NBA Playoff Standings 2021: Latest Power Rankings and Seeds for East, West

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

NBA Playoff Standings 2021: Latest Power Rankings and Seeds for East, West

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    NBA teams have between now and May 16 to claim playoff spots, improve seedings and escape (or enter) the play-in tournament.

    In other words, we're approaching the sprinting portion of the stretch run.

    Division titles are up for grabs, few teams are totally out of it—and no one is mathematically eliminated just yet—and, yes, draft lottery odds need to be decided, too.

    There's plenty for the basketball gods to sort out still, so let's lay out our latest power rankings, update the conference seeds and standings, and spotlight two teams moving in opposite directions.

NBA Power Rankings

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    1. Utah Jazz

    2. Philadelphia 76ers

    3. Phoenix Suns

    4. Los Angeles Clippers

    5. Brooklyn Nets

    6. Milwaukee Bucks

    7. Los Angeles Lakers

    8. Denver Nuggets

    9. Boston Celtics

    10. Portland Trail Blazers

    11. Dallas Mavericks

    12. Miami Heat

    13. Atlanta Hawks

    14. New York Knicks

    15. Golden State Warriors

    16. Memphis Grizzlies

    17. Charlotte Hornets

    18. San Antonio Spurs

    19. Indiana Pacers

    20. Toronto Raptors

    21. New Orleans Pelicans

    22. Washington Wizards

    23. Chicago Bulls

    24. Sacramento Kings

    25. Cleveland Cavaliers

    26. Detroit Pistons

    27. Oklahoma City Thunder

    28. Orlando Magic

    29. Minnesota Timberwolves

    30. Houston Rockets

Latest Seeds, Standings

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Eastern Conference

    1. Philadelphia 76ers: 39-18

    2. Brooklyn Nets: 38-19

    3. Milwaukee Bucks: 35-22

    4. Atlanta Hawks: 31-26

    5. Boston Celtics: 31-27

    6. New York Knicks: 31-27

    7. Miami Heat: 30-28

    8. Charlotte Hornets: 28-28

    Indiana Pacers: 26-31

    Chicago Bulls: 24-33

    Washington Wizards: 24-33

    Toronto Raptors: 24-34

    Cleveland Cavaliers: 20-37

    Orlando Magic: 18-39

    Detroit Pistons: 18-40


    Western Conference

    1. Utah Jazz: 43-15

    2. Phoenix Suns: 41-16

    3. Los Angeles Clippers: 40-19

    4. Denver Nuggets: 37-20

    5. Los Angeles Lakers: 35-23

    6. Portland Trail Blazers: 32-24

    7. Dallas Mavericks: 30-26

    8. Memphis Grizzlies: 29-27

    Golden State Warriors: 29-29

    San Antonio Spurs: 28-28

    New Orleans Pelicans: 25-32

    Sacramento Kings: 23-34

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 20-38

    Houston Rockets: 15-43

    Minnesota Timberwolves: 15-43

Stock Up: New York Knicks

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Even when the NBA brought an expanded playoff field into this season by continuing the play-in tournament, the Knicks weren't even an afterthought in postseason discussions.

    Now, Tom Thibodeau's team has a chance not merely to crash that party but also perhaps open their playoff journey inside the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden.

    'Bockers backers are believers again (finally!), and why wouldn't they be? This club is legitimately good. The sixth-seeded Knicks are tied with the fifth-seeded Celtics and only a half-game back of the fourth-seeded Hawks. New York is playing as well as anyone right now, riding a six-game winning streak and posting a dominant plus-9.1 net rating over this stretch.

    Julius Randle is showing his All-Star selection was no fluke. RJ Barrett is proving why he was the third overall pick in 2019. Derrick Rose is dialing back the clock as only a former MVP can.

    The Knicks play their tails off defensively (Thibodeau wouldn't have it any other way) and play smart basketball at the opposite end.

    New York has some tricky stretches left on the schedule—none more daunting than the six-game West Coast road trip to open May—but right now, this looks like a team that can hang with anyone.

Stock Down: Dallas Mavericks

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    It's a good thing Luka Doncic is a trick-shot master, otherwise the sky might actually be falling on the Mavericks.

    But even with the young phenom's miracle make saving a game against the gritty Grizzlies, the Mavs are not in a good place. They have just two wins over their last seven games, and even that sounds better than the reality.

    During this stretch, Dallas has posted a dismal minus-5.9 net rating (25th overall, worst among all playoff hopefuls). This isn't even a case of catching a challenging schedule at the wrong time, either. Among the losses are a nine-point defeat at the hands of the rebuilding Rockets, a two-point loss to a forgettable Spurs squad and an ugly 14-point loss to the lowly Kings.

    "As a team, it's time for us to look in the mirror," Dorian Finney-Smith told reporters. "There's nothing coach can do out there. It's us five on the court. We got to start the game off with a little more enery. We can't wait until we get hit first."

    The Mavs need to snap out of this funk—and fast. They're only a game up on the eight-seeded Grizzlies and just two ahead of the Warriors and Spurs. This is a terrible time of the year to slump, and Dallas must find a way to reverse its trajectory.