Home NBA Power Rankings, Week 23: Raptors rise, Lakers hold top spot – NBA.com
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Power Rankings, Week 23: Raptors rise, Lakers hold top spot – NBA.com

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There are much more important things going on right now.

We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed more than 150,000 Americans and changed the way we live. We have to remain vigilant, take it seriously, and protect each other.

We also have a long way to go in regard to equality. And in our quest to abate the effects of 400 years of racism in this country, we must back up our words with real action.

It’s not yet time to really celebrate the return of the NBA. The league still has a long way to go to complete this season safely and declare a 2019-20 champion.

But it is great to have basketball back. And it is good to know that the league’s campus in Orlando has, thus far, remained safe for players, coaches and staff. The quality of the whole production has been pretty remarkable.

We’re four days into the seeding-game slate, with 12 more days to go. The basketball has been surprisingly sharp and the best teams remain great. But as always, anything can happen on any given night (or afternoon).

Each of the top three teams in our pre-restart rankings lost one of their first two games. The Lakers remain No. 1, but the defending champs have climbed into that top three.

Plus-Minus Players of the Week

Teams of the Week

  • Make It Last Forever: Toronto (1-0) — The champs played just one game, but with it, they shut down the Lakers.
  • Something Just Ain’t Right: Sacramento (0-2) — Three teams lost two games to teams with losing records. Both of the Grizzlies’ losses were close, and the Wizards are the Wizards. The Kings had an opportunity with the restart, and it seems like they’ve blown it, coming out of the gates with losses to the Spurs and Magic, getting absolutely waxed on Sunday.

East vs. West

Movement in the Rankings

  • High jumps of the week: Orlando (+4), San Antonio (+3), Houston (+2), Phoenix (+2)
  • Free falls of the week: New Orleans (-4), Brooklyn (-3), Denver (-2), Sacramento (-2)

Week 23 Team to Watch

  • San Antonio — All five teams chasing the Grizzlies are within reach of a play-in scenario, but only one can qualify. And suddenly, they’re led by the Spurs. If they’re going to have a real chance to continue their playoff streak, they’ll have to beat better teams than the ones they played last week. They play the Sixers (in the second game of a back-to-back) on Monday, the Nuggets on Wednesday, the Jazz on Friday and the Pelicans on Sunday.

Previously…

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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)

The league has averaged 100.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 109.9 points scored per 100 possessions this season.

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NBA.com’s Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man’s opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.

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