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NBA Power Rankings: Warriors, Celtics enter the season at the top

Chinmay Vaidya dishes his first NBA power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

2022 NBA Finals - Game Three
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors dribbles against Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 08, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA season is back with TNT’s doubleheader Tuesday night. The Boston Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener, following by the defending champions Golden State Warriors taking on the Los Angeles Lakers to cap things off. All four of those teams are expected to be contenders this season.

The Warriors and Celtics are at the top of the first power rankings for this season, which shouldn’t be surprising. While there has been some offseason drama surrounding both franchises, the rosters are good enough to compete for a championship in spite of the distractions. Golden State and Boston headline a loaded group of contenders, which we can say for now is the top 12 teams in this rankings.

Teams 13 to 23 in this ranking have the most fluidity. These are the franchises who are trying to compete but might not have the top-end talent and continuity the contenders do. Some of these teams, like the Lakers and Cavaliers, could become contenders if things work out. Entering the season, this is the section of the rankings most likely to shift from week to week.

Teams 24 to 30 are in the rebuilding zone. There’s a few teams which are in the outright tanking zone, headlined by the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs. With prospects like Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson sitting atop the 2023 NBA Draft board, it’s hard not to think about strategically giving away games as the season winds down.

Here’s a look at the first power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

NBA Power Rankings 2022-23: Opening Night

Team Rank
Team Rank
Golden State Warriors 1
Boston Celtics 2
MIlwaukee Bucks 3
Los Angeles Clippers 4
Brooklyn Nets 5
Philadelphia 76ers 6
Phoenix Suns 7
Miami Heat 8
Memphis Grizzlies 9
Dallas Mavericks 10
Denver Nuggets 11
Minnesota Timberwolves 12
Cleveland Cavaliers 13
Los Angeles Lakers 14
Chicago Bulls 15
Toronto Raptors 16
New Orleans Pelicans 17
Atlanta Hawks 18
Portland Trail Blazers 19
New York Knicks 20
Charlotte Hornets 21
Sacramento Kings 22
Detroit Pistons 23
Washington Wizards 24
Orlando Magic 25
Indiana Pacers 26
Oklahoma City Thunder 27
Houston Rockets 28
San Antonio Spurs 29
Utah Jazz 30