NBA Bubble Power Rankings: August 9th Edition

Hasn’t this been the best week of basketball ever? It’s like March Madness and Christmas Day all put together. We’ve seen some amazing teams and had our fair-share of surprises in Orlando thus far.

But more on that later. Right now, it’s time for Hardwood Nation’s second edition of NBA Bubble Power Rankings. Where does your team rank after their first four or five games of play? Let’s find out.

Tier 1: Thanks for Coming Out!

22. Washington Wizards

Previous Ranking: 22

Bubble record: 0-5

We saw it coming, Washington is fodder for the playoff-bound teams. Troy Brown Jr. has been a nice surprise though. 

21. Sacramento Kings

Previous Ranking: 18

Bubble record: 1-4

Good news: The Kings are scoring 118 points per game in the bubble. Bad news: The Kings are allowing 122 per game in the bubble. Entertaining basketball, but not winning basketball.

20. Brooklyn Nets

Previous Ranking: 21

Bubble record: 3-2

Okay, okay, that win against the Milwaukee Bucks was awesome. Giannis didn’t play in the second half, but it was still a great game. The Nets have a winning record in the bubble, but let’s be real, they beat the Washington Wizards and the Sacramento Kings. The Celtics scored 149 on the Nets in regulation, don’t be deceived by the three wins.

19. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous Ranking: 16

Bubble record: 1-4

Congratulations Memphis! You win the award for most disappointing team in the bubble. Jaren Jackson Jr. was fantastic, but the Grizzlies’ playoff chances went away with him after his unfortunate injury. This team will be fun to watch next year, but consider them finished for now.

18. Orlando Magic

Previous Ranking: 19

Bubble record: 2-3

The loss of Jonathan Isaac is just too much for this team to overcome. The Magic simply don’t have enough firepower to overcome the loss of his defense. Get well soon big guy.

17. New Orleans Pelicans

Previous Ranking: 15

Bubble record: 2-3

It’s hard to see a world where head coach Alvin Gentry keeps his job this offseason. The offense is completely stagnant without Zion Williamson, and he’s clearly not conditioned well enough to play serious minutes.

New Orleans is a strong contender for League Pass Team of the Year next season, but good luck staying awake watching their last few games of this season.

16. Utah Jazz

Previous Ranking: 12

Bubble record: 2-4

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Utah is close to blowing the team up. One of Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert will probably be on another team next season, and it’s not going to be the Spider.

The Clippers or Nuggets are going to catch a break facing Utah in the first round.

Tier 2: Better than Expected

15. San Antonio Spurs

Previous Ranking: 17

Bubble record: 3-2

We all thought the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge would be too much to overcome, but man, we should never count a Popovich-coached team out. The young guards have been solid and DeMar DeRozen has been terrific. The Spurs are in a great position to sneak into the ninth seed.

14. Phoenix Suns

Previous Ranking: 20

Bubble record: 5-0

Phoenix has been the biggest surprise of the bubble. Did anyone have the Suns as the last undefeated team? Devin Booker finally has his chance to show his talent on the big stage, and he’s taking advantage.

There might not be enough games left for Phoenix to catch San Antonio, Memphis and Portland in the standings, but place your bets on the Suns keeping it up next year.

Click on the next page to see what teams aren’t quite living up to their potential yet

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