NBA Power Rankings After Week 13

NBA Power Rankings After Week 13

Written by on January 17, 2023

Jaylen Brown might be one of the Top 15 players in the NBA this season. The Boston Celtics, though, are so good that they are 3-0 since Brown went down with an injury last week and they clearly reside atop the NBA power rankings after Week 13. The C’s also are +400 favorites to win the NBA title.

On Monday, Boston won its seventh straight game and finished a baseball-type sweep in Charlotte with a 130-118 win. MVP candidate Jayson Tatum erupted for a season-high 51 points while Boston as a team totaled 34 assists compared to just 11 turnovers.

Tatum became just the fifth player in NBA history, and the first this season, to score at least 50 points on 23 or fewer shots. He was 15-for-23 from the field on the afternoon, which included a 7-for-12 effort from long distance. He was also perfect in every sense of the word from the free-throw line, where he canned all 14 of his attempts. Tatum was stuck on 48 points with about 45 seconds left and remembered a game on Nov. 30 vs. Miami when he finished with 49.

“I had 49 against the Heat earlier this season. I took a shot, and we got the ball back, and there was like 50 seconds left, and I remember I just, I told them (my teammates), I waved them off. I didn’t go get the ball,” Tatum remembered. This time he was aggressive getting the ball off a rebound from Al Horford. As he dribbled the ball up, the Boston-friendly crowd at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center stood up, anticipating a milestone moment. Tatum lost defender Jalen McDaniels as he pulled up for a 3-pointer. He pump-faked on a contest from LaMelo Ball, then let it fly and it was good.

Brown and Tatum are two of only seven players in the league, and two of four players in the Eastern Conference, averaging at least 27.0 points and 7.0 rebounds this season. Tatum has scored the second-most points in the league behind only the Mavericks’ Luka Dončić (1,351).

The Celtics entered this weekend’s two-game series with the Hornets 1-3 in the format – having split with the Heat and swept by the Magic – and were thrilled to leave Charlotte with a sweep of their own. Now the C’s are off until an NBA Finals rematch at home on Thursday vs. Golden State. The Celtics haven’t had to be a big comeback team (they’re only 4-11 in games they’ve trailed by double-digits), because they’ve been at their best (plus-10.4 points per 100 possessions) in the first quarter.

The Warriors are +800 to repeat as NBA champions. They have been terrible on the road this season but won 127-118 at Washington on Monday with Klay Thompson resting. Stephen Curry had 41 points and seven rebounds as he matched his season-high with 28 attempts. Curry has now scored 40 or more four times this season, with this being his first since Nov. 16 vs. Phoenix (50 points).

Golden State has made 15 or-more 3-pointers in each of the last nine games, the longest such streak in franchise history. Golden State’s previous mark of seven was set during the 2020-21 season (4/27/21-5/8/21). Thompson will be back Thursday and is averaging 30.7 points in his past seven. Thompson has scored at least 25 points six times in that span. He has connected on 41 3-pointers.

Denver is up to a +390 second favorite in the West and enters the week having won six straight games and 16 of their last 19. They’re in first place in the Western Conference and have the No. 1 offense in the league.

Two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic didn’t take any shots through the first 11 minutes and 55 seconds of the fourth quarter against Orlando on Sunday. But Jokic calmly stepped back and drained the game-winning 3-pointer over a 6-foot-10 defender (Franz Wagner). He’s now 24-for-48 on shots to tie or take the lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime over the last five seasons, tied with Marcus Morris (10-for-20), for the best mark among 63 players with at least 20 attempts.

Current NBA Power Rankings

  1. Boston
  2. Denver
  3. Memphis
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Golden State

 

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