TST’s NBA Power Rankings Week 13

The Grizzlies have the best defense in basketball, the Lakers' season is back on track. and the Clippers have lost 6 games in a row.

30. Houston Rockets, 10-30

The Rockets have played sloppy basketball all season long, indicative of their NBA high Turnover Percentage (TOV%) in the NBA at 17.1. They also have the 29th ranked offensive rating of 109.6, the 28th defensive rating of 116.4, and the 28th ranked team eFG% of 51. Jalen Green has scored a lot of points this season (average of 21.2 with a TS% of 52.9), but is also ranked in the 27th percentile for wings in PSA (point per 100 shot attempts) with an abysmal mark of 106.4.

29. Detroit Pistons, 11-31

The Pistons have the 24th ranked offensive rating of 111.3, the 29th ranked defensive rating of 118.6, and the 27th ranked team eFG% of 52.2 in the NBA. Touted rookie Jaden Ivey (14.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game with a TS% of 51.1) ranks in the 20th percentile for point guards in PSA with an atrocious mark of 101.8, and has a TOV% of 14.9% (ranked in the 12th percentile for point guards, another horrendous mark). If the Pistons want to avoid being the worst team in the NBA, they need to see a big second half from Ivey.

28. San Antonio Spurs, 13-28

The Spurs have lost four out of their last five games and have the worst defensive rating of 119.2 and NET rating of -8.5 in the NBA. Keldon Johnson is averaging 21.2 points per game with a TS% of 53.8, but also ranks in the 37th percentile for wings in PSA with a 109.1 mark. Efficiency on both ends of the floor has been a problem for the Spurs this season, but they will continue to “tank for Wembanyama” to secure a top pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

27. Charlotte Hornets, 11-30

LaMelo Ball (23.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game with a TS% of 54.4) continues to be fantastic with just an 11.1% TOV% (ranked in the 78th percentile for point guards) despite his extremely high usage percentage (USG%) of 31. What is even more remarkable is that Ball has a 36.4% Assist% (AST%) and is already one of the league’s best playmakers.

Despite an impressive blowout win against the Bucks last Friday night, the Hornets‘ offense was nowhere to be found in crucial moments in Sunday night’s 116-111 loss to the Pacers. The Hornets still have the worst offensive rating of 109.1 and eFG% of 50.5 in basketball. If the Hornets can consistently improve their offense on a nightly basis, then they could rise up the ranks in these power rankings.

26. Orlando Magic, 15-26

The Magic have won two out of their last three games including an impressive 115-111 win over the Warriors on Saturday. Paolo Banchero (21.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game with a TS% of 54.8) and Franz Wagner (20.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game with a TS% of 59.1) have solidified themselves as one of the league’s best young duos.

Banchero is improving his PSA (which ranked in the 28th percentile last week and now ranks in the 38th percentile for forwards) of 109 with four stellar scoring games in a row, and Wagner continues to have an incredible PSA of 120 (83rd percentile for wings) and AST% of 16.5 (80th percentile) despite it being just his second year in the league.

25. Washington Wizards, 17-24

The Wizards have lost two games in a row following their impressive five game win streak. Despite the 17-24 record, the Wizards have the 15th ranked defensive rating of 113.6, the 21st ranked offensive rating of 112.6, and the 16th ranked team eFG% of 54.6 in the NBA.

Bradley Beal (22.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game with a TS% of 61.7) has a tremendous PSA of 125.1 (which ranks in the 88th percentile for combo guards) and AST% of 24.8 (which ranks in the 89th percentile for combo guards). Beal’s efficiency is at an all time high and if he continues to play at this level, the Wizards will be tough to beat on any given night.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder, 18-22

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (30.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game with a TS% of 61.7) continues to be one of the best players in the NBA this season. SGA also boasts the second-best PSA at the point guard position in the NBA with an otherworldly mark of 124.7. Rookie Jalen Williams (11.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with a TS% of 57.5) has been one of the best rookies in the entire NBA and also has a PSA of 116.1 (which ranks in the 64th percentile for wings).

The Thunder have the 13th ranked defensive rating of 113.3 and the 19th ranked offensive rating of 113.1 in the NBA, but what is even more impressive is their superb 5th ranked TOV% of 13.4. They take care of the basketball and play good defense, meaning they could continue to hover around .500 all season even while sporting one of the worst rosters in the NBA.

23. Toronto Raptors, 17-23

The Raptors have severely underperformed this season and their record isn’t indicative of how good the team is. Despite their defensive rating of 113.4 ranking 14th in the NBA (when their defensive rating of 109.9 ranked 9th last season), the Raptors have the worst Win Differential of -2.9 in basketball. Win Differential is described as the difference between the number of games the team has won and what would be expected based on their efficiency differential (which in the Raptors case is -0.1, ranked 18th in the league).

Pascal Siakam (25.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game with a TS% of 56.9) has the highest AST% of 28.4% in the NBA for all forwards and continues to be one of the best players in the NBA this season. Add in DPOY candidate OG Anunoby, sharpshooter and elite defender Gary Trent Jr., second year player Scottie Barnes, and proven veteran Fred VanVleet, the Raptors have a core that should have been able to win them 50 games. Instead, they’ll have trouble winning 40 and getting into the playoffs.

22. Utah Jazz, 20-23

Lauri Markkanen (24.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game with a 3PT% of 41.5 and a TS% of 66.9) continues to not only be an All-Star, but one of the best and most efficient offensive players in all of basketball this season.

Markkanen has the highest PSA of 134.8 for forwards with a USG% higher than 11.7% in the NBA this season, and the Jazz have the third-best offensive rating of 116.5 and the 8th best team eFG% of 55.7 in the NBA as a result. Though Markkanen is the biggest reason why the Jazz have a superb offense, he isn’t the only one as Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley, and Kelly Olynyk are playing the best basketball of their careers.

21. Portland Trailblazers, 19-20

The Trailblazers have lost three games in a row and are continuing to spiral down the Western Conference standings. The Blazers have the 13th ranked offensive rating of 114.1 the 16th ranked defensive rating of 114, and the 28th ranked TOV% of 16 in the NBA.

Damian Lillard (27.3 points and 7.2 assists per game with a TS% of 60.4) is one of the more efficient high usage guards in basketball with a PSA of 121.1 (ranked in the 92nd percentile for point guards), and Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons are two more 20+ point per game scorers. Still, the Blazers don’t take care of the basketball, and unless they drastically improve in that area, they will have a tough time making it even out of the Play-In Tournament.

20. Los Angeles Clippers, 21-21

On December 27th, the Clippers had a 21-15 record and were 5th in the Western Conference standings. Since then the Clippers have lost six straight games and have plummeted to 7th in the standings and sit just 1.5 games ahead of the 11 seed. They also had a top 3 defense just a few weeks ago (which has been their superpower in recent years) but now have the 7th ranked defensive rating of 111.8 in the NBA.

Without sporting a top 5 defense, the Clippers simply don’t put up enough points (offensive rating of 110.7, ranked 27th) to win pivotal basketball games and that was evident over the last week and a half. Kawhi Leonard (17.3 points per game with a TS% of 55 and an AST% of 22) has a PSA of 110.2, which ranks in the 42nd percentile for forwards and is by far the worst mark in his career.

Paul George (23.7 points and 5.1 assists per game with a TS% of 58.8) has a TOV% of just 14.2, which ranks in the 19th percentile for wings, despite his extremely high USG% of 32.1. Still, both Leonard and George have the occasional blunder in pivotal games (combined 9 points against the Nuggets in a 30-point loss last Thursday night). Perhaps giving Terance Mann and Robert Covington more minutes in crucial situations could fix some things.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves, 20-21

Anthony Edwards (23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game with a TS% of 56.3) has been on a roll this season and is singlehandedly keeping this team in games. Edwards only has a PSA of 113.8 (ranks in the 53rd percentile for wings), because D’Angelo Russell is the only other player on his team that can provide even above-average shot creation and playmaking.

Nonetheless, the Timberwolves have the 20th ranked offensive rating of 112.9, the 12th ranked defensive rating of 113.3, and the 26th ranked TOV% of 15.7 in the NBA. The Rudy Gobert trade continues to prove costly as the offense has gone stagnant this season despite being ranked 7th in offensive rating (113.8) last year. Furthermore, the Wolves are an average basketball team that shouldn’t be expected to go anywhere unless they can fix their offensive woes, which is a tall task with Gobert on the team.

18. Chicago Bulls, 19-22

Zach LaVine is coming off of three straight amazing performances and the Bulls have won two out of their last three games as a result. LaVine also has a PSA of 119.5,(ranks in the 78th percentile for combo guards) and an AST% of 18.6 (ranks in the 90th percentile for combo guards). The Bulls have the 15th ranked offensive rating of 113.7, the 21st ranked defensive rating of 114.3, and the 10th ranked team eFG% of 55.3 in the NBA. With DeMar DeRozan set to miss time with a quad strain, LaVine will need to continue his hot streak for the Bulls to stay in games.

17. Phoenix Suns, 20-21

The Suns have lost nine out of their last ten games and now are below .500. The bad news is that this team had the best record in the Western Conference in November and the wheels have fallen off since. The good news is that Devin Booker only played in just one of those nine losses and was only on the court for four minutes before leaving with a groin strain (which has kept him out since).

Say what you want about Booker, but his immense talent and production is undeniable with a very good PSA of 118.8 (ranks in the 71st percentile for wings) and an even better AST% of 24.7% (ranks in the 97th percentile for wings). It is very unfair to judge this Suns team without Booker, but even when he was on the court, it was evident that this team simply didn’t gel as well as the last couple of years. A big part of this is because Chris Paul looks like a fragment of himself and DeAndre Ayton is one of the most inconsistent centers in the NBA on a nightly basis.

16. Atlanta Hawks, 19-21

The Hawks have won two out of their last four games to continue to hover around .500 this season. Their wins came against the Kings and Clippers, while their losses came at the hands of the Warriors and Lakers in that four game span.

Last season, the Hawks had an offensive rating of 115.4, which was the second-best mark in the NBA, but this year their offensive rating of 112.5 is ranked 21st despite upgrading the roster this offseason. With the addition of All-Star Dejounte Murray, the Hawks were supposed to contend in the East and possibly repeat their success from a few years ago and get to the Conference Finals.

Instead, they have severely underperformed and Trae Young is a big reason why. Despite averaging an impressive 27.5 points and 9.8 assists per game, Young has just an eFG% of 47.5 and is shooting just 31.4% from 3PT range in 7.1 attempts per game. Though Young’s efficiency has improved over the last few weeks, it still isn’t enough to consistently win. The learning curve for Young and Murray, two ball dominant point guards, to play alongside each other has taken longer than expected, but they have the talent to drastically improve their offense and turn the season around.

15. Los Angeles Lakers, 19-22

The Lakers fell to the Nuggets on Monday night following their improbable five game win streak. LeBron James (29.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game with a TS% of 58.5) did not play in the loss against Denver, but has been playing like a top 5 player in the NBA again after a rough start to the season.

Thomas Bryant (20.5 points and 13 rebounds per game with a TS% of 70.9 over his last 6 games) has been a godsend for the Lakers providing consistently elite offensive production in Anthony Davis‘ absence. Bryant’s PSA of 147.5 (ranks in the 95th percentile) is one of the best marks in the NBA and he is proving to be an extremely valuable piece to this Lakers core. As Davis sets to make his return soon, the Lakers are in a good position just 1.5 games back of the 6th seed.

14. Sacramento Kings, 21-18

The Kings have the third-best offensive rating (116.8) and fourth-best team eFG% (56.7) in the NBA and both Domantas Sabonis (18.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game with a TS% of 67.6) and De’Aaron Fox (23.8 points and 6 assists per game with a TS% of 59.3) should be heading to the All-Star Game in Salt Lake City.

Despite having one of the most potent offenses in basketball, the Kings have the 24th ranked defensive rating of 115.1 and have to outscore their opponents in a shootout on a nightly basis. That certainly won’t be sustainable in the playoffs, and if the Kings can start defending at a higher level to compliment their incredible offense, then this team could be dangerous down the stretch.

13. Golden State Warriors, 20-20

Klay Thompson has been on a tear recently averaging 33.6 points per game with a 3PT% of 40 and a TS% of 60.3 and Andrew Wiggins just returned from a month-long injury absence. However, after an impressive five game win streak going into last Wednesday night, the Warriors proceeded to disappoint and lose to the Pistons and Magic at home.

They should be able to defeat the Devin Booker-less Suns on Tuesday, but this team may find it tough to tread water without Stephen Curry with the 17th ranked offensive rating of 113.3 and the 19th ranked defensive rating of 114.1.

12. Miami Heat, 21-20

The Heat have won three out of their last five games and boast the 6th ranked defensive rating of 111.4 in the NBA. However, even with such a formidable defense, the Heat struggle to score points, as evident in their 25th ranked offensive rating of 111.4. Jimmy Butler (21.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game with a TS% of 61.7) has a PSA of 125.9, which ranks in the 89th percentile for forwards even with his USG% of 26. Unless other players can step up that aren’t named Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro, the Heat simply don’t have the depth to make another run.

11. Indiana Pacers, 23-18

Tyrese Haliburton (20.3 points, 10.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game with a TS% of 61.4) is one of the best players in the NBA this season with a PSA of 124.6, which ranks in the 86th percentile for point guards, and the top AST% mark in the NBA for all positions at 46.5.

The Pacers have the 14th ranked offensive rating of 114.1, the 18th ranked defensive rating of 114.1, and the 14th ranked team eFG% of 54.7 in the NBA. Many people keep thinking that the Pacers are gonna start losing consistently at some point, but it hasn’t happened yet. If Haliburton continues to play like this, the Pacers should make the Play-In Tournament at the very least.

10. New York Knicks, 22-19

The Knicks had won four in a row before falling to the Bucks on Monday night, but they are still playing very good basketball. R.J. Barrett was just starting to take over offensively when he went down with an injury (he is likely to return on Wednesday) and even more pressure has been put on Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson to lead the ship while they wait for Barrett to come back. Randle has his best PSA (118.8, in 67th percentile) since his last season for the Lakers, and Brunson has a PSA of 114.4 (72nd percentile for point guards) with a TOV% of 9.5 (ranks in the 92nd percentile for point guards)

With the 8th ranked offensive rating of 115.1 and the 10th ranked defensive rating of 112.3, the Knicks have one of the most balanced teams in basketball and could be lethal down the stretch of this season.

9. Milwaukee Bucks, 26-14

The Bucks have won just four out of their last ten games and their once top rated defense now sits at third (defensive rating of 110.5). Giannis Antetoukounmpo (31.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game with a TS% of 58.8) is having the least efficient season of his career with a PSA of 117.6, which ranks in the 34th percentile for bigs, despite having a USG% of 39, which is the highest mark among bigs.

Last season, Antetokounmpo had a PSA of 126.9, which ranked in the 77th percentile for bigs. Nonetheless, Khris Middleton hasn’t played since December 15th and we know what this team can become at full strength. However, for them to win a championship, their Superstar big man needs to become more efficient from the field.

8. Philadelphia 76ers, 24-15

The 76ers have the fourth-best defensive rating of 110.7 in the NBA and have won four out of their last five games. Joel Embiid (33.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game with a TS% of 63.8) has a PSA of 128.1, which ranks in the 66th percentile for bigs. What is even more impressive is that the coined “Foul Merchant” Embiid gets fouled on 21% of his shots, an impressive mark that ranks in the 90th percentile for bigs in the NBA. De’Anthony Melton (11.8 points and 1.9 steals per game with a TS% of 55.6) has been one of the best role players in basketball this season with his elite on-ball defense and timely 3-point shooting (40.3 3PT%).

James Harden (22 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game with a TS% of 59.2) is playing his best basketball since the Rockets days with a tremendous PSA of 120, which ranks in the 90th percentile for point guards, and an incredible AST% of 43.9, which is the second-best mark in the NBA for point guards. With Tyrese Maxey back from injury to join Embiid, Harden, and Melton, the 76ers have a chance to be something special this season with one of the leagues best defenses. However, they have Doc Rivers as their coach, so skepticism is required come May.

7. Dallas Mavericks, 23-18

Luka Doncic (34 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game with a TS% of 61.3) is having the most dominant and efficient season of his young career with the third-best PSA mark of 123.7 in the NBA for point guards. What is even more impressive is Doncic’s playmaking as he boasts the best AST% mark of 44.7% in the NBA for point guards as well.

The Mavericks have the 6th ranked offensive rating of 115.6, but also the 20th ranked defensive rating of 114.2 in the NBA. Last season, the Mavs had the 7th ranked defensive rating of 109.1 as that great defense was instrumental to their playoff success. Despite Doncic’s greatness, the Mavs lack a formidable defense, and will have a tough time winning in May unless they turn things around on the defensive end.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers, 26-15

The Cavaliers have the second-best defensive rating of 109.6 in the NBA and have won four out of their last five games. Donovan Mitchell (28.8 points and 4.8 assists per game with a TS% of 62.9) is a bonafide MVP candidate as he had a near 71-point triple double last week and has impressive PSA of 127.9, which ranks in the 94th percentile for combo guards in the NBA. With a dominant defense and a Superstar in Mitchell, the Cavaliers are a team no one wants to play in the playoffs later this year.

5. New Orleans Pelicans, 25-16

Will the Pelicans be able to tread water without Zion Williamson? Absolutely, as C.J. McCollum has averaged 29 points per game over the last four games without Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and the Pelicans are one of the few NBA teams with a top 10 offensive and defensive rating, not to mention they boast some of the best depth in the NBA in Trey Murphy, Jonas Valanciunas, Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, and Dyson Daniels.

Ingram hasn’t played since November 25th, and the Pelicans still have the 7th ranked offensive rating of 115.5, the 5th ranked defensive rating of 111.2, and the 5th ranked offensive rebounding percentage of 29.7% in the NBA. All the Pels need to do is stay .500 over the next month without Williamson and they will be on their way to a top four seed in the Western Conference.

4. Brooklyn Nets, 27-13

Kevin Durant (29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game with a TS% of 67.3) was having one of the best seasons in his career before going down with an MCL sprain in Sunday night’s game against the Heat. Durant’s efficiency has been incredible this season with a PSA of 137 (ranks in the 87th percentile for bigs) and a 59% mark from mid range.

Like the Pelicans, the Nets are one of the few teams in the NBA with a top 10 offensive and defensive rating with the 5th ranked offensive rating of 116 and the 8th ranked defensive rating of 112. The Nets have won 14 out of their last 15 games and are the hottest team in the NBA, but it will undoubtedly be tough to maintain this kind of dominance without Durant over the next month or so.

3. Denver Nuggets, 27-13

Nikola Jokic (25 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game with a TS% of 69.1) is yet again the frontrunner for the NBA MVP award and could win his third straight with an otherworldly PSA of 139.3 and AST% of 41.5%, which both rank as the best marks in the NBA for a player with a high USG%. Jokic also has a PER of 31.9 and an RPM of 8.25, both of which rank 1st in the NBA as well.

Jokic is simply the most dominant and efficient offensive player we’ve ever seen and the Nuggets have a chance to do something special because of that. However, despite having the second-best offensive rating of 117.8, they only have the 23rd ranked defensive rating of 114.6 in the NBA. History is against them as 11 out of the last 12 NBA champions have had a top 11 defensive rating, but if anyone else can break that trend it is Jokic and the Nuggets.

2. Memphis Grizzlies, 27-13

Just over a month and a half ago, the Grizzlies had a bottom 6 defense in basketball. Ever since Jaren Jackson Jr. returned to the court, he has dominated opposing defenses and has almost single-handedly catapulted the Grizzlies into the best defense in basketball (defensive rating of 109.4, 1st in NBA). Jackson Jr. is blocking 6% of opposing players shots, by far the best mark in the NBA, and he’s also stealing the ball at a 1.6% mark, which ranks in the 88th percentile. Ja Morant (27.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 8 assists per game with a TS% of 55.6) is an MVP candidate and Desmond Bane is looking more like himself in recent games. With the best defense in basketball and game changing offensive players in Morant and Bane, the Grizzlies have a serious chance to win the NBA Finals this season.

1. Boston Celtics, 29-12

The Celtics have the best record in the NBA and have won three games in a row behind superb performances from Jayson Tatum (30.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game with a TS% of 61.2) and Jaylen Brown (26.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game with a TS% of 58.8).

Tatum and Brown are by far the best duo in the NBA and can both be considered MVP candidates. When is the last time the second-best player on a team, not even the best player, has averaged 27 points per game with a TS% of 59, a PSA of 118.2 (ranks in the 71st percentile for wings) and an AST% of 15.8 (ranks in the 78th percentile for wings)?

Tatum has an elite PSA of 124.3 (ranks in the 83rd percentile for forwards) and is shooting 46% from long mid range (any mid range shot outside of 14 feet). With the most potent offense in basketball (offensive rating 117.9, 1st in NBA) and a top 10 defense (defensive rating of 112.1, ranked 9th) that will continue to improve as “Time Lord” AKA Robert Williams III continues to get his feet under him, the Celtics are the best team in the NBA and should be considered the favorite to win it all right now.

Note: Advanced Statistics used in this article are gathered from Cleaning The Glass and and are updated as of Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

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