NBA Power Rankings: Latest risers and fallers

What has changed in the NBA Power Rankings this week?

Our experts rank the best teams in the league, from No. 1 to No. 30, with the Utah Jazz rising and the Brooklyn Nets sliding.

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 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | Training camp | Free agency | Post-Finals

1. Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 35-6
Week 12 ranking: 1

At 35-6, the Bucks have reached the halfway point of the season on pace for 70 wins, but they have managed to stay somewhat under the radar. Their defense has been stifling all season, allowing a league-low 101.6 points per 100 possessions. That defense is built upon controlling the paint, as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez make up the top three leaguewide in field goal percentage allowed at the rim. Antetokounmpo is also second in the league in defensive rebounds, trailing only Andre Drummond. — Snellings

This week: NY, BOS, @BKN

2. Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 32-7
Week 12 ranking: 2

Kyle Kuzma likely elevated his trade value during a 125-110 win at Oklahoma City sans LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The third-year forward scored a game-high 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 40 minutes as a starter against the Thunder. Kuzma is averaging 28 points per game in three contests as a starter this season. — Spears

This week: CLE, ORL, @HOU

3. Boston Celtics
Record: 26-11
Week 12 ranking: 3

What is the best remedy for a Boston team that had lost three straight games for the first time this season? How about a career-high 41 points from Jayson Tatum and a New Orleans team that did not have starters Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, Derrick Favors and, of course, Zion Williamson? Tatum’s performance was one of the most efficient of the season — 22 shots with 16 makes, including 6-of-9 from 3. With three weeks before the trade deadline, the Celtics will get a good test Thursday when they travel to Milwaukee to face the top team in the Eastern Conference. — Marks

This week: CHI, DET, @MIL, PHX

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