The latest NBA power rankings for 2018 arrive after a flurry of moves happened on the day of the NBA trade deadline. The team making the most noise was none other than the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have rebooted their roster in an attempt to help LeBron James continue to contend for an NBA title. After the newest members of the roster made their official debuts against the Eastern Conference’s top team, it seems like the new additions were the right moves.
According to ESPN in the latest power rankings, that big win for the Cleveland Cavs in Boston moved them up from the No. 11 spot to No. 6 on the newest list. Cleveland now looks like they’re ready to take care of business and that’s with All-Star Kevin Love still sidelined by an injury for several more weeks. The Cavs effectively trimmed the parts off their roster that weren’t working and added some new life to a team that was having serious struggles. That includes former L.A. Lakers Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., as well as George Hill.
While it’s only been one game with the new crew so far, the Cavs seems like they will only move up further as they conquer more opponents. Tuesday night brings their next test in a road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 13, 2018
Due to the Celtics’ loss to Cleveland, they swapped places with Toronto, who has been a team that seems to be under the radar as serious contenders in the East.
NBA Power Rankings 2018 (2/12/18)
- Houston Rockets (42-13) No. 1
- Golden State Warriors (43-13) No. 2
- Toronto Raptors (39-16) No. 4
- Boston Celtics (40-18) No. 3
- San Antonio Spurs (35-22) No. 5
- Cleveland Cavs (33-22) No. 11
- Minnesota Timberwolves (35-24) No. 5
- Milwaukee Bucks (31-24) No. 9
- Oklahoma City Thunder (32-25) No. 7
- Washington Wizards (32-24) No. 8
As seen in the latest top 10, several teams have seen drops from previous positions, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder. The two Western Conference contenders are still legit in terms of challenging other teams out West, but Minnesota went 1-2 last week, while OKC was 2-1. A win in Tuesday night’s big game against the Cavs could help the Thunder move back up some spots next week.
As far as teams outside of the top 10, two teams that have surged over the past week are the Utah Jazz (from No. 17 to No. 15) and the Orlando Magic (from No. 30 to No. 26). Utah was 4-0 last week and picked up their 10th win in a row on Monday night by defeating the San Antonio Spurs. The Magic were 3-1 over their past four games but dropped last night’s game at Chicago, 105-101. Of the two teams, Utah is certainly the one to watch as a potential sleeper contender in the West.