NBA Power Rankings: Where all 30 teams stack up heading into the All-Star break

NBA Power Rankings: Where all 30 teams stack up heading into the All-Star break
  • ESPN

Feb 14, 2024, 08:00 AM ET

With the 2023-24 NBA trade deadline behind us, the race for the postseason is heating up.

In the West, the battle for the No. 1 seed is closer than ever with the Minnesota Timberwolves recently reclaiming the top spot by only one game. Day by day, teams in the middle are jostling for position, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are trying to hold on to a play-in spot.

In the East, the race is for the No. 2 spot, with the Boston Celtics separating themselves significantly from the rest of the pack and topping our Power Rankings for the 13th week in a row.

With just a few months left in the regular season, let’s check out where all 30 teams stack up as we head into the All-Star break.

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Post-Finals | Nov. 1 | Nov. 8 | Nov. 15 | Nov. 22 | Nov. 29 | Dec. 6 | Dec. 13 | Dec. 20 | Dec. 27 | Jan. 3 | Jan. 10 | Jan. 17 | Jan. 24 | Jan. 31 | Feb. 7

Jump to a team:


1. Boston Celtics
2023-24 record: 42-12

  • Previous ranking: 1

  • Next games: vs. BKN (Feb. 14), @ CHI (Feb. 22), @ NY (Feb. 24), vs. PHI (Feb. 27)

The Kristaps Porzingis era in Boston continues to go swimmingly, as the 7-foot-3 Latvian has settled into his new home as smoothly as even the most partisan of Celtics supporters could have hoped for. Porzingis has scored at least 25 points in four of the past five games — all wins. On Sunday, he once again showed how he can be a matchup nightmare for the Heat, who have used Bam Adebayo to consistently give the Celtics trouble in recent seasons. — Bontemps

2. Minnesota Timberwolves
2023-24 record: 38-16

  • Previous ranking: 6

  • Next games: @ POR (Feb. 15), vs. MIL (Feb. 23), vs. BKN (Feb. 24), vs. SA (Feb. 27)

The Wolves are back on top of the Western Conference by a game after a pair of road wins. Minnesota won in Milwaukee and picked up a dominant 21-point victory over the Clippers on Monday in Los Angeles. The Wolves have 12 wins this season by at least 20 points and own the most road wins in the league with 18. — Collier

3. Cleveland Cavaliers
2023-24 record: 35-17

  • Previous ranking: 5

  • Next games: vs. CHI (Feb. 14), vs. ORL (Feb. 22), @ PHI (Feb. 23), @ WAS (Feb. 25), vs. DAL (Feb. 27)

Cleveland’s nine-game winning streak came to an end Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, with Darius Garland’s 3 failing to connect at the buzzer in a loss to Philadelphia. Winners of 17 of their past 20 games, the Cavs have charged up the Eastern Conference standings to No. 2. With a soft schedule over the next few weeks — games against the Bulls (twice), Magic, Sixers (without Joel Embiid), Wizards, Mavericks and Pistons — they should be able to create space between themselves and those below them. — McMenamin

4. LA Clippers
2023-24 record: 35-17

  • Previous ranking: 2

  • Next games: @ GS (Feb. 14), @ OKC (Feb. 22), @ MEM (Feb. 23), vs. SAC (Feb. 25)

In a game that could be impactful on the Western Conference playoff seedings at the end of the season, the Clippers were spanked by the Timberwolves at home by 21 on Monday. The Clippers have been hot since December, but they have had some trouble against teams with length and size. In the Clippers’ five losses since Jan. 7, Minnesota has beaten them twice. The other three losses have come from the Pelicans, Cavs and Lakers — all teams that are big or long. Kawhi Leonard says the Clippers have been winning off talent so far and can get even better. “We’re right there,” Leonard said. “… There’s ways for us to get better, and that’s scary. We start jelling a little late and now it’s time to kind of turn it around.” — Youngmisuk

5. Denver Nuggets
2023-24 record: 36-18

  • Previous ranking: 3

  • Next games: vs. SAC (Feb. 14), vs. WAS (Feb. 23), @ POR (Feb. 23), @ GS (Feb. 25)

The All-Star break might be coming at the right time as the Nuggets can use the time off to heal. Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both sat out the second half of a 112-95 loss at Milwaukee on Monday. Murray played just 18 minutes because of bilateral tibia inflammation, while Caldwell-Pope lasted just nine minutes with right hamstring tightness. The Nuggets face the Kings at home Wednesday before hitting the break. If the Nuggets hold Murray and Caldwell-Pope out, they could have nine days off to rest. Nothing is more important to the Nuggets than keeping their starters healthy right now. — Youngmisuk

6. Oklahoma City Thunder
2023-24 record: 37-17

  • Previous ranking: 4

  • Next games: vs. LA (Feb. 22), vs. WAS (Feb. 23), @ HOU (Feb. 25), vs. HOU (Feb. 27)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has scored at least 30 points in 39 games. Only Wilt Chamberlain (twice), James Harden and Tiny Archibald have had more 30-point performances before the All-Star break, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Thunder are 28-10 when their All-Star scores at least 30 and 8-7 when he doesn’t, including the one game he missed this season. — MacMahon

7. Milwaukee Bucks
2023-24 record: 35-20

  • Previous ranking: 8

  • Next games: @ MEM (Feb. 15) @ MIN (Feb. 23), @ PHI (Feb. 25), vs. CHA (Feb. 27)

Earlier this week, the Bucks held the Hornets and Nuggets to under 100 points — something they have done only one other time this season. Milwaukee is 3-6 since Doc Rivers was hired as head coach, but the team is trending in the right direction defensively, ranking seventh in the NBA in that category during that span. The Bucks travel to Memphis on Thursday for their final game before the All-Star break. — Collier

8. New Orleans Pelicans
2023-24 record: 32-22

  • Previous ranking: 11

  • Next games: vs. WSH (Feb. 14), vs. HOU (Feb. 23), vs. CHI (Feb. 25), @ NY (Feb. 27)

After giving up an astonishing 87 first-half points to the Lakers on Friday night in a 139-122 loss, the Pelicans refocused on defense over their next two games — albeit against subpar opponents — defeating Portland 93-84 on Saturday and Memphis 96-87 on Monday. They became the first team in the past two seasons to win back-to-back games without scoring 100 points in either game and the first this season to hold their opponent to fewer than 90 points in consecutive games. For New Orleans to stay out of the play-in tournament in the West, it will need to continue to lean on its No. 7-ranked defense. — Lopez

9. New York Knicks
2023-24 record: 33-21

  • Previous ranking: 7

  • Next games: @ ORL (Feb. 14), @ PHI (Feb. 22), vs. BOS (Feb. 24), vs. DET (Feb. 26), vs. NO (Feb. 27)

Officiating crew chief Ed Malloy almost immediately admitted Jacyn Goble incorrectly called a foul on Jalen Brunson in the final moments of New York’s loss in Houston on Monday night. But the admission will do nothing to salve the wounds of a reeling Knicks team that enters Wednesday’s game in Orlando on a three-game losing streak. The Knicks are also down several key contributors, including possibly Donte DiVincenzo, who left Monday’s loss with a hamstring issue. — Bontemps

10. Phoenix Suns
2023-24 record: 32-22

  • Previous ranking: 9

  • Next games: vs. DET (Feb. 14), @ DAL (Feb. 22), @ HOU (Feb. 23), vs. LAL (Feb. 25)

Phoenix beat Sacramento 130-125 in a high-scoring game Tuesday while getting only five points from Bradley Beal. But it was not because he had an off night. Beal played just five minutes after tweaking a hamstring, and coach Frank Vogel said Beal would be out until after the All-Star break. While the Suns have risen to No. 5 in the West, the injury bug still hasn’t let up this season. — McMenamin

11. Dallas Mavericks
2023-24 record: 31-23

  • Previous ranking: 13

  • Next games: vs. SA (Feb. 14), vs. PHX (Feb. 22), @ IND (Feb. 25), @ CLE (Feb. 27)

Daniel Gafford’s arrival at the trade deadline and instant impact — averaging 17.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in his first two games — isn’t the only significant development for the Mavs’ big man rotation. Maxi Kleber, who missed most of the season’s first half due to a dislocated pinky toe that popped out of place on four occasions, has regained his form. The Mavs have outscored opponents by 75 points with Kleber on the floor during their five-game winning streak. Kleber playing center allows the Mavs to play a 5-out offense and switch everything defensively, and he can be paired with Gafford or Dereck Lively II as a power forward in big lineups. — MacMahon

12. Philadelphia 76ers
2023-24 record: 32-21

  • Previous ranking: 12

  • Next games: vs. MIA (Feb. 14), vs. NY (Feb. 22), vs. CLE (Feb. 23), vs. MIL (Feb. 25), @ BOS (Feb. 27)

Bringing future Hall of Famer Kyle Lowry home to Philadelphia is not just a good story, it’s an important addition for a 76ers team that has been beset by a seemingly never-ending series of injuries in recent weeks that has destroyed its depth. It’s unclear whether Lowry will be on the court for Philadelphia’s game at home against the Heat before the All-Star break, but he is expected to be ready after the break and contribute alongside All-Star Tyrese Maxey. — Bontemps

13. Sacramento Kings
2023-24 record: 30-23

  • Previous ranking: 10

  • Next games: @ DEN (Feb. 14), vs. SA (Feb. 22), @ LAC (Feb. 25), vs. MIA (Feb. 26)

When the Kings are good, they’re really good — like when they beat the Nuggets by 29 points. But when they’re down, they’re really down — like when they were blown out by the bottom-dwelling Pistons last week. The Kings are still a dangerous team and doubled down on that by not making any moves at the trade deadline. But their inconsistency could doom them when it matters most. — Andrews

14. Orlando Magic
2023-24 record: 29-25

  • Previous ranking: 15

  • Next games: vs. NY (Feb. 14), @ CLE (Feb. 22), @ DET (Feb. 24), @ ATL (Feb. 25), vs. BKN (Feb. 27)

As Orlando attempts to stay out of the play-in tournament in the East, Franz Wagner is playing some of his best basketball of the season, fueled by his 3-point shooting. Through the first 34 games, Wagner was shooting 28.8% on 4.8 attempts per game. After he returned from an injury on Jan. 21: 38.9% on 6.25 attempts per game, with multiple 3s in nine of the 12 contests. Wagner has also had his highest-scoring games of the season in the past 10 days, scoring 38 in a win at Detroit, 34 in a win versus San Antonio and 36 in a win against Chicago. — Lopez

15. Indiana Pacers
2023-24 record: 30-25

  • Previous ranking: 14

  • Next games: @ TOR (Feb. 14), vs. DET (Feb. 22), vs. DAL (Feb. 25), vs. TOR (Feb. 26)

All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton is already close to breaking his own team records. He just recorded his 30th double-double of the season, just two shy of his own franchise record (32) set last season, and put up his 32nd game with at least 10 assists, also two shy of his record (34) from 2022-23. His strong play has not been enough to overcome the Pacers’ recent skid (they’ve dropped five of their past eight games). But they’ll have a chance to regain some ground when they face the reeling Raptors on the road Wednesday. — Collier

16. Los Angeles Lakers
2023-24 record: 29-26

  • Previous ranking: 16

  • Next games: @ UTA (Feb. 14), @ GS (Feb. 22), vs. SA (Feb. 23), @ PHX (Feb. 25)

At the end of a film session Monday, coach Darvin Ham discussed several hypothetical records that the Lakers could close their season with and where each would get them in the standings. He wouldn’t reveal the exact number, but it was something like, “If we go 21-7, we can get the No. 6 seed.” When asked about his coach’s tactic, LeBron James said, “Having a goal is very important,” but added that predicting an outcome isn’t as important as cleaning up mistakes on a game-to-game basis. — McMenamin

17. Golden State Warriors
2023-24 record: 26-25

  • Previous ranking: 19

  • Next games: vs. LAC (Feb. 14), @ UTA (Feb. 15), vs. LAL (Feb. 22), vs. CHA (Feb. 23), vs. DEN (Feb. 25), @ WAS (Feb. 27)

The Warriors didn’t make any big moves at the trade deadline, but might not have needed to. The sentiment from within the organization was that they have faith in their core and plan on figuring it out. So far so good. They are riding a five-game winning streak and are above .500 for the first time since Dec. 23. At 10th in the West, they are barely hanging on to the final play-in spot, but the signs are more positive now than at any time this season. — Andrews

18. Miami Heat
2023-24 record: 29-25

  • Previous ranking: 17

  • Next games: @ PHI (Feb. 14), @ NO (Feb. 23), @ SAC (Feb. 26), @ POR (Feb. 27)

While Miami tries to get its offense restarted — only two games with over 120 points and five games with under 100 in the past month — the defense has returned to its usual stingy standards. In their past seven games, the Heat are allowing 104.7 points per 100 possessions, the best mark in the NBA since Jan. 31. The defense will have to carry Miami through an upcoming six-game road trip — split up by the All-Star break — that runs through the end of February. — Lopez

19. Utah Jazz
2023-24 record: 26-28

  • Previous ranking: 18

  • Next games: vs. LAL (Feb. 14), vs. GS (Feb. 15), vs. CHA (Feb. 22), vs. SA (Feb. 25), @ ATL (Feb. 27)

Utah has gone back to its jumbo starting frontcourt since sending small forward Simone Fontecchio to Detroit before the trade deadline, but the trio of Walker Kessler, John Collins and Lauri Markkanen continues to be an awkward fit. The Jazz have been outscored by 20.6 points per 100 possessions in the 140 minutes those three have played together this season, and they were minus-18 in 20 minutes with them on the floor in their two losses since the trade deadline. — MacMahon

20. Chicago Bulls
2023-24 record: 26-28

  • Previous ranking: 22

  • Next games: @ CLE (Feb. 14), vs. BOS (Feb. 22), @ NO (Feb. 25), vs. DET (Feb. 27)

The Bulls made history last week as the only team in the NBA not to make a move on deadline week for the third year in a row. But they did win three out of four games last week to build a two-game cushion for the No. 9 seed in the East. Third-year shooting guard Ayo Dosunmu is helping the Bulls climb back into contention, starting four of the past five games and averaging 16.4 points and 3.8 assists on 57.9% shooting from the field in February. He had a career-high 29 points in the Bulls’ win over the Hawks on Monday. Chicago next faces the red-hot Cavs on Wednesday to wrap up the first half of February before heading into the All-Star break. — Collier

21. Atlanta Hawks
2023-24 record: 24-30

  • Previous ranking: 21

  • Next games: @ CHA (Feb. 14), vs. TOR (Feb. 23), vs. ORL (Feb. 25), vs. UTA (Feb. 27)

After standing pat at the deadline, the Hawks pulled out victories against the 76ers and Rockets. After months of trade rumors, Dejounte Murray had 34 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in the Hawks’ first game since Thursday’s trade deadline. He’s averaging a career-best 21.6 points, and his 46.5% field goal percentage is a tick above his career best. Atlanta is holding on to 10th in the Eastern Conference, trying to make the play-in tournament for the third consecutive season. To do it again, it will need Murray to continue playing at this level. — Lopez

22. Houston Rockets
2023-24 record: 24-29

  • Previous ranking: 20

  • Next games: @ MEM (Feb. 14), @ NO (Feb. 22), vs. PHX (Feb. 23), vs. OKC (Feb. 25), @ OKC (Feb. 27)

No. 4 overall pick Amen Thompson has averaged 10.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals in the past four games filling in as the starter for injured point guard Fred VanVleet. The 6-foot-7 Thompson had 8 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in a huge win Monday over the Knicks. The last rookie to have at least that many rebounds, assists and steals in a game: Magic Johnson in March 1998. — MacMahon

23. Brooklyn Nets
2023-24 record: 21-32

  • Previous ranking: 23

  • Next games: @ BOS (Feb. 14), @ TOR (Feb. 22), @ MIN (Feb. 24), @ MEM (Feb. 26), @ ORL (Feb. 27)

At this point, it’s hard to see Ben Simmons recapturing his prior All-Star form. That said, the 27-year-old forward is proving to be a useful player for Brooklyn now that he’s back on the court. Despite continuing to be a non-threat beyond the arc, Simmons has made an impact on the boards and in setting up teammates in his first five games back (the Nets are 3-2), averaging six rebounds and six assists. For a Brooklyn team sorely lacking in shot creation, it has proved to be a very solid contribution. — Bontemps

24. Toronto Raptors
2023-24 record: 19-35

  • Previous ranking: 25

  • Next games: vs. IND (Feb. 14), vs. BKN (Feb. 22), @ ATL (Feb. 23), @ IND (Feb. 26)

It has been a rough start in Toronto for guard Immanuel Quickley, who is now shooting 39.9% from the field after Monday’s blowout loss to Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs. But a deeper dive into the numbers signals that better times are ahead — specifically that, through his first six weeks north of the border, Quickley is shooting just 38.6% on 2-point shots, far below his 46.5% career average. Once that regresses to the mean, Quickley — who is shooting 41% on 3-pointers with the Raptors — will look like the long-term answer at point guard Toronto believes him to be. — Bontemps

25. Memphis Grizzlies
2023-24 record: 18-36

  • Previous ranking: 24

  • Next games: vs. HOU (Feb. 14), vs. MIL (Feb. 15), vs. LAC (Feb. 23), vs. BKN (Feb. 26)

Second-year wing Vince Williams Jr.’s emergence has been the most encouraging silver lining during a miserable, injury-marred season in Memphis. Williams, who started the season on a two-way deal before signing a four-year contract in January, has earned a reputation as an excellent on-ball defender, and averaged 12.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists with a 60.2% true shooting percentage in 23 starts. — MacMahon

26. Portland Trail Blazers
2023-24 record: 15-38

  • Previous ranking: 26

  • Next games: vs. MIN (Feb. 15), vs. DEN (Feb. 23), vs. CHA (Feb. 25), vs. MIA (Feb. 27)

The Blazers are still banged up, playing without Malcolm Brogdon, Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons, and on a four-game losing streak. Jerami Grant has been taking charge in their absence, scoring a career-high 49 points against Detroit last week. When they’ve been healthy they’ve found a good rotation, with Brogdon starting and Henderson coming off of the bench. The Blazers are playing the long game. — Andrews

27. San Antonio Spurs
2023-24 record: 11-43

  • Previous ranking: 27

  • Next games: @ DAL (Feb. 14), @ SAC (Feb. 22), @ LAL (Feb. 23), @ UTA (Feb. 25), @ MIN (Feb. 27)

Wembanyama had 27 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks and 5 assists in 29 minutes Monday night, putting up one of the more incredible stat lines of the 2023-24 season. He’s the first player in NBA history with 10 blocks and five assists in a game while playing under 30 minutes (since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74). And his three-point shot is improving as well. In his past 13 games, Wembanyama is shooting 39.3% on 4.7 attempts per game. He’s been in the league for … less than four months. — Lopez

28. Charlotte Hornets
2023-24 record: 12-41

  • Previous ranking: 28

  • Next games: vs. ATL (Feb. 14), @ UTA (Feb. 22), @ GS (Feb. 23), @ POR (Feb. 25), @ MIL (Feb. 27)

Charlotte snapped a 10-game slide and has won two straight for the first time since late November. Miles Bridges exercised his trade veto power in his contract and opted to stay in Charlotte this season, and he’s been on fire, averaging 28.4 points per game over his past five games. During that span, Bridges had back-to-back 40-point explosions and poured in 20 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals to stun Indiana on Monday. The Hornets are still without the injured LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams and they traded away P.J. Washington and Gordon Hayward. But they acquired Grant Williams, Seth Curry, Vasilije Micic and Tre Mann, hoping to provide a midseason boost. — Youngmisuk

29. Detroit Pistons
2023-24 record: 8-45

  • Previous ranking: 30

  • Next games: @ PHX (Feb. 14), @ IND (Feb. 22), vs. ORL (Feb. 24), @ NY (Feb. 26), @ CHI (Feb. 27)

The Pistons won back-to-back games last week for the second time this season, but blew a fourth-quarter lead against the Clippers for their chance at three in a row. Detroit should be encouraged by the recent uptick from second-year guard Jaden Ivey, who has scored at least 20 points in their past three games — the first time in his career. The Pistons face off against the Suns heading into All-Star Weekend, and are back on the road to take on the Pacers next week. — Collier

30. Washington Wizards
2023-24 record: 9-44

  • Previous ranking: 29

  • Next games: @ NO (Feb. 14), @ DEN (Feb. 22), @ OKC (Feb. 23), vs. CLE (Feb. 25), vs. GS (Feb. 27)

Washington said goodbye to its starting big man Daniel Gafford, sending him to Dallas for Richaun Holmes and a first-round pick. Gafford, who exceeded expectations for Washington since coming in a midseason trade in 2021, reminded them what they gave up with 16 point, 17 rebound and 5 blocks against his old team Monday. But Washington is thinking big picture: Adding a first-round pick in this upcoming draft while also being able to shed some salary will be two components that will help the rebuild in Washington. — Youngmisuk


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