Thursday, 25 Apr 2024

Power Rankings, Week 24: The Bucks Regain the Top Spot with 2 Weeks to Go

If you’re a fan of the Kia MVP race, this is the week for you. After a loss to the Denver Nuggets, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will face off against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night (9:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV). Six nights later, it will be Embiid vs. Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

This week is also great for fans of games between Eastern Conference powerhouses. Before the Sixers and Bucks play, the Boston Celtics will be in Milwaukee on Thursday (7:30 p.m., TNT) for the third and final meeting of the top two teams in the NBA. We might even have a first-round preview when the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers play the following night in Cleveland.

But it’s not just about the Eastern Conference matchups. It’s also about potential playoff previews. The Nuggets have been the best team in the Western Conference all season, but they could face either the defending champion Golden State Warriors or the high-scoring Phoenix Suns in the conference semifinals if they survive a series against a dangerous Play-In Tournament team. The Nuggets will play both of those teams in the next seven days, visiting the Suns on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV) and hosting the Warriors on Sunday (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

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While we may be eager for the playoffs, there’s still plenty of exciting regular-season basketball to be played. There’s a lot to be determined in terms of playoff and Play-In seeding, so make sure to enjoy it!

Plus-Minus Players of the Week

  • Right Way: Derrick White (BOS) was a plus-79 in three games last week.
  • Wrong Way: Julian Champagnie (SAS) and Talen Horton-Tucker (UTA) were both a minus-67 in four games last week.

Teams of the Week

  • Make It Last Forever: Minnesota (3-0) — Karl-Anthony Towns is back, and the Wolves are back over .500.
  • Something Just Ain’t Right: Dallas (0-4) — Even if you thought the trade for Kyrie Irving wasn’t worth the risk, you couldn’t have predicted things going this badly.

East vs. West

The East has a winning record of 225-202 (.527) against the West in interconference games after going 10-8 last week. With one more win, the East will secure its second consecutive winning record in interconference games after having a winning record in just one of the previous 22 seasons.

Schedule Strength through Week 23

  • Toughest: 1. Detroit, 2. Brooklyn, 3. Houston
  • Easiest: 1. Denver, 2. Memphis, 3. New Orleans

Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.

Movement in the Rankings

  • High jumps of the week: Minnesota (+5), Chicago (+3), New Orleans (+3), Orlando (+3)
  • Free falls of the week: Dallas (-8), Four teams (-2)
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Week 24 Team to Watch

Milwaukee: The Bucks still have some business to take care of to retain the 1 seed in the East, and the stakes are high this weekend. After visiting Detroit and Indiana earlier in the week, the Bucks will host the second-place Celtics on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT) and the third-place Sixers on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, League Pass).

Previous Power Rankings

  • Last week: Joel Embiid powers Sixers to No. 1 spot

Remember, NBA.com’s Power Rankings are just one person’s opinion. If you have any issues, questions, or comments, feel free to reach out to John Schuhmann via email or Twitter.

OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank) DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank) NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank) Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)

The league has averaged 114.0 points scored per 100 possessions and 99.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes this season.


FAQs

Q1: What are the key matchups in the upcoming games?
A1: The upcoming games feature exciting matchups between top teams in both conferences. Fans can look forward to clashes between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid, as well as between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

Q2: Which teams had the biggest ups and downs this week?
A2: The Minnesota Timberwolves had a great week, going 3-0 and climbing up the rankings. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks struggled, going 0-4 and experiencing a significant drop in the rankings.

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Q3: How is the East faring against the West in interconference games?
A3: The East has been holding its own against the West, with a winning record of 225-202 (.527) in interconference games. The East is on track to secure its second consecutive winning record in this category.

Summary

As the regular season nears its conclusion, the Milwaukee Bucks have reclaimed the top spot in the Power Rankings. Exciting matchups between the league’s top players and teams await, providing fans with thrilling basketball action. The rankings have seen some significant movements, with the Minnesota Timberwolves surging and the Dallas Mavericks struggling. Additionally, the Eastern Conference continues to hold its own against the West in interconference games. With the playoffs approaching, there’s still much to be determined in terms of playoff and Play-In seeding. So sit back, enjoy the games, and witness the excitement unfold.

To stay up to date with the latest rankings and all things NBA, visit NBA.com.


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