NBA Top-Ten Power Rankings: Mar. 2
For many NBA fans looking at this season, this was not what they expected. Here's a list of top-ten power rankings heading to March.
1. Phoenix Suns
The Suns hit their first skid all year this week. Chris Paul is out with a fracture in his thumb so it makes sense that the Suns are struggling. Devin Booker has taken over and has still been productive without Paul, and is having more of a role running the offense. As long as Chris Paul is healthy soon there shouldn’t be much to worry about for the Suns.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
This is truly the surprise team of the season. What Ja Morant has done for this young Grizzlies team deserves MVP award recognition. He is putting up superstar-like numbers and it’s making Memphis a team to look out for in the West. Morant now has five 40-point games, the most in franchise history. No one in the west will be wanting to make a trip to Memphis in round one.
3. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have looked a bit shaky this week, losing a game to the Mavericks where they were up by 21 points and also dropping one to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The disc injury to Draymond Green is something to keep an eye on. This team does not go anywhere without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but without Green, the Warriors lack hustle and heart.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
For years, Sixer fans have known that they had a star in Joel Embiid. Now, they have an equally talented counterpart who can truly get them to an NBA Finals. Doc Rivers has to be looking at this as one of his last chances to get another ring. The Sixers are going to be fun to watch down the stretch but the pressure on James Harden is going to be unlike any other in his career.
5. Miami Heat
Miami has come out of the All-Star break scorching hot winning eight of its last nine games. The addition of Kyle Lowry should help them down the stretch and take more pressure off of the younger players. If this trio of Jimmy Butler, Lowry and Bam Adebayo get it going during the postseason it’s hard to think of a team that can guard and score against them.
6. Chicago Bulls
Chicago has one of the best records in the NBA. But, the Bulls have shown an inability to win against top-level opponents. Chicago is a total 0-7 against the Suns, Warriors, Grizzlies, and Heat. The Bulls are a cute story to go along with this NBA season, but it’s hard to see a team with DeMar DeRozan as their best player winning the finals even with the year he is having.
7. Utah Jazz
The Jazz also got off to a great start coming out of the All-Star break. Donovan Mitchell who is coming off a concussion picked up right where he left off. Quin Snyder's squad is always tough competition but the question is do they have enough to compete and move on in this talented Western Conference.
8. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have lost for the past five games. This doesn’t exactly look like the team that we saw last year. Milwaukee currently has the second-worst rated defense in the league, only better than Houston Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are going to have to clean it up if they want another shot at repeating their title.
9. Dallas Mavericks
The year that Luka Doncic is having is not getting the recognition it deserves. Doncic has been playing the best defense of his career, and now is in full control of this Mavericks team without Kristaps Porziņģis. They are no doubt a sleeper in the west but when you have a player like Doncic anything can happen in the postseason.
10. Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic might be winning his second MVP. If the reports are true and the Nuggets are getting Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back this month then this team can easily sneak back into the top of the conference. Mike Malone has quietly done a really good job with this organization now let’s see what happens when he can get all those pieces back.
Sam Kirk is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Sam Kirk is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is also featured weekly in the CommRadio news department on Thursday newcasts. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles, interviewing players and contributing to their YouTube channel.