NBA Power Rankings in January 2022
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The Suns’ lead over the rest of the league continues to grow, as they were 312 games ahead of Golden State for the NBA’s best record entering Sunday’s games. Thus, their position at the top is secure due to their six-game winning streak, but there is upheaval below them. The Phoenix Suns continue to roll, currently owning two of the season’s three double-digit victory streaks.
1. Phoenix Suns
The Suns have been a touch careless with their food recently, requiring fourth-quarter comebacks against both the Jazz (who were missing six starters) and Spurs (who were missing three starters). However, no other squad can turn it on late in games like this one. Through three quarters, the Suns have outscored their opponents by 4.7 points per 100 possessions and by an astounding 32.1 points per 100 possessions in the fourth. The greater disparity has been on offense, with Chris Paul scoring 76 points (almost twice as many as his teammates) while shooting a 73 percent effective field goal percentage in those ten fourth quarters. This includes a 14-for-22 (64 percent) shooting percentage from the mid-range.
When a team can switch it on in this manner, it can maintain leads and overcome deficits. And the Suns now own the league’s best record (34-2, with 33 straight victories) when they lead by double digits and the league’s best record (9-9, with four consecutive wins) when they trail by double digits. With a combined record of 40-9, 27 of the other 29 teams have at least twice the number of losses like this one.
2. Golden State Warriors
Golden State was mired in a five-game losing streak as a result of Stephen Curry’s health issues and Draymond Green’s injury. What is the good news? Last week, the Warriors won three of four games, including the Jazz and Mavericks. Klay Thompson, meanwhile, appears to be nearly fully recovered.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis will be a difficult team to beat in the playoffs. It has often demonstrated that a young team can compete with the big boys. Why? Ja Morant’s MVP-caliber performance. He has the Grizzlies amid a 13-game winning streak. Memphis now owns the Association’s third-best record. That is insane!
4. Miami Heat
Miami fell to the Raptors in a triple-overtime thriller on Saturday. Nevertheless, given how well Jimmy Butler is playing, the Heat should be able to continue their strong play into February. The 32-year-old swingman has averaged 26.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 9.0 assists over his last four games.
5. Philadelphia 76ers
While Joel Embiid continues to lead – and has solidified himself as an early favorite to win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player Award – Philadelphia 76ers supporters are eager to see what the team will do with Ben Simmons between now and the trade deadline.
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