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NBA Power Rankings: Week 8 (2021-22)

by December 7, 2021
Jaylen Brown

All the notable changes to the hierarchy of the NBA Power Rankings this week occurred in the East. The Chicago Bulls replaced the Brooklyn Nets for fifth, the Miami plummeted outside of the top-10 due to injury woes, and the Boston Celtics jumped into the top-10 (more on that below).

While I still consider the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks the only two teams in the top-tier of the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are making a strong case to be the East’s third-best team. But, outside of Kevin Durant and James Harden, Brooklyn seriously lacks depth, and Chicago is one of the deeper rosters in the NBA.

Bulls wing DeMar DeRozan took home the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award in Week 7 after his team went 3-0. DeRozan scored 30.3 points per game (PPG) on a 58.7% shooting with 5.7 rebounds per game (RPG) last week. However, DeRozan could be sidelined multiple games after landing on the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols list Monday.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell picked up Western Conference Player of the Week honors. Mitchell averaged 33.0 PPG on 57.1% shooting with 5.7 assists per game and helped the Jazz finish 3-0 in Week 7.

Here’s a rundown of the best NBA teams through seven weeks.

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NBA Power Rankings: Week 8
Team Rank Previous Upcoming Opponents Betting Records & Net Rating
Golden State Warriors 1 1 Trail Blazers, @76ers, @Pacers 20-4 SU, 17-6-1 ATS, 7-16-1 O/U & 1st nRTG
Phoenix Suns 2 2 Celtics, @Clippers 20-4 U, 12-12 ATS, 10-14 O/U & 3rd in nRTG
Milwaukee Bucks 3 3 @Heat, @Rockets, @Knicks, @Celtics 16-9 SU, 11-14 ATS, 10-15 O/U & 5th in nRTG
Utah Jazz 4 4 @Timberwolves, @76ers, @Wizards 16-7 SU, 12-11 ATS, 12-11 O-U & 2nd in nRTG
Chicago Bulls 5 7 @Cavaliers, @Heat 17-8 SU, 17-8 ATS & 11-14 O/U & 4th nRTG
Brooklyn Nets 6 5 @Mavericks, @Rockets, @Hawks, @Pistons 16-7 SU, 8-14-1 ATS & 10-13 O/U & 6th in nRTG
Atlanta Hawks 7 8 Nets, Rockets 13-12 SU, 11-14 ATS & 13-12 O/U & 7th in nRTG
Boston Celtics 8 16 @Lakers, @Clippers, @Suns, Bucks 13-11 SU, 13-10-1 ATS & 10-13-1 O/U & 10th in nRTG
Philadelphia 76ers 9 9 @Hornets, Jazz, Warriors, @Grizzlies 13-11 SU, 12-12 ATS, 9-15 O/U & 11th in nRTG
Los Angeles Clippers 10 10 Celtics, Magic, Suns 13-12 SU, 11-14 ATS, 11-14 O/U & 12th in nRTG
Cleveland Cavaliers 11 15 Bulls, @Timberwolves, Kings, Heat 13-12 SU, 18-5-2 ATS, 10-15 O/U & 8th in nRTG
Charlotte Hornets 12 11 76ers, Kings, @Mavericks 14-12 SU, 15-11 ATS, 16-10 O/U & 17th in nRTG
Miami Heat 13 6 Bucks, Bulls, @Cavaliers 14-11 SU, 14-11 ATS, 15-10 O/U & 9th in nRTG
Los Angeles Lakers 14 18 Celtics, @Grizzlies, @Thunder, Magic 12-12 SU, 8-16 ATS, 15-9 O/U & 22nd in nRTG
Denver Nuggets 15 13 @Pelicans, @Spurs x 2, Wizards 11-12 SU, 9-14 ATS, 11-12 O/U & 19th in nRTG
Washington Wizards 16 12 @Pistons, Jazz, @Nuggets 14-11 SU, 12-12-1 ATS, 11-14 O/U & 20th in nRTG
New York Knicks 17 14 @Spurs, @Pacers, @Raptors, Bucks 11-12 SU, 10-13 ATS, 10-13 O/U & 21st in nRTG
Dallas Mavericks 18 19 Nets, @Grizzlies, @Pacers, @Thunder, Hornets 11-11 SU, 9-13 ATS, 8-12-2 O/U & 23rd in nRTG
Toronto Raptors 19 21 Thunder, Knicks, Kings 11-13 SU, 10-14 ATS, 12-12 O/U & 18th in nRTG
Memphis Grizzlies 20 22 Mavericks, Lakers, Rockets, 76ers 14-10 SU, 15-9 ATS, 13-11 O/U & 16th in nRTG
Minnesota Timberwolves 21 17 Jazz, Cavaliers, @Trail Blazers 11-13 SU, 11-13 ATS, 10-14 O/U & 14th in nRTG
Portland Trail Blazers 22 20 @Warriors, Timberwolves 11-14 SU, 9-16 ATS, 12-13 O/U & 25th in nRTG
San Antonio Spurs 23 25 Knicks, Nuggets x 2, Pelicans 8-14 SU, 13-9 ATS, 10-10-2 O/U & 15th in nRTG
Indiana Pacers 24 23 Knicks, Mavericks, Warriors 10-16 SU, 12-13-1 ATS, 12-14 O/U & 13th in nRTG
Houston Rockets 25 27 Nets, Bucks, @Grizzlies, @Hawks 7-16 SU, 11-11-1 ATS, 10-13 O/U & 27th in nRTG
Sacramento Kings 26 24 Magic, @Hornets, @Cavaliers, @Raptors 10-14 SU, 11-13 ATS, 11-13 O/U & 24th in nRTG
New Orleans Pelicans 27 28 Nuggets, Pistons, @Spurs 7-19 SU, 11-15 ATS, 10-16 O/U & 26th in nRTG
Orlando Magic 28 30 @Kings, @Clippers, @Lakers 5-20 SU, 11-14 ATS, 13-12 O/U & 30th in nRTG
Oklahoma City Thunder 29 26 @Raptors, Lakers, Mavericks 7-16 SU, 14-9 ATS, 9-14 O/U & 28th in nRTG
Detroit Pistons 30 29 Wizards, @Pelicans, Nets 4-19 SU, 11-12 ATS, 11-12 O/U & 29th in nRTG

SU: Straight-up | ATS: Against the spread | O/U: Over/Under | nRTG: Net Rating

Burgeoning Boston Celtics

Boston is finally meeting preseason expectations and had the fourth-best efficiency differential in Week 7, according to The Celtics are surging despite missing their second-leading scorer and All-Star Jaylen Brown in the last two games.

Furthermore, Jayson Tatum is starting to hit his stride. Last week, Tatum scored 31.3 PPG on 48.4% shooting with 10.7 RPG. That said, Boston’s improvement will be tested in Week 8. Three of the Celtics’ four Week 8 opponents are in the top-10 of the NBA Power Rankings, and the other team is a fully healthy Lakers squad.

How about them Houston Rockets?

I probably won’t get many chances to discuss the Rockets in future NBA Power Rankings releases, so I’m capitalizing on my opportunity now. Houston is a winner of six straight games. The first two wins were against teams with a winning record.

The Rockets have some talent and veteran leadership and play an analytics-friendly style. According to, Houston attempts the highest volume of shots at the rim, is first in free-throw attempt rate, and fifth in 3-point attempt rate.

However, like Boston, we’ll find out a little more about the Rockets shortly. Houston’s Week 8 schedule is daunting; the Rockets play four winning teams next week, including the Nets, Bucks, Hawks, and Grizzlies. Houston could be the biggest riser in the upcoming NBA Power Rankings if the Rockets can upset at least two of those teams.

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