February NBA Power Rankings

Taylor Wyman (@taylormetrics) uses advanced luck-adjusted net rating to help sort through the league and provide more accurate power rankings. ALA net rating attempts to predict net rating for the rest of the season using the 4 factors but with eFG% split out into shot quality and shot making. It’s more predictive because it will account for luck related things like opponent 3pt shot making, spikes in FT%, etc.


Tier 1

  • Boston Celtics: 0 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 1 / ALA-DEF Rating: 6

The Celtics don’t have anything left to prove in the regular season. They are great on both sides of the ball and can shoot the lights out from 3. Jrue Holiday has been much better over the recent weeks and seems to be settling in after a rocky start to the season. Picking up Xavier Tillman at the trade deadline was a nice insurance policy. He’s a solid defensive big. 

  • Denver Nuggets: +1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 7 / ALA-DEF Rating: 8

Jokic is in the MVP race, their core is healthy, and their defense is better than it was a season ago. These 3 factors are crucial to the Nuggets’ repeating. Peyton Watson is a second-year player who is having a nice season as a wing stopper.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: +2 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 3 / ALA-DEF Rating: 3

They are number one in advanced luck-adjusted net rating and have an MVP candidate on the roster. Anyway you slice and dice the numbers/narratives you can’t deny that this team is great. Jalen Williams is the most underrated player in the league, he’s a dynamic two way player with a stellar offensive game.

  • Los Angeles Clippers: +14 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 4 / ALA-DEF Rating: 12

This team has been a well-oiled machine over the last 2 months. Kawhi, Harden, and Paul George are all playing at an All-Star level and they are getting good contributions from their role players. Norman Powell is shooting 45% from 3 on five attempts a game. They look like legit contenders.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 19 / ALA-DEF Rating: 1

Their defense is very very good. There’s a massive gap between them and the 2nd best defensive unit. The other side of the court isn’t as encouraging. Ant and KAT give them some firepower but the team is lacking high-end playmaking to grease the wheels.

  • Milwaukee Bucks: -4 Change from December’s ranking

ALA-OFF Rating: 2 / ALA-DEF Rating: 20

They have been a weird team to evaluate this year because they are not clicking but they have enough talent to brute force the regular season. Dame has been bad from the field relative to his standards but his elite FT rate has kept him playing at an All-Star level. They needed a shake up but Doc Rivers is not the move. The veteran roster might be able to come together and figure things out regardless. The Pat Bev acquisition makes a lot of sense on paper.


Tier 2

  • Cleveland Cavaliers +7 Change from December’s ranking

ALA-OFF Rating: 15 / ALA-DEF Rating: 2

When Garland and Mobley both went down I think we all assumed that was a wrap on their season. Little did we know they were about to become the hottest team in basketball. Allen and Mitchell have been sensational and Sam Merrill’s emergence has added another dynamic to their offense. Merrill has the 5th best O-LEBRON among off–ball players. Also, Dean Wade has been performing like an elite 3&D player.

  • New York Knicks: +3 Change from December’s ranking

ALA-OFF Rating: 13 / ALA-DEF Rating: 13

The Knicks are playing with a noticeable energy and confidence this season, Jalen Brunson’s shot making has been just plain dirty, and the acquisition of OG Anunoby was going swimmingly prior to his injury. They are an elite rebounding team and Thibs always gets inspired play from his players on defense. They are pretty banged up right now but their impressive depth has proved resourceful. 

  • Philadelphia 76ers: -3 Change from December’s ranking

ALA-OFF Rating: 6 / ALA-DEF Rating: 7

If Embiid were healthy they would be in the top tier but his knee injury makes ranking this team difficult. The silver lining is that Maxey’s season has been a best case scenario type of situation. Adding Buddy Hield at the deadline was a nice move. They just need to stay afloat until they can get healthy.

  • Phoenix Suns: 0 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 12 / ALA-DEF Rating: 14

They have missed the 6th highest amount of LEBRON WAR due to injuries this year. A lot of that has been Beal and now that he’s back they have been playing better. Durant is posting his usual crazy numbers but he’s playing 37 minutes a night which at age age 35 is concerning. Grayson Allen is shooting (checks notes) 49% from three on five attempts a game. They added Royce O’neal at the deadline to add to their SG/SF collection.

  • New Orleans Pelicans: +5 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 8 / ALA-DEF Rating: 17

“New Orleans is about to rattle off some wins and shoot up the standings.” was a quote from my Dec Power Rankings article. They just have so much offensive depth, this is the type of thing that comes in handy on the second night of a back-to-back. Ingram’s shot making has been hyper elite this year, and CJ McCollum has been scorching from 3 (43% on 8 attempts a game)

  • Indiana Pacers: -5 Change from December’s ranking

ALA-OFF Rating: 5 / ALA-DEF Rating: 21

Their defense has improved as the season has gone on. It was near the bottom of the league 2 months ago and is approaching respectability now. The addition of Siakam will provide 33+ minutes a night of solid defense at a forward position which they badly needed. That stabilizing factor along with his offense could help this team take the next step. They dropped a few spots in these power rankings more so because other teams have played well instead of the Pacers getting worse.

  • Sacramento Kings: -5 Change from December’s ranking  

ALA-OFF Rating: 14 / ALA-DEF Rating: 16

Their offense doesn’t have the same juice as last season but they have remained competitive. Keegan Murray is a difference-maker on defense and Domantas Sabonis is posting a career-high D-LEBRON. They need Fox to get back to where he was at the beginning of the season.

  • Dallas Mavericks: -2 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 9 / ALA-DEF Rating: 23

The Mavs have missed the third most LEBRON WAR this season due to injury but they have managed to stay afloat. Luka’s numbers are eye popping and Kyrie has been great when healthy. Not surprisingly the defense has been an issue. Dereck Lively II has provided some solid defensive impact as a rookie but beyond that they aren’t getting meaningful contributions anywhere else on the roster. The additions of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford are intriguing.    


Tier 3

  • Maimi Heat: 0 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 20 / ALA-DEF Rating: 10

They have missed the second most LEBRON WAR due to injuries and still have been around league average in record and more advanced metrics. This leads me to believe they have another gear we haven’t yet been privy to. Adding Terry Rozier should help their struggling offense, especially in the regular season. 

  • Orlando Magic: -7 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 24 / ALA-DEF Rating: 5

They have a roster full of young exciting players that can get after it on defense, but the offense is still a ways away. The primary ball handler of the future is likely not on the roster but that deficiency has given a chance for other players to develop their passing skills. Paolo, Franz, and Suggs all have shown an affinity to pass the rock. 

  • Los Angles Lakers:  -4 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 23 / ALA-DEF Rating: 11

They picked up Spencer Dinwiddie as a free agent which should help their anemic offense. He’s a proven NBA vet who was overtasked in Broooklyn. The remainder off their season will be focused on maximizing his role. This team is lacking athleticism with Vanderbilt, Reddish, and Gabe Vincent on the shelf. 

  • Golden State Warriors: +2 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 11 / ALA-DEF Rating: 24

Unfortunately, Klay Thompson’s regression has been a prominent storyline for the Warriors this season, but lost in that narrative is that he’s still a solid off-ball player. He’s just not the transcendent off-ball player he once was. They have been playing better basketball in February winning 6 of their last 7, we’ll see if that sticks. 


Tier 4

  • Utah Jazz: +6 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 16 / ALA-DEF Rating: 22

They picked up a few picks at the trade deadline which is good for a rebuilding team. Collin Sexton is playing at a high level and Lauri Marrkennan has cemented himself as a high end building block. This rebuild is going pretty well.

  • Atlanta Hawks: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 10 / ALA-DEF Rating: 30

Pretty good offense and a bad defense. That is the Trea Young experience. Bogdanovic has been shooting the cover off the ball and Jalen Johnson is putting together an impressive defensive campaign.

  • Brooklyn Nets: -4 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 18 / ALA-DEF Rating: 15

They have a roster full of decent to solid players in a star driven league. That’s a recipe for no man’s land in the hierarchy of the NBA.

  • Toronto Raptors: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 17 / ALA-DEF Rating: 19

They are in a strange state of flux because of the amount of trades they made. Interestingly enough they gave up a 2024 first round pick for an expiring Kelly Olynyk and second year man Ochai Agaji.

  • Chicago Bulls: 0 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 21 / ALA-DEF Rating: 18

Coby White has built on the back of a strong finisher from last year, Alex Caruso is playing out of his mind, and Andre Drummond is posting elite/75 numbers in limited minutes. But make a .500 team that does not.

  • Houston Rockets: -2 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 22 / ALA-DEF Rating: 9

Ausar Thompson is an interesting combination of size, defensive playmaking, and rebounding for an on-ball defender. Alperun Sengun’s defensive regression is year 3 is a major cause for concern. He’s surrounded by good defenders with a defensive minded coach and he’s 36th out of 41 bigs that play 20 minutes a night in D-LEBRON.


Tier 5

  • Memphis Grizzlies: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 30 / ALA-DEF Rating: 4

I can’t remember a team this decimated by injuries. They’re running out of G League guys. Two bright spots have been Vince Willaims Jr. looking like a stud and Desmond Bane continuing to develop his game. 

  • Portland Trailblazers: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 29 / ALA-DEF Rating: 27

Jerami Grant is having a nice season. He’s shooting 40% from three and giving them decent scoring volume. Scott Henderson has had a rough rookie year but has been better as of late. His scoring efficiency has seen an uptick after a very slow start to the season.


  • San Antonio Spurs: 1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 27 / ALA-DEF Rating: 25

Wemby just had a triple double with blocks the other night! He is the only above average defender on his team which makes his dominance even more impressive. It’s hard to believe he’s the best defensive player in the league at 20 years old.

  • Charlotte Hornets: -2 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 28 / ALA-DEF Rating: 29

Brandon Miller just rattled off back to back 30 point games upping his 3 point percentage to 38% on the season. He’s started to show glimpses of what the Hornets projected when they took him second overall in last off season’s draft.

  • Washington Wizards: -1 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 25 / ALA-DEF Rating: 28

They shipped out Daniel Gafford for a first round pick at the deadline. Not much else to report from Washington.

  • Detroit Pistons: 0 Change from December’s ranking 

ALA-OFF Rating: 26 / ALA-DEF Rating: 26

Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham have both posted incredible playmaking data this season. The quality of shots they are creating for teammates has been elite, it’s just that their teammates are the opposite of elite. 

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