NBA Power Rankings: Week 1

NBA Power Rankings: Week 1

This is the first segment of the weekly NBA power rankings. Each ranking will rate teams based off their performances to date for the NBA season.

Last year’s results or standings do not matter. This is strictly grading teams on how they have played in for the 2017 – 2018 year. It’s all team record cause you can look at every analytical tool and measures you want or look at a roster but at the end of the day, you are what your record says you are.

Each ranking will include the team’s record, who the player of the week was for that team and who was their standout rookie.

Let’s begin:

30. Phoenix Suns – Record: 0-3 

The Suns are already the front runner for a top three selection in the upcoming draft. Head coach Earl Watson has been fired after three games, Eric Bledsoe has tweeted he wants out and has been now suspended from the team, and the team is losing by a combined 30.6 points per game. The Suns have surrendered 124, 130 and 132 points this year.

Team MVP: Devin Booker – 16.7 points, 4.0 assists, 6.7 rebounds

Best Rookie: Josh Jackson – 11.7 points, 0.7 assists, 1.0 rebounds

29. Dallas Mavericks – Record 0-3 

Not the start Mavs fans had in mind. Dennis Smith Jr is banged up and has not played the last two games, winnable home games against the rebuilding Hawks and Kings were lost, and Dirk is finally starting to show his age a bit with a real slow start. Yogi Ferrell continues to be a bright spot for the Mavs.

Team MVP: Harrison Barnes – 17.3 points, 2.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds

Best Rookie: Dennis Smith – 16 points, 10 assists and 3 rebounds (one game)

28. Philadelphia 76ers – Record 0-3 

“The Process” is off to a slow start in a season filled with expectations. A preseason over/under total of 42.5 was placed on the sixers and the 0-3 start may have some gamblers worried. The Sixers did drop the first three games to playoff teams last season but to be a playoff team you have to win some of these games. Embiid and Simmons have shown to be 100% healthy and dominate at times which is a positive outlook.

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Team MVP: Ben Simmons – 15.7 points, 6.0 assists, 10.3 rebounds

Best Rookie: ^^^^^

27. Chicago Bulls – Record 0-2

The Bulls are likely headed for an extremely long season. The roster is deprived of talent and resembles more of a G-League squad than an actual NBA team. The team has already lost Bobby Portis (suspension) and Nikola Mirotic (Bobby Portis broke his cheek bone with a sucker punch).

Team MVP: Robin Lopez – 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

Best Rookie: Lauri Markkanen – 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 35.7% from three

26. New York Knicks – Record 0-2

Post Carmelo Anthony Era is off to a rough start. Willy Hernangomez is currently being benched despite being all rookie first team a year ago, Frank Ntilikina is out with a sprained ankle, and the team blew a huge lead against the Pistons to spoil the home opener. The good news? Kristaps Porzinigis is becoming a star and looks very comfortable as the number one scoring option.

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Team MVP: Kristaps Porzingis – 32 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1 block,  38.5% from three

Best Rookie – no rookie has played enough to warrant a spot here

25. Los Angles Lakers

The Lakers lone win came against the pathetic Suns. The Lakers currently employ 7 guys averaging over 11 points per game. The problem? They can’t defend anyone. It does not help if you score 112 points a night if your giving up 119. The Lakers are also getting killed on the glass giving up 6 more boards per game.

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Team MVP: Lonzo Ball – 13.3 points, 8.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds

Best Rookie ^^^^^ averaging close to a triple double through first 3 games.. not a bad start for Big Baller Brand

24. Atlanta Hawks – Record 1-2 

The Hawks are in full rebuild mode. A surprise for the franchise which is still the current leader for most consecutive playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks continue to get a balanced scoring attack but the defense has suffered with younger players to start giving up 112 points per game.

Team MVP – Dennis Schroeder -23.3 points, 6.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds

Best Rookie: John Collins – 11.0 points, 6.7 rebounds in only 19.7 minutes a game

23. Sacramento Kings – Record 1-2

The Kings have been competitive in two of three games this season. The team is one of the youngest in the NBA led by veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph. The Kings are a super fun league pass team to watch although they may not win a ton of games. However, it is easy to believe they are headed in right direction.

Team MVP: Willie Cauley-Stein – 11 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 55.6 FG%

Best Rookie: De’Aaron Fox – 13.7 points, 5.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds

22. Indiana Pacers: Record 1-2

The only thing exciting about the Pacers is Myles Turner. The rest of the roster is fairly boring and maybe the least enticing league pass team unless your still interested in the antics of Lance Stephenson.

Team MVP: Victor Oladipo -22.3 points, 3.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds

Best Rookie: TJ Leaf – 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 60.0 FG%

21. New Orleans Pelicans: Record 1-2

Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins are putting up insane numbers nightly. The duo has combined for an average of 60 points per game and 28 rebounds. Like I said… INSANE. However, the rest of the team is a huge question mark. Rajon Rondo is still out with an injury and the team just brought in Jameer Nelson to help the bench.

Team MVP: It’s a tie between Davis and Cousins

Best Rookie: No rookie has played to warrant a spot here.

20. Boston Celtics – Record 1-2

The Gordon Hayward injury on opening night was a huge damper on the Celtics season. It effectively ended all hopes of getting to the NBA Finals as the team now lacks the star power and depth to get past Cleveland. The Celtics should still be able to win a round come playoff time.

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Team MVP: Kyrie Irving – 20 points, 5.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds

Best Rookie: Jayson Tatum – 12.3 points, 1.7 assists, 9.0 rebounds

19. Oklahoma City Thunder – Record: 1-2

The trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George are still adjusting to playing with one another and learning how to play as a team. The Thunder have a bunch of new faces and will likely take a half a season until they are fully comfortable as a unit. The lack of bench depth will continue to be a major factor as the three stars will need to produce for the whole season. The loss vs. the Timberwolves will likely be one of the better NBA games this season.

Team MVP: Russell Westbrook – 19.3 points, 11.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds (triple-double season part 2?)

Best Rookie: Neither Dakari Johnson or Terrence Ferguson has played much to qualify them

18. Golden State Warriors – Record 1-2

Tell you the truth it seems impossible to rank the Warriors this low. But hey, you are what your record says you are and through the first three games, the Warriors have struggled. They’ve dropped games to the Rockets and Grizzlies and survived a comeback effort from the Pelicans. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have both been tossed out of a game before Draymond Green? Anyone see that coming?

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Brandon Dill/ AP

Team MVP: Steph Curry – 29 points, 5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 41.9% from three

Best Rookie: Jordan Bell – 4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 85.7% from the field

17. Miami Heat – record 1-1

The Heat have split their games with the Pacers and Magic. Whiteside was forced to miss the last game with an injury but the team still has solid depth behind him. The Heat are not built with star power but play 11 guys on a given night.

Team MVP: Goran Dragic -20 points, 4.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds

Best Rookie: No rookie has played to qualify

16. Charlotte Hornets – record 1-1

Dwight Howard has been a solid addition to the Hornets front court and has shown to still be an effective player in the paint. Howard is pulling in 15 rebounds a game. Kemba Walker is playing like an all star. The Hornets have a thin bench with Nicolas Batum on the shelf for another 6 weeks.

Team MVP: Kemba Walker – 25 points, 6.5 assists, 5 rebounds

Best Rookie: Dwayne Bacon – 7 points, 1 assist, 6.5 rebounds

15. Denver Nuggets – record 1-1

Nikola Jokic is off to incredibly slow start scoring the ball averaging 3.5 points in the teams first two games and the high power Denver offense has failed to crack the 100 point plateau. The team goes nine deep and there’s not much drop off from the starters to the bench.

14. Brooklyn Nets- Record 2-1

The D’Angelo Russell era is off to a good start. Russell has shown real promise as he has full reign over the Nets offense. The loss of Jeremy Lin for the season likely ends all dream playoff hopes but expect the Nets to fare a lot better this year. The combination of Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Demarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe allow the Nets to play small and match up weld defensively.

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Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell – 21 points, 7 assists, 4.3 rebounds

Best Rookie – Jarrett Allen – 6.5 points, 3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks

13. Detroit Pistons – 2-1 

The Pistons look to be a playoff contender early on. The addition of Avery Bradley gives them a top notch defender on the wing. Reggie Jackson looks better this year and Ish Smith provides quality minutes behind him. Andre Drummond is still a force in the paint. The Pistons have played three close games and have come out on top in two of the 3 matchups.

Team MVP – Tobias Harris – 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists

Best Rookie – Luke Kennard – 6.5 points, 1 assist, 1.5 rebounds

12. Milwaukee Bucks -record: 2-1 

What can’t the Greek Freak do?!? Put your bets down on him winning the MVP right now if you can while the odds are still favorable. Antetokounmpo is taking over the league and will lead the Bucks to a top 5 finish in the East this year.

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Team MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo – 38.3 points, 5 assists, 9.7 rebounds…… UNREAL

Best Rookie – no rookie has played enough minutes to be considered

11. Utah Jazz record 2-1

The Jazz are old school and physical. They play team defense and are extremely good helping out on the weak side. Rudy Gobert controls the defensive paint and is a top 3 defensive player in the league. The defense alone will continue to carry Utah despite the loss of Gordon Hayward in free agency

Team MVP: Rudy Gobert – 14.7 points, 12 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal

Best Rookie: Donovan Mitchell – 4.7 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound

10. Cleveland Cavaliers – record 2-1

LeBron James is still LeBron James and will likely never slow down. Dwayne Wade and Jr Smith have started the year slow and are now switching spots in the rotation for a different look. Wade will now come off the bench. The Cavs are still experimenting going small with Kevin Love starting at Center.

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Team MVP: LeBron James – 25 points, 6.3 assists, 8.3 rebounds

Best Rookie – no rookie has played enough to qualify

9.  Portland Trailblazers – record 2-1

The Trailblazers feature one of the better backcourts in the NBA. CJ McCollum and Damian Lilliard can score from anywhere on the basketball court and the two play great off one another. The Blazers have found a winning way with Jusuf Nurkic as the team’s center. The Blazers are a top offense in the NBA right now scoring 116 points a game.

Team MVP: Damian Lillard – 23.7 points, 5.3 assists, 5.7 rebounds

Best Rookie: Caleb Swangigan – 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1.5 assists

8. Orlando Magic – record 2-1

Anyone else expect the Magic to completely beat down the Cavs? No one probably did but that’s exactly what happened. The Magic are scoring 117 points a night and are led by a complete balance attack. Nikola Vucevic looks primed for a breakout season.

Team MVP: Nikola Vucevic -27.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3 assists

Best Rookie – Jonathon Isaac -6 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds

7. Minnesota Timberwolves – record 2-1 

Minnesota looks primed to end that 13 year playoff drought. The additions of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford to the core of Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns makes the Wolves a dangerous team. Wiggins is taking the next time step ownernship wanted to see and is filling the box score on a nightly basis. His game winner against OKC showed the type of talent he possesses.

Team MVP: Andrew Wiggins – 24.7 points, 1.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds \

Best Rookie: No rookie has played minutes

6. San Antonio Spurs – record 2-0

The Spurs are off to a fast start yet again and Kawhi Leornard has not even played a minute yet. The team will only get better once he returns healthy. Spurs still employ the best head coach in the league

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USA Today – SI

Team MVP: Lamarcus Aldridge – 26.5 points, 3.5 assists, 10 rebounds

Best Rookie – no rookie qualifies

5. Toronto Raptors – record 2-0 

Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan still leading the charge north of the border. The Raptors are scoring 122.5 points a night to begin the year. An excellent start to their season in which people were questioning how good they may be. Time will tell but so far so good.

Team MVP – Demar Derozan – 20.5 points, 4 assists, 4.5 rebounds

Best Rookie – OG Anunoby – 6 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds

4. Washington Wizards – record 2-0 

The Wizards have won both games in close fashion. They have not looked dominate but they closed games out. The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is better than Lowry and Derozan which gives them the edge here.

Team MVP – John Wall – 27 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds

Best Rookie – no rookie has qualified yet

3. Los Angeles Clippers – record 2-0 

Hey, the Clippers are this high due to playing the lowly Lakers and Suns in the first two games but they won both in dominate fashion. Milos Teodosic is out indefinitely with a foot injury which hurts the depth going forward. \

Team MVP: Blake Giffin – 29 points, 3.5 assists, 10 rebounds

Best Rookie: Milos Teodosic – 5.5 points, 4 assists, 0.5 rebounds

2. Memphis Grizzlies –  2-0

The Grizzlies look really impressive to begin the year in what many pegged as a down year to come. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley continue to be the two most underrated players in the league. The Grizzlies have beaten both the Pelicans and Warriors by double digits and they continue to get contributions from unlikely players.

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Team MVP – Marc Gasol -24 points, 3 assists, 12.5 rebounds

Best Rookie – Dillon Brooks – 14 points, 2 assists, 3.5 rebounds

1. Houston Rockets – record 3-0

Chris Paul has only appeared in one of the three games and could be out a month but the Rockets have not skipped a beat in his absence. Harden continues to play at an MVP level and continues to show he’s capable of carrying a franchise on his lonesome. Eric Gordon is off to a real hot start and is gunning for another 6th man of the year award. The Rockets don’t have a ton of depth but they score a ton of points and it’s hard for the opponent to catch up.

Team MVP – James Harden – 27.7 points, 8.7 assists, 4 rebounds

Best rookie – no rookie has qualified yet

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USA TODAY

 

 

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