NBA Power Rankings: Could the West go through New Orleans?on December 14, 2022 at 1:36 pm

Picture this: Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant in this year’s Western Conference finals. The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies look capable of bringing that showdown to NBA audiences this year with their recent surge to the top of the West standings.

Then again, just a few weeks ago, some were quivering at the idea of the Utah Jazz going on a deep run through this year’s leaky Western Conference. The way things are going in the West, any team hovering in the middle of the pack could switch places with New Orleans or Memphis by mid-January.

But for now, the Pelicans’ recent dominance has to be commended. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies look like they can beat anyone with Morant on the floor, and even boast championship depth when their star point guard is out. These two teams could be trouble for any contending team in the Western Conference from here on out, and they might not even have to win consistently to stay on top of the standings, either.

In the East, the Brooklyn Nets look like they’re starting to come into midseason form under coach Jacque Vaughn.

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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