Celtics bump up from No. 3 in final 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings


And that’s a wrap for the 2022-23 NBA regular season.

The regular season concluded on Sunday, April 9, and now all eyes are pivoting to the upcoming play-in tournament and postseason.

Milwaukee and Denver came out on top of their respective conferences to claim the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout should each franchise make a deep run.

Other teams, however, capitulated in the run-in and fell out of the playoff picture entirely or have grim hopes. Whichever way the play-in tournament pans out, let’s take a last look at the 2022-23 NBA Power Rankings only factoring in regular-season play:

30. Detroit Pistons, 17-65: The award for the worst regular-season record goes to Detroit. The Motor City never revved the entire season, which was made worse after Cade Cunningham underwent season-ending surgery. Detroit won just one of its last 13 games, and now a new head coach will enter to replace Dwane Casey. (Last ranking: 30

29. Houston Rockets, 22-60: Stephen Silas is also out as head coach of Houston following a year in which the Rockets never launched. The team is primarily infused with youth that needs more experience in the locker room to take the next step, but this year had far too many ups and downs. (Last ranking: 28)

28. San Antonio Spurs, 22-60: San Antonio finished the year with the same record as one of its Texas counterparts. A decent start at the beginning of the year quickly went south, and the lack of frontcourt depth was always an issue. Maybe Victor Wembanyama could fix that. (Last ranking: 29)

27. Charlotte Hornets, 27-55: Once again, the Hornets are entering an offseason where they need to find the right pieces to put alongside LaMelo Ball. Possibly trading veterans like Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Gordon Hayward should also be explored. (Last ranking: 27)

26. Portland Trail Blazers, 33-49: The Trail Blazers won just two of its last 17 games in the final weeks of the season despite hovering near a play-in spot for most of the year. All eyes will now be on Damian Lillard’s future with the franchise. (Last ranking: 23)

25. Washington Wizards, 35-47: It looks like the Wizards are content with keeping the Bradley Beal-Kristaps Porzingis-Kyle Kuzma trio as their “Big 3”, but as evident from this season, they’ll need more quality depth to complement them. Even then, it wasn’t exactly a menacing trio this year. (Last ranking: 24)

24. Indiana Pacers, 35-47: Indiana could have something with the Tyrese Haliburton-Bennedict Mathurin backcourt. Adding more quality bigs alongside Myles Turner could make them an intriguing watch next season. (Last ranking: 25)

23. Orlando Magic, 34-48: Winning late in the season may not mean much in the short term, but long term Orlando is building a solid foundation. Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are a robust duo, but landing a guard for the future should be on the agenda. The jury is still out on Jalen Suggs, but he has a long way to go. (Last ranking: 26)

22. Utah Jazz, 37-45: It took longer than most expected going into the season, but the Jazz dropped to No. 12 out West. Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson had tremendous campaigns, so it’ll be appealing to see how Utah builds its roster for 2023-24. Rookie center Walker Kessler ended the season on a positive note, too. (Last ranking: 20)

21. Dallas Mavericks, 38-44: Adding Kyrie Irving did not go well at all for the Mavericks. They lost their best two-way wing in Dorian Finney-Smith and saw Luka Doncic have the ball less. The fit was always a question as soon as Dallas pulled the trigger on the trade, and now it sees the side miss the play-in tournament entirely. (Last ranking: 14)

20. Chicago Bulls, 40-42: Maybe it’s the Patrick Beverley effect, but the Bulls managed to make a run late in the season to just make the play-in tournament. Their ceiling is low and earning a first-round matchup against Milwaukee this year would just be a repeat of last year’s series, so Chicago has plenty to ponder over the summer. (Last ranking: 21)

19. Atlanta Hawks, 41-41: Adding Dejounte Murray and Saddiq Bey was supposed to boost Atlanta above the No. 6 seed, but it’ll have to settle for No. 8. The Hawks have been a parity-filled team all year, so ending the power rankings around the middle of the pack feels right. (Last ranking: 19)

18. Oklahoma City Thunder, 40-42: Not many expected to see the youngest team in the NBA make the play-in tournament this year, but OKC has been a riveting squad led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. It’ll be fun to see them attempt the upset route as their future looks promising. (Last ranking: 17

17. Minnesota Timberwolves, 42-40: Between the Rudy Gobert-Kyle Anderson drama and Jaden McDaniels breaking his hand after punching a wall out of frustration, the Timberwolves are play-in bound at an inopportune time. They’ve been on a solid streak lately and beating them four times in a series won’t be easy for opponents should they qualify, but you have to wonder how a bizarre finale affects them in the coming days. (Last ranking: 16)

16. Toronto Raptors, 41-41: The Raptors’ inability to win away from home (14-27 record, vice versa at home) cost them this year, and grabbing the No. 7 seed would’ve given them a favorable first-round matchup. But they never held onto their momentum for long and could be in for a changeup this summer if the play-in/playoffs don’t go their way. (Last ranking: 12)

15. New Orleans Pelicans, 42-40: Despite Zion Williamson’s absence, the Pelicans soared towards the end of the season to claw back into the play-in picture. Should they advance and get back a healthy Zion, good luck beating them four times in a series based on what they displayed at full health earlier this campaign. (Last ranking: 22)

14. Miami Heat, 44-38: It hasn’t been a great year for last season’s No. 1 seed out East. Considering the Heat didn’t strengthen their roster past summer, their overall form against the elite squads at full health doesn’t bode well should they retain the No. 7 seed for the postseason. (Last ranking: 13)

13. Brooklyn Nets, 45-37: The Nets beat teams they should’ve beaten towards the end of the season, but looked susceptible against opponents at or above their level. That’s to be expected given the losses of Irving and Kevin Durant, so now it’ll be intriguing to see who, besides Mikal Bridges, steps up come postseason time against Philadelphia in the first round. (Last ranking: 10)

12. Los Angeles Lakers, 43-39: Which team had the best record in the West after the All-Star break? The Lakers. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis can stay healthy, Los Angeles could have a deep run in store in the postseason with acquisitions such as Jarred Vanderbilt, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura all enhancing the team’s quality and depth. (Last ranking: 18)

11. Golden State Warriors, 44-38: Like the Lakers, Golden State finished strong to avoid the play-in tournament. Their 11-30 away record doesn’t exactly bode well, but making the short trip to Sacramento for the first round could ease their problems. Still, the Warriors need to find the spark they had last year to repeat. (Last ranking: 15)

10. Los Angeles Clippers, 44-38: The Clippers managed to elude the play-in tournament as well despite Paul George’s absence, but injuries have remained a constant for them this year. They’ll need him considering their first-round matchup is Phoenix, but their wing depth is also their key identity. (Last ranking: 11)

9. New York Knicks, 47-35: New York’s recent form coincides with Julius Randle’s injury, which is a huge blow to their playoff chances. They’ve been better than expected in the regular season, so a top-10 finish is certainly warranted. Cleveland, though, is an enthralling initial matchup. (Last ranking: 7)

8. Phoenix Suns, 45-37: Getting hot at the right time is the name of the game in the playoffs, and the Suns showed some promising signs in a recent seven-game win streak that included Denver twice, as well as Utah and Philly. Will their depth be enough, or will Monty Williams stagger the lineups more often? (Last ranking: 9)

7. Sacramento Kings, 48-34: Light the beam. The Kings could’ve reached 50 wins for the first time since 2004-05, but they understandably hit the brakes after clinching a playoff spot for the first time in 16 years. Their away record is tied for second-best in the league, but their defense could very well be their eventual downfall. (Last ranking: 6)

6. Memphis Grizzlies, 51-31: The Grizzlies are rightfully just outside the top five, but losing Steven Adams for the postseason is a considerable blow to their chances. Without his size, it’ll be interesting to see how Taylor Jenkins sets up his team, especially if they have to play Anthony Davis in the first round. (Last ranking: 8)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers, 51-31: Like Sacramento ending its playoff drought, the Cavaliers have also put their LeBron James history behind them by making the postseason without him for the first time since his initial departure. They’re well-balanced across the board and looked the part last year before devastating injury blows, so they’ll be an exciting team to watch for. (Last ranking: 3)

4. Denver Nuggets, 53-29: It wasn’t pretty, but the Nuggets held onto the top seed after some scares towards the end of the regular season. Their defense could also be their downfall, but this is Nikola Jokic’s best chance to reach the NBA Finals with his teammates healthy. Is this their year? (Last ranking: 4)

3. Philadelphia 76ers, 54-28: The 76ers usually look great in the regular season before they fall apart in the playoffs, and there’s some worry about that again this year despite a brilliant record. There’s a heavy reliance on Joel Embiid to deliver, and James Harden and Tyrese Maxey need to be flawless to go the distance. The depth also isn’t exactly threatening or much different than the past few seasons. (Last ranking: 2)

2. Boston Celtics, 57-25: The C’s still have all the right ingredients to exact revenge and win the title this year, but the margin for error is slimmer. Malcolm Brogdon remains a fine addition off the bench, but the frontcourt will also need to do its part to aid Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. (Last ranking: 3)

1. Milwaukee Bucks, 58-24: The best record in the league and that’s without Khris Middleton yet to be at his best as he battles injuries. Milwaukee has a tougher path to the NBA Finals than their Western counterpart, but their depth has been a strength with Giannis Antetokounmpo still being as dominant as ever. (Last ranking: 1

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