Here is a look at the NBA Power Rankings through Week 13 of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Let's make one thing clear: these power rankings are a snapshot of where things stand now, not necessarily how they'll look at the end of the season. We're all about giving credit where it's due and likewise, holding teams accountable for speed bumps encountered along the way.
All records and stats are through games played Sunday, January 13.
10. Indiana Pacers
Last week's ranking: 6
Overall record: 28-14
Last week: 2-1 (Win at Cavaliers, Loss at Celtics, Win at Knicks)
This week: vs. Suns, vs. 76ers, vs. Mavericks, vs. Hornets
Blowing the Cavaliers and Knicks out doesn't sweeten the blow of losing to both the Raptors and Celtics this month.
Still,the Pacers are one of the league's hottest teams - the fact that they have won eight of 10 and 15 of their last 19 games means that its only right that they round out this week's top 10.
As impressive ad the team's recent run has been, its last win over a potential playoff team was Dec. 21 over the Nets. In the same span, the aforementioned losses to the East's elite have come.
Indiana doesn't make the sechedule and deserves acknowledgement for taking care of business against lesser opponents, but it has the opportunity to move back up the ranks as this week's four-game slate includes meetings with Philadelphia, Dallas and Charlotte.
9. Boston Celtics
Last week's ranking: 9
Overall record: 25-17
Last week: 2-2 (Win vs. Nets, Win vs. Pacers, Loss at Heat, Loss at Magic)
This week: at Nets, vs. Raptors, vs. Grizzlies, at Hawks
If it weren't for their commanding victory over the Pacers, the Celtics would've be at risk of falling out of the top-10.
The Celtics followed that Pacers win with a pair of disappointing losses - one to the Heat by a final score of 115-99, the other to an Orlando Magic team that was on a four-game losing streak. Kyrie Irving expressed his frustration after the Magic loss, saying that the " young guys don't know what it takes to be a championship level team ."
The schedule eases up for the Celtics this week with games against the Nets, Grizzlies and Hawks, but they have an important game against the Raptors on Wednesday. They lost the first matchup with the Raptors this season, only to bounce back in the second thanks to a season-high 43 points from Irving.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder
Last week's ranking: 4
Overall record: 26-16
Last week: 1-2 (Loss vs. Wizards, Loss at Spurs, Win vs. Spurs)
This week: at Hawks, vs. Lakers, at 76ers
The Thunder drop five spots this week after a rough three-game stretch that saw the team go 1-2.
Oklahoma City began the week by making history - the bad kind. For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Wizards earned a win in OKC. The team's woes at Chesapeake Energy Arena dated back to the Hornets days when it was known as the Ford Center. While the win was bound to happen, it came when shorthanded Wizards were without John Wall, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris.
To close the week, the Thunder split a pair of games with the Spurs - OKCA bounced back from its double-overtime loss Thursday with a 10-point win Saturday that saw the reserve trio of Dennis Schroder (19 points), Abdel Nader (15 points) and Patrick Patterson (13 points) come up big.
The upcoming week provides an opportunity for the Thunder to get back on track as they open with a trip to Atlanta before returning home to host a sputtering LeBron-less Lakers squad. They close with a visit to the Sixers, who are an extremely tough team to beat at the Wells Fargo Center.
8. Portland Trail Blazers
Last week's ranking: 10
Overall record: 26-18
Last week: 3-1 (Win vs. Knicks, Win vs. Bulls, Win vs. Hornets, Loss at Nuggets)
This week: at Kings, vs. Cavaliers, vs. Pelicans
Jusuf Nurkic is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. In his last nine games, the big man has posted averages of 20.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 blocks per contest on 62.2 percent shooting from the field.
Nurkic posted a rare 5x5 during that stretch - 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks and five steals - putting him in some elite company in NBA history.
Nurkic's emergence is an important development for a Blazers team that has struggled to generate consistent offence outside of its dynamic one-two punch of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum over the last couple of seasons. If he can continue to play at this pace, Nurkic could be the third option they desperately need to get over their postseason hump.
7. San Antonio Spurs
Last week's ranking: 12
Overall record: 25-19
Last week: 2-2 (Win at Pistons, Loss at Grizzlies, Win vs. Thunder, Loss at Thunder)
This week: vs. Hornets, at Mavericks, at Timberwolves, vs. Clippers
It was two up and two down for the Spurs this week, who move up six spots as they continue their impressive run - San Antonio has won 15 of its last 20 after holding a record of 10-14 through 24 games.
This past week, the Spurs opened with a win over the Pistons to bring their season-high win streak to five games but it was snapped two nights later in Memphis. San Antonio closed the week splitting its back-to-back with Oklahoma City - its win was a double overtime thriller in which LaMarcus Aldridge scored 56 points and the Spurs set a 3-point accuracy record by knocking down 16 of their 19 triples.
A familiar face visits Monday as Tony Parker and the Charlotte Hornets (weird, right?) come to town for what should be an emotional night. The Spurs continue their week with visits to Dallas and Minnesota before returning home to host the LA Clippers.
The Spurs will need continued high-level play from Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan to maintain its place in the Western Conference playoff race.
5. Houston Rockets
Last week's ranking: 7
Overall record: 24-18
Last week: 2-2 (Win vs. Nuggets, Loss vs. Bucks, Win vs. Cavaliers, Loss at Magic)
This week: vs. Grizzlies, vs. Nets, vs. Lakers
James Harden continues to close the gap between him and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the MVP rankings. He has now scored 30-plus points in 14 consecutive games, putting him two shy of tying Kobe Bryant's record for the most since the ABA-NBA merger back in 1976-77, per ESPN .
Harden got his 14th straight 30-point game in a historic performance against the Cavaliers last week, in which he posted a 40-point triple-double in less than 30 minutes of play. According to Basketball Reference , it's something that's never been done before.
Harden was spectacular in Houston's other games last week, going for 32 points and 14 assists in a win over the Nuggets and 42 points and 11 rebounds in a close loss to the Bucks.
Even with Chris Paul on the sideline, the Rockets are starting to look like the greatest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference again.
4. Golden State Warriors
Last week's ranking: 5
Overall record: 29-14
Last week: 3-0 (Win vs. Knicks, Win vs. Bulls, Win at Mavericks)
This week: At Nuggets, vs. Pelicans, at Clippers
Golden State moves up one spot after a relatively light week in which it took care of business at home against New York and Chicago before earning a tough five-point win in Dallas.
Things ramp up a bit for the Warriors this week as they open up Tuesday in Denver for an opportunity to retake the West's No. 1 seed. This is no easy task - Golden State has lost three of its last four games at the Pepsi Center and Denver boasts one of the league's best home records.
After hosting the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, one of the Warriors most highly anticipated games this season comes Friday when they visit the LA Clippers. In what would otherwise be just another game between two of the West's top teams, All-Star centre DeMarcus Cousins is slated to make his season debut after nearly a year-long rehab from a torn Achilles suffered during the 2017-18 season.
3. Denver Nuggets
Last week's ranking: 1
Overall record: 29-13
Last week: 3-2 (Loss at Rockets, Win at Heat, Win vs. Clippers, Loss at Suns, Win vs. Trail Blazers)
This week: vs. Warriors, vs. Bulls, vs. Cavaliers
Denver emerged from a rare five-game week with a record of 3-2.
While a road loss to the red-hot Rockets is understandable, Saturday's loss to a Devin Booker-less Suns team is somewhat inexplicable and sets the Nuggets back a few spots this week.
Denver bounced back to earn an impressive home win over Portland Sunday as it works to re-incorporate Will Barton, who returned to the lineup against Phoenix after missing 37 games with a hip and core injury. Barton's rust was evident Saturday as he finished with six points on 2-for-10 shooting but he showed progress Sunday as he was 2-for-6, scoring seven points in 14 minutes.
Ultimately, Barton's return bodes well for the Nuggets and their depth as they look to maintain their hold on the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. The Warriors will look to overtake the Nuggets when they visit the Pepsi Center this week.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Last week's ranking: 3
Overall record: 30-12
Last week: 3-1 (Win vs. Jazz, Win vs. Rockets, Loss at Wizards, Win at Hawks)
This week: vs. Heat, at Grizzlies, at Magic
The Bucks still have the league's best net rating ( +8.9 ) and Giannis Antetokounmpo is still No. 1 in our MVP rankings , but their loss to the Wizards last week knocked them down a spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Bucks were, however, without Antetokounmpo in that loss to the Wizards. They also picked up a pair of big wins prior to that game with Antetokounmpo playing at an MVP level. After leading the Bucks to a victory over the Jazz with 30 points and 10 rebounds on Monday, Antetokounmpo posted a monster 27-point, 21-rebound double-double in a win over James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
The Bucks have a road-heavy schedule to end this month, with the fourth and final matchup against the Raptors coming on Jan. 31. With a win, the Bucks will take the season series, which would give them the edge should both teams finish the season with the same record.
1. Toronto Raptors
Last week's ranking: 2
Overall record: 33-12
Last week: 3-0 (Win vs. Hawks, Win vs. Nets, Win at Wizards)
This week: at Celtics, vs. Suns, vs. Grizzlies
The Raptors return to the No. 1 spot in our Power Rankings following a perfect homestand that included wins over the Pacers, Hawks and Nets.
Their game against the Hawks earlier in the week came down to the wire, but they made easy work of Nets before going on the road to beat the Wizards on Sunday.
With those wins and Milwaukee's loss to those same Wizards last week, the Raptors now have the best record in the NBA again. It couldn't come at a better time, as Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka played together for the first time since Dec. 9 in their matchup with the Nets.
That lineup has been dominant on both ends of the court this season, with them scoring at a rate of 114.0 points per 100 possessions while holding opponents to only 104.0 .
Rest of the NBA
11. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers started last week with a commanding victory, but they proceeded to lose games to the Wizards and Hawks, two teams with records below .500 on the season. They have a big couple of weeks ahead of them, with matchups with the Thunder, Rockets, Spurs, Nuggets, Lakers and Warriors looming.
12. Utah Jazz
13. Miami Heat
14. LA Clippers
15. Los Angeles Lakers
16. Sacramento Kings
17. Dallas Mavericks
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
The somewhat surprising dismissal of head coach Tom Thibodeau following the team's win over the Lakers last Sunday has proven to be a change for the better - interim head coach Ryan Saunders is off to a 2-1 start at the helm. Things get interesting this week when the team visits former star Jimmy Butler and the Sixers on Tuesday.
19. New Orleans Pelicans
20. Brooklyn Nets
21. Washington Wizards
The Wizards split their back-to-back with the 76ers early in the week and then defeated the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks. Bradley Beal has taken his game to another level since John Wall underwent season-ending surgery, and the Wizards have been better for it.
22. Memphis Grizzlies
23. Charlotte Hornets
24. Detroit Pistons
25. Atlanta Hawks
26. Phoenix Suns
27. Orlando Magic
28. New York Knicks
29. Chicago Bulls
30. Cleveland Cavaliers
A 12-game losing streak set the Cavaliers back, but they were able to get back on the winning side with a win over the Lakers to advance to 9-35 on the season.