NBA Power rankings: where do the Nuggets stand after loss to Mavericks?

Mar 7, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots
Mar 7, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The latest edition of the NBA Power Rankings was released on Monday. John Schuhmann, of compiles the rankings each week, listing every team in the league from one to thirty.

After the Nuggets suffered a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer on Sunday at the hands of Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks, it was fair to wonder if the Nuggets would slip in the rankings. They had vaulted to the number one spot in the rankings last week, leapfrogging the Celtics after beating them to sweep the season series.

Where do the Nuggets stand?

But even with the loss at Dallas, the Nuggets held onto the top spot in the power rankings for the second straight week. Denver is still a league-best 11-2 since the All-Star break, the team is fully healthy, and they are getting solid production off the bench.

Since losing to Denver, the Celtics have won five straight games, all by double digits, and became the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff berth. But at least in the eyes of Schuhmann, that was not enough to surpass the Nuggets for the top spot as they stayed at number two.

I think it’s a fair assessment. Despite the Celtics’ dominant record and statistics, they have lost two tight games to the Nuggets this season. The eye test tells you that Denver is slightly better, and one close loss on the road to a desperate Mavericks team shouldn’t change that.

The rest of the top 5

The entire top four remained the same as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Milwaukee Bucks held the third and fourth spots behind the Nugs and Celts. The Thunder are currently clinging to the top seed in the Western Conference by half a game over the Nuggets. The Bucks have opened up a comfortable 1.5-game lead over the Cavaliers for the two seed in the Eastern Conference.

The only change to the top five was the Minnesota Timberwolves surging up to fifth. The Clippers held the spot last week, but after a continued rough stretch of play, they’ve plummeted to seventh. A lot can change in the next few weeks, but these power rankings seem pretty instructive about which teams are the favorites to win it all.