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.
|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 CleaningTheGlass.com. 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 CleaningTheGlass.com, 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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