A power shift in the East? Philly, Toronto are making moves


The NBA trade deadline shook up the league's hierarchy ahead of the playoff push. How has it impacted our rankings?
Throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, Tim MacMahon and Andre' Snellings, The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears and FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring) ranks all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which are looking most like title contenders.
Editor's note: We will be taking the All-Star break off. Check back on Feb. 25 for the next installment of the NBA Power Rankings.
Previous rankings: Week 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | Training camp | Free agency
1. Golden State Warriors
Record: 40-15
The Warriors will have two starters in the All-Star Game for the fourth time in five years on Sunday in Charlotte. Golden State will have at least three All-Stars for the fourth straight season and first time since 1960-63. Stephen Curry is the first Warriors player to be an All-Star in six straight seasons. -- Spears
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 41-14
After notching six victories in a row -- all by double digits -- the Bucks scored just 83 points in their worst defeat of the season Saturday, a 20-point home spanking at the hands of the Magic. But between Giannis Antetokounmpo not playing and the fact deadline pickup Nikola Mirotic will soon join the rotation, it seems fair to expect that this team will enjoy far more offensive explosions than it will have droughts going forward. -- Herring
3. Toronto Raptors
Record: 41-16
Not to cede any ground in the Eastern Conference arms race, the Raptors added Marc Gasol at the deadline at a relative bargain. What might be just as auspicious for Toronto was Kyle Lowry's week, one of his most productive of the season as the Raps picked up three road wins. Lowry averaged 18.3 points, 8.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds for the week on an effective field goal percentage of 57.7. -- Arnovitz
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
Record: 36-19
The Thunder have won 10 of their past 11 games, including a huge comeback victory at the Rockets on Saturday. Russell Westbrook has stepped into history by notching nine triple-doubles in a row and counting, a span during which teammate Paul George has bolstered his MVP claims by averaging 34.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 4.2 APG and 2.6 SPG. -- Snellings
5. Philadelphia 76ers
Record: 36-20
Whether you believe the Sixers gave up too many assets or you believe the moment is now, no team had a more impactful deadline than Philadelphia. The new Philly Phive lineup with newcomer Tobias Harris outscored the Lakers and Nuggets 85-68 in his inaugural week with the Sixers. After a slow start, JJ Redick has been sizzling from beyond the arc in 2019 -- 45 percent on 8.6 attempts per game. If he can sustain it, he has a chance to finish above 40 percent for the fifth consecutive season. -- Arnovitz
6. Denver Nuggets
Record: 37-18
The Nuggets started the calendar year with wins in 14 of their first 18 games but have lost three straight to fall multiple games behind the surging Warriors. Their recent losses align perfectly with the three-game (and counting) injury absence of defensive anchor Paul Millsap, as they allowed 127 PPG without him last week. -- Snellings
7. Boston Celtics
Record: 35-21
The Celtics find themselves at another crossroads this week. They largely stood pat at the trade deadline despite competitors in Milwaukee, Toronto and Philadelphia making big moves that seem to improve their teams on paper. The Celtics are still considered one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference, but they might have to adjust to life in the short term without offensive engine Kyrie Irving, who is day-to-day due with a sprained knee. -- Snellings
8. Portland Trail Blazers
Record: 33-22
Will center Skal Labissiere finally get a chance to show what he can do with Portland? The 6-foot-11, 235-pounder averaged 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 8.7 minutes in 13 games this season with Sacramento before being traded to Portland recently. The Haitian did not play for the Blazers in his potential debut in a 102-101 loss to the Mavericks on Sunday. -- Spears
9. Houston Rockets
Record: 32-23
James Harden can extend his streak of 30-point performances to 30 consecutive games on Monday against the Mavericks. For a little perspective on that accomplishment, take a look at the active players who have managed to score 20 points in 30 straight games. It isn't a very long list: Kevin Durant (four times), LeBron James (twice), Harden (twice), Isaiah Thomas, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin. -- MacMahon
10. Utah Jazz
Record: 32-24
As Donovan Mitchell noted after Saturday's blowout win, the matchup against the Spurs and All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge was personal for snubbed Jazz center Rudy Gobert. It's too bad for Gobert that the Western Conference coaches didn't vote this weekend. He was dominant (21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, plus-15) in a win that kept the Jazz above the Spurs in the standings. Gobert was also a factor in Aldridge's off night (15 points, 5-of-16 shooting). -- MacMahon
11. Indiana Pacers
Record: 37-19
Just when it looked like Indiana was shell-shocked by Victor Oladipo's season-ending injury, with its offense sputtering badly for a week and a half, the Pacers now own the NBA's longest current winning streak at five games. The timing of their solid play couldn't come at a better time, given how tough the Pacers' schedule will become about a month from now. -- Herring
12. San Antonio Spurs
Record: 32-26
Uh, the Spurs have had better weeks. San Antonio dropped its past four games by an average margin of 20.8 points -- all to potential West playoff teams. That's a rough way to start the annual Rodeo Road Trip that still has stops in Memphis, Toronto, New York and Brooklyn. -- MacMahon
13. Sacramento Kings
Record: 30-26
The playoff-hopeful Kings won their 30th game of the season on Sunday against the Suns. Sacramento won only 28 games last season and didn't reach 30 wins in eight of its past 10 seasons. Sacramento is on pace to have its best season since 2005-06, when the team had 44 wins and made its most recent postseason appearance. -- Spears
14. LA Clippers
Record: 31-26
The Clips underwent yet another wholesale makeover, then notched the NBA's biggest comeback in two seasons, knocking off the Celtics in Boston on Saturday despite trailing by 28 in the second quarter. The popular notion is that the Clippers bowed out of the playoff hunt at the deadline as they readied their spreadsheet for the future. But a peek at the roster shows the Clippers to still be a relatively deep team. If Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams can stay healthy, can the Clips hang around in the race for No. 8? -- Arnovitz
15. Brooklyn Nets
Record: 29-28
Friday night marked the return of Caris LeVert to action, which gives the Nets both a morale boost and some depth in backcourt to compensate for the absence of Spencer Dinwiddie. The Nets have lost by double digits three times in the past nine days. They now enter a crucial stretch in their playoff drive ahead of a brutal, road-heavy March schedule, with Detroit now looking as if it might have some interest in postseason basketball. -- Arnovitz
16. Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 28-28
If not for Rajon Rondo's heroics at the buzzer in Boston on Friday night, the Lakers would be in a free fall, having dropped two games by a combined 65 points to Indiana and Philadelphia. In the four games since his return, LeBron James has averaged 22 points, 10.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists -- numbers indicative of Facilitator LeBron. -- Arnovitz
17. Charlotte Hornets
Record: 27-28
Kemba Walker has scored 30-plus points in four straight games. The Hornets' lone All-Star has scored at least 30 points 17 times this season. Walker has scored a franchise-record 11,285 points, and no other player in franchise history has scored more than 10,000. -- Spears
18. Dallas Mavericks
Record: 26-29
The Mavs' makeover before the trade deadline clearly was focused on the future, but Dallas definitely isn't tanking. The Mavs want to convey the top-five-protected pick they owe to the Hawks from the Luka Doncic deal, and they don't necessarily think trading every starter except Doncic damages their chances, considering that group had the worst plus-minus (minus-58) of any starting five in the NBA. Dallas has won three of four games in which Doncic has played since the blockbuster deal with the Knicks. -- MacMahon
19. Detroit Pistons
Record: 25-29
Detroit, in the midst of a three-game win streak, enjoyed one of its better victories of the season a week ago when it blew out a short-handed Nuggets club. The Pistons shook up their roster, dealing away swingman Reggie Bullock and forward Stanley Johnson and cutting Henry Ellenson to add Wayne Ellington, Thon Maker and Svi Mykhailiuk for the homestretch of the season. After Miami's loss Sunday, the Pistons now sit in a tie for the eighth playoff spot in the East. -- Herring
20. Miami Heat
Record: 25-29
The Heat are halfway through a grueling, six-game road trip in which they already have faced the Warriors, Trail Blazers and Kings and will challenge the Nuggets, Mavericks and 76ers before they return home. The All-Star break will give them a respite before the last game of the trip, which they might need to regroup as they enter this week losers of five of their past six games. -- Snellings
21. Washington Wizards
Record: 24-32
Looking at the writing on the wall following the news that John Wall had ruptured his Achilles tendon during a fall at home, the Wizards dealt Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls in exchange for Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and a second-round pick. The move essentially allowed Washington an opportunity to wipe a big contract off the books (Portis is a restricted free agent, and Parker has a team option for next year) while still monitoring whether it would like to keep either player around beyond this season. -- Herring
22. Orlando Magic
Record: 25-32
The Magic took advantage of their unique situation to take a low-risk, huge-reward swing at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Markelle Fultz. Fultz ranked as the best draft prospect and went with the first overall pick in 2017. If he is able to regain his health and form in Orlando, outside of the spotlight and expectations of the larger Philadelphia market, then the Magic could have the future perimeter leader they have needed to complement their talented, young crew of big men. -- Snellings
23. Minnesota Timberwolves
Record: 25-30
The Timberwolves have posted a 6-9 record with four straight losses since Ryan Saunders became interim head coach, replacing Tom Thibodeau on Jan. 6. To Saunders' credit, however, the Wolves have been plagued by injuries since he took over, playing mostly without starters Jeff Teague and Robert Covington and reserves Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose. The schedule doesn't ease up before the All-Star break, with the Clippers and Rockets next. -- Spears
24. New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 25-32
Anthony Davis' playing time will be a central storyline in the Pelicans' soap opera the rest of the season. It's a no-win situation for New Orleans with it all but a certainty that Davis will be traded this summer. There is the obvious injury risk, and Davis is too dominant for the Pelicans to improve their lottery odds much if he's in the lineup, as evidenced by the plus-24 in 59 minutes since the trade deadline passed. -- MacMahon
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Record: 23-34
One factor in the Grizzlies' not pulling the trigger on trading Mike Conley -- aside from teams not meeting Memphis' high asking price -- was his value as a mentor for Jaren Jackson Jr. The rookie is the future face of the Grizzlies franchise, and Conley is willing and able to provide guidance as Jackson grows into that role. Unlike Marc Gasol, who wanted a chance to contend for a title, Conley wanted to stay in Memphis. -- MacMahon
26. Atlanta Hawks
Record: 18-38
Though his shot selection remains league average for an NBA guard, Trae Young has assembled his most efficient stretch of his rookie season over the past nine games. Young has compiled a true shooting percentage of 62 over that span, including a 43.3 percent clip from beyond the arc. All the while, he's distributing more assists and committing fewer turnovers. Next on the agenda? Defense, where Young is the league's least effective player according to ESPN's real plus-minus. -- Arnovitz
27. Chicago Bulls
Record: 13-43
Realizing they wouldn't be a player for the NBA's most coveted free agents this summer, the Bulls swung a deal for forward Otto Porter Jr., who will take up considerable cap space by making more than $53 million over the next two years. But as a two-way talent who doesn't require many shots, he could be a great fit next to Lauri Markkanen (who had three straight 30-point games this past week for the first time in his career) and Zach LaVine (three straight games of 20 points and five assists for the first time). -- Herring
28. Phoenix Suns
Record: 11-47
The Suns lost their 14th straight game of the season at Sacramento on Sunday and are one loss shy of the franchise record for consecutive defeats. Next up for the Suns are the Clippers in the second game of a five-game road trip, which ends with post-All-Star dates in Cleveland, Atlanta and Miami. -- Spears
29. Cleveland Cavaliers
Record: 11-45
Cleveland's matchup with the Knicks on Monday night marks a meeting between a pair of clubs that have combined for just three victories in their past 50 games. But if there was a bright side for the Cavaliers this past week, it was that they got franchise player Kevin Love back from a 50-game absence (because of surgery on his left foot) in Friday's loss to Washington. He played only six minutes but figures to see more time this week against New York or Brooklyn, if not both. -- Herring
30. New York Knicks
Record: 10-45
The Knicks have lost 16 games in a row, and they followed up their huge trade with the Mavericks by cutting veterans Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews. They did retain DeAndre Jordan, whom they have tapped as the veteran who can help lead the young players on the team. Jordan has averaged 11.0 PPG on 69.6 percent shooting with 12.3 RPG in 27.3 MPG during his first four games as a member of the Knicks, providing the efficient scoring and defense that make him valuable even to a team that is otherwise in full-on youth mode. -- Snellings