July 16, 2024

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After an undefeated week, the Denver Nuggets held onto the number one spot in the latest NBA.com power rankings for week 23. John Schuhmann of NBA.com compiles the weekly rankings for the league and kept the defending champs at the top.

The Nuggets supplanted the Celtics for the top spot in the rankings two weeks ago after beating Boston for the second time this season. They held the top spot last week despite losing a game to the Mavericks on an insane buzzer-beater by Kyrie Irving.

And they hold onto their lead this week even though the Celtics have won nine games in a row since their loss in Denver. But the Nugs have the best record in the league since the All-Star break at 14-2, with the only losses coming in overtime to Kevin Durant and the Suns and the aforementioned Irving heroics.

Number 1 seed in the Western Conference up for grabs

With the Oklahoma City Thunder loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night, the Nuggets were also able to move up to the number one seed in the Western Conference by half a game with just 11 games left in the regular season.

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic sat out in the team’s most recent win over the shorthanded Blazers, and those stars may well continue to rest over the next few weeks. But the team has a favorable schedule down the stretch with two games against the Grizzlies, two against the Spurs, and only one road game against a team with a winning record – the reeling Clippers.

Denver should be able to walk the tightrope of getting their guys plenty of rest, while also competing for the top seed in the West and homecourt advantage until the NBA Finals.

The rest of the power rankings

The only change in the top 5 of the rankings was the Bucks leapfrogging the Thunder after trouncing them in Milwaukee. The Celtics remained at 2nd, the Bucks jumped to 3rd, the Thunder fell to 4th, and the Timberwolves stayed at 5th.

The biggest risers in the power rankings were the Grizzlies moving up from 27th last week to 23rd this week. While the largest drop of the week belonged to the Warriors who plummeted from 16th to 19th in the league.

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