in the year to now the 5th best defensive rating in the NBA of 109.9.

With a 19-10 record, the Grizzlies sit at 1st in the Western Conference and haven’t even had Morant, Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane (24.7 points per game with a 3PT% of 45.1 and a TS% of 62.2), on the court together at the same time so far this season. This team has a chance to be something special and could go all the way if they don’t get too high or too low depending on how each game plays out.

Note: Advanced Statistics used in this article are gathered from,, and and are updated as of Monday, December 19th, 2022.

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