NBA Power Rankings Week 17- Raptors and Celtics extend win streaks, Pacers fall

The 2020 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us. The week ahead represents a chance for many teams to get new additions situated before some time away.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers still lead their respective conferences, but the Toronto Raptors are coming. Winners of a franchise-record 14 straight games, the defending champs are quietly putting pressure on the Lakers for the second-best record in the NBA. And as anyone who watched last year’s NBA Finals will remember, that could matter in June for home-court advantage.

Throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Andre’ Snellings, Royce Young and Bobby Marks and The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Week 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | Training camp | Free agency | Post-Finals

1. Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 45-7
Week 16 ranking: 1

Last week, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the fourth player in NBA history, and the first since the NBA/ABA merger, to average 30 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists over a 10-game span. Antetokounmpo is accomplishing historic feats this season while still managing to rest, because the Bucks are blowing teams out with an average scoring margin of 12.5 points per game. Antetokounmpo’s 30.9 minutes per game are his fewest since his rookie season, before he became a full-time starter. — Snellings

This week: SAC, @IND


2. Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 39-12
Week 16 ranking: 2

The Lakers are 3-2 since the Jan. 26 death of Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles had a 10-3 record in January prior to the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. A memorial for Bryant and his daughter is scheduled for Feb. 24. — Spears

This week: PHX, @DEN


3. Toronto Raptors
Record: 39-14
Week 16 ranking: 3

The Raptors pulled out two one-point victories last week over the Pacers and Nets to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 14 games. They continue to win despite consistent injuries to key players, the latest of which sidelined Kyle Lowry with whiplash. The All-Star break will help them rest up and get healthy to make a late-season push for the top playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference. — Snellings

This week: MIN, @BKN


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