This week’s League Pass power rankings feature the Knicks, Wizards, Mavericks, Celtics, and Warriors. Check out the previous edition here.
5. Golden State Warriors
Watching the Golden State Warriors can be frustrating. It’s easy to find clips of the team playing sloppy defense, missing wide open shots or turning the ball over. But watching the Warriors can also be exhilarating for one reason alone: Stephen Curry.
Curry has been putting up video-game numbers. His range has gotten ridiculous, he isn’t bothered by defenders anymore, and he’s made several shots in the clutch. In the last 10 games, he averaged 38.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.
His numbers, his leadership and his overall performance, which has him climbing up the MVP ladder, have kept the Warriors in the play-in conversation. Even if his 30-point streak came to a halt, Curry’s stellar play has not.
Simply put, Curry is the heart and soul of the Warriors.
4. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics is also a team that’s been struggling all season. But that’s changed.
A team that was once written off this season is now surging at the right time. Jaylen Brown has been spearheading the turnaround by averaging 26.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in their last 10 games.
They are currently no. 6 and just one game away from the Atlanta Hawks. However, their position does not guarantee they are safe from dropping in the standings and competing in the play-in tournament as the Miami Heat are also one game behind the Celtics.
This week will be extremely crucial for Boston as they play five games. If they win most of their games, there’s still a chance for them to claim home-court advantage going into the playoffs. If they keep losing, they could end up fighting for a spot in the play-in tournament.
3. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are peaking when it matters the most. As of now, the team is successfully out of the play-in tournament after winning three games straight, so maintaining their position is all they need to do right now.
Luka Doncic has been playing like a man on a mission. He’s averaged 28.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.7 assists all season long. Unfortunately, his next best guy Kristaps Porzingis is out with an ankle injury.
While Porzingis isn’t likely to miss significant time, Doncic needs to pick up the slack every game. This will cause a lot of fatigue for the young guy which won’t be good if they’re going up against a team that has a home-court advantage in a best-of-seven series.
2. Washington Wizards
Not only is Russell Westbrook a delight to witness, but the Washington Wizards also got better.
The Wizards won seven straight games, going 9-1 in their last 10 games. A lot of those wins were hard-earned as they went up against tough teams like the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz.
Westbrook had six triple doubles in their seven wins, but in the one game he didn’t get a triple-double he posted 36 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists. He’s one of the few players averaging a triple-double with 21.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 10.9 assists.
Also playing well is top scorer Bradley Beal, who’s averaging 31.1 points -- the best in his career.
With the two finally in total sync, the Wizards seem to have a chance in securing a play-in position. Right now they’re sitting in 10th place with the Chicago Bulls following closely behind. But it’s likely that the Wizards will stay in that position with the way they have been playing as of late.
1. New York Knicks
“NEW YORK, WE HERE.”
The Knicks aren’t just here, they’re here to stay.
Now on a nine-game winning streak, New York has finally entered a new era with Knicks players who are talented and extremely hardworking. With the way they are playing, it shouldn’t be a surprise if they match the 13-game winning streak the franchise had back in 2013.
All-Star Julius Randle has been phenomenal for the Knicks with averages of 28.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in their last 10 games. RJ Barrett has also been playing well with 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists this season.
New York is currently fourth in the East with a record of 34-27, but the Milwaukee Bucks are still within distance.
The Knicks are the best rising team, there’s no doubt about it. And this makes them one of the most fun and exciting teams to watch because you’re guaranteed all smiles and a lot of guys playing hard.
Catch these five teams this week on League Pass! Stream 3 games of your choice for only P85 when your subscribe with your Smart load. To learn more, check out smart.com.ph/nbaleaguepass.