PBT’s Week 24 NBA Power Rankings: Denver, Boston remain on top as Dallas climbs


This is the penultimate edition of the NBC Sports NBA Power Rankings of the season and things have settled at the top — this is Boston and Denver’s race. The only question is can anyone stop that from being the Finals matchup?

1. Denver Nuggets (53-22, Last Week No. 1). Denver had to keep its foot on the gas to earn the No. 1 seed this season — which is one reason Nikola Jokic appears on his way to a third MVP — and now they appear in the driver’s seat. The Nuggets are half a game up on Minnesota and Oklahoma City and have the easiest schedule of that trio the rest of that group. They have a tough game coming up Thursday night against the Clippers, but then it’s Atlanta and Utah before a big showdown with Minnesota next week.

2. Boston Celtics (59-16, LW 2). The Celtics have locked up the No. 1 seed in the East and need to win one in their remaining six games to lock up the top seed in the entire NBA (Denver could theoretically tie Boston — and the Nuggets have the tiebreaker — but that’s not going to happen). All that matters now is getting to the finish line healthy, rested and in a groove. The only thing left to root for is Philadelphia not getting the No. 8 seed out of the play-in, with Joel Embiid back that’s a much more formidable first-round opponent than the Celtics want to face.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (52-23, LW 4). This is impressive: Minnesota is 9-4 with a +6.1 net rating since Karl-Anthony Towns went out injured. Despite losing and All-Star, they have stayed in the mix for the No. 1 seed. The Timberwolves are half a game back of Denver for the top seed in the West, although Denver has a softer schedule the rest of the way (the Timberwolves also have the tiebreaker). Minnesota has games against the Suns and Lakers this week (with a huge game against Denver looming for April 10).

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (52-23, LW 3). The Thunder are 3-3 in their last six, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (thigh contusion) missing half of those games and Jalen Williams (sprained ankle) missing the last one. Oklahoma City is just half a game out of first in the West, but has the toughest remaining schedule of…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/pbts-week-24-nba-power-202438319.html

Author : NBC Sports

Publish date : 2024-04-03 20:24:38

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