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NBA power rankings: Is this the moment for the Warriors to make a big run?

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Don’t look now but here come the Golden State Warriors.

The dynasty that won four championships in eight seasons has won four in a row and seven of the last 10 games, climbing back to .500 as the All-Star break nears. Golden State didn’t make major additions at the trade deadline, believing internal improvement was the key to a return to contention in a Western Conference minefield. The minefield remains but the Warriors have gotten better. Draymond Green’s return has made this a top-5 defensive team over the last 10 games, while Jonathan Kuminga continues to blossom. If Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson can round into form and be more consistent, this team has enough around superstar Stephen Curry to rediscover its championship mettle.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also keep winning. They’ve rattled off nine in a row entering Monday’s clash and do have a chance to make it 11 in a row if they can beat the struggling 76ers and lackluster Bulls. Donovan Mitchell is playing like a superstar, while Cleveland got some reinforcements with Darius Garland and Evan Mobley coming back from injuries. The Cavaliers still have a sour taste in their mouths after losing in the first round of the playoffs last year, and they appear to be setting themselves up for a deep run this time around.

Two Eastern Conference contenders are making Cleveland’s path a bit easier. The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers are both mired in a rut ahead of the break. The Bucks are 4-6 in their last 10 and had lost three in a row before getting an easy win over the lowly Hornets. The coaching switch from Adrian Griffin to Doc Rivers hasn’t paid any dividends right now, and Milwaukee would want to figure things out over the break. The 76ers have felt Joel Embiid’s absence, going 2-8 in their last 10. They are fifth in the East and are just 2.5 games ahead of being in the first play-in game. That’s not a place Philadelphia would like to be.

The upcoming All-Star break will allow teams to settle and make tweaks while not having games to get through. Here’s our latest championship index for the 2023-24 NBA season.

Contenders

1. Boston Celtics (+265 to win title at DraftKings Sportsbook)

2. Denver Nuggets (+450)

3. Los Angeles Clippers (+600)

4. Phoenix Suns (+1300)

5. Milwaukee Bucks (+650)

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (+2500)

7. New York Knicks (+2000)

8. Oklahoma City Thunder (+2500)

9. Cleveland Cavaliers (+3500)

Fringe Contenders

10. Dallas Mavericks (+3000)

11. Miami Heat (+4000)

12. Philadelphia 76ers (+2200)

13. Los Angeles Lakers (+3000)

14. New Orleans Pelicans (+6000)

15. Sacramento Kings (+6500)

16. Golden State Warriors (+5500)

17. Indiana Pacers (+12000)

18. Orlando Magic (+25000)

Pretenders

19. Utah Jazz (+60000)

20. Chicago Bulls (+60000)

21. Houston Rockets (+60000)

22. Atlanta Hawks (+40000)

Tankers

23. Brooklyn Nets (+100000)

24. Memphis Grizzlies (+100000)

25. Toronto Raptors (+100000)

26. Charlotte Hornets (+100000)

27. Portland Trail Blazers (+100000)

28. San Antonio Spurs (+100000)

29. Washington Wizards (+100000)

30. Detroit Pistons (+100000)

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