NBA Power Rankings: Cleveland out of the top 10; Houston back at No. 1

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Cavs don't have answers vs. the elite (0:44)

The struggles are real for the Cavaliers as they've underperformed against the league's best while LeBron James has the worst plus/minus since his rookie season. (0:44)

For the first time since Week 10 of our rankings, the Houston Rockets have climbed back into the No. 1 spot. After back-to-back road wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, paired with a few slip-ups from the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets are rolling and have regained the top spot heading into a trade deadline week that's sure to shake things up across the NBA.

Every week throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, Amin Elhassan and Ramona Shelburne, The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears and FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring) will rank the league's 30 teams from top to bottom, with research notes on each team provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

Previous: Week 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

1. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 38-13

Chris Paul was a force Saturday against the Cavaliers. He became the fourth player in NBA history with 200 career 20-point, 10-assist games, joining Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. Paul also recorded a plus-47 in the game, the highest single-game plus-minus of his career (regular season and playoffs). -- Matt Williams


2. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 41-12

How rare is it for the Warriors to blow an end-of-third-quarter lead? Before doing so Saturday in Denver, Golden State had won 37 straight games when leading entering the fourth. Their only prior blown fourth-quarter lead came in their opener against the Rockets. -- Michael Schwartz


3. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 39-15

Terry Rozier has stepped in nicely for the injured Kyrie Irving. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rozier became the first player since starts were first tracked in 1970-71 to record a triple-double and a 30-point game in his first two career starts. -- Jose De Leon


4. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 36-16

The Raptors, currently the No. 2 seed in the East, have a big home matchup against the top-seeded Celtics on Tuesday. In their only other meeting of the season, DeMar DeRozan missed two potential go-ahead shots in the final 20 seconds of the game, and neither team had more than a five-point lead in the fourth quarter. -- Jose De Leon


5. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 34-22

The Timberwolves have already won 34 games this season. That's more victories than they had in 11 of the previous 12 seasons. -- Michael Schwartz


6. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 34-21

The Spurs begin a season-long six-game road trip on Wednesday. Three of the six games can be seen on ESPN and ABC (Wednesday at Suns, Saturday at Warriors, Feb. 25 at Cavaliers). The Spurs are 12-15 on the road but haven't finished a season below .500 on the road since 1996-97 (8-33), the season before they drafted Tim Duncan. -- Jose De Leon


7. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 30-24

The Thunder play the Warriors for the second time this season on Tuesday. In their previous meeting, Oklahoma City won by 17 points and held Kevin Durant to 21 points on 47 percent shooting, his fewest points and worst field goal percentage against his former team. -- Jose De Leon


8. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 30-22

No John Wall, no problem for the Wizards. They have won four straight games, tied for their longest win streak this season. The Wizards have also won consecutive road games by at least 15 points for only the second time over the past 35 seasons, with the other instance occurring Feb. 12-14, 2012. -- Matt Williams


9. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 29-23

The Bucks have won six of seven games since firing Jason Kidd and are now six games over .500 for the first time this season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game over this stretch. -- Michael Schwartz


10. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 29-24

CJ McCollum scored 50 points on Wednesday against the Bulls and didn't even play the fourth quarter! According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McCollum joined Klay Thompson as the only players in NBA history to score 50 or more points and play fewer than 30 minutes in a game. He scored 28 points in the first quarter, a franchise record for any quarter. -- Matt Williams


11. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 30-21

Another national TV game, another embarrassing loss for the Cavs on Saturday against Houston. The Cavs have lost eight straight national TV games by an average of 18 points, this time after LeBron James scored just 11 points, tied for his second fewest in the past 10 seasons. -- Michael Schwartz


12. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 28-25

On Saturday, the Nuggets defeated the Warriors 115-108. It marked their fourth win against Golden State over the past three seasons, the most regular-season wins against the Warriors over that span -- Matt Williams


13. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 29-24

It's been a rough week for the Heat, as a three-game losing streak has dropped them three spots to seventh in the East. On the bright side, Goran Dragic became the first player on the current Miami roster to make an All-Star team. -- Michael Schwartz


14. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 30-24

Victor Oladipo, who will compete in this year's dunk contest, has 41 dunks on the season, second among guards behind the Sixers' Ben Simmons. -- Jose De Leon


15. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 25-25

Joel Embiid played his first career back-to-back set after Saturday's loss at Indiana. Embiid went for 24 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes but was a game-low minus-20. -- Michael Schwartz


16. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 28-24

He won't fill the void left by DeMarcus Cousins' injury, but Nikola Mirotic recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday in his Pelicans debut. Cousins and Anthony Davis are the only other Pelicans to reach those marks this season. -- Michael Schwartz


17. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 24-28

Donovan Mitchell scored 40 points for the second time this season Friday against the Suns. He is the fourth rookie with multiple 40-point games over the past 35 seasons, joining Michael Jordan (seven), Allen Iverson (five) and Blake Griffin (two). -- Jose De Leon


18. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 25-26

Andre Drummond was named to the All-Star team this week, replacing the injured John Wall, and he played like an All-Star on Saturday with his sixth 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season. That is the most in a season since Dwight Howard had nine such games in 2011-12. -- Matt Williams


19. LA Clippers
2017-18 record: 26-25

In the two games since Blake Griffin was traded, DeAndre Jordan is 4-for-12 from the floor and has scored 11 points. He had one dunk in each game: a putback on Saturday and an alley-oop dunk on Tuesday. -- Jose De Leon


20. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 21-31

The Lakers snapped an 11-game losing streak at Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon and won for just the second time in their past 14 games against the Thunder overall. The last time the Lakers won at OKC before Sunday was Oct. 27, 2011, with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in the lineup. -- Michael Schwartz


21. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 23-29

On Friday against the Pacers, Kemba Walker scored 41 points and Nicolas Batum finished with 31. It marked the second time the Hornets had a 40-point and a 30-point scorer in the same game in team history. The only other time came on Nov. 22, 1995, when Larry Johnson had 44 and Glen Rice had 33. -- Jose De Leon


22. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 23-31

Kristaps Porzingis has now recorded a 3-pointer and a blocked shot in an NBA-record 16 straight games, according to Elias. On Sunday, The Unicorn became the first Knick since Patrick Ewing with at least five blocks and four steals in a game. -- Michael Schwartz


23. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 19-35

Contenders around the league are constantly eyeing the Nets, as their performance alters the draft projections for the pick that remains Cleveland's best asset with the trade deadline looming. As it stands now, that Nets pick is projected to the be No. 6 overall, according to BPI, with a 25 percent chance of landing in the top three, a 42 percent chance of landing in the top five and 99 percent chance of landing in the top 10. -- Micah Adams


24. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 18-34

Zach LaVine has now played 10 games this season. He averaged 12.8 points per game in his first five games and didn't reach the 20-point mark in any of those games. He's scored at least 20 points in his past five games but is shooting just 37 percent over that span. -- Jose De Leon


25. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 16-37

In Friday's loss against the Celtics, Taurean Prince scored a career-high 31 points. He has scored 30 points twice this season, both have been losses. Prince and D'Angelo Russell are the only players without a win in a 30-point game this season (min. two 30-point games). -- Jose De Leon


26. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 18-34

The Grizzlies have a home-and-home coming up against the Thunder (Feb. 11 and 14). In their only other meeting of the season, Tyreke Evans missed the go-ahead 3-pointer as time expired in overtime. Evans' named has been involved in trade rumors over the past several days and hasn't played in the past three games. -- Jose De Leon


27. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 17-36

Dirk Nowitzki enters the week seven minutes shy of becoming the sixth player in NBA history to log 50,000 career NBA minutes. Nowitzki will join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes in this exclusive club. -- Michael Schwartz


28. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 16-36

The Kings rank last in offensive efficiency and are tied for last in defensive efficiency. The last team to rank last in both categories was the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. -- Jose De Leon


29. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 18-36

It was a week of records for Phoenix. On Monday, the Suns set the all-time record for consecutive games with a made 3-pointer, a streak that began in March 2004. Then, on Friday, Devin Booker set the Suns' single-season record for consecutive made free throws when he hit his 58th in a row against the Jazz. -- Michael Schwartz


30. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 15-36

The Magic face the Cavaliers on Tuesday and are looking to win multiple games against a Cleveland team featuring LeBron James for the first time since 2009-10. Orlando beat Cleveland by 21 points in their first meeting of the season and lost the past two meetings by a combined five points. -- Jose De Leon