NBA 2021-22 mid-season power rankings: Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors flying high

We’ve reached the midway point of the 2021-22 NBA season, which means it’s time to check in on where each team stands in the hierarchy of the league.

The Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors sit on top of our power rankings at the midway point in the season. Picture: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images.
The Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors sit on top of our power rankings at the midway point in the season. Picture: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images.

We’ve reached the midway point of the 2021-22 NBA season, which means it’s time to check in on where each team stands in the hierarchy of the league.

These are my halfway-point NBA power rankings, with records through games Tuesday.

1. Phoenix Suns: 34-9, first in the Western Conference

This is the NBA’s most balanced team, and nobody has more blowout wins.

2. Golden State Warriors: 32-12, second in the West

The Warriors have the best net rating in the league but the 12th-most efficient offence (!).

3. Miami Heat: 28-16, second in the Eastern Conference

This team went 11-4 without Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo.

4. Milwaukee Bucks: 27-19, fifth in the East

At full strength, the Bucks are the East‘s team to beat. They haven’t been at full strength all season.

5. Utah Jazz: 29-15, fourth in the West

A recent loss to the Lakers exposed how vulnerable the Jazz are when the 3s aren’t falling.

6. Brooklyn Nets: 27-16, third in the East

This team was struggling even before being reduced to 1.5 stars.

7. Memphis Grizzlies: 31-15, third in the West

It’s not a mirage: The Grizzlies are 19-10 against winning teams.

8. Chicago Bulls: 27-15, first in the east

The Bulls have the East’s best winning percentage despite being a season-long Covid ward.

The Chicago Bulls have the East’s best winning record. Picture: Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images.
The Chicago Bulls have the East’s best winning record. Picture: Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers: 27-18, fourth in the east

The Cavs are the Grizzlies of the East: a young team led by a dynamic point guard.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: 25-18, sixth in the East

Joel Embiid’s best season (so far) is keeping this squad afloat.

11. Dallas Mavericks: 25-19, fifth in the West

The Mavs have won nine of their past 10, including victories over the Warriors, Bulls and Grizzlies.

12. Charlotte Hornets: 24-20, seventh in the East

ABTO (Always Bet The Over): This is the NBA‘s highest scoring offence and second-most generous defence.

13. Denver Nuggets: 22-20, sixth in the West

Denver is above .500 only because the reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic, has been more valuable than ever.

14. Washington Wizards: 23-21, eighth in the East

This is an overall average team that has won an NBA-leading eight close games, a credit to coach Wes Unseld Jr.

15. Boston Celtics: 23-22, 10th in the East

The Celtics’ defence (sixth) is surprisingly good and their offence (19th) surprisingly bad.

16. Toronto Raptors: 21-20, ninth in the East

Nick Nurse is milking wins by riding his starters (all 34 minutes per game or more).

17. Minnesota Timberwolves: 22-22, seventh in the West

Their secret sauce? Forcing more turnovers than any other team in the league.

18. New York Knicks: 22-23, 11th in the East

The Knicks have a thoroughly mediocre defence (15th) despite playing at the league’s slowest pace.

The Timberwolves and the Knicks are neck and neck in our power rankings. Picture: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images.
The Timberwolves and the Knicks are neck and neck in our power rankings. Picture: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images.

19. Los Angeles Lakers: 22-22, seventh in the West

This team is 24th in points per game, despite LeBron James scoring better than he has in a decade.

20. Atlanta Hawks: 18-25, 12th in the East

The Hawks’ offence (second) has never been better. Their defence (27th) has never been worse.

21. LA Clippers: 22-23, ninth in the West

The Clips are hanging tough (9-11) without either Kawhi Leonard or Paul George.

22. Portland Trail Blazers: 18-25, 10th in the West

This organisation is getting a long look at what life would be like without Damian Lillard.

23. New Orleans Pelicans: 16-28, 13th in the West

Being relatively Covid-free hasn’t made up for the Pelicans‘ being completely Zion-free.

24. San Antonio Spurs: 16-28, 12th in the West

This team has no stars, is 29th in 3s and sits dead last in free throws. The Spurs have fallen and can’t get up.

It’s been a tough season so far for the Spurs. Picture: by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images.
It’s been a tough season so far for the Spurs. Picture: by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images.

25. Sacramento Kings: 18-28, 11th in the West

Decent backcourt talent and none in the front court equals little interior defence or rebounding.

26. Indiana Pacers: 15-29, 13th in the East

The Pacers have issues galore, but being 1-10 in close games points to a biggie: No closer.

27. Oklahoma City Thunder: 14-29, 14th in the West

Who knew tanking could be this entertaining?

28. Houston Rockets: 13-32, 14th in the West

What does it say that the G League Ignite have more veteran leadership than the Rockets?

29. Detroit Pistons: 10-33, 14th in the East

The Pistons were already the worst shooting team in the league before they lost leading scorer Jerami Grant.

30. Orlando Magic: 8-37, 15th in the East

Orlando is the Unhappiest Place on Earth: eight total wins and 0-3 against the next two worst teams, the Pistons and the Rockets.

Fox Sports US


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