The All-Star break and the trade deadline are both in the rearview mirror, but the season is still just 63% complete. Teams have on average 27 games left to play and as we enter Week 15, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant remain on the shelf for the defending champs and the two best teams in the Eastern Conference.
There’s still some urgency in certain places around the league, with Chicago, New Orleans and Tampa (Toronto) being at the top of the list. The trade deadline also killed any sense of urgency in Orlando, while the Oklahoma City Thunder have decided that it’s Moses Brown’s time to shine.
There’s something to watch everywhere, even if that’s small signs of progress from the 23-and-under crowd. And while the champs are missing their two stars, there are still a couple of big games in L.A. this week.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Right Way: Rudy Gobert (UTA) was a plus-81 in four games last week.
- Wrong Way: Andrew Wiggins (GSW) was a minus-61 in three games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Sacramento (4-0) — The Cardiac Kings are at it again.
- Something Just Ain’t Right: Miami (0-3) — Victor Oladipo could help, but he’s certainly not the cure for all the Heat’s ills.
East vs. West
- The West is 157-126 (.555) against the East in interconference games after going 20-10 last week.
Schedule strength through Week 14
- Toughest: 1. Dallas, 2. Washington, 3. Minnesota
- Easiest: 1. Phoenix, 2. Portland, 3. Milwaukee
- Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: New York (+5), Charlotte, LA Clippers, Utah (+4)
- Free falls of the week: Miami (-6), Golden State (-3), Five teams (-2)
Week 15 Team to Watch
- LA Clippers — The Clips have won five straight to climb into third place in the West and they’re just one game into a nine-game homestand. But they’re also just one game into a stretch where they’re playing six of seven against the top nine teams in the league. They host the Bucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET, NBA TV), the Magic on Tuesday, the Nuggets on Thursday, and the Lakers on Sunday.
Previous Power Rankings
- Last week: Bucks climb to No. 2 as trade deadline looms
- Trade deadline notes & numbers: Numbers to know for the Celtics, Bulls, Nuggets, Heat and Blazers
- The archive: NBA.com Power Rankings
Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 99.8 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 111.4 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
NBA.com’s Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man’s opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.