NBA Power Rankings: Post-Trade-Deadline Edition

It's All Converging Now

With the 2023-24 NBA trade deadline behind us, the race for the postseason is heating up. In the West, the battle for the No. 1 seed is closer than ever with the Minnesota Timberwolves recently reclaiming the top spot by only one game. Day by day, teams in the middle are jostling for position, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are trying to hold on to a play-in spot. In the East, the race is for the No. 2 spot, with the Boston Celtics separating themselves significantly from the rest of the pack and topping our Power Rankings for the 13th week in a row.

With just a few months left in the regular season, let's check out where all 30 teams stack up as we head into the All-Star break.

Boston Celtics (1)

Record: 42-12

Previous ranking: 1

Next games: vs. BKN (Feb. 14), @ CHI (Feb. 22), @ NY (Feb. 24), vs. PHI (Feb. 27)

The Kristaps Porzingis era in Boston continues to go swimmingly, as the 7-foot-3 Latvian has settled into his new home as smoothly as even the most partisan of Celtics supporters could have hoped for. Porzingis has scored at least 25 points in four of the past five games -- all wins. On Sunday, he once again showed how he can be a matchup nightmare for the Heat, who have used Bam Adebayo to consistently give the Celtics trouble in recent seasons.

Minnesota Timberwolves (2)

Record: 38-16

Previous ranking: 6

Next games: @ POR (Feb. 15), vs. MIL (Feb. 23), vs. BKN (Feb. 24), vs. SA (Feb. 27)

The Wolves are back on top of the Western Conference by a game after a pair of road wins. Minnesota won in Milwaukee and picked up a dominant 21-point victory over the Clippers on Monday in Los Angeles. The Wolves have 12 wins this season by at least 20 points and own the most road wins in the league with 18.

Cleveland Cavaliers (3)

Record: 35-17

Previous ranking: 5

Next games: vs. CHI (Feb. 14), vs. ORL (Feb. 22), @ PHI (Feb. 23), @ WAS (Feb. 25), vs. DAL (Feb. 27)

Cleveland's nine-game winning streak came to an end Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, with Darius Garland's 3 failing to connect at the buzzer in a loss to Philadelphia. Winners of 17 of their past 20 games, the Cavs have charged up the Eastern Conference standings to No. 2. With a soft schedule over the next few weeks -- games against the Bulls (twice), Magic, Sixers (without Joel Embiid), Wizards, Mavericks and Pistons -- they should be able to create space between themselves and those below them.

LA Clippers (4)

Record: 35-17

Previous ranking: 2

Next games: @ GS (Feb. 14), @ OKC (Feb. 22), @ MEM (Feb. 23), vs. SAC (Feb. 25)

In a game that could be impactful on the Western Conference playoff seedings at the end of the season, the Clippers were spanked by the Timberwolves at home by 21 on Monday. The Clippers have been hot since December, but they have had some trouble against teams with length and size. In the Clippers' five losses since Jan. 7, Minnesota has beaten them twice. The other three losses have come from the Pelicans, Cavs and Lakers -- all teams that are big or long.

Denver Nuggets (5)

Record: 36-18

Previous ranking: 3

Next games: vs. SAC (Feb. 14), vs. WAS (Feb. 23), @ POR (Feb. 23), @ GS (Feb. 25)

The All-Star break might be coming at the right time as the Nuggets can use the time off to heal. Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both sat out the second half of a 112-95 loss at Milwaukee on Monday. Murray played just 18 minutes because of bilateral tibia inflammation, while Caldwell-Pope lasted just nine minutes with right hamstring tightness. The Nuggets face the Kings at home Wednesday before hitting the break. If the Nuggets hold Murray and Caldwell-Pope out, they could have nine days off to rest. Nothing is more important to the Nuggets than keeping their starters healthy right now.

Oklahoma City Thunder (6)

Record: 37-17

Previous ranking: 4

Next games: vs. LA (Feb. 22), vs. WAS (Feb. 23), @ HOU (Feb. 25), vs. HOU (Feb. 27)

Read more