SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Week 10

SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Week 10
Tue 23rd February 2021

Although the Clippers brought an end to their win streak, the Utah Jazz have held onto the No. 1 spot on the SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings despite a 4-0 week from the Brooklyn Nets.

Here’s where all 30 NBA teams stand heading into Week 10 of the 2020-21 NBA season:

1. Utah Jazz

NBA Championship Odds: +800
Current Record: 24-6
Previous Ranking: 1

Utah’s second long streak of wins came to an end in Week 9, going down 116-112 against the Clippers in LA. However, the Jazz are still sitting on top of the table in the Western Conference having recorded a victory in their first of two games against the Clippers, as well as a win against the Eastern Conference leading 76’ers to finish the week 2-1.

Utah welcomed back Mike Conley after his six game absence which will undoubtedly help the Jazz get back on the winners list early in their Week 10 fixture. Utah shot just 36.1% from behind the three point line in Week 9, which is certainly something to keep and eye on going forward, however a 2-1 record after playing two of the top teams in the NBA is nothing to be ashamed of.

2. Brooklyn Nets

NBA Championship Odds: +333
Current Record: 20-12
Previous Ranking: 9

Despite playing without Kevin Durant (hamstring injury) for the entirety of Week 9, the Nets went undefeated on their West coast road trip, defeating the Kings, Suns, Lakers and Clippers on the road, propelling themselves up the SportsTips’ NBA power rankings.

Even without Durant, Brooklyn’s offense still averaged 121.25 points per game last week, thanks to the dazzling play of James Harden and Kyrie Irving, as well as Joe Harris hitting 56.3% of his three point attempts. Defensively, the Nets added 2016-17 All-Defensive team member Andre Roberson last week, while DeAndre Jordan had his best game for the season on Sunday against the Clippers, putting up 13 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and four blocks.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Championship Odds: +250
Current Record: 22-9
Previous Ranking: 2

In their first full week without Anthony Davis the Lakers were informed that their All-Star power forward would remain on the side-lines for at least four weeks. To make things worse, 2020-21 offseason signing Dennis Schroder has also been deemed inactive due to COVID-19 protocols.

Los Angeles opened up their week with a win over the Timberwolves, before suffering losses to the Nets and the Heat at home. It is fair to say that this is the first time that the Lakers have looked vulnerable since signing Davis, making the next month of basketball gravely important for the team’s chances of repeating as NBA champions. 

4. Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Championship Odds: +525
Current Record: 22-10
Previous Ranking: 3

The Clippers navigated their way through a tough week of opponents, splitting their games against the Heat, Jazz (twice) and Nets for a 2-2 week, improving to a 22-10 record. Los Angeles were without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for their victory over Miami and their loss to the Jazz, however the Clippers welcomed back their All-Star wings for their second game against Utah, which resulted in them ending the Jazz’s winning streak.

Paul George didn’t miss a beat after his seven games on the sidelines, averaging 24.5 points on 54.5% shooting in his two games last week. However, a minutes restriction kept George on the bench for the final minutes of the Clippers four point loss to Brooklyn on Sunday.

5. Phoenix Suns

NBA Championship Odds: +3300
Current Record: 19-10
Previous Ranking: 5

While the Jazz have been stealing the headlines as the most improved team in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns are flying under the radar, with wins in 11 of their past 13 games and a 19-10 record for the season.

Phoenix lost their opening game of the week against the Nets in a 128-124 shootout, however won their following two games against the Pelicans (132-114) and Grizzlies (128-97). With Chris Paul and Devin Booker running the offense, the Suns scored 124+ points in each of their games this week, breaking the franchise’s three point record against New Orleans (22) on Friday, before beating the record in their very next game against Memphis (24).

6. Philadelphia 76ers

NBA Championship Odds: +1600
Current Record: 20-11
Previous Ranking: 4

Philadelphia bookended their week with a pair of losses, however won two games in-between for a 2-2 record last week. In Joel Embiid’s absence, the 76’ers losing streak got extended to three games despite a career high 42 points from Ben Simmons against the Jazz.

Simmons missed the following two games, however Embiid returned and brought an end to the teams losing streak with victories over the Rockets and Bulls, with Embiid scoring a career high 50 points against Chicago.

In their first game of the week with both Simmons and Embiid, Philly’s offense struggled to get going in the second half, going down 110-103 against Toronto. Philadelphia have held onto the top spot in the East, currently leading the in-form Nets by .5 of a game.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

NBA Championship Odds: +5000
Current Record: 18-11
Previous Ranking: 6

Damian Lillard is continuing to keep the Blazers afloat, leading Portland to a 2-1 record last week and improving them to 18-11 for the season. Still without McCollum, Nurkic and Collins, Lillard extended Portland’s winning streak to six games after beating the Thunder and Pelicans early in Week 9, before Portland closed out the week with a seven point loss to the Wizards.

The Trail Blazers will likely be disappointed after losing to the 10-17 Wizards, however given their supporting cast it is a miracle that Portland are doing this well in the loaded Western Conference. The Damian Lillard MVP conversation is beginning to circulate.

8. Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Championship Odds: +750
Current Record: 18-13
Previous Ranking: 8

After dropping their opening two games last week, the Bucks extended their losing streak to five consecutive games, however Milwaukee salvaged a .500 week with victories over the Thunder and the Kings.

Jrue Holiday remains on the side-lines due to COVID-19 protocols, however Khris Middleton (32 points) snapped his shooting funk (14.7 points at 18.2% from three point territory in opening three games of the week) against the Kings, combining with Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 points) for 70 points in the victory.

9. San Antonio Spurs

NBA Championship Odds: +6000
Current Record: 16-11
Previous Ranking: 10

The NBA postponed all of the Spurs Week 9 games after four San Antonio players tested positive to COVID-19.

The Spurs are still 7-3 in their last 10 games and are one of this season’s biggest surprises at 16-11.

11. Toronto Raptors

NBA Championship Odds: +2800
Current Record: 16-15
Previous Ranking: 16

Toronto were four from four last week, including three wins against two of the top teams in the East. The Raptors defeated Milwaukee in back to back games before closing out their week with victories over the Timberwolves and 76’ers, improving to above .500 after a 4-0 week.

Even with Kyle Lowry’s absence, Nick Nurse went for a small ball line-up last week giving Norman Powell and DeAndre Bembry more responsibility within the line-up. Now at 16-15, Toronto are once again looking like one of the best teams in the East.

10. Denver Nuggets

NBA Championship Odds: +2500
Current Record: 16-14
Previous Ranking: 7

After finishing Week 8 with a win over the Lakers, Denver looked poised for a big week against four beatable opponents. However, losses against the Celtics, Wizard and Hawks saw the Nuggets post a 1-3 week, with their only victory coming against the lowly Cavaliers.

Jamal Murray averaged 35 points on 62.8% shooting last week, including a 50 point game against Cleveland, however injuries to Gary Harris and Paul Milsap as well as a slump in Nikola Jokic’s MVP calibre season has resulted in the Nuggets falling to the seventh best record in the West.

12. Indiana Pacers

NBA Championship Odds: +4000
Current Record: 15-14
Previous Ranking: 12

The Pacers played just two games this week, both of which went to overtime. Indiana went down by 8 points against Chicago in their first game last week, before defeating the T-Wolves by six points to finish the week with a 1-1 record.

Domantas Sabonis was the standout player for the Pacers, putting up 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in Indiana’s win over Minnesota, becoming the first player to record 30 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976. The Pacers are now the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

13. Golden State Warriors

NBA Championship Odds: +6000
Current Record: 16-15
Previous Ranking: 11

After demolishing the Cavs by 31 points and overcoming a 19 point deficit to beat the Heat, Golden state were 2-0 and three games above .500 to start Week 9.

However, an unexplainable loss to the Magic and a Terry Rozier ‘buzzer-beater’, left the Warriors at 2-2. On a positive note for Golden State, Kent Bazemore (26 points and eight rebounds vs Heat) and Kelly Oubre Jnr (21.2 point in last 10 games) are starting to provide alternative scoring options on offense. Steph Curry missed the Hornets game due to a non COVID-19 related illness.

14. Dallas Mavericks

NBA Championship Odds: +4500
Current Record: 13-15
Previous Ranking: 14

Dallas didn’t get to take the floor last week due to the severe weather conditions in Texas. The time off may actually prove valuable for Luka Doncic, who has been carrying the team so far this season.

The Mavs will need to improve defensively if they are going to have any chance of improving on their 10th seeding in the West and compete for a playoff spot. Doncic is capable of leading them there, he just needs more support.

15. Boston Celtics

NBA Championship Odds: +2500
Current Record: 15-15
Previous Ranking: 13

Things are not looking good in Boston, as the Celtics once again managed just a .500 week from their four games. Boston opened up their week with a win over the Nuggets, before splitting their two game miniseries against the Hawks.

However the low point of the week came on Sunday against the Pelican’s, as Boston blew a 24 point lead to lose the game and finish the week 2-2. Kemba Walker has continued his shooting woes, following up his 28 point night against the Hawks, with a 14 point, 7.69% three point shooting performance against New Orleans. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are playing well, but the supporting cast needs to stand up.

16. Charlotte Hornets

NBA Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 14-15
Previous Ranking: 15

The Hornets played just one game last week due to two COVID-19 postponements, improving to 14-15 after a 102-100 victory over Golden State.

Terry Rozier continued his impressive scoring run against the Warriors, dropping 36 points, including the game winning buzzer-beater in Charlotte’s win on Saturday. The Hornets are now sitting eighth in the East and just a game behind the fourth seed.

17. New York Knicks

NBA Championship Odds: +10000
Current Record: 15-16
Previous Ranking: 17

New York missed a great opportunity to go above .500 last week, defeating the Hawks and Timberwolves while also dropping a game against the under-manned Magic.

Although they remained one game below a winning/breakeven record, New York are sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference thanks to the standout play of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett on offense, as well as a committed team defensive effort that has resulted in the Knicks having the third best defensive rating in the NBA. With three straight games at home and against beatable opponents to start Week 10, the Knicks could find themselves above .500 by this time next week.

18. Miami Heat

NBA Championship Odds: +4000
Current Record: 13-17
Previous Ranking: 18

After starting the week 0-2, Miami rallied in the second half of the Week 9, defeating the Kings and Lakers to finish 2-2 and improve their record to 13-17. Defeating the Lakers in LA was undoubtedly the Heat’s highlight of the week, with Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn combining for 51 points in the 2020 NBA Finals rematch.

Having now won two consecutive games on the road, the Heat will start Week 10 against the Thunder in Oklahoma City before heading back to Miami for four straight home games.  

19. Memphis Grizzlies

NBA Championship Odds: +10000
Current Record: 13-13
Previous Ranking: 21

For the second week in a row the Grizzlies split their four games 2-2, remaining at .500 with a 13-13 record. Memphis lost to the Pelicans and Suns, while recording wins against the Thunder and Pistons.

More than a year after trading for him, Justise Winslow made his Grizzlies debut against Phoenix, however understandably looked rusty, shooting just 21.4% from the field. Currently sitting ninth in the West, Memphis are just .5 of a game behind the eighth seed.

20. New Orleans Pelicans

NBA Championship Odds: +7000
Current Record: 13-17
Previous Ranking: 20

It was the week of comebacks for New Orleans in Week 9, as the Pelicans went 2-2, improving to a 13-17 record. New Orleans entered the fourth quarter of Friday’s matchup against the Suns up by 11 points, but went on to lose the game by 18.

However, on Sunday the Pelicans set a franchise record by coming back from 24 points down to defeat Boston. Zion Williamson looks to be getting more offensively dominant by the week, however the Pelicans defense needs to improve if they are going to compete for a playoff spot in the West.

21. Atlanta Hawks

NBA Championship Odds: +8000
Current Record: 13-17
Previous Ranking: 22

The Hawks were 2-2 last week, splitting their two game miniseries against the Celtics, after opening up their week with a loss to the Knicks and closing it out with a win against the Nuggets.

Trae Young averaged 35.3 points and 11.3 assists after the loss to New York, including a 35 point, 15 assist game against the Nuggets, which was arguably Atlanta’s best win of the season.

22. Chicago Bulls

NBA Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 13-16
Previous Ranking: 25

Other than a loss to Philadelphia, thanks to Joel Embiid’s career high 50 point game, the Chicago Bulls were solid last week, winning their remaining three games to improve to 13-16. The Bulls defeated Indiana, Detroit and Sacramento last week, led predominantly by All-Star candidate Zach Lavine.

Lavine scored 33.8 points per game on 41.9% three point shooting last week, including a 38 point game against the Kings. Chicago are now ninth in the East and just one game behind the eighth seed. 

23. Orlando Magic

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 13-18
Previous Ranking: 26

Despite being ravaged by injuries, the Orlando Magic strung together three wins from their three matches last week, defeating the Knicks, Warriors and Pistons to improve to 13-18. Nikola Vucevic is continuing his push for a debut All-Star spot this year, averaging 24.1 points and 11.7 rebounds on 40.5% three point shooting, and is single handedly keeping the Magic afloat in 2021.

Terrance Ross and Evan Fournier chipped in this week, both averaging 20+ points while shooting at a high percentage. However, the Magic have shown in recent years that Vucevic, Fournier and Ross are not capable of winning them a playoff series let alone a championship.

24. Washington Wizards

NBA Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 10-17
Previous Ranking: 29

Washington will enter Week 10 fresh off what was comfortably their best week of the season, defeating the Rockets, Nuggets and Trail Blazers for a 3-0 record, improving to 10-17. What is positive for the Wizards is that although Beal and Westbrook are still leading the team, it was performances from Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Garrison Mathews and Moritz Wagner that sparked Washington’s successful week.

The Wizards new-look line-up and form will be put to the test in Week 10, with upcoming road games against the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets and Celtics, as well as a game against Minnesota at home.

 25. Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 12-18
Previous Ranking: 24

After dropping their opening three games of Week 9, the Thunder returned to the winners list after a 117-101 victory over the lowly Cavaliers.

Oklahoma City are content with developing their young talent throughout this season, given that they are currently sitting on a plethora of draft picks. The Thunder welcomed back Shai Gilgeous-Alexander against Cleveland, who put up 31 points and nine assists in the victory. 

26. Sacramento Kings

NBA Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 12-18
Previous Ranking: 19

Despite rookie Tyrese Haliburton having the best game of his young career (23 points on 62.5% shooting, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals) against the Bucks, Sacramento suffered their second consecutive winless week, slipping to 12-18.

The Kings were defeated by the Nets, Heat, Bulls and Bucks last week extending their losing streak to seven consecutive games. Things don’t get much easier for Sacramento in Week 10, with three consecutive east coast road games to kick off the week. 

27. Houston Rockets

NBA Championship Odds: +15000
Current Record: 11-17
Previous Ranking: 23

The Rockets played just two games last week due to the weather conditions in Houston. However, the team dropped both games, extending their losing streak to eight consecutive matches since losing Christian Wood to a sprained right ankle.

Given that the franchise has agreed to part ways with Demarcus Cousins, Houston are eagerly awaiting Wood’s return, as he is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.

28. Detroit Pistons

NBA Championship Odds: +50000
Current Record: 8-22
Previous Ranking: 28

With only two wins on the road this season, one thing that Detroit did not need this week was a road trip. And that is exactly what they got, with their three games last week kicking off a five games stint on the road.

The Pistons were defeated by the Bulls, Grizzlies and Magic last week, firming their position at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with an 8-22 record. Jerami Grant putting up a career high 43 points in Wednesday’s loss to Chicago, was the only highlight for the Pistons in Week 9.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA Championship Odds: +50000
Current Record: 7-24
Previous Ranking: 30

The Timberwolves added another four losses to their tally this season after another winless week. In what was a rough week for Minnesota, the team also announced that D’Angelo Russell will be out for four to six weeks after getting arthroscopic knee surgery.

Anthony Edwards did however give the Timberwolves their highlight of the season so far with a dunk of the year contender. However, unfortunately for the T-Wolves, highlights don’t correlate with wins.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA Championship Odds: +30000
Current Record: 10-21
Previous Ranking: 27

Four the second straight week in a row Cleveland went winless, extending their losing streak to 10 games, nine of which have come by 10 points or more. The Cavs 0-3 week came thanks to a 31 point loss to the Warriors, a 17 point loss to the Nuggets and a 16 point loss to the Thunder.

Finding a suitable trade partner for Andre Drummond is quickly becoming more and more urgent for Cleveland, especially with Jarrett Allen looking like a much more productive centre, putting up 26 points on 100% shooting as well as 17 rebounds and 3 blocks against OKC.

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365 

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Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.