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NBA Power Rankings Christmas Edition: Bucks Jump Into Top Tier


Time has flown by as we’ve rapidly approached the holiday season, which means we’re drawing close to the midway point of the NBA season. And while we’ve had a few teams emerge as contenders, multiple teams surprise with their outlook and others who have let down in a big way, there’s still a lot to learn.

With a fun Christmas slate on tap for Tuesday and then a few other big games this week, the NBA power rankings could wind up getting shaken up quite a bit. Even just from last week alone, things have changed a fair amount and we’ve got a whole lot to break down.

The most recent power rankings include games through Sunday, December 23. Just like last round of power rankings, the Western Conference remains one big jumbled mess. One thing that remained consistent was the Denver Nuggets remaining in the top spot. They currently hold a 21-10 record, although the Golden State Warriors are tied for that spot now while sitting at 22-11.

Even still, the difference between the Nuggets and the No. 14 team, the Minnesota Timberwolves sits at just 7.5 games. And as mentioned last week, the No. 8 seed Portland Trail Blazers are 4.5 games back of first place. It’s beginning to look more and more like the West could remain tough to figure throughout the bulk of the season.


Latest on the Eastern Conference Standings

As for the Eastern Conference, we weren’t able to receive any drastic eye-opening changes at the top. One thing that does jump out about the East is the emergence of the Miami Heat, who have won five-straight games and now sit tied for the No. 6 seed with the Charlotte Hornets.

That side of the league is basically split into different tiers with the top four-to-five teams, then the next five or six and then the last four, who are ready for the NBA draft lottery. Fortunately, we still had some great games this past week in the East also which certainly impacted the overall outlook of the rankings.

The good news for all the fans of teams in the East is that there’s plenty of competition for various spots in the standings, even if they are broken into tiers. One or two trades for a few of these teams could really push them up to the next tier and completely shake up the landscape by season’s end.

With all that fun wrapped up, let’s take a look at the latest NBA power rankings. These rankings aren’t purely based on the record of teams, as they factor in multiple things including recent play and quality of both wins and losses, among other things.

It’s also worth noting before we dive headfirst into the rankings that we will break each section into tiers. There will be tiers for the legitimate contenders, on-the-fringe contenders, teams showing upside and growth of a few others.

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