After dealing with several major injuries for the last few months, the Philadelphia 76ers are suddenly the hottest team in the NBA. They’ve won seven straight games, with their most recent victory being a comeback win over the Denver Nuggets. Joel Embiid was the star with 47 points and 18 rebounds, showing no signs of foot soreness as he made a statement against two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. If Embiid can stay healthy, the 76ers will like their chances in the postseason against any team.
The Los Angeles Clippers have started looking like the team many thought they’d be at the beginning of the season. The Clippers lost to the 76ers and Jazz before starting a five-game winning streak of their own. They dropped Sunday’s game to the Cavaliers after ruling all their key guys out but it seems like Tyronn Lue’s team is starting to gel.
On the flip side of the rankings, the Toronto Raptors continue to sink further into oblivion. Toronto is now five games back of the No. 6 spot in the East and has plenty of decisions to make at the trade deadline. The Raptors are likely going to keep this core together and fight out the season but this has been a tough look for Toronto.
The New Orleans Pelicans are also experiencing some tough times with Zion Williamson out. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum didn’t play Sunday, resulting in their seventh straight defeat. At one point, the Pelicans looked like true title contenders and are now just another team in what is shaping up to be a fierce playoff battle out West.
Here’s a look at the updated power rankings for the 2022-23 season.
NBA Power Rankings: Week 16
|Los Angeles Clippers||9||14|
|Golden State Warriors||11||9|
|New York Knicks||13||12|
|New Orleans Pelicans||14||10|
|Portland Trail Blazers||19||20|
|Los Angeles Lakers||20||18|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||25||25|
|San Antonio Spurs||30||30|