NBA Power Rankings – The Tyreses top the ranks as the 76ers and Pacers continue their ascent

We’re a month into the 2023-24 NBA season and there’s still a long way to go before one lucky team gets to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June. But a lot has unfolded in just a couple weeks.

In the short-term, one team will get to claim victory over the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament, with group stage games ending on Nov. 28 and knock-out games starting on Dec. 4.

This week the Boston Celtics have taken the number one spot in the rankings, dethroning the Denver Nuggets who have held the position since the preseason. While the 76ers continue their climb to the top of the ranks, the Sacramento Kings have also crept their way into the top-ten after a six-game win streak earlier this month.

On the other end, the Houston Rockets have dropped significantly after a tough road trip that ended in a three-game losing streak, and the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons continue to struggle at the bottom of the pile.

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Post-Finals | Nov. 1 | Nov. 8 | Nov. 15

Jump to a team:

1. Boston Celtics
2023-24 record: 11-3

  • Previous ranking: 3

  • Next games: vs. MIL (Nov. 22), @ ORL (Nov. 24), vs. ATL (Nov. 26), vs. CHI (Nov. 28)

Yes, Boston saw its six-game winning streak end in Charlotte on Monday, but when its starting five of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis is available, this team has been virtually unbeatable. With those players on the floor the Celtics are 9-1 and have a net rating of plus-28.4 points per 100 possessions. It’s also a big reason why the Celtics sit atop the Eastern conference, with an offense and defense that both rank in the top five. — Tim Bontemps

2. Denver Nuggets
2023-24 record: 10-4

  • Previous ranking: 1

  • Next games: @ ORL (Nov. 22), @ HOU (Nov. 24), vs. SA (Nov. 26), @ LAC (Nov. 27)

The champs have hit their first lull of the season, losing three of their last five games. Still No. 2 in the West, and top 10 in both offense and defense, getting Jamal Murray healthy and finding consistency from the bench remain the most important factors for the Nuggets as they round out their road trip against Orlando and Houston. — Ohm Youngmisuk

3. Philadelphia 76ers
2023-24 record: 10-4

The 76ers continue their Eastern conference dominance despite their elimination from the In-season tournament on Tuesday with a loss to the Cavaliers in overtime. Philly remains the top offense in the league led by breakout point guard Tyrese Maxey (26.8 ppg) and reigning MVP Joel Embid (31.9 ppg, 1st in the league) . Kelly Oubre Jr. participated in on-court workouts Monday and a return from the veteran guard could be the extra boost Philly is looking to gain as they open a two-game road trip against Minnesota on Wednesday night. — Bontemps

4. Milwaukee Bucks
2023-24 record: 10-4

  • Previous ranking: 6

  • Next games: @ BOS (Nov. 22), vs. WAS (Nov. 24), vs. POR (Nov. 26), @ MIA (Nov. 28)

After a slow start to the season Milwaukee has won five consecutive games, boosted by an offense that is finally showing signs of life. Now the league’s fourth-ranked unit, the climb has been backed by three 40-point games from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who leads the team in points (30.2), and Damian Lillard who leads in assists (6.2).Their defense has been closer to league average (16th), too, after a precipitous fall to last early in the season. However, the Bucks’ winning streak will be tested this week when they travel to Boston for their first matchup with Jrue Holiday and the new-look Celtics on Wednesday. — Jamal Collier

5. Minnesota Timberwolves
2023-24 record: 10-3

  • Previous ranking: 5

  • Next games: vs. PHI (Nov. 22), vs. SAC (Nov. 24), @ MEM (Nov. 26), vs. OKC (Nov. 28)

The Timberwolves are in first place in the Western Conference, starting the season 10-3 for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Wolves own the number one defense in the NBA, fueled by an 11th-ranked defensive-rebounding rate (26th last season) and a resurgence from Rudy Gobert, who is leading a scheme that has allowed an opponent effective FG% of just 49.7, the best in basketball. Undefeated at home with victories over Denver, Boston, Miami and New York, the next two games are good tests as well for the young team, with the Sixers and Kings coming into the Target Center this week. — Collier

6. Oklahoma City Thunder
2023-24 record: 10-4

A pair of Thunder rookies are on pace for 50/40/90 shooting splits, a feat never accomplished by a first-year player who logged at least 60 minutes in a season. Chet Holmgren, a Rookie of the Year frontrunner, is averaging 17 points per game while shooting 56.5% from the floor, 46.0% from 3-point range and 90.7% on the line. Cason Wallace, the No. 10 overall pick, is averaging 7.3 points off the bench while shooting 62.5% from the floor, 54.2% from 3 and 9-of-9 from the line. The Thunder will look to build on their five-game win streak as they face the Bulls and 76ers at home this week. — Tim MacMahon

7. Dallas Mavericks
2023-24 record: 9-5

Dallas slipped into the bottom five in defense this week after allowing a total of 261 points in back-to-back losses to the Bucks and Kings. A main driver? The Mavs are giving up 57 points in the paint per game, the second most in the league. “Right now, our best defense is our offense,” coach Jason Kidd said. “If we’re not scoring 130, it’s hard to win.” — MacMahon

8. Miami Heat
2023-24 record: 9-5

With Tyler Herro out with a right ankle sprain since Nov. 8, all Miami has done is go 5-1. Of course, the victories were over the Hawks, Spurs, Hornets, Nets and Bulls, but Duncan Robinson, inserted back into the starting lineup, has made the most of his opportunities. In six games, Robinson has averaged 20 points per game while shooting 49.0% from deep on 8.5 attempts per game. After he struggled last season, and found himself out of the rotation, Robinson’s three-point percentage is above 40.0% for the first time since 2020-21. — Andrew Lopez

9. Sacramento Kings
2023-24 record: 8-5

Besides their blowout loss to the Pelicans, the Kings are hitting a stride after faltering while De’Aaron Fox was out, winning six of their last seven and climbing their way back into the fourth seed in the West. Fox’s playmaking is essential, and his scoring is what you expect from a franchise player as he leads the team with 29.6 points per game. But one issue remains paramount: The Kings are hitting fewer 3-pointers (.34.4%, 23rd in the NBA) than they did a year ago (.36.9%, 9th). If they can get that number back up, they should remain a top team in the West. — Kendra Andrews

10. New York Knicks
2023-24 record: 8-6

Mitchell Robinson is an offensive rebounding machine and a reason why the Knicks are second in the league in offensive rebounds per game (14.3). There are 13 players in the league averaging at least three offensive boards a game, and none are averaging more than 4.2 … except Robinson, who is averaging a ridiculous 6.1 offensive rebounds a game for New York. Those second-chance opportunities will be crucial for the Knicks as they enter this stretch of home games against the Heat, Suns, Hornets and Pistons. — Bontemps

11. Phoenix Suns
2023-24 record: 7-6

The 35-year-old Kevin Durant has scored 35 points or more in five of the first 13 games he has played this season. While Phoenix waits on Bradley Beal’s latest setback, projected to cost him at least a couple more weeks, Durant and Devin Booker have kept the Suns from sinking, winning a pair of tight games against the Jazz last week to stay at .500. — Dave McMenamin

12. Los Angeles Lakers
2023-24 record: 8-6

Through the first 13 games of the season, LeBron James has shot 58.6% — a career best for the 21-year vet should he sustain it — which includes 68% on 2s and 40% on 3s, the second-highest rate of his career. The reason? His ability to practice, after being limited last season by a foot injury. “To be able to hone in on everything that I need to do, instead of having to get off my foot … has allowed me to stay in rhythm,” James told ESPN. Still, the Lakers can’t seem to find any consistency offensively, ranking 24th in the league, which is driving a net rating (minus-1.7) that ranks 22nd. — McMenamin

13. Indiana Pacers
2023-24 record: 8-5

The Pacers became the first team to reach the quarterfinals of the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament with a 157-152 victory over the Hawks to advance past Group A. The shootout saw the Pacers erase a 20-point deficit and shoot 61% as a team, while Tyrese Haliburton finished with 37 points and 16 assists, including 26 in the third quarter. In 12 games this season, the 23-year-old guard is averaging 23.5 points, 4 rebounds and a league-high 11.6 assists per game. And he’s shooting 57% on 2s, 43% on 3s and 94% from the line. — Collier

14. Orlando Magic
2023-24 record: 9-5

The Magic’s turnaround this season has been led by their defense, which is second in the league. On Sunday, against Indiana’s top-rated scoring offense, the Magic held the Pacers to 44 points in the first half and Tyrese Haliburton to a season-low in points and assists. After Tuesday’s win against the Raptors, the Magic’s defensive rating dropped to a league-best 106.4 points allowed per 100 possessions. According to Second Spectrum data, Orlando ranks in the top five in defending on-ball screens and drives — important factors as it faces two top-10 offenses in the Bucks and Celtics next. — Lopez

15. Cleveland Cavaliers
2023-24 record: 8-6

  • Previous ranking: 18

  • Next games: vs. MIA (Nov. 22), vs. LAL (Nov. 25), vs. TOR (Nov. 26), vs. ATL (Nov. 28)

Darius Garland’s 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting in a win over the defending-champion Denver Nuggets was impressive enough, but the stat from that game that’s almost incomprehensible is Cavs center Jarrett Allen registering a plus-minus of plus-42 in 29 minutes. The Cavs, winners of four straight, look to have settled, and play their next five games at home. — McMenamin

16. Golden State Warriors
2023-24 record: 7-8

Stephen Curry is back from his two-game absence and scored 31-points to help the Warriors snap their six-game losing streak against Houston on Monday. Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson seem to be emerging from their early-season slumps, too, with Wiggins tying his season high with seven rebounds and Thompson tying his with 20 points against the Rockets. Still, this team uncharacteristically ranks No. 19 in defense and 13th in offense, and Draymond Green still has two games left on his suspension. Their next seven opponents are from the West, including three against the Clippers. — Andrews

17. New Orleans Pelicans
2023-24 record: 7-7

  • Previous ranking: 22

  • Next games: vs. SAC (Nov. 22), @ LAC (Nov. 24), @ UTAH (Nov. 25), @ UTAH (Nov. 27)

The Pelicans used the starting lineup of Dyson Daniels, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas three times in the past week and came away with victories against the Mavericks, Nuggets and Kings by a combined 62 points. That lineup is plus-37 over that stretch with an offensive rating of 147.7 and a defensive rating of 105.7. It helps that those players shot a ridiculous 55-for-78 (70.5%) in their combined 42 minutes, but the Pelicans seem to be back on track after an injury-filled first month of the season. — Lopez

18. LA Clippers
2023-24 record: 5-7

  • Previous ranking: 19

  • Next games: @ SA (Nov. 22), vs. NO (Nov. 24), vs. DAL (Nov. 25), vs. DEN (Nov. 27)

It only took James Harden making a side-stepping 4-point play and Russell Westbrook offering to come off the bench to snap the Clippers’ six-game losing streak last Friday against Houston. The Clippers’ stars are showing flashes of what they can do, with Harden creating opportunities for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Ivica Zubac. Westbrook looked more comfortable coming off the bench in the Clippers’ win against the Spurs in San Antonio. Harden scored only 13 points but had 10 assists, his first double-digit assists game of the season. The Clippers play at San Antonio again Wednesday before a home back-to-back against New Orleans and Dallas — two teams that have given them trouble in the regular season. — Youngmisuk

19. Atlanta Hawks
2023-24 record: 6-7

  • Previous ranking: 14

  • Next games: vs. BK (Nov. 22), @ WAS (Nov. 25), @ BOS (Nov. 26), @ CLE (Nov. 28)

Atlanta is in the midst of a three-game losing streak after Tuesday’s high-scoring loss to the Pacers. Part of the reason for that? The Hawks aren’t defending the 3-point line. Atlanta has allowed its past three opponents to shoot a combined 51-of-109 (46.8%) from 3-point range. In the first 10 games of the season, the Hawks’ opponents shot 35.5% from deep. On the other side, Trae Young (911) passed Joe Johnson (908) for second on the team’s all-time 3-pointers made list. Young trails only Mookie Blaylock (1,050). — Lopez

20. Houston Rockets
2023-24 record: 6-6

Alperen Sengun is producing at an All-Star level, leading the team in points (20.9) and rebounds (8.8). But fellow 2021 draft pick Jalen Green is struggling, shooting only 27.8% from the floor over the past four games, dropping his FG% under 40% for the season. Green sat the entire fourth quarter of Monday’s loss to the Warriors. For the Rockets to continue their ascension, Green needs those percentages to tick up — and fast. — MacMahon

21. Brooklyn Nets
2023-24 record: 6-7

  • Previous ranking: 20

  • Next games: @ ATL (Nov. 22), vs. MIA (Nov. 25), vs. CHI (Nov. 26), vs. TOR (Nov. 28)

Brooklyn has had a difficult schedule to start the season, and it won’t get any easier with upcoming games against the Hawks and Heat. Eleven of the team’s first 15 games are against opponents with .500 or better records — and that doesn’t count playing the Clippers, who, if they work the bugs out of their newly formed roster, might be back up over that mark soon. That the Nets are hovering around .500, with that schedule and plenty of injuries, is a sign this group could make a real run once their schedule eases off and they get healthy. — Bontemps

22. Toronto Raptors
2023-24 record: 6-8

  • Previous ranking: 21

  • Next games: @ IND (Nov. 22), vs. CHI (Nov. 24), @ CLE (Nov. 26), @ BK (Nov. 28)

The Raptors have now dropped four of their past six games after Tuesday’s blowout loss to Orlando and are repeatedly falling into big holes in games. A big part of the issue? Toronto’s offense, which enters Wednesday ranked 25th in offensive efficiency. Despite efforts by Dennis Schroder, who had 24 points, the Raptors committed a season-high 23 turnovers Tuesday. They will lean on their top-10 defense as they head to Indiana on Wednesday to face the Pacers’ top offense. — Bontemps

23. Chicago Bulls
2023-24 record: 5-10

  • Previous ranking: 23

  • Next games: @ OKC (Nov. 22), @ TOR (Nov. 24), @ BK (Nov. 26), @ BOS (Nov. 28)

Bulls guard Alex Caruso is off to the best start of his career, averaging 9.8 points on 59% shooting (50% from 3) while providing his usual elite perimeter defense. Chicago is plus-5 points per 100 possessions with Caruso on the floor this season and finally moved him into the starting lineup after a slow 5-10 start. But is such a move the answer to the team’s 26th-ranked offense? The Bulls still have not won consecutive games this season and will have to face three top-10 defenses this week. — Collier

24. Utah Jazz
2023-24 record: 4-9

While No. 16 overall pick Keyonte George has seized a starting role early in his rookie season, No. 9 overall pick Taylor Hendricks is not expected to contribute to the Jazz this season. Hendricks, who is celebrating his 20th birthday Wednesday, is considered a project who will get significant playing time in the G League. But he hasn’t been a standout at that level, averaging 11.8 points (40.5% from the floor) and 3.5 rebounds in four games for the Salt Lake City Stars. — MacMahon

25. Charlotte Hornets
2023-24 record: 4-9

As coach Steve Clifford predicted, Miles Bridges has played a prominent role since his return from a 10-game suspension, averaging 36.6 minutes in his first three games, including a 14-point, 15-rebound effort to snap a four-game losing streak against the Celtics. LaMelo Ball, for his part, is red hot, scoring 30 or more points in six of his past eight games with Terry Rozier sidelined. The Hornets will try to win a second straight game for the first time this season against lowly Washington before hitting the road for a three-game trip. — Youngmisuk

26. Memphis Grizzlies
2023-24 record: 3-10

Third-year forward Santi Aldama missed the first six games of the season because of a sprained ankle but since his return has earned increased minutes with multiple players injured and last week averaged 23 points, 9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. In the Grizzlies’ close loss to the Celtics on Sunday, Aldama got his first start of the season and scored a career-high 28 points. Sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference at 3-10, the Grizzlies are still weeks away from the return of superstar Ja Morant. The question is: Will the Grizzlies’ season be too far gone by then? — MacMahon

27. Portland Trail Blazers
2023-24 record: 3-10

The injury bug has bitten Portland hard this season as the 3-10 team remains without Robert Williams, Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons and Malcolm Brogdon, leaving its offense cold and its defense nearly nonexistent. Until these four players are back, it’s unlikely there will be much progress for the Trail Blazers, who are on a seven-game losing streak and have four of their next five games against teams with winning records. — Andrews

28. San Antonio Spurs
2023-24 record: 3-11

The Spurs are now 1-6 in games in which they’ve had at least a 10-point lead, and in their one win they gave up a 27-point lead to the Suns but still came away with a victory because of a Victor Wembanyama-fueled scoring run. That game, on Nov. 2, was the Spurs’ last win as they’ve dropped nine in a row since. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Saturday that it’s on the offense to get the Spurs back on track. “It’s just that consistency to continue to score, because when you’re going back on defense all the time it makes it really tough,” Popovich said. “That’s the bottom line.”– Lopez

29. Washington Wizards
2023-24 record: 2-11

  • Previous ranking: 30

  • Next games : @ CHA (Nov. 22), @ MIL (Nov. 24), vs. ATL (Nov. 25), @ DET (Nov. 27 )

Jordan Poole finally had a big scoring night with 30 points on 11-for-26 shooting in a loss to the Bucks on Monday. It was just the third time in 13 games that Poole scored 20 or more points, which is surprising considering Poole entered the season as a candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year with expectations that, at a minimum, he would score in bunches. Among the Wizards’ problems this season, and they have plenty of them, is their lack of defense. For the third straight game, the Wizards surrendered 120 or more points. Milwaukee handed Washington its sixth straight loss by scoring 142 points, becoming the third opponent to score 142 or more against the Wizards this season. — Youngmisuk

30. Detroit Pistons
2023-24 record: 2-13

This is not what the Pistons envisioned coming into the season with promising young talent and a healthy Cade Cunningham. After a 2-1 start to the year, Detroit has dropped 12 in a row and finds itself at the bottom of the East — again. With a 23rd-ranked defense and 25th-ranked offense — fueled by a 3-point rate of just 33% (29th) — the Pistons don’t seem to be going anywhere fast. The lone bright spots so far? The continued strong play from rookies Marcus Sasser (39% from 3) and Ausar Thompson (averaging a double-double in just 30 minutes per game). — Collier

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