NBA Power Rankings, Week 15: The Eastern Conference race is tightening; the Suns are streaking

Originally posted on ESPN  |  Last updated 1/24/2022

The race atop the Eastern Conference is shaping up to be a wild one in the NBA’s second half.

The Miami Heat are the current leaders after their win over the Los Angeles Lakers combined with the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, but plenty of contenders are right behind.

Six teams — Miami, Brooklyn, the Chicago Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers — are separated by just 2.5 games. Chicago and Cleveland, two teams decimated by guard injuries, will have their work cut out as they look to stay among the East leaders.

In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns are starting to gain some distance from the Golden State Warriors, thanks to an NBA-leading six-game active win streak. But Phoenix’s run could be in danger, as the Suns face the Utah Jazz in a home-and-home series starting Monday.

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