Monday, 15 Jul 2024

Power Rankings, Week 9: Suns Take the Lead from the Warriors

As we approach Week 9 of the NBA schedule, the highly anticipated Christmas games are just 12 days away. This also means that trade season is right around the corner, as players who signed new contracts in the offseason become eligible for trades on December 15th. While it’s not guaranteed that there will be immediate trades, teams now have a better understanding of their season and may start making changes.

One team that is at the center of trade discussions is the Philadelphia 76ers and their star player Ben Simmons. It’s clear that Simmons won’t be playing for the Sixers this season, so the team has until the February 10th trade deadline to make a move and maximize their chances of competing for a championship alongside Joel Embiid. The big question is what the Sixers will ultimately get for Simmons and how many teams will be involved in the deal.

On the court, the Sixers recently delivered a blow to the Golden State Warriors, preventing Stephen Curry from making history and knocking the Warriors down from their number one spot in the Power Rankings.

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Plus-Minus Players of the Week

  • Lauri Markkanen of the Cleveland Cavaliers had an impressive plus-63 rating in four games last week.
  • On the other hand, Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves had a minus-58 rating in four games.

Teams of the Week

  • Utah Jazz (3-0): Before losing to the Sixers, the Jazz dominated the competition, beating three teams by more than 20 points.
  • Detroit Pistons (0-4): Despite having opportunities to break their losing streak against struggling opponents, the Pistons failed to secure a win.

East vs. West

In interconference games, the Western Conference has a slight edge over the Eastern Conference, with a record of 73-70 (.510). Last week, the West went 14-10 against the East.

Schedule Strength through Week 8

  • Toughest Schedule: 1. Portland Trail Blazers, 2. Cleveland Cavaliers, 3. Detroit Pistons
  • Easiest Schedule: 1. Los Angeles Lakers, 2. Utah Jazz, 3. Golden State Warriors
  • Schedule strength is determined based on opponent record, adjusted for home vs. away games and days of rest before a game.

Movement in the Rankings

  • Biggest Jumps of the Week: Los Angeles Lakers (+5), Memphis Grizzlies (+5), Indiana Pacers (+4)
  • Biggest Falls of the Week: Boston Celtics (-7), Chicago Bulls (-4), Minnesota Timberwolves (-3), New York Knicks (-3)

Team to Watch in Week 9: Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have shown signs of improvement, winning five of their last seven games and climbing to sixth place in the Western Conference. However, their upcoming schedule poses a tougher challenge, with a three-game road trip. They will face the Dallas Mavericks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers will seek redemption after suffering defeats to the latter two teams on their home court last month.

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Previous Power Rankings

  • Last Week: Warriors hold the number one spot as the Top 10 shifts

As the season progresses, it’s important to keep an eye on the evolving landscape of the NBA. Stay tuned for more updates and analysis in NBA.com’s 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)

Note: The opinions expressed in these Power Rankings are the author’s own. For any questions or comments, feel free to reach out via email or Twitter.