The Milwaukee Bucks are the most notable riser in this week’s NBA Power Rankings. Despite having a worse overall record and lesser net rating, Milwaukee moved atop the Eastern Conference power rankings than several East squads. However, the Bucks have won seven straight since two-time All-Star wing Khris Middleton returned from injury.
Granted, none of those opponents have winning records, but Milwaukee is the defending champions and still has starters on the mend. More importantly, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player on the planet, and the Bucks are dominating teams on both ends of the floor.
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker won Western Conference Player of the Week while averaging 30.0 points per game on 53.0% shooting, leading Phoenix to a 4-0 record in Week 6.
Atlanta Hawks Trae Young took home Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors after putting up 31.3 points and 8.5 assists per game last week.
Here’s a rundown of the best NBA teams through six weeks.
|NBA Power Rankings: Week 7|
|Team||Rank||Previous||Upcoming Opponents||Betting Records & Net Rating|
|Golden State Warriors||1||1||@Suns, Suns, Spurs, Magic||18-2 SU, 15-4-1 ATS, 6-14 O/U & 1st nRTG|
|Phoenix Suns||2||2||Warriors, Pistons, @Warriors, Spurs||17-3 SU, 11-9 ATS, 9-11 O/U & 3rd nRTG|
|Milwaukee Bucks||3||7||Hornets, @Raptors, Heat, Cavaliers||13-8 SU, 10-11 ATS, 7-14 O/U & 7th nRTG|
|Utah Jazz||4||4||Celtics, @Cavaliers||14-7 SU, 12-9 ATS, 10-11 O/U & 2nd nRTG|
|Brooklyn Nets||5||3||Knicks, Timberwolves, Bulls||14-6 SU, 8-11-1 ATS, 9-11 O/U & 6th nRTG|
|Miami Heat||6||5||Cavaliers, @Pacers, @Bucks, Grizzlies||13-8 SU, 13-8 ATS, 13-8 O/U & 4th nRTG|
|Chicago Bulls||7||6||@Knicks, @Nets, Nuggets||14-8 SU, 14-8 ATS, 10-12 O/U & 5th nRTG|
|Atlanta Hawks||8||11||@Pacers, 76ers, Hornets, @Timberwolves||11-10 SU, 9-12 ATS, 10-11 O/U & 8th nRTG|
|Philadelphia 76ers||9||8||@Celtics, @Hawks, @Hornets||11-10 SU, 10-11 ATS, 8-13 O/U & 10th nRTG|
|Los Angeles Clippers||10||9||Kings, @Lakers, @Kings, @Trail Blazers||11-10 SU, 9-12 ATS, 9-12 O/U & 12th nRTG|
|Charlotte Hornets||11||12||@Bucks, @Hawks, 76ers||13-10 SU, 12-11 ATS, 13-10 O/U & 16th nRTG|
|Washington Wizards||12||15||Timberwolves, Cavaliers, @Raptors, @Pacers||13-8 SU, 11-10 ATS, 8-13 O/U & 15th nRTG|
|Denver Nuggets||13||14||@Magic, @Knicks, @Bulls||10-10 SU, 8-12 ATS, 9-11 O/U & 18th nRTG|
|New York Knicks||14||17||@Nets, Bulls, Nuggets||11-9 SU, 9-11 ATS, 7-13 O/U &17th nRTG|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||15||21||@Heat, @Wizards, Jazz, @Bucks||11-10 SU, 14-5-2 ATS, 7-14 O/U & 11th nRTG|
|Boston Celtics||16||10||76ers, @Jazz, @Trail Blazers||11-10 SU, 11-9-1 ATS, 7-14 O/U & 13th nRTG|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||17||19||@Wizards, @Nets, Hawks||11-10 SU, 10-11 ATS, 8-13 O/U & 9th nRTG|
|Los Angeles Lakers||18||20||@Kings, Clippers||11-11 SU, 7-15 ATS, 14-8 O/U & 24th nRTG|
|Dallas Mavericks||19||16||@Pelicans, Pelicans, Grizzlies||10-9 SU, 8-11 ATS, 7-10-2 O/U & 23rd nRTG|
|Portland Trail Blazers||20||13||Pistons, Spurs, Celtics, Clippers||10-11 SU, 8-13 ATS, 11-10 O/U & 20th nRTG|
|Toronto Raptors||21||23||Grizzlies, Bucks, Wizards||9-12 SU, 8-13 ATS, 12-9 O/U & 19th nRTG|
|Memphis Grizzlies||22||18||@Raptors, Thunder, @Mavericks, @Heat||10-10 SU, 11-9 ATS, 12-8 O/U & 25th nRTG|
|Indiana Pacers||23||22||Hawks, Heat, Wizards||9-14 SU, 12-11 ATS, 9-14 O/U & 14th nRTG|
|Sacramento Kings||24||25||Lakers, @Clippers, Clippers||8-13 SU, 9-12 ATS, 10-11 O/U & 22nd nRTG|
|San Antonio Spurs||25||26||@Trail Blazers, @Warriors, @Suns||6-13 SU, 10-9 ATS, 10-8-1 O/U & 21st nRTG|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||26||24||Rockets, @Grizzlies, @Pistons||6-14 SU, 13-7 ATS, 6-14 O/U & 27th nRTG|
|Houston Rockets||27||30||@Thunder, Magic, Pelicans, Nets||4-16 SU, 9-10-1 ATS, 7-13 O/U & 28th nRTG|
|New Orleans Pelicans||28||29||Mavericks, @Mavericks, @Rockets||6-17 SU, 10-13 ATS, 8-15 O/U & 26th nRTG|
|Detroit Pistons||29||27||@Trail Blazers, @Suns, Thunder||4-16 SU, 10-10 ATS, 9-11 O/U & 29th nRTG|
|Orlando Magic||30||28||Nuggets, @Rockets, @Warriors||4-18 SU, 9-13 ATS, 10-12 O/U & 30th nRTG|
SU: Straight-up | ATS: Against the spread | O/U: Over/Under | nRTG: Net Rating
The White-Hot Phoenix Suns
After a 1-3 overall start, Phoenix enters Tuesday’s matchup with the top-ranked Warriors on a 16-game winning streak. The most interesting aspect of the Suns is how they show up vs. quality competition. For instance, according to CleaningTheGlass.com, Phoenix is 3-0 SU vs. teams in the top-10 of efficiency differential.
Last season, the Suns had the best winning percentage vs. teams top-10 in efficiency differential and the 2nd-best ATS margin. I think most of the market chalked Phoenix’s run to the NBA Finals last year as a bit flukey. However, the Suns’ performance against the NBA’s top teams proves otherwise.
Holding stock in Denver Nuggets
You might be curious as to why Denver climbed in this week’s NBA Power Rankings even though the Nuggets just snapped a six-game losing streak Monday. Well, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic missed four of those contests with a wrist injury, and he returned for Denver’s streak-ending victory. Furthermore, Jokic is playing better this season than last.
Jokic has a higher PER, true shooting percentage, usage rate, box plus/minus, and Win Shares per 48 Minutes so far this year. On top of that, Denver’s best five-man lineup featuring Jokic has the 5th-best efficiency differential (minimum of 100 possessions), according to CleaningTheGlass.com. And the Nuggets are missing five starters.
Yes, Giannis is the best basketball player on the planet. But, at the moment, Jokic is the most valuable player to his team.
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