NBA Power Rankings, Week 16: Sixers Rise Near Top As Grizzlies, Pelicans Slide (2023)

Week 15 of the 2022-2023 NBA season saw significant movement in the Power Rankings, with the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and New Orleans Pelicans sliding down. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Washington Wizards climbed several spots up. This week was characterized by a lot of movement among teams, indicating that the competition is heating up as the season progresses. Let’s find out as we rank all 30 NBA clubs heading into Week 16 of the 2022-23 season!

As we wind down the first month of 2023, we’re seeing talent rise to the top. Some teams that have surprised early on have kind of leveled off already. This includes the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, though the former is surely doing much better than the latter. The Boston Celtics also have a tight hold of the best record in the league. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets, Sixers, and Milwaukee Bucks are also hot on their heels. How about the other teams, though?

Previous 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings: Week 15 | Week 14|Week 13|Week 12|Week 11|Week 10|Week 9|Week 8|Week 7|Week 6|Week 5|Week 4|Week 3|Week 2

Without further ado, let’s look at our 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings entering Week 16 of the new season.

1. Boston Celtics (no change)

The Celtics have the luck of the Irish. A bum missed call at the end of regulation just helped them beat the Los Angeles Lakers. That win snapped a surprising three-game slump for Boston. Still, there are some doubts about how this Celtics squad will do moving forward. Remember that they will face the Nets and Suns this week.

2. Philadelphia 76ers (+2)

The Sixers climb two spots in our NBA Power Rankings. That’s thanks mainly to their sublime performance so far in the new year. In fact, Philly has been the best team in 2023. They have won 12 of their 14 games in January. That has certainly helped them stay in second place in the Atlantic Division. They should keep on winning, too, as they face the Magic, Spurs, and Knicks this week.

47 PTS | 18 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK

we're glad @JoelEmbiid starts for us.

🎥 presented by

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 28, 2023

3. Denver Nuggets (-1)

The Nuggets have been chugging along quite nicely in January. That is until they opened Week 15. Over the past week, Denver dropped three of their four games. They still have the best win-loss record in the Western Conference. However, if they continue getting Ls, don’t be shocked if the Grizzlies eventually catch up with them.

4. Brooklyn Nets (+1)

The Nets are still firmly entrenched in the top echelons of our NBA Power Rankings. This is despite a bit of a roller-coaster ride over the past couple of weeks. In Brooklyn’s last nine games, in fact, they’ve won only three games. Just last week, they lost to both the Sixers and the Pistons (yes, the Pistons). Of course, much of that is due to the injury of Kevin Durant.

5. Milwaukee Bucks (+2)

It’s good to see that the Bucks are among the hottest teams in the league again. They have won six of their last seven assignments. This includes wins over the Nuggets, Pacers, and Pelicans. Not surprisingly, Giannis Antetounmpo has been pretty much unstoppable over the last few games. In Milwaukee’s last four wins, The Greek Freak has averaged 38.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. Big tests come this week against the Clippers and Heat. Before those games, however, the Bucks should have another win when they face the Hornets.

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6. Memphis Grizzlies (-3)

Man, the Grizzlies are slipping. About two weeks ago, the Grizzlies were 18 games above .500. Since then, however, they’ve lost five games in a row before a win over the Pacers snapped that slump. Now they’re 14 games above .500. That’s still good enough to be in first place in the Southwest Division. However, this recent slump has definitely highlighted some weaknesses in this squad.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (-1)

The Cavs have not moved the needle much in January. They closed 2022 with a 23-14 win-loss record and now sit at 31-21. They’ve logged wins over the Bucks and Pels. On the flip side, they’ve also lost against the Jazz and Thunder. They do have something to celebrate today after Cedi Osman dropped 29 points on the Clippers.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves (+1)

The Wolves’ slow and steady rise continues. They have won five of their last six games to finally go above .500. The last time that happened was back in November. Anthony Edwards has been an absolute beast of late, averaging 34.2 points in the team’s last five games. Rudy Gobert has also been pretty solid, putting up 13.0 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in his last four outings.

9. Miami Heat (+2)

The Heat went 3-1 in Week 15. That helped them continue to lord it over the Southeast Division. Tyler Herro’s 26-point scoring binge against the Pels was great to see. So was Bam Adebayo’s 30-15 game against the Celtics. Strangely enough, however, their win streak was snapped by a loss to, of all teams, the Hornets.

10. Sacramento Kings (-2)

We’re not sure if it’s the law of averages or just plain reality that’s catching up with the Kings. In fact, they’ve lost three of their last four games, including an 18-point defeat to the Raptors. Still, the Kings are still in first place in the Pacific Division. That’s good for now. Whether they’ll remain there is the biggest question moving forward.

11. Phoenix Suns (+2)

It looks like the Suns are righting the ship. Despite the continued absence of Devin Booker, Phoenix has finally found ways to win. In fact, they’ve won five of their last six games. That’s the main reason they climb two spots in our Week 16 NBA Power Rankings. They face the Raptors and Hawks this week before a tough one against the Celtics.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (+9)

The Clippers may have just lost against the Cavs, but that should not dampen their spirits too much considering they were playing without key guys. Entering that game, the Clippers had won five games in a row. That was their longest winning streak of the season. That put them in a good spot to potentially challenge the Kings in the Pacific Division. That’s why they’re the highest risers in our Week 16 NBA Power Rankings.

13. Washington Wizards (+5)

The Wizards just traded Rui Hachimura to the Lakers, but they don’t seem to miss the Japanese star. Washington has won its last five games. That includes wins over the Knicks, Mavs, and Pels. Kyle Kuzma has also done well of late, while Daniel Gafford wowed his squad with a 21-12 double-double against the Pelicans.

Daniel Gafford was TOUGH for the Wizards tonight 😤

– 21 PTS
– 12 REB
– 5 BLK
– 8/11 FG

Washington has won 5 straight 🤫

— (@basketbllnews) January 29, 2023

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14. Golden State Warriors (+3)

The Warriors are creeping back up the NBA Power Rankings. They have won three of their last four games to go back above .500. They have also broken into the top six of the West, overtaking the slumping Mavs. Of course, Steph Curry has been at the forefront, together with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. This week may be tough, though, as they go up against the Thunder, Wolves, Nuggets, and Mavs.

15. New York Knicks (-1)

A couple of weeks ago, the Knicks were riding high at 25-19. Since then, however, they’ve struggled, going 2-5. Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson are both still quite dominant. However, the Knicks just haven’t been very consistent. It also sucks that big man Mitchell Robinson will miss a few more weeks with his thumb injury.

16. Utah Jazz (no change)

The Jazz went 2-2 in their last four games. As such, their spot on our Week 16 NBA Power Rankings hasn’t changed at all. That said, we still like how Lauri Markkanen has emerged as a bona fide star this season.

17. Oklahoma City Thunder (-5)

It kinda feels weird to pull the Thunder down this much after they just beat the Nuggets and Cavs. Remember, though, that they also just lost to the Kings and Hawks. Still, we love how well Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to put up big numbers. In fact, many of us feel he should have been an All-Star starter.

18. Chicago Bulls (+2)

The Bulls are winners of four of their last six games, though the two losses were brutal. Still, they have managed to overtake the Pacers and enter the top 10 in the Eastern Conference. We’ll see if they can sustain their momentum as they face the Clippers, Hornets, and Blazers this week. Next up in their sights is trying to make it to the top six in their conference.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (-9)

The Pelicans still have a winning record and are still in the playoff mix. However, they’re our biggest droppers in these Week 16 NBA Power Rankings. Even with Brandon Ingram returning, the Pels haven’t regained their groove. Boy, do they miss Zion Williamson, eh? In fact, New Orleans has lost nine straight. And then they have the Nuggets next up. Ouch.

20. Atlanta Hawks (-5)

Losing three of their last four games, the Hawks continue to slide not just in the standings but also in our NBA Power Rankings. Losing to the Hornets and Thunder especially hurt. To add insult to injury, star guard Trae Young has been listed as day-to-day.

21. Los Angeles Lakers (-2)

Lakers fans are not having it. A missed call at the end of regulation cost them a golden chance to upset the Celtics on the road. Would it have guaranteed a win? Very likely. It would have been a nice back-to-back series of victories, too, as they came from a win over the Spurs. Nevertheless, at least it gave us this new LeBron meme, which is a gift that just keeps on giving.


— 𝙍𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙮 ☘️ (@CelticsRiley) January 29, 2023

22. Toronto Raptors (+2)

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Hey, the Raptors are actually on a bit of an upward trend here. Don’t look now, but they’ve won three of their last four games. They’re still five games below .500, but we’re finally seeing some positive outcomes from this squad. Of course, this likely won’t change any projections about what they’ll do at the trade deadline. For what it’s worth, we think they’re going to sell some talent.

23. Portland Trail Blazers (-1)

We feel bad for the Blazers. Heck, we feel bad, especially for Damian Lillard. He’s not getting any younger, and his window for a deep playoff run is getting smaller with each passing season. There are some intriguing talents on this squad, but they clearly have some needs to address if they want to return to playoff contention.

24. Dallas Mavericks (-1)

On one hand, Spencer Dinwiddie has thrived in the absence of Luka Doncic. The former has averaged 35.5 points over the Mavs’ last two games. On the other hand, the Mavs have gone 1-1 so far. They can probably live with that as they still have a winning record. We’ll see how long they can hold.

25. Indiana Pacers (no change)

The Pacers have won just one game since Jan. 9. However, we cannot drop them further down our Week 16 NBA Power Rankings. They are certainly better than the bottom five teams here, at least when star Tyrese Haliburton is healthy. That said, their once-promising season has all but deflated. The Bulls have overtaken them in the play-in race, and the Raptors are nipping at their heels.

26. Orlando Magic (no change)

We absolutely love Orlando’s wins over the Celtics and Pacers last week. On the flip side, we didn’t like their losses to the Heat and Bulls. That said, there really is a ton to be excited about here. The duo of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner seems really tantalizing. That’s a future dynamic duo right there.

27. Charlotte Hornets (no change)

The Hornets have won four of their last six games. The last two against the Bulls and Heat were pretty impressive, in particular. In those six games, Terry Rozier has caught fire, averaging 26.8 points per game. We kinda that feel that makes other teams want to make a deal with the Hornets for his services, though.

28. Houston Rockets (+2)

The Rockets went just 2-2 this past week. Considering how bad they’ve played, however, that’s already a huge step up. The win over the Wolves, in particular, was pretty awesome. And then they also just beat the Pistons on the road this past weekend. We’re hoping for more consistency from this squad moving forward.

29. Detroit Pistons (no change)

The win over the Nets was overshadowed by the loss to the Rockets. We just don’t know what we’re going to get from the Pistons. That’s not a compliment, by the way. We also feel they’ll make some moves to sell at the trade deadline.


30. San Antonio Spurs (-2)

We still cannot get over the fact the Spurs upset the Nets a couple of weeks ago. At the same time, we’re not at all surprised they’ve lost all five games since then. That’s just the sad state of things in San Antonio. Keldon Johnson, however, has been legit.


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