NBA Power Rankings midseason reset: Milwaukee Bucks who we thought they’d be

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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NBA Power Rankings T.J. Warren
Indiana Pacers T.J. Warren (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

32-23. Previous: . Indiana Pacers. 13. team. 100.

Last week: Lost to Brooklyn 106-105, beat Milwaukee 118-111

This week: Friday at New York

A recent six-game losing streak dropped the Indiana Pacers down a notch in the NBA Power Rankings after they had been right at their preseason rating of No. 12. The Pacers did break that skid before the All-Star break with a surprising home victory over the Bucks.

Indiana has 27 games remaining and with a .499 winning percentage, their schedule ranks as the 16th-toughest remaining slate according to Tankathon.

Home (12): Feb. 25 Charlotte, Feb. 27 Portland, March 10 Boston, March 18 Golden State, March 20 Miami, March 21 Cleveland, March 23 Phoenix, March 27 Houston, April 3 Brooklyn, April 5 Washington, April 11 Orlando, April 13 San Antonio
Away (15): Feb. 21 at New York, Feb. 23 at Toronto, Feb. 29 at Cleveland, March 2 at San Antonio, March 4 at Milwaukee, March 6 at Chicago, March 8 at Dallas, March 14 at Philadelphia, March 25 at Orlando, March 29 at Sacramento, March 30 at Clippers, April 1 at Lakers, April 7 at Miami, April 8 at Boston, April 15 at Washington

Indiana is six games clear of the Nets in sixth place in the East, two games behind the 76ers and 3½ in back of the Heat for the fourth spot and home-court advantage in the first round.

Game of the first half: This one doesn’t take much of a rewind, as T.J. Warren went off for 35 points in a 118-111 win over the Bucks Wednesday to close out the first half of the season. Warren was 16-for-19 from the floor and 1-of-2 from deep, adding seven rebounds and four steals.

. 33-22. Previous: . Oklahoma City Thunder. 12. team. 149

Last week: Lost to Boston 112-111, lost to San Antonio 114-106, won at New Orleans 123-118

This week: Friday vs. Denver

Along with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder are the biggest surprises of the NBA’s first half. We had the Thunder — who traded away superstars Russell Westbrook and Paul George last summer — at No. 20 in the preseason NBA Power Rankings, but OKC has been terrific (28-12) after a 5-10 start.

The Thunder still have some work to do — with 27 games to go, their remaining schedule strength of .512 is the 13th most-difficult in the NBA, according to Tankathon.

Home (12): Feb. 21 Denver, Feb. 23 San Antonio, Feb. 27 Sacramento, March 3 Clippers, March 11 Utah, March 13 Minnesota, March 20 Denver, March 26 Charlotte, April 1 Phoenix, April 7 Brooklyn, April 10 New York, April 13 Utah
Away (15): Feb. 25 at Chicago, Feb. 28 at Milwaukee, March 4 at Detroit, March 6 at New York, March 8 at Boston, March 15 at Washington, March 17 at Memphis, March 18 at Atlanta, March 23 at Miami, March 28 at Golden State, March 30 at Denver, April 4 at Clippers, April 5 at Lakers, April 11 at Memphis, April 15 at Dallas

Oklahoma City currently holds the sixth spot in the West right now, holding a tiebreaker over the Mavericks based on better record within the conference (22-14 to 19-14). The Thunder are 4½ games up on eighth-place Memphis and trail fifth-place Houston by 1½ games and fourth-place Utah by 3½.

Game of the first half: Chris Paul helped ice a 109-106 win over the visiting Bulls on Dec. 16, hitting two free throws with one second remaining. Paul has been something of a revelation since coming to the Thunder in an offseason trade from Houston, as the 34-year-old has already played in 54 games (missing one for personal reasons).

That comes after playing 58 games in each of the last two seasons with the Rockets and not topping 70 since 2015-16. Against the Bulls, Paul had 30 points with 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals, hitting 9-of-12 overall and canning 6-of-8 from 3-point range.