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NBA Power Rankings: Is top of East better than top of West heading into postseason?

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

Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of a game at Fiserv Forum on April 02, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

We’ve hit the last week of the regular season and teams are going to be clinching playoff spots, fighting for seeding, or outright tanking. For the last edition of the regular season power rankings, we’re going to go ahead and sort each team into tiers. The only tiers that truly matter are the first two, but fans of teams in the “pretenders” tier will likely still be able to witness their clubs in the postseason or play-in tournament.


Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics
Phoenix Suns
Philadelphia 76ers
Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers

The top of the East (Bucks, Celtics, 76ers) might be stronger than the top of the West (Suns, Nuggets, Grizzlies) heading into the last week. The East semifinals and finals are going to be a grind, and that might actually benefit whichever team does come out of the West. The Bucks are the favorites to win it all at the moment, but it only takes one bad shooting series or one freak injury to completely change everything.


Sacramento Kings
New York Knicks
Miami Heat
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans

The Knicks, Clippers and Pelicans have big injury questions, although the situation is much clearer for New York and LA regarding Julius Randle and Paul George. The Warriors simply haven’t been able to lock in on the road this year, but they are the defending champions and have not been beaten in a playoff series since 2014-15 when Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are available for the duration of the series. The Kings are simply inexperienced when it comes to the postseason, while the Heat and Lakers have been too inconsistent to be considered true title contenders despite their recent history.


Minnesota Timberwolves
Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors
Atlanta Hawks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Dallas Mavericks
Chicago Bulls

The Mavericks are the only team capable of leaping into the secondary contender realm, solely due to Luka Doncic’s postseason track record. The Timberwolves just dropped a game to the tanking Blazers, which isn’t exactly going to inspire confidence given how tight the West standings are.


Indiana Pacers
Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets
Detroit Pistons