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NBA Power Rankings: Pelicans look like contenders, Nets finding their rhythm

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

Phoenix Suns v New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles the ball during the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 11, 2022 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

No matter who is on the floor for the New Orleans Pelicans, things just seem to fit. The Pelicans are on a seven-game winning streak despite missing Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones, arguably their best perimeter scorer and best wing defender respectively. New Orleans took down the Phoenix Suns, the top team in the West in the last rankings, twice in a span of three days. The Memphis Grizzlies are also on a nice winning streak and have climbed into the top five.

In the East, the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks both had bad losses over the weekend, although the Celtics are excused as they suffered a road defeat to the Golden State Warriors. The Bucks dropped a game to the lowly Houston Rockets, and might be without Khris Middleton again as he suffered an ankle injury. That has opened up a slight window for a team many felt would contend this year; the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets have found their groove, winning three in a row and seven of their last eight. Kevin Durant is playing like his usual self and the Kyrie Irving drama seems to be a thing of the past. If Ben Simmons can rediscover his game and the role players get hot, this team could make a deep run. The Philadelphia 76ers are also getting healthier and will be a factor in the East.

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

NBA Power Rankings: Week 9

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