NBA Power Rankings: Week 3

Every NBA team is now either 8 to 11 games deep into the season. The season is actually moving pretty quick. It’s still early but there is enough sample size to determine how teams are playing so far.

Here’s a look at the teams rank at the current moment. Remember all rankings are just based off this year performance. Last’s seasons results and players prior history has no impact.

30. Dallas Mavericks – record 1-10

It’s sad to see Dirk waste his final years on the worst team in the league but that’s exactly what Mark Cuban’s Mavericks are. The Mavericks are the third worst scoring team in the league and are being outscored by 9.9 points per game.

29. Sacramento Kings – record 1-8

The NBA’s version of the Cleveland Browns. The Kings are just a franchise you just expect to be at the bottom of the league year in and year out. The team is clearly in a full blown rebuild but a seven game losing streak is never good. The Kings are a bottom two offense in the league and what’s the real purpose of having George Hill, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter on the roster?

28. Atlanta Hawks – record 2-8

The Hawks are coming off a two point victory over Cleveland which ensured they would not be in the bottom two of the rankings. The Hawks have the lowest point differential among all teams in the Eastern Conference.

27. Chicago Bulls – record 2-6

The Bulls are the lowest scoring team in the Eastern Conference and score only 91.9 points per game. Lauri Markkannen has been a huge bright spot and has played way better than expected. 16.3 points per game with 9 rebounds on 38% shooting from three is a great start for the Finnish forward.

26. Brooklyn Nets – record 3-6

The Nets started hot winning three of their first five. However, a four game losing streak has dampened the mood in Brooklyn and the team continues to revert to bad habits. The Nets are the only team in the East without a road win.

25. Phoenix Suns – record 4-6

The Suns are 4-3 since they have fired head coach Earl Watson and suspended Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe is still suspended and the Suns are continuing to try find the right deal for him. Expect the Suns to hold out for a long time until they get the deal they want.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers – record 4-6

The Cavs seem to be getting worse at the moment. The defense is horrible and there’s not a single player on the roster that you can consider a plus defender besides LeBron James. Speaking of LeBron his 57 point, 11 rebound, 7 assist game will be one of the best games played by anyone all season. Want to know how bad the Cavs defense is? They are giving up the second most points in the East. That will not improve with their current roster.

23. Milwaukee Bucks – record 4-5

The Bucks are free falling a bit with a current three game losing streak and have lost those three games by an average of 11 points a game. Antetokounmpo is still doing Greek Freak things with season averages of 31 points, 9.9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks.

22. Miami Heat – record 4-5

The Heat have been underwhelming as everyone expected them to be a top 5 east due to their 31-10 finish last year. People forget they started the year 10-31. They are an inconsistent team and it’s showing that way to begin this year.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder – record 4-5 

The Thunder are off to a slow start and have yet to win a game decided by single digits. The failure to win close games is probably due to the fact the three stars have yet to adjust to playing with one another. That and the Thunder bench is probably a bottom 5 bench unit in the league.

20. Charlotte Hornets – record 5-5

Six teams are tied with a 5-5 record in the NBA. We’ll rank them strictly based off point differential. The Hornets have dropped their past two games by an average of 12.5 points and are off to a 1-4 road start.

19. Los Angeles Lakers – record 5-5 

The Lakers are playing better that most would have expected to begin the year and that’s with the struggles of Lonzo Ball. Ball is really struggling with his aggressiveness and willingness to shoot the basketball. Watching Ball play, it’s clear he has difficulty creating separation to get clean looks.

18. Utah Jazz – record 5-5

The Jazz are 5-1 at home and 0-4 on the road. The Jazz play well at home because they are a strong defensive team and feed off the home crowd energy. If they stay close to .500 on the road, the Jazz will remain in the playoff picture all year.

17. Denver Nuggets – record 5-5 

The Nuggets have been up and down for the year in a season filled with postseason expectations. The Nuggets will need to improve upon their defense in order to break their postseason drought. Giving up 106 points a game is not always going to cut it.

16. New Orleans Pelicans – record 5-5

The Pelicans are 1-3 at home but are 4-2 on the road. You figure the team will start playing better at home which will lead to more wins. As long as Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins are healthy and playing each night, the Pelicans will be a difficult opponent for everyone. No other team can match up with the talent in the front court.

15. Indiana Pacers – record 5-5

Oladipo and Sabonis are making Pacers management looking like winners from the Paul George trade. Both have been off to great starts and have been focal points of keeping the Pacers afloat. It’s unknown how long it’ll last but so far so good for the Pacers. Getting Myles Turner back in the lineup after he recovered from his concussion.

14. Philadelphia 76ers – record 5-4 

Embiid and Simmons are simply dominating and carrying the Sixers during this hot stretch. After an 0-3 start, the 76ers have rattled off 5 wins in their past 6 games. The Process is becoming complete in Philadelphia.

13. New York Knicks – record 5-4

The Knicks are ranked ahead of the 76ers simply because they have a better point differential at the moment. Kristaps Porzingis is looking like the best forward currently in the NBA. Here’s KP scoring games this season: 31, 33, 12, 30, 32, 38, 19, 37, 40. Frank Ntilikina is currently leading all rookies in steals. Maybe Phil Jackson knew what he was talking about all along.

12. Toronto Raptors – record 5-4

Demar Derozan is off to a hot start pumping in 23.9 points a game. However, Kyle Lowry has been the polar opposite. The Raptors will not be a good team if Lowry continues with his 37.6% shooting from the field and 32.7% from the three.

11. Washington Wizards – record 5-4

John Wall received good news that there was no structural damage in his shoulder that would cause him to miss significant time but still there’s still some concern from a Wizards fan standpoint. The Wizards have now dropped 4 of 6 since a 3-0 start.

 10. Los Angeles Clippers – record 5-4

The Clippers have hit a bit of a rough patch after a hot start. Since the 4-0 beginning to the season the Clippers have now lost 4 of 5. Gallanari is expected to miss the next week with a injured hip which is not good for the Clippers depth on the wings.

9. San Antonio Spurs – record 6-4

The Spurs are still without Kawhi Leonard and have actually stayed a float without him. The Spurs have been hot and cold without their star. They started the year winning four straight, followed by losing four in a row, before winning their last two. The Spurs won’t be at  full go until Leonard is a 100%.

8. Orlando Magic – record 6-4

The Magic still have the third best record in the Eastern Conference but what was the conference’s best offense has hit a bit of a rut. The Magic scored over 100 points in each of their first 8 games and won 6. The last two game point totals? 83 and 88. Both losses. ‘

7. Memphis Grizzlies – record 6-4

The Grizzlies have fell down to earth a bit now having lost three of the past four. The past four contests have been decided by single digits so the Grizzlies are in every game. The Grizzlies are getting great play from Tyreke Evans who may be one of the more underrated signings of the off season.

6. Portland Trailblazers – record 6-4 

Damian Lillard is coming off a huge performance against the Thunder scoring 36 points and dishing out 13 assists. Portland now has the fourth best point differential in the West.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves – record 7-3 

The Wolves are starting to figure it out and become a legit team in the West. The front office capitalized off drafting Towns and Wiggins and decided to go for it by trading for Jimmy Butler and signing Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford. Jimmy Butler usage percentage ranks 5th on the tea which is a testament to his unselfishness and willingness to win.

4. Detroit Pistons – record 7-3  

Stan Van Gudy has got a good thing going on in Detroit. The Pistons have won 7 of their first 10 games. Andre Drummond is fully engaged and knocking down free throws while Avery Bradly and Stanley Johnson form a dynamic defensive wing duo. Tobias Harris scoring 20 a game has a huge lift offensively.

3. Golden State Warriors – record 7-3 

The Warriors are beginning to find their stride and fire at all cylinders after a surprisingly slow start to begin the season. The Warriors have now won three straight and have won each game by 19, 20, and 28 points. The Warriors are the leagues best offense scoring 120.7 points a game. It’s only a matter of time before they become number 1 in the rankings.

2. Houston Rockets – record 8-3 

The Rockets have played only four home games and are still missing Chris Paul yet so far they are off to a great start. James Harden had a magnificent game against the Jazz scoring 57 points on just 25 shots. The Rockets only trail the Warriors in points scored in the West.

1. Boston Celtics – record 8-2 

The Celtics are currently riding an NBA best 8 game winning streak and this is without Gordon Hayward. Marcus Morris has finally made his way back into the rotation after an injury forced him to miss the first 8 games. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are beginning to develop great offensive chemistry and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown is the best young wing combination in the league. Brad Stevens just wins.

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