Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies are enjoying a six-game winning streak and a nine-slot jump in these power rankings below (Verse Photography/Creative Commons).

Our three panelists, Loren Lee Chen, Aaron Fischman and Joshua Fischman, independently ranked the league’s 30 teams from top to bottom. Their averaged rankings produced this 1-30 list and took into account all NBA regular-season games up until and including Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. There were no contests on Thursday, the 24th. 

Biggest Jumps: New York Knicks (+10), New Orleans Pelicans (+10), Memphis Grizzlies (+9), Boston Celtics (+8)

Biggest Drops: Miami Heat (-7), Brooklyn Nets (-6), Portland Trail Blazers (-6), Oklahoma City Thunder (-6)

  1. Golden State Warriors (13-2, Previous Rank: 3) – The Warriors nab our top spot from the Clippers after rattling off nine straight wins, most in blowout fashion. Golden State scored 149 points in its last game, sinking the Lakers, one of only two teams that have beaten the Warriors this season, by 43. Klay Thompson has shot the lights out and averaged 27 points over the team’s past four games, and Draymond Green again looks like Defensive Player of the Year material. On December 7, two days before our next set of power rankings drops, Golden State visits the Clippers in a battle that could likely determine who takes the top spot. Until then, the Warriors should cruise, playing five of their next six at home, all against teams that are not in their class. However, a rematch of the Warriors-Rockets 2015 Western Conference finals and last season’s first-round series promises to provide some intrigue and plenty of highlights. – Joshua
  2. Los Angeles Clippers (14-2, Previous Rank: 1)
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers (11-2, Previous Rank: 2)
  4.  San Antonio Spurs (12-3, Previous Rank: 5) – For the first time in 19.5 years, the Spurs are playing without Tim Duncan, who retired this past summer. But Gregg Popovich still mans the sidelines, and San Antonio remains a handful for its opponents. Despite three early-November home losses, the Spurs have since won seven straight and remain one of two unbeaten teams on the road (the Clippers are the other). Chief among the early struggles was the challenge of integrating newly acquired Pau Gasol, but that hurdle appears to have been cleared as the 36-year-old Spaniard is averaging 16.1 points per game on 52.2 percent shooting during the current winning streak. When the Spurs stood at 5-3, Gasol was averaging a mere 7.4 field-goal attempts per game compared to 13.1 shots per game during the 7-0 stretch since. In addition, Kawhi Leonard has managed to take his offensive game to greater heights yet again, leading a unit that ranks fifth in Offensive Rating (109.2) and tops the league in 3-point accuracy (39.7 percent). – Aaron
  5.  Atlanta Hawks (10-5, Previous Rank: 4)
  6. Toronto Raptors (9-6, Previous Rank: 7) – Since the last edition of our power rankings, the Toronto Raptors went 4-4, but three of their losses came against our consensus top three teams: the Cavaliers, Warriors and Clippers (the latter two losses coming in the second game of a back-to-back). On top of that, they picked up quality wins at home against the New York Knicks and on the road in Charlotte, Houston and Denver (never a given with the altitude). Since his blistering start to the season, DeMar DeRozan saw a bit of a regression to the mean in his scoring efficiency, especially during Toronto’s loss to the Kings, when he scored only 12 points on 3-15 shooting. Slight regression aside, he’s still putting up 30.5 points per game (third in the league) with a True Shooting Percentage of 56.4 percent, fairly decent for a guard who can’t shoot 3s. Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks ends a five-game road trip, after which they will enjoy home cooking for six straight games and hope to improve on their 9-6 record. – Loren
  7. Chicago Bulls (9-6, Previous Rank: 11)
  8. (Tie) Charlotte Hornets (8-6, Previous Rank: 6)
  9. (T) Houston Rockets (9-6, Previous Rank: 10)
  10. (T) Memphis Grizzlies (10-5, Previous Rank: 17) – As the Knicks and Pelicans rose 10 spots apiece from the last edition two weeks ago, the Grizzlies jumped from 17th into a three-way tie for eighth. Not too shabby. They accomplished the feat by winning six straight, including road wins in Utah, Los Angeles (over the Clippers) and Charlotte. In that Clippers game, Memphis blew a 15-point halftime lead but was saved by a late-game Marc Gasol corner 3-pointer, Conor McGregor dance and all. The clutch conversion and ensuing shimmy apparently provided some much-needed swagger, but Memphis’ elite defense gets more of the credit. Over their last six games, the Grizzlies have posted a league-leading 92.2 Defensive Rating, and while the team’s Offensive Efficiency ranks 26th for the season, it has gradually improved. – Aaron

  1. Boston Celtics (9-6, Previous Rank: 19)
  2. Utah Jazz (8-8, Previous Rank: 9)
  3. Los Angeles Lakers (8-8, Previous Rank: 13)
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-8, Previous Rank: 8)
  5. New York Knicks (7-7, Previous Rank: 25) – The upstart Knicks, who have won four of their past five, are tied with the Pelicans for the biggest leap on our list, moving up 10 spots. Second-year power forward Kristaps Porzingis has led the way, averaging 25 points over that stretch, including a career-high 35 in a hard-fought victory over the Pistons. Porzingis’ shooting has significantly improved from his rookie season and his turnover rate has diminished, despite handling the ball more often and playing roughly 4.5 additional minutes per game. In New York’s most recent win, Derrick Rose, who recently acknowledged that he is far from the MVP talent he once was, clearly outplayed Damian Lillard, scoring 18 to go along with five assists, two steals, a block and only one turnover. As for Carmelo Anthony, he is playing the best basketball we’ve seen from him in at least two years, nailing better than 47 percent this month and posting two 30+ point performances in the process. Likely not a “superteam,” the Knicks still can be pretty good. – Joshua
  6. Denver Nuggets (6-9, Previous Rank: 14)
  7. Detroit Pistons (7-9, Previous Rank: 15)
  8. Portland Trail Blazers (8-9, Previous Rank: 12) – Losers of five of their past six games, as Damian Lillard recently vented, the Blazers “kind of suck right now.” While all but one of these games came on the road, the Blazers also got trampled by the Bulls at home and two of the road losses came against teams with losing records. Portland’s problems primarily come on the defensive end, where it surrenders the most points per 100 possessions in the league, a whopping 109.7. On the other end, Lillard has been getting his points, as has fellow starting guard C.J. McCollum, but finding a reliable third scorer will ease the burden off them, and perhaps allow Dame and C.J. to focus more on improving their defense. Mo Harkless, Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner and Mason Plumlee, all wildly inconsistent offensively, have each moonlighted in that role, but none often enough to make an impact. Al-Farouq Aminu’s imminent return from a calf injury is desperately needed and should tremendously improve the team’s defense and add scoring depth instantly. Keep Portland weird, but not defensively inept! – Joshua
  9. New Orleans Pelicans (5-10, Previous Rank: 29) – The New Orleans Pelicans tied for the largest jump in the rankings this edition, and that is almost solely because of the return of point guard Jrue Holiday. Since his return, the Pelicans have rattled off four straight wins, two of them in blowout fashion. As Mason Ginsberg told us earlier this season, what the Pelicans need most is a secondary player who can alleviate some of the constant pressure placed on Anthony Davis. Not only has Holiday stepped up to fill that role, but he’s also seemed to light a fire under starting point guard Tim Frazier, who is fighting to keep that starting spot by averaging over 15 points, 11 assists and four rebounds in the four games since Jrue’s return. – Loren
  10. Milwaukee Bucks (6-7, Previous Rank: 16)
  11. Indiana Pacers (7-9, Previous Rank: 21)
  12. Sacramento Kings (6-9, Previous Rank: 20)
  13. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-10, Previous Rank: 23)
  14. Washington Wizards (4-9, Previous Rank: 26) – The Washington Wizards are yet again a conundrum this season. In his last two games, Bradley Beal has scored a total of 76 points, showing again why the tandem of he and John Wall was once considered one of the best backcourts in the NBA. And yet, those two games resulted in a loss to the Heat (25th in our rankings) and just a five-point win over our 27th-ranked Suns that required a fourth-quarter comeback to secure. Two games before that, the Wizards allowed 109 points in a loss against the Sixers, who were playing without Joel Embiid. Earlier this season, Marcin Gortat said they have “one of the worst benches in the league right now” and in terms of Net Rating, he’s not wrong; only the Sixers and the Pacers are worse. – Loren
  15. Miami Heat (4-10, Previous Rank: 18) – After a 2-2 start to the Post-Dwyane Wade Era in South Beach, Miami has won just two of its last 10 games. On back-to-back nights in mid-November, the Heat fought valiantly without starting point guard Goran Dragic but still lost narrowly to the Spurs (on the road) and Hawks. In addition to the three games missed by Dragic (Miami went 0-3), southpaw sophomore stud Justise Winslow continues to be sidelined by a sore left wrist. Those two injuries certainly hurt, but through it all Miami has played stellar defense, particularly impressive given Winslow’s five-game absence. The broader problem, however, is a lack of offensive firepower. Hassan Whiteside’s monstrous averages of 17.9 points, 15.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks should be celebrated, but his efforts will largely go to waste unless the Heat can considerably improve upon their abysmal 97.4 Offensive Rating (only the Magic, 76ers and Mavericks are worse). – Aaron
  16. Orlando Magic (6-9, Previous Rank: 28)
  17. Phoenix Suns (5-11, Previous Rank: 24)
  18. Brooklyn Nets (4-10, Previous Rank: 22)
  19. Philadelphia 76ers (4-11, Previous Rank: 30)
  20. Dallas Mavericks (2-12, Previous Rank: 27) – Amazingly, the Sixers have climbed out of their seemingly permanent spot at the bottom of the rankings courtesy of a strong week and the Dallas Mavericks catching the injury bug hard this season, with Deron Williams and J.J. Barea still inactive, Andrew Bogut hobbled and Dirk Nowitzki just returning. Thanks to their current seven-game slide, the Mavericks have dipped into the bottom five in Offensive Rating, True Shooting Percentage, Assist Percentage, Assist-to-Turnover Ratio, Rebounding Percentage and Pace. The schedule doesn’t get easier from here either, with games against the Cavaliers, Spurs, Bulls and the Hornets (twice) looming before our next update. Harrison Barnes’ offensive growth may be the lone silver lining. – Loren

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to compare these rankings to those in our previous edition, by all means have at it.