Nov 19, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (left) drives around San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) during the second half at the AT

NBA Power Rankings Week 3


We’re now far enough into the season that some of these records mean something. After 10 games, you can’t say who the clear title favorites are, but you can sure as hell eliminate some teams. Being ranked first in these rankings doesn’t make you a “favorite” per se, but it means that you have played the best so far. Conversely, being last in these rankings definitely means you’ve shouted from the rooftops, “WE SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AS A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM!” So, yeah, we’re at that point in the season. Per usual, what I have written below is as good as gold, and I’d suggest you lay some money down based on my opinions.

 

  1. Los Angeles Clippers (Last Week: 6)- Currently on a 6 game winning streak, with the second best record in the league, the Clips are dominating right now. There’s no reason to think this is a fluke, either.
  2. Memphis Grizzlies (3)- After losing on opening night, the Griz went about a fortnight between losses. That’s the type of run every team dreams of to start a season. Like I said preseason, if this is the year they finally get all that talent to click, watch out.
  3. New York Knicks (5)- When a team maintains the best record in the league for three straight weeks, it gets hard to ignore. I wanted to be skeptical, but they just seem like they finally have it figured out.
  4. San Antonio Spurs (1)- Not that there’s any worry inSan Antonio, but 2 losses in one week isn’t a happy thing. Being the Spurs, there’s exactly 4 people in the world who think this team won’t be alright in May.
  5. Miami Heat (3)- The only thing that can hold the Heat back is injuries and illness. Sadly, both of those struck the Miami Hot Guys this week.
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder (5)- They can score with the best of em, and the defense aint too shabby, either. Kevin Durant was the Western conference player of the week and Kendrick Perkins got into a real fight with Zach Randolph. Pretty good week to be a Thunder fan.
  7. Brooklyn Nets (7)- It’s been a big week for the otherNew York team. They’ve reeled off 5 in a row, and the statistical metrics are starting to even out. It looks like this team is going to hang their hat on defense, which isn’t such a bad thing.
  8. Milwaukee Bucks (12)- As we saw in the game against out Pacers, this Bucks squad can go off on any given night. Given the weakness displayed thus far in the Central division, the Bucks might be in the driver’s seat for early homecourt advantage in the playoffs.
  9. Los Angeles Lakers (10)- If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of point differential. The Lakers, despite their 5-5 records, have the 5th best point differential, at +5 per game. That’s promising going forward.
  10. Chicago Bulls (9)- I think at this point the Bulls are just trying to figure out what will keep their head above water long enough to get Derrick Rose back, and they’re doing a fine job. This could have easily been a lost cause, but they seem to be content winning winnable games until they’re full strength.
  11. Philadelphia 76ers (15)- Superstar Andrew Bynum has missed the entire season to date with a bad knee (shocking for a giant man drafted at age 17, right?) and had a setback last week. No, he didn’t hurt it rehabbing or playing basketball. He tweaked it bowling. Don’t let anyone tell you bowling is a sissy-man’s sport.
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves (8)- I’ve been talking about how unstable this team was without their legitimate stars. Brandon Roy was starting on a successful NBA team despite a lack of cartilage in his knees. Yes people, he had no cartilage. Needless to say, he’s hurt and will miss some time. Probably the next 40 years.
  13. Boston Celtics (14)- I haven’t had the chance to watch a Celtics game yet, so I cannot say exactly why this team couldn’t stop a high school girl’s team from scoring. If they don’t figure out how to keep their opponents from putting basketballs through the iron circle attached to the nylon net, they can kiss their dream of being a contender goodbye.
  14. Denver Nuggets (11)- This team is very confusing. They can beat anyone in the league, but can be beat by anyone. It’s very frustrating for me, so I can only imagine the sentiment amongstDenver basketball fans. At least the Broncos are awesome.
  15. Dallas Mavericks (13)- I had the pleasure of attending the Mavericks loss to the Pacers. In person this Mavericks team is utterly forgettable. Vince Carter looks like Vince Carter, but there’s really nothing left. 4 days later, I can hardly remember anything about this team.
  16. Golden State Warriors (21)- The injury bug hasn’t had a chance to ruin this season yet, and the Warriors are taking advantage. That Monta Ellis trade that brought in 7 footer Andrew Bogut seems to be paying dividends- the Warriors are 5th in the league in rebounding.
  17. Utah Jazz (18)- Not sure what to make of this team right now. They excel in all the “big guy” categories like blocks and rebounds, but that’s expected. They have 4 guys that could start at center. If they can either flip one of them for a shooter, or get consistent play from Mo Williams, they could scare some people.
  18. Atlanta Hawks (19)- Lou Williams of all people has been integral in the last couple wins for the Hawks, which brings them back over the .500 mark. If he’s going to keep doing that, the Hawks may be in for their 6th consecutive winning season. I’m not sure that’s good news, though.
  19. Portland Trail Blazers (23)- After looking less than average, the Blazers bounced back strong this week, and have strung together 3 consecutive wins. Nicolas Batum has NOT punched anyone’s weiner yet, but I think that’s a story line to watch.
  20. Indiana Pacers (17)- Last week was bad. Like, way bad. There was the dud againstToronto. The blowout againstMilwaukee. The good type of blowout against Dallas. And a bad version of blowout against the Knickerbockers. This team is first in defense and second in rebounding. They are second to last in scoring and assists. I can’t figure out the depth of the badness of this team.
  21. Houston Rockets (20)- I think, at this point, it’s safe to say the Rockets are not going to compete this year in the West, despite the power of the Beard. Situated nicely at the bottom of the division,Houston can sit back and relax knowing they have sufficiently lowered the expectations of their fanbase.
  22. Charlotte Bobcats (27)- For the first time in franchise history, it’s safe to say the Bobkitties are not the worst team in the NBA. Baby steps, people.
  23. New Orleans Hornets (16)- Apparently when your team is led by rookies, inconsistency is going to be a problem. Who knew? Oh yeah, everybody did. After the 3-2 star, the Hornets decided to lose 3 in a row. Yeah, it’s going to be one of those seasons in the Big Easy.
  24. Phoenix Suns (22)- Kind of like the Hornets, but with less upside. They got off to a better start than expected at 4-4, and have since lost three in a row. They’re last in the league in points allowed, so their games will be exciting. Unless you’re a Suns fan. So it’ll be exciting.
  25. Orlando Magic (25)- This is the third straight week the Magic have been ranked #25. Things inOrlando have not been all lollipops and rainbows this year. But on the bright side, JJ Redick has been hurt for a while. I don’t cheer injuries, but that guy seems like a prick.
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (24)- It’s like they don’t even try some nights. This is not a good year to be a lottery team. They’re an outside contender in the “Cody Zeller Sweepstakes” right now. Not ideal.
  27. Toronto Raptors (27)- Despite their win inIndianapolis, I don’t see much good on this roster. When the winning formula resembles something like “Let’s hope Jose Calderon is on fire tonight,” you’re going to lose significantly more than you win.
  28. Detroit Pistons (30)- Detroit actually had a dominant win. That’s good enough to be the best of the worst. They were late getting in the Win column, but joined the club with force.
  29. Sacramento Kings (28)- I think it’s safe to say the Kings will bounce around these bottom 3 spots all season long. Not much here to get excited about, nor is there any reason to think things will change at all during the course of the season.
  30. Washington Wizards (29)- The Wizards let a golden opportunity slip away last night against a questionable Pacers team. They are still missing almost everyone with an ounce of talent, but you’d think they would accidentally pull out one of these games.

 

Tags: Nba Power Rankings