NBA Power Rankings: Raptors defeat the Warriors to keep No. 1 spot

NBA Power Rankings: Raptors defeat the Warriors to keep No. 1 spot


NBA Power Rankings: Raptors defeat the Warriors to keep No. 1 spot

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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

10. LOS ANGELES Clippers (17-11)

Western Conference Player of the Month winner Tobias Harris has been a revelation. With his leadership, the Clippers have one of the five most efficient offenses in the NBA. No team has a shooting foul frequency (10.5 percent) or frequency getting to the free throw line (13.7 percent) than L.A. does, per Synergy.

9. Indiana Pacers, (18-10)

Indiana has allowed just 85.1 points per 100 possessions when Thaddeus Young has played with Cory Joseph and Domas Sabonis. That’s the best defensive three-man lineup in the East, among groups who have played at least 190 minutes together.

8. Los Angeles Lakers, (17-11)

Only the New Orleans Pelicans have scored more points in the paint than the them this season. Their front office is interested in adding more shooters to help spread the floor for the Lakers, which would help maximize their ability to create a more dynamic offense.

7. Philadelphia 76ers, (19-10)

We recently wrote about the ways that Joel Embiid has had his offensive role change since the organization traded for Jimmy Butler. While he had said he was worried he was spending too much time on the perimeter, he has had more paint touches than before. Only the Spurs are currently producing more points per game via post-ups, per Synergy.

6. Denver Nuggets, (18-9)

One of the most impressive storylines of the season is how well the Nuggets have played despite how riddled with injuries they have been. The latest on the team to get a bite of the bug is veteran Paul Millsap, who had played an integral role for both their offense and their defense. Once they get all of their guys healthy, they are one of the top teams to watch in the NBA.

5. Milwaukee Bucks, (18-9)

The Bucks are currently scoring a league-high 28.2 points per game on spot-up opportunities, per Synergy. They have been particularly effective because of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who commands so much attention near the rim that his teammates are often wide open for three-point attempts. It’s been an integral part of an offense and as such, they have the NBA’s best net rating.

4. Boston Celtics, (17-10)

It’s almost impossible to find a team playing better basketball than the Celtics are right now. Boston has outscored opponents by a ridiculous 18.5 points per 100 possessions since November 23. The additions of Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart into their starting lineup has been invaluable.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder, (17-9)

Oklahoma City’s defense has been dominant all season and it’s helped them have the best point differential in the West. No team has had more steals per game (10.4) than the Thunder, which has helped them create offense. They have averaged 21.6 points off turnovers, which is the best among all teams.

2. Golden State Warriors, (19-10)

Even for what has been considered a slow start for the Warriors, they still have the highest offensive rating (113.6) in the league. Stephen Curry is a deserving MVP candidate, especially considering how remarkably efficient he has been. Among those with at least 100 possessions, only one player in the league (Toronto’s Pascal Siakam) is currently averaging more points per possession.

1. Toronto Raptors, (23-7)

While the talk of the town is the addition of Kawhi Leonard, it’s worth noting that Kyle Lowry leads all players in Pure Point Rating (PPR) this season. Big man Jonas Valanciunas ranks Top 10 in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) as well. Unfortunately, he will miss at least four weeks after thumb surgery. They deserve the top spot after beating Golden State despite Leonard being out that game.


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