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NBA Power Rankings: Eastern Conference sides dominate as LA Lakers fall with LeBron James sidelined

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the East
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the East's player of the week
Modified 23 Mar 2021

It has been the turn of the Eastern Conference in this week's NBA power rankings as Milwaukee continue to embrace their label as underdogs and take their winning run to 6. The Philadelphia 76ers have kept their place atop the conference pile, while Brooklyn are blowing opponents away even without Kevin Durant.

Over in the West, headlines have revolved around the injury to LeBron James and Utah's recent dip in form. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers continue to search for consistency while Phoenix are gearing up to snatch the top spot off the Jazz.

NBA Power Rankings 2020-21: Top ten teams entering 14th week of the year

With a full week of enthralling action gone, there has been plenty of movement in our NBA power rankings this week. All the attention has been on the impending trade deadline, with those competing for a title looking to add assets that can make small adjustments to their success potential.

Milwaukee picked up PJ Tucker recently to help boost their defensive inefficiencies this season, while the Brooklyn Nets are still in the market to add yet more talent, such as Andre Drummon in the buyout market.

Let's take a look at how the current NBA power rankings have fallen.

#10 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks young superstar Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks young superstar Luka Doncic

2020-21 record: 22-19

Upcoming fixtures: @MIN, IND, @NOP


Previous NBA Power Rankings: N/A

Luka Doncic looks like he is having fun again now that the Mavs are winning. The Slovenian superstar has led Dallas in a 7-3 run over their last 10 matchups, in the last three of which he has racked up a stunning 117 points. This looks set to continue as he faces two of the league's worst defenses this week, thus helping the Mavs enter our NBA power rankings.

In 4 battles this week with the LA Clippers and Trail Blazers, Dallas went 2-2. Their defensive efficiency was far better, holding their opposition on three occasions to under 110 points and twice under 93. Kristaps Porzingis looks back to his bubble-best, though the front office is expected to be busy ahead of the trade deadline.

#9 Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic

2020-21 record: 25-17

Upcoming fixtures: @ORL, @TOR, @NOP, ATL

Previous NBA Power Rankings: 8th (โ†“1)

The Denver Nuggets fall one place in our NBA power rankings this week after a loss at home to the Pelicans and a narrow win over Chicago in overtime in their last two matchups.

Nevertheless, the Nuggets are proving to be a problem once again, winning 8 of ten in which Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have been electric. The Serbian center is continuing to put up close to a triple-double (27.1 - 11.2 - 8.6) and will be able to take advantage of his MVP rivals sidelined by injuries.

#8 LA Lakers

Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers
Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers

2020-21 record: 28-15

Upcoming fixtures: @NOP, PHI, CLE, ORL

Previous NBA Power Rankings: 5th (โ†“3)

Not having Anthony Davis and now seeing LeBron James limp off on Saturday has left LA Lakers fans in anguish and has dropped them down our NBA power rankings. With James out indefinitely, who knows how the reigning champs will respond but they will certainly need the likes of Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder to step up.

The three combined for 58 points in a 17 point loss to the Suns on Sunday as the Lakers limitations were made glaringly obvious.

They are going to struggle through this time without their two stars. However, fans can look forward to Talen Horton-Tucker getting extended minutes and the likelihood that James will come back even stronger.

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Published 23 Mar 2021, 05:31 IST
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