NBA Power Rankings: Celtics, Grizzlies playing like frontrunners; Luka can only do so muchon January 18, 2023 at 3:59 pm

For as much as Luka Doncic does for his team on the court, his team does that much less when he’s not on the court. The Dallas Mavericks have recentered themselves in the Western Conference playoff picture courtesy of their young superstar, but they have failed to gain momentum despite Doncic’s nightly MVP performances.

The Mavericks are one of the few teams in the Western Conference playoff picture that have not seen first place. The streaky West has seen nine other teams spend a day in first place so far this season, per ESPN Stats & Information research, and many of which don’t boast a talent like Doncic.

Now the door might be closing for Dallas to make a run to the top of the conference, as the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies are putting their feet on the gas with six and 10-game winning streaks, respectively.

The Boston Celtics might also be outpacing anyone in the Eastern Conference. The team that has spent much of the year with the NBA’s best record has put together a seven-game winning streak and has returned to its early-season form.

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, 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: Week 1 Week 6

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