SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Week 15 

SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Week 15 
Tue 30th March 2021

As the trade deadline has now passed, rosters are all but set for the remainder of the 2021 NBA season. Did your team’s acquisitions and departures improve their ranking heading into Week 15? Find out below! 

Here’s where all 30 NBA teams stand heading into Week 15 of the 2020-21 NBA season:

1. Utah Jazz

NBA Championship Odds: +750
Current Record: 34-11
Previous Ranking: 3

Although Utah did not make any significant roster changes prior to the deadline, the Jazz did manage a 4-0 record in Week 14, which resulted in them reclaiming the No. 1 spot on the SportsTips NBA Power Rankings heading into Week 15. Utah defeated the Bulls by 25 points in Chicago, the undermanned Nets by 30 and the Grizzlies by three and 16 on back to back nights in Utah.

Donovan Mitchell was the spark behind the Jazz’s big week, averaging just shy of 32 points per game on 66% shooting from the three point line. Although their win against Brooklyn was someone tainted due to Harden, Durant and Irving all missing for the Nets, Utah now have a three game lead in the West and have maintained the best record in the NBA.

2. Brooklyn Nets

NBA Championship Odds: +260
Current Record: 30-15
Previous Ranking: 1

Although they did not make a trade at the deadline, Brooklyn did manage to acquire seven time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge on the buyout market. As well as the acquisition, Brooklyn managed a 2-1 week with their one loss coming against the Jazz in Utah with James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving all out of the lineup.

The Nets did defeat Portland and Detroit last week, as Blake Griffin put up 17 points in 20 minutes against his former team (Detroit) on Friday night. 

3. Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Championship Odds: +600
Current Record: 31-16
Previous Ranking: 7

A 4-0 week combined with the acquisition of a proven playoff playmaker, has resulted in the Clippers improving to their highest position on the SportsTips NBA Power Rankings so far this season. Los Angeles began their week by snapping Atlanta’s eight game winning streak, before winning back to back games against the Spurs in San Antonio and finally closing out the week with a 10 point win over the 76ers.

fanduel sign up bonus

However, the biggest news for the Clippers last week was the acquisition of Rajon Rondo from Atlanta in exchange for Lou Williams. Rondo is a renowned facilitator, playmaker and playoff performer which is exactly what the Clippers have been longing for since the last postseason. Whether ‘Playoff Rondo’ is still capable of being the third best player on a championship team remains to be seen, however it is certainly an upgrade from Williams, who has proven time and time again that he is not a reliable postseason player.

4. Phoenix Suns

NBA Championship Odds: +3600
Current Record: 31-14
Previous Ranking: 4

Phoenix continued to quietly go about their business last week, winning three of their four games and acquiring a solid ‘three and D’ bench player in Torrey Craig. After uncharacteristically dropping a game to Minnesota two weeks ago, the Suns were once again on the wrong side of an upset, going down to the Magic on Wednesday.

However, Phoenix did still defeat Miami, Toronto and Charlotte to hold onto the No. 2 seed in the West. Devin Booker put up just shy of 25 points per game last week, while Deandre Ayton added 17.8 points and 12.0 rebounds. Another positive for the Suns is that the recently acquired Torey Craig has already established a role for himself, scoring 8.3 points on 46% three point shooting off the bench, while also contributing value on the defensive end.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

NBA Championship Odds: +1300
Current Record: 32-14
Previous Ranking: 2

As one of the teams that were most interested in acquiring Kyle Lowry from Toronto, Philadelphia will be somewhat disappointed with their front office’s performance at last week’s trade deadline. However on the court, the 76ers maintained the No. 1 seed in the East with a 2-1 Week 14. With all three of their games coming on the west coast, Philly defeated the Warriors at home and Lakers at home, before closing out the week with a 10 point loss to the Clippers in LA.

Tobias Harris has continued to step into the role of the primary scorer in Joel Embiid’s absence, averaging 23.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists last week. While Danny Green put up some valuable numbers, with 18.7 points on 55% three point shooting in the three games. Although they would have been disappointed not landing Kyle Lowry, Philadelphia did manage to acquire the services of George Hill, who is a worthy consolation prize. 

6. Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Championship Odds: +850
Current Record: 29-16
Previous Ranking: 5

Milwaukee began their week by picking up their seventh and eighth consecutive victories against the Pacers and Celtics, before snapping their winning streak with a loss in their second game against Boston and following that up with a six point loss to the Knicks.

It must be mentioned that four of the Bucks starters including  Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sat out with a sprained left knee, did not play in Milwaukee’s loss against the Knicks on Saturday. Khris Middleton was the lead offensive weapon in the three games he played last week, averaging 23.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game on 66% three point shooting. The addition of former Rocket PJ Tucker will provide the Bucks with valuable perimeter shooting and defense. 

7. Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Championship Odds: +300
Current Record: 30-17
Previous Ranking: 6

Although it was a rough week for the Lakers, they did manage to win both their first and second game of the season without LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup. Los Angeles split their four game 2-2, losing to the Pelicans and 76ers in their first two games, before defeating the Cavs and Magic later in the week. The Lakers did miss out on Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline, as their front office refused to include Talen Horton-Tucker in negotiations.

fanduel sign up bonus

However, LA did not come away from deadline week empty handed, having signed Andre Drummond after a buyout with the Cavs. Drummond will have the opportunity to play big minutes and get settled in the Lakers offense that has understandably been in poor form recently without LeBron and A.D.

8. Denver Nuggets

NBA Championship Odds: +2400
Current Record: 28-18
Previous Ranking: 8

In what was a great week for Denver, they won three of their four games and pulled off what could potentially be one of the most important moves of last week’s deadline, signing Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic. Gordon is the ideal fit for a team like Denver, as he is a versatile forward who can guard multiple positions and knock down open three point shots. The 25 year old made his team debut against Atlanta on Sunday and put up 13 points in 21 minutes.

The Nuggets beat the Magic, Pelicans and Hawks last week, with their one blemish coming against the Raptors on Wednesday. Denver also acquired JaVale McGee and Gary Clark at the deadline, trading away Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and Isaiah Hartenstein in the process.

9. Portland Trail Blazers

NBA Championship Odds: +5500
Current Record: 28-18
Previous Ranking: 9

Portland were also an active team prior to last week’s deadline, making some key roster changes. While on the floor, the Blazers won three of their four games last week, going down to the Nets in Portland, before sweeping their Florida road trip, defeating the Heat, Magics and Raptors. Having already averaged 17.5 points on 66% three point shooting in his first two games with the team, the acquisition of Norman Powell from Toronto will take some offensive pressure off Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

In his first full week back from injury CJ McCollum looks to have rediscovered his early season form, averaging 27 points over his last three games. Portland did lose both Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr at the deadline last week.

10. Dallas Mavericks

NBA Championship Odds: +4400
Current Record: 23-21
Previous Ranking: 10

The Mavericks are continuing to prioritise the health of their players following the All-Star break, resting Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis last week, which resulted in a 1-2 record. Dallas defeated the Timberwolves by 20 points on Wednesday, despite only getting 15 points and four assists out of Doncic. Following the victory, Luka rested for the final two games of last week, which resulted in the Mavs dropping their final two games against Indiana by 15 points and New Orleans by nine points.

Porzingis also missed Saturday’s loss to the Pelicans, however averaged 30 points and 13.5 rebounds in the other two games he played last week. Dallas picked up JJ Reddick at the deadline, a valuable three point shooter who should fit in well with a playmaker such as Doncic.

11. Boston Celtics

NBA Championship Odds: +4400
Current Record: 23-23
Previous Ranking: 15

Although Boston began Week 14 with a pair or losses, two wins from their final two games and a big trade acquisition have seen the Celtics improve their spot in the rankings. Boston lost to the Grizzlies and dropped their first of two games against Milwaukee earlier in the week, before defeating the Bucks on Friday and Thunder on Saturday. As Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been doing all of the heavy lifting on offense, the Celtics added Evan Fournier from the Orlando Magic at the deadline to provide some necessary wing depth and scoring.

fanduel sign up bonus

Fournier’s arrival has coincided with what looks to be Marcus Smart completing his injury recovery. Smart looked back to his best at the end of last week, averaging almost 15 points, 5.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds through the four games. Although they did trade Daniel Theis, Boston have seen improvement out of Robert Williams as a starting center. Williams has averaged 8.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.5 blocks and 2.0 steals in the two games that followed Theis’ departure.

12. Charlotte Hornets

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 23-22
Previous Ranking: 18

In their first full week without Rookie of the Year favorite LaMelo Ball, Charlotte managed to win three of their four games, staying firmly in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte defeated the Spurs, Rockets and Heat in their first three games of Week 14, before closing out the week with a loss to the Suns.

Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham have stepped up in LaMelo Ball’s absence, with Rozier averaging 24.3 points and 5.5 assists last week, including a career high 11 assists against Miami, while Graham has put up 19 points per game in his last four appearances. The Hornets also added Brad Wanamaker to strengthen their guard depth and are now the No. 5 seed in the East. 

13. San Antonio Spurs

NBA Championship Odds: +24000
Current Record: 23-20
Previous Ranking: 11

After beginning their week with three straight losses at home, the Spurs managed to defeat the Bulls in their final game of Week 14. San Antonio struggled offensively last week, managing just 103.9 points per 100 possessions in their four games, which included losses against the Hornets and the Clippers (twice) as well as their victory over Chicago.

After missing most of the season due to injury, Derrick White was the lone offensive positive for the Spurs last week,  averaging 15.3 points on 42% three point shooting. As usual Greg Popovich and the Spurs were quiet at the trade deadline, although LaMarcus Aldridge was picked up as a buyout option by the Nets after six and a half seasons in San Antonio .

14. New York Knicks

NBA Championship Odds: +19000
Current Record: 24-22
Previous Ranking: 17

New York defeated the Wizards (twice) and the undermanned Bucks last week, capping off Week 14 with a 3-0 record and propelling themselves into the No. 4 seed in the East. It must be noted that their six point win over the Bucks came against a Milwaukee team that did not feature Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Donte DiVincenzo or PJ Tucker, however a win is a win.

Alec Burks took advantage of extra minutes last week, averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 rebounds on 48% three point shooting. However, the excitement of a 3-0 week was dampened when the Knicks learned that Mitchell Robinson suffered a broken right foot in the win over Milwaukee. Robinson had recently returned from a broken wrist.

15. Atlanta Hawks

NBA Championship Odds: +19000
Current Record: 23-23
Previous Ranking: 12

Atlanta began their week with a loss against the Clippers in LA, which brought an end to their eight game winning streak under Nate McMillan. The Hawks also lost to the Kings in Sacramento and the Nuggets in Denver last week, with their one win coming against the Warriors in Golden State.

fanduel sign up bonus

Atlanta parted ways with Rajon Rondo in exchange for Lou Williams and two second round picks, which will give Williams the opportunity to play for / represent his hometown, Atlanta. The Hawks are now a .500 team with a 23-23 record, sixth in the East, 1.0 game behind the four seed and 1.0 game in front of the 10th seed. 

16. Miami Heat

NBA Championship Odds: +3000
Current Record: 22-24
Previous Ranking: 13

Although Miami had a terrible week on the floor, losing their fourth, fifth and sixth consecutive games, the Heat were one of the big winners at the trade deadline. The Heat suffered losses to three playoff caliber teams in Week 14, going down to the Suns and Blazers in Miami, as well as the Hornets in Charlotte.

However, the Heat acquired Victor Oladipo at a rock bottom price just before the deadline, as well as Nemanja Bjelica, who will presumably take the minutes of the outgoing Kelly Olynyk. With Oladipo now on the roster, Miami are littered with talented guards. However, the Heat will need to have a strong finish to the regular season if they are any chance of going back to back as Eastern Conference championships.

17. Golden State Warriors

NBA Championship Odds: +1600
Current Record: 22-24
Previous Ranking: 14

The Warriors went 0-3 without Steph Curry last week, extending their active losing streak to four consecutive games. Double digit losses against the 76ers, Kings and Hawks have resulted in Golden State falling to the No. 10 seed in the West, as their defense (which had been one of the best in the league for most of the season) continues to go through a rough stretch, allowing 121.3 points per 100 possessions over their current four game losing streak.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points per game on 60% three point shooting last week, however Golden State needs Steph Curry to return if they are going to have any chance at being a competitive playoff team by the end of the season.

18. Indiana Pacers

NBA Championship Odds: +10000
Current Record: 21-23
Previous Ranking: 16

The Pacers are now just one game behind the sixth seed in the East, thanks to a 2-1 Week 14. After being embarrassed by the Bucks on Monday, Indiana closed out the week with wins over the Pistons and Mavericks.

Caris LeVert looks to have settled into his new franchise, averaging 19 points on 38% three point shooting to go along with 4.0 assists last week. Like their most recent offseason, the Pacers did not make any roster changes at last week’s trade deadline, despite many teams being interested in acquiring Myles Turner.

19. Memphis Grizzlies

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 21-22
Previous Ranking: 19

Another 2-2 week for Memphis will see them enter Week 15 as a .500 team. The Grizzlies kicked off their week with a pair of wins over the Celtics and Thunder, before closing out Week 14 with back to back losses against the Jazz in Utah.

fanduel sign up bonus

Despite averaging 21 points and 7.8 assists last week, Ja Morant has continued to struggle with his three point shooting, now hitting just 23.4% of his attempts this season. Jonas Valanciunas had another double-double week, averaging 14.8 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.

20. Sacramento Kings

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 21-25
Previous Ranking: 23

A 4-0 week for the Sacramento Kings has made the race for the Western Conference play-in tournament all the more interesting, as the Kings are now just 1.0 game behind the 10th seeded Warriors. Sacramento’s success is almost exclusively due to the elite level of play that De’Aaron Fox is producing.

Fox took things to another level last week, averaging 36.8 points and 5.5 assists, as well as the incredible full court pass to Harrison Barnes that led to a miraculous game-winning three pointer to beat the Cavs on Saturday. The Kings made several roster changes prior to the deadline, however their playoff aspirations sit solely with De’Aaron Fox as we enter the final third of the NBA regular season. 

21. New Orleans Pelicans

NBA Championship Odds: +16000
Current Record: 20-25
Previous Ranking: 22

Like the Kings, an above .500 week for New Orleans combined with an 0-3 week for the Warriors has kept the Pelicans playoff hopes alive. New Orleans are just 1.5 games behind the 10th seeded Warriors, thanks to victories against the Lakers and Mavericks last week, as well as a loss to the Nuggets.

Having traded JJ Reddick to Dallas, New Orleans has freed up minutes for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who averaged 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds on 45% three point shooting as a starter last week, while Lonzo Ball has been recovering from an injury. Zion Williamson arguably had the best week of his short NBA career last week, averaging 34.7 points on 73% shooting from the field, including a career high 39 points in their loss to Denver.

22. Chicago Bulls

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 19-25
Previous Ranking: 20

Chicago underwent some big roster changes last week, which may have been a contributing factor to their 0-3 record. The Bulls were one of the most prolific deadline teams, adding Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu, Daniel Theis, Javonte Green and Troy Brown Jr, while losing Wendell Carter Jr, Otto Porter Jr, Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison and Luke Kornet, as well as several picks.

Undoubtedly their biggest signing was two time All-Star Nikola Vucevic, who scored 21 points and nine rebounds in his team debut against San Antonio. The Bulls lost to the Spurs by 16 points in their final game of the week, having already lost to the Jazz by 25 points and the Cavaliers by nine. Expect more wins for Chicago, once this roster gets settled.

23. Toronto Raptors

NBA Championship Odds: +12000
Current Record: 18-28
Previous Ranking: 21

Much to the surprise of almost the entire NBA, Toronto held onto Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline, instead parting ways with Norman Powell in exchange for Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. On the court, Toronto were the unfortunate team that brought an end to the Rockets 20 game losing streak, as the Raptors lost 117-99.

fanduel sign up bonus

However, Toronto snapped their own losing streak the following game as they beat Denver by 24 points. The Raptors then closed out the week with a pair of losses against the Suns and Blazers. Toronto are still two games out of play-in tournament seeding, having dropper 13 of their past 15 games. However, with more depth joining the likes of Lowry, Van Vleet and Siakam, this team cannot be discounted just yet. 

24. Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 19-26
Previous Ranking: 24

The Thunder continued their quest for future draft dominance at last week’s trade deadline, acquiring two more second round picks in exchange for George Hill. Now with Hill gone, Al Horford sitting out for the remainder of the season and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missing at least the next month with a foot injury, Oklahoma City will be giving their younger players valuable minutes in the last third of the NBA regular season.

The Thunder did manage to get their 19th win of the year last week, defeating Timberwolves, before closing out the week with losses against the Grizzlies and the Mavericks. 

25. Washington Wizards

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 16-28
Previous Ranking: 26

Washington kicked off Week 14 with a pair of losses against the Knicks in New York, before managing to finish the week on a positive note, collecting their 16th win of the season with a 106-92 victory over the Pistons. Bradley Beal averaged 21.7 points and 6.3 assists per game last week, however it was Russell Westbrook’s 15th triple-double for the season that single handedly steered Washington to their win over Detroit, as the 2017 MVP put up 19 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists on his way to averaging a 15.3 point triple-double last week.

The Wizards moves at the deadline will certainly not be propelling them into playoff contention this season, exchanging Troy Brown and Moe Wagner for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 17-29
Previous Ranking: 25

Cleveland were unfortunately on the wrong end of Harrison’s Barnes’ game winning three point buzzer beater, which turned their potentially 2-2 week into a 1-3 week. The Cavaliers lost both of their games against Sacramento as well as their game against the Lakers, however they did manage to defeat the Bulls by nine points in Chicago.

Cleveland’s offense is still the worst in the NBA, having once again failed to score 100+ points in three of their four games, including an 86 point performance against the Lakers without LeBron and AD. The Cavaliers moved JaVale McGee to the Nuggets at the trade deadline and brought 22 year old power forward Isaiah Hartenstein onto their roster.

27. Houston Rockets

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 13-32
Previous Ranking: 30

In their first game of Week 14 the Rockets brought an end to their 20 games losing streak, as John Wall’s first triple double since 2016 led Houston to a 117-99 win over the Raptors. The Rockets then dropped their following two games against the Hornets and Timberwolves, before defeating Minnesota in their second night of a back to back, to split their four game week with a 2-2 record.

fanduel sign up bonus

Although Houston lost just two of their four games last week, they also lost Victor Oladipo to the Heat for Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and not much else, which hurts even more as Oladipo was involved in the trade that saw James Harden leave the franchise.  

28. Orlando Magic

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 15-31
Previous Ranking: 29

Orlando finally decided to blow up their existing roster, which had failed to ever put the Magic in contention to win a championship, trading out Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier at the deadline and committing to another rebuild. Having now added Wednell Carter Jr from Chicago and RJ Hampton from Denver, Orlando will be looking to turn several of their new first round picks into solid pieces in the future, while also awaiting the returns of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz who have missed the bulk of this season with knee injuries.

On the court last week, Orlando surprisingly defeated the Suns, before dropping their finals two games against the Blazers and Lakers. However, for the first time in a long time, Orlando can look forward to acquiring top end talent at the draft and developing the young players on their roster.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 11-35
Previous Ranking: 28

The Timberwolves may be awful but at least they are surprising. Minnesota won just one of their four games last week, however they did so by holding the Rockets scoreless in the final seven minutes of their game on Friday, going on a 22-0 run to steal a 107-101 victory.

The Timberwolves did however lose their other three games last week, going down to the Thunder, Mavericks and Rockets in their second game of a back to back. Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 27.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists last week, however Minnesota once again failed to bring in a supporting cast/player for their All-Star big man at last week’s trade deadline.

30. Detroit Pistons

NBA Championship Odds: +25000
Current Record: 12-33
Previous Ranking: 27

Three losses last week extended Detroit’s losing streak to four consecutive games. The Pistons went down to the Pacers by five points, the Nets by just two points and finally the Wizards by 14 points, which leaves Detroit just one game ahead of Minnesota for the worst record in the NBA.

At the deadline, the Pistons traded Delon Wright to Sacramento for Cory Joseph and second-round picks in the 2021 and 2024 NBA drafts. However, it is going to take more than two future second rounders to turn around this struggling Pistons franchise.  

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our NBA hub page for all your basketball needs.

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.