The NBA successfully hosted an entertaining All-Star Weekend once again even while battling through COVID-19 guidelines.
After a fun weekend full of laughter and relaxation, the players return to their locker rooms where most will attempt a push for a playoff spot.
Some teams are dealing with injuries and some are looking for that one piece to complete their roster for their final push for the playoffs, here are the post All-Star Weekend power rankings.
1.) Los Angeles Clippers — 25-14
The Clippers may not have the title of the best record in the NBA, but they sure are playing like one of the best; if not the best. Both offseason signings in Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka are paying off nicely as they fit in with the roster well. Paul George looks like his old self averaging just under 24 PPG in 33.5 MPG. Kawhi Leonard continues to do it all on both sides for the Clippers, averaging 26.7 PPG along with a 51.3% field goal percentage. The Clippers are one the NBA’s top title threats this season and will continue to mesh together more in the second half of the season.
2.) Utah Jazz — 28-9
The Utah Jazz have the NBA’s best record at 28-9 and will most likely be the first team to earn a playoff spot if they keep up their strong effort. Donovan Mitchell is doing his best offensively for Utah averaging 24.8 PPG this season, almost a point over his season average last season. Rudy Gobert continues his dominance on the defensive side as he is ranked second in both rebound and blocks this season. Mike Conley was a selected All-Star fill-in and has had a nice season of his own with 16.2 PPG and 6.2 APG. The Jazz have a real shot at a title but will have to go through other teams such as the Lakers and Clippers to chase a championship.
3.) Brooklyn Nets — 25-13
It’s hard for me not to put the Nets first or even second on this list, but third is by no means a knock on Brooklyn. The Nets have three of the most prolific athletes of the past five years, but it could turn in to a problem come playoff time. As of now it’s all fun and games but how will this squad match up in a seven game series is to be determined. If it weren’t for an All-Star roster, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden could all be potential MVP candidates. This team is stacked but it needs to translate to the playoffs to secure a championship appearance.
4.) Los Angeles Lakers — 25-13
The Lakers have a good record for missing out on Anthony Davis, but boy do they miss his presence on both sides of the court. Anthony Davis just makes the Lakers tick, Lebron cannot carry this team like he once did in a playoff run in Cleveland. Once Davis makes his much needed return and the Lakers defense begins to shape up, they will be at full force for their championship defense.
5.) Phoenix Suns — 25-11
The Suns have been a fan favorite across the league ass their once mediocre team has turned into roster full of playmakers. Chris Paul and Devin Booker both earned an All-Star nod this season but Booker backed out due to injury. This duo is lethal offensively but the Suns as a whole will need to bolster up defensively if they have any championship aspirations. The Suns are fun to watch and till ne in the second half.
6.) Philadelphia 76ers — 26-12
Sources confirmed Saturday morning that Joel Embiid did not suffer an ligament damage, and instead will deal with a bone bride in his knee. The MVP candidate will miss 2-3 weeks but fortunately will continue play for Philadelphia. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris will be the Sixers main guys for the next month or so, but the Sixers depth is the reason they almost cracked the top five. Seth Curry, Danny Green, Shake Milton and Tobias Harris should be able to pick up the slack offensively, while Ben Simmons and Dwight Howard fill in defensively. Other than the injury, the Sixers coaching is strong, record looks good and the goal for now is earn the top seed for the playoffs.
7.) Denver Nuggets — 22-15
The Nuggets have a solid squad all-around, but they have recently been squeezing out victories which no team likes to see. Most championship teams nowadays win with dominance at some point and Denver needs to turn on their switch; the second half of the season is a good chance to do that.
8.) Milwaukee Bucks — 23-14
Giannis Antetokounmpo is having yet another dominant season averaging a double-double with 28.9 PPG and 11.6 RPG. Jude Holiday has been a solid add with is 15.2 PPG and 5 APG. I would love to see Milwaukee add another player for Giannis to work with, but that’s an internal discussion. It’s another championship or bust type of season, you cannot waste Antetokounmpo’s talent anymore.
9.) Portland Trail Blazers — 21-15
Damian Lillard is a dark horse MVP candidate and really deserves more attention. The All-Star starter is averaging 29.8 PPG with an additional 8 APG. Carmelo Anthony looks fluent as well on the offensive side of the court, and is even putting in a strong defensive effort. CJ McCollum is set to return soon and stated he will know when he is ready. The Trailblazers are another team that would hate to waste another year of their star players prime.
10.) Boston Celtics — 19-18
The Boston Celtics are young but have a good chance to come out of the Eastern Conference. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been absolute units offensively, and the return of Kemba Walker helps as well. The problem with Boston is the defense and it will come to bite them hard in the playoffs against a Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo. If Boston doesn’t come closer to a championship, expect Danny Ainge to make some big offseason moves.
11.) Miami Heat — 20-18
12.) Dallas Mavericks — 19-17
13.) San Antonio Spurs — 19-15
14.) Golden State Warriors — 19-19
15.) Toronto Raptors — 17-20
16.) Memphis Grizzlies — 17-17
17.)Indiana Pacers — 16-20
18.) New York Knicks — 19-19
19.) Charlotte Hornets — 18-18
20.)Atlanta Hawks — 17-20
21.) New Orleans Pelicans — 16-22
22.) Washington Wizards — 14-22
23.) Chicago Bulls — 16-20
24.) Oklahoma City Thunder — 16-21
25.) Cleveland Cavaliers — 14-23
26.) Orlando Magic — 13-25
27.) Sacramento Kings — 15-22
28.) Houston Rockets — 11-25
29.) Detroit Pistons — 10-27
30.) Minnesota Timberwolves — 8-29