NBA Power Rankings: Bucks, Lakers Are Teams to Beat at All-Star Break

Jordan Cohn
February 14, 2020 - 11:33 am

The Orlando Magic were 27-32 at the All-Star break this time last season, sitting at No. 10 in the standings. The back end of the Eastern Conference was a jumbled mess, with the No. 7 seed and the Magic separated by just two games.

Markelle Fultz was the only player they acquired at the deadline, making a deal with the 76ers in exchange for Jonathon Simmons and a draft pick.

Over the next two-ish months, Orlando went 15-8, leaping over the Heat, the Hornets and the Pistons to secure the No. 7 seed.

On the opposite side of the country, the Sacramento Kings were 30-27, boasting a record that left them just two games outside of the playoff picture.

Looking to build upon their early season success and surge into the playoffs, the Kings moved forward on one of the biggest moves of the 2019 deadline, adding veteran Harrison Barnes to their corps for the rest of the season.

But instead of improving, the Kings trended in the other direction, finishing at 39-43 and missing out on the playoffs by a nine-game margin.

All of this is to say that change can still occur after the trade deadline (or in the Kings’ case, it might not), though much of the playoff picture is largely established at this point in the year. However, shifting is common within the top eight teams of each conference, and there’s an interesting scenario unfolding toward the bottom of the playoff race in the West.

Here are the power rankings as we enter the All-Star break, indicating how the remainder of the season may unfold for various squads.

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