NBA Power Rankings: Week 4

NBA Power Rankings: Week 4

Hard to believe the NBA season is already entering it’s fourth week. Every team in the league has now played between 11 or 14 games. That’s a significant portion of the season where teams have now had the ability to play both on a hot streak or a cold streak.

Here’s how the teams rank entering mid November:

30. Dallas Mavericks – record 2-12 

The Mavericks continue to be the worst team in the league despite having talent on the roster. Nerlens Noel is getting DNP – Coaches decisions, Dennis Smith is jacking up the second most shots on the team and is barely shooting 40% from the field. Dirk looks like he can barely move on the court anymore. This is going to be a horrible season in Dallas.

29. Atlanta Hawks – record 2-11

The Hawks actually defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of their two wins on the year. That says something on how bad the Cavs are at the current moment, Dennis Schroder continues to play at an all star pace averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists a night.

28. Chicago Bulls – record 2-9

The Bulls are currently on the second longest losing steak in the NBA having dropped 4 in a row and continue to boast the leagues worst offense. Lauri Markkanen has cooled down since his hot start scoring only 11.4 points on 41.2% from the field and 29.0% from three during his last five games.

27. Sacramento Kings – record 3-8 

The Bulls, Kings, and Hawks came into the season with full intentions of completing blowing their rosters up and rebuilding for future seasons. Of the three teams, the Kings are in the best position. The Kings have young talent in both the front court and back court. The entire season should be developing and giving minutes to those players. There’s literally no use for George Hill or Zach Randolph on this team.

26. Phoenix Suns – record 5-9 

After winning 4 of 5 since the firing of Head Coach Earl Watson, the Suns have reverted back to their losing ways having dropped five of the past six. Devin Booker has caught fire of late having scored 30 plus points in 2 of his past three games.

25. Brooklyn Nets – record 5-8

The Nets may have received the worst injury news of any team this week after it was announced that D’Angelo Russell will miss a few weeks with a sprained knee. Russell was averaging 20.9 points and 5.7 assists in just 27.8 minutes a night.

24. Los Angles Lakers – record  5-8 

The Lakers have now dropped three straight games and now sit in 12th place in the Western Conference. The story line of every Lakers game is Lonzo Ball and how he performs. At the moment, Ball is off to an historically bad shooting start. Ball is shooting 31.4% from the field, 25% from three and just 50% from the free throw line.

23. LA Clippers – record 5-7

The Clippers are on a free fall down the standing. The team has now dropped five in a row and currently have the NBA’s current longest losing streak. The Clippers defense has been the main area of struggle having giving up more than 104 points in each game of the losing streak.

22. Charlotte Hornets – record 5-7

The Hornets are another team that has hit a bit of a rough patch. The Hornets have now dropped four straight with a national TV game on Wednesday vs the Cavs upcoming. The Hornets are still waiting for Nicolas Batum to return to the lineup from an injury suffered in the off season

21. Indiana Pacers – record 6-8

The Pacers have dropped five of their past six with the lone win coming against the Bulls. Victor Oladipo is still playing at a high level which may reward him with an All Star berth. Oladpio is scoring 23.4 points a night on 44.4% shooting from 3.

20. Utah Jazz – record 6-7

The Jazz have just saw their season slip away after the news that Center Rudy Gobert would miss the next 4-6 weeks with a bone bruise in his tibia. The Jazz will need to remain within 4-5 games of a playoff spot by the time Gobert returns to keep hopes of a playoff berth alive.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers – record 6-7 

Seems like LeBron James is more worried about the Knicks than his own team. LeBron is out here giving the Knicks GM advice (He’s wrong by the way) meanwhile LeBron was instrumental on advising the Cavs to trade Adrew Wiggins for Kevin Love, forcing Kyrie out of Cleveland, and re signing Jr Smith and Tristian Thomspon (one dimensional players) to huge contract extensions). The Cavs have an extremely flawed roster and LeBron should be worrying about that instead of the Knicks. Unless of coarse, this is LeBron’s way of saying he’s eyeing the Knicks to join them this summer.

18. Miami Heat – record 6-7 

13 games into the season and the Heat remain mediocre. The team has talent and depth yet can’t seem to put wins together at the moment. The Heat are coming off a decent road trip in which they won three games against the Clippers, Suns, and Jazz.

17. Oklahoma City Thunder – record 6-7 

The Thunder are starting to piece some things together. After four consecutive losses, back to back wins against the Clippers and Mavericks have eased the worried fans. The Thunder should beat the Bulls on Wednesday before a three game stretch were they head  to San Antonio and New Orleans and finish at home vs Golden State. Here’s where we’ll tell how far the Thunder have come as a team.

16. Philadelphia 76ers – record 6-6

The 76ers are a good team but a young one still trying to figure out the NBA game. After a 5 game win streak to get over .500, the 76ers lost a close game at Sacramento before being blown out by Golden State. Embiid and Simmons are healthy and that’s all that matters as they have an immense amount of untapped talent.

15. Milwaukee Bucks – record 6-6 

The Bucks made the first big acquisition of the NBA season acquiring Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns for Greg Monroe and a future first rounder. The Bucks are 2-0 since the trade (Bledsoe has only appeared in one game) and should now be one of the better defensive units in the East.

14. Portland Trailblazers – record 6-6 

The Blazers are another team that is up and down and it’s hard to tell to see how good they may be or how bad they are. Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum can only carry the team so far and its fair to wonder if the Blazers should consider moving one. Two offensive oriented guards who do not grade well defensively is a cause of a concern.

13. New Orleans Pelicans – record 7-6  

There really is not much to say besides Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are two absolute monsters. Unfortunately, the Pelicans barely have anything that resembles an NBA roster if you remove the duo. As long as Cousins and Davis remain healthy, the Pelicans should remain in contention for a playoff spot.

12. Minnesota Timberwolves – record 7-5  

The Twolves suffered back to back losses against the Warriors and Suns after a 7-3 start. The team still has a ton of defensive issues to work around as they are giving up the second most points per game in the Western Conference.

11. New York Knicks – record 7-5

The Knicks have now won seven of their past 9 games since an 0-3 start. Kristaps Porzingis has become a legit MVP candidate this early in the season. Porzingis is averaging 30.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. All while shooting 51.3% from the field, 41.8% from three and 84% from the foul line.

10. Memphis Grizzlies – record 7-5

The Grizzlies are 4-4 since a hot start to begin the year. The team still prides itself on a defense first mindset as they are giving up the second fewest points in their conference. The team should be better in coming weeks with the help of Ben McElmore and Wayne Selden to their bench.

9. Toronto Raptors – record 7-5

The Raptors are coming off a bad loss to a Celtics team minus Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Losses like that cannot happen if the Raptors expect to have home court in the first round of the East playoffs.

8. Washington Wizards – record 7-5 

The Wizards are just 4-5 in their last nine games after a 3-0 start. The Wizards need to become more athletic in their front court. Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi just do not provide enough at the center position.

7. Orlando Magic – record 8-5

The Magic continue to be a surprise in the NBA season. The play of Evan Fournier and rapid development of Aaron Gordon has this Magic team looking like the best team they’ve had since Dwight Howard departed. A tough week ahead with road games vs the Warriors and Blazers before wrapping the week up at home against the Jazz.

6. Denver Nuggets – record 8-5

The Nuggets are starting to click and get their offense going. Denver is on a three game win streak and has scored 112, 102, and 125 points in each game. The Nuggets are getting strong play from Jamal Murray and Emanuel Mudiay as the young guards are learning their roles and how to thrive in it.

5. San Antonio Spurs – record 8-5  

13 games without Kawhi Leonard now and the Spurs continue to beat at their own drum and win basketball games. It’s unknown when Leonard will make his return to the lineup and is still considered day to day. Leonard has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks.

4. Detroit Pistons – record 10-3

The Pistons are red hot having won five in a row and won each game by more than seven points. The Pistons are well balanced unit and Stan Van Gundy is pressing all the right buttons. Andre Drummond is grabbing an absurd 15.6 rebounds a game.

3. Houston Rockets – record 11-3 

The Rockets play only 8 guys and barely will dip into their bench any further and why not when the team is clicking. James Harden is making a case for MVP with 30.2 points, 10.2 assists, and 4.9 rebounds a game. Eric Gordon is off to his best start  averaging a career high 22.9 points a game.

2. Golden State Warriors – record 10-3

The Warriors are back and dominating now. The Warriors have now won 6 in a row and have scored over 125 points in 4 of those games. The lowest margin of victory in the 6 games? Try 17 points against the Heat. Total domination.

1 Boston Celtics – record 12-2 

There’s no disputing that Brad Stevens is the second best if not best head coach in the NBA. Yes, he may be actually better than Popovich at the moment. Stevens has the Celtics on a 12 game winning streak despite Gordon Hayward playing 6 total minutes all season, Al Horford and Kyrie Irving missing a game each and playing with a roster than only returned four players from the top overall seed in the East a year ago. It’s simply incredible how good the Celtics have been.

 

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