NBA Power Rankings 2024: Where Warriors, Kings sit post-All-Star break

NBA Power Rankings 2024: Where Warriors, Kings sit post-All-Star break originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It's time for the business stretch of the NBA season.

With the 2024 NBA All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, all focus is on ending the season in a positive way.

That, of course, means different things for different teams based on certain goals. For a team with no hope of making the playoffs, continuing to develop youngsters and hoping for the best possible draft pick are marquee goals.

A struggling contender will want to end the season with momentum to improve its chances of winning the title.

Let's sort it all out with the 11th edition of the 2023-24 NBA Power Rankings:

30. Detroit Pistons (8-46)

Detroit been at the bottom for as long as we can remember this season, but somehow there's a chance it can rise up a spot in the next few weeks. They did well at the deadline to move on from Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, so now it's about Monty Williams sorting things out to provide optimism for the future. (Last ranking: 30)

29. Washington Wizards (9-45)

The Wizards have lost eight in a row and are in danger of becoming the NBA's worst team record-wise. And that's with Detroit's record losing streak earlier this season. There's not much to like about where the roster is headed. (Last ranking: 29)

28. San Antonio Spurs (11-44)

San Antonio didn't acquire a needle-moving point guard to pair with Victor Wembanyama, so the rest of the season will be about the Frenchman's development and hoping for the best with its three projected first-round picks. (Last ranking: 28)

27. Portland Trail Blazers (15-39)

Portland lost six in a row before the All-Star break and didn't alter the roster at the trade deadline, even though there were deals to be made. Sticking with players like Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon, not to mention Matisse Thybulle, when they don't move the needle with the current squad feels like a mistake. Scoot Henderson will need to end the season with momentum, though. (Last ranking: 26)

26. Charlotte Hornets (13-41)

Charlotte won three in a row before the break, but, like Washington, it's difficult to feel optimistic about its future. LaMelo Ball continues to deal with various injuries and first-round draft picks just aren't panning out. At least the team made moves by parting ways with Gordon Hayward and P.J. Washington. (Last ranking: 27)

25. Toronto Raptors (19-36)

Toronto, besides trading Pascal Siakam to Indiana, made another move before the deadline. The Raptors acquired Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji from Utah for Otto Porter Jr., Kira Lewis Jr., and a 2024 first-rounder. Olynyk, 32, is a solid role player but only time will tell how much it helps a team trending downward. (Last ranking: 24)

24. Brooklyn Nets (21-33)

The Nets parted ways with Spencer Dinwiddie and Royce O'Neale at the deadline and brought in Dennis Schroder as the headliner. There's not too much to expect out of Brooklyn until the offseason. (Last ranking: 23)

23. Memphis Grizzlies (20-36)

The lone bright side to a season mired with injuries to key players is you could stumble upon a few rotational players for the future. Memphis might have something in GG Jackson, Lamar Stevens and others, so the rest of the year will be about searching for gems on cheaper deals. (Last ranking: 25)

22. Atlanta Hawks (24-31)

Atlanta ended up holding onto Dejounte Murray, its most coveted asset, so a potential trade will have to wait until the summer. For now, either everything will magically jell for Quin Snyder's squad or it'll just be more of the same. It'll probably be the latter. (Last ranking: 21)

21. Houston Rockets (24-30)

Houston acquired center Steven Adams from Memphis at the deadline but he won't feature until the next campaign after undergoing season-ending surgery as a Grizzly. The Rockets could look to sneak into the play-in picture, but the signs lean toward them potentially coming back stronger next year. (Last ranking: 22)

20. Utah Jazz (26-30)

Utah lost four straight entering the break and didn't make any needle-moving trades at the deadline. The Jazz had been on pace for a potential play-in push, so let's see if head coach Will Hardy can get his team going again. They only have a second-round pick to play with in 2024, barring a trade. (Last ranking: 18)

19. Chicago Bulls (26-29)

The Bulls stood pat for the third consecutive deadline. There's not much to say about the roster that hasn't been said the last few seasons, but this year will likely end in another pointless elimination. (Last ranking: 19)

18. Golden State Warriors (27-26)

The Warriors went 8-2 to enter the break and kept the core intact, despite a report about wanting LeBron James. The dynasty core won't let things end on a sour note, so let's see how they handle their biggest challenge yet. (Last ranking: 20)

17. Orlando Magic (30-25)

Orlando has steadily fallen down the rankings after a promising start. The Magic then stood pat at the deadline, which could end up hurting their chances down the stretch. Adding better guard depth will have to wait. (Last ranking: 15)

16. Miami Heat (30-25)

The Heat's big move was swapping Kyle Lowry for Terry Rozier, and only time will tell if that was a good move. Rozier's first 10 games have been rough from a shooting standpoint, though if he figures it out, it could be huge for a team that loves to peak late. (Last ranking: 16)

15. Los Angeles Lakers (30-26)

The Lakers won three in a row before the break and were 7-3 in their last 10 games. Like Miami, the Lakers also peaked late last season and reached the Western Conference Finals. That's not to say that'll happen this season, but only adding Dinwiddie as a buyout signing doesn't change things significantly. (Last ranking: 17)

14. Sacramento Kings (31-23)

The Kings didn't make any moves at the deadline, which could easily end up biting a team that hasn't made any difference-making acquisitions for quite some time. The bench is too inconsistent and the offense is too reliant on Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox to deal any considerable damage after being the No. 3 seed last year. (Last ranking: 12)

13. Indiana Pacers (31-25)

Indiana slipped a bit right before the break, but seeing a healthy Tyrese Haliburton shine during All-Star Weekend could do wonders when play resumes. The Pacers are built to peak later on after their deadline moves, mainly the arrival of Siakam. (Last ranking: 13)

12. New Orleans Pelicans (33-22)

The Pelicans went 7-3 before the break and stood pat at the deadline. The team can make noise if key players can stay healthy for the important battles, primarily Zion Williamson. But if injuries strike, the Pelicans will crash. (Last ranking: 11)

11. Dallas Mavericks (32-23)

The Mavericks won six in a row entering the break and may have added helpful rotation players in Daniel Gafford and Washington from Charlotte. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving just need everyone else to fill in the gaps. When that happens, Dallas looks like a real threat. (Last ranking: 14)

10. Philadelphia 76ers (32-22)

The 76ers have to find ways to stay afloat amid Joel Embiid's absence due to injury, with former Pacers guard Buddy Hield being the standout acquisition at the deadline. Cameron Payne arrived for Patrick Beverley as well. Let's see if Tyrese Maxey and Co. can stand up to the task to prevent a further slide. (Last ranking: 9)

9. New York Knicks (33-22)

The Knicks dropped four straight entering the break and lost some steam it had built up. It's a team with excellent chemistry, so let's see how long it takes for them to bounce back and rediscover their form. (Last ranking: 6)

8. Phoenix Suns (33-22)

Phoenix went 7-3 before the break and keep climbing. It's a team that could peak as the season progresses amid a turbulent season. O'Neale came from Brooklyn to add better bench quality, which he's already shown in three games. Bradley Beal just had a procedure on a broken nose, so his form will be worth watching. (Last ranking: 9)

7. Milwaukee Bucks (35-21)

Milwaukee has not looked convincing at all after the Doc Rivers hire. The Bucks are 3-7 since the coaching switch, rank 23rd in offensive rating and 11th on the defensive side. Beverley came from Philly but the spark will have to come from within. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard will need to lead a charge to set up a postseason run, otherwise the Rivers hire could be a predictable disaster. (Last ranking: 8)

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (36-17)

Cleveland has only lost twice in its last 20 games. There's a case to be made down the line that perhaps the team peaked too early, but it's all about how the players perform in the playoffs. Last year's no-show left a sour taste, so they'll need to prove they learned and improved from their mistakes. (Last ranking: 7)

5. Denver Nuggets (36-19)

The Nuggets dropped back another spot after a three-game skid to enter the break. They rightfully stood pat at the deadline and, like last season, will look to hit an extra few gears when the games really matter. The West is extremely tight, and Denver is on the short end of the stick as things stand. (Last ranking: 4)

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (37-17)

Oklahoma City were firmly in second in the last edition but, as mentioned earlier, the West is close. Things change in an instant, which is why the Thunder fell a few spots despite still playing solid basketball. Adding Hayward was a fine piece of business, though. (Last ranking: 2)

3. Los Angeles Clippers (36-17)

The Clippers stood pat at the deadline and also in the power rankings. There weren't moves to be made apart from P.J. Tucker and Bones Hyland, with the roster essentially in place since the James Harden trade. Managing key players' minutes to establish a postseason presence will be key to end the year. (Last ranking: 3)

2. Minnesota Timberwolves (39-16)

After a few weeks of clinging onto a top-five spot, Minnesota reclaimed its spot atop the West and as the No. 2 team in the power rankings. The Timberwolves did well to add Monte Morris from Detroit to bolster its playmaking, one of the few weaknesses on the roster. It'll be interesting to see how the team fares to close out the year after months of superb two-way performances. (Last ranking: 5)

1. Boston Celtics (43-12)

The Celtics stay first for the seventh edition running. Their starting five has the perfect balance in each position, and they added marginal bench upgrades in the form of Xavier Tillman and Jaden Springer. As long as they stay the course, this is their premier shot at Banner No. 18. (Last ranking: 1)