2022 NBA Power Rankings Week 23

While the Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a disappointing NBA season, LeBron James continues to be the lone bright spot. James passed Karl Malone on Saturday night, moving into the No. 2 spot on the all-time scoring list. Though James racked up another individual milestone, his team fell to the Eastern Conference’s 11th-ranked Washington Wizards. The Lakers are running out of time to climb the Western Conference standings. At No. 10, they are five games back of the No. 8 LA Clippers and seem destined for the play-in tournament.

Elsewhere in the West, the Golden State Warriors were supposed to be complete again with Draymond Green’s return from a two-month absence, but they lost Stephen Curry for at least two weeks when he sprained a ligament in his foot on Wednesday in a loss to the Boston Celtics. The Phoenix Suns are nine games ahead of the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies, but the Warriors are trying to stay afloat at No. 3, just two games ahead of the Utah Jazz and a surging Donovan Mitchell.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, are making a late-season push out of the play-in tournament, led by Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns dropped 60 points last week against the San Antonio Spurs — the most in the NBA this season — with 32 coming in the third quarter.

And Kyrie Irving followed in Towns’ footsteps on Tuesday with 60 points of his own, a career high and a franchise record for the Brooklyn Nets. However, the Nets still find themselves headed for the play-in tournament at No. 8 in the East, just one game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Thomas breaks down all 30 teams one month before the playoffs begin.

1. Phoenix Suns (58-14)

2. Miami Heat (47-24)

3. Memphis Grizzlies (49-23)

4. Milwaukee Bucks (44-27)

5. Boston Celtics (44-28)

6. Philadelphia 76ers (43-27)

7. Golden State Warriors (47-24)

8. Dallas Mavericks (43-28)

9. Utah Jazz (45-26)

10. Denver Nuggets (42-30)

11. Chicago Bulls (41-29)

12. Minnesota Timberwolves (42-30)

13. Brooklyn Nets  (37-34)

14. Cleveland Cavaliers (41-30)

15. Toronto Raptors (40-31)

16. Charlotte Hornets (36-35)

17. Los Angeles Clippers (36-37)

18. Atlanta Hawks (35-36)

19 New Orleans Pelicans (30-41)

20. Los Angeles Lakers (30-41)

21. Washington Wizards (30-40)

22. New York Knicks (30-41)

23. San Antonio Spurs (28-44)

24. Portland Blazers (26-44)

25. Indiana Pacers (25-47)

26. Sacramento Kings (25-48)

27. Detroit Pistons (19-52)

28. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-51)

29. Orlando Magic (19-53)

30. Houston Rockets (17-54)