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1). Cleveland Cavaliers- Cleveland is that last team remaining without a loss. The champions look ready to repeat this season, and their leader LeBron just passed Hakeem The Dream on the All-Time NBA Scoring list, to be the 10th highest scorer in league history. Who’s going to knock them off the throne of the Power Rankings?
2). Los Angeles Clippers- Although their one loss came to the Thunder, it was by 2 points. They followed that up with a dominating win against the Spurs 116-92. Doc Rivers, CP3, and Blake are ready to lead this team to another late playoff run.
3). Oklahoma City Thunder- Like the Clippers, OKC only has one loss. But in that loss, they lost to the Warriors by 26 points. It’s been a great showing from the “undermanned” thunder, but they’re proving they are still talented enough to compete with the best of them.
4). San Antonio Spurs- After a hot start, the Spurs have lost 2 of their last 3. They lost by 15 and 24 on their home court. That’s not Spur-like. However, they are going to be fine. Just tough shooting nights caused by good defensive efforts from the Jazz and Clippers.
5). Golden State Warriors- This season feels like a roller coaster for the Warriors. Although they’ve won 4 games it feels like they’re not playing good basketball. Luke Walton’s Lakers dominated them on Friday night and looked ready for the challenge. Damian Lillard said they don’t scare anyone like they did last year. So it’s still early in the year, but will the newly hated Warriors be the top dogs in the West again? Or is there a team able to replace them?
6). Charlotte Hornets- Truth is, the Hornets really haven’t beaten any team that they shouldn’t have on paper. They’re drastically better than the teams they’ve beaten, but that doesn’t mean we should take away the credibility of their record and knock them down lower in the rankings. They’re a tough defensive minded team and coach Clifford always gets the most out of his players.
7). Toronto Raptors- DeMar DeRozan has been lighting it up. In the last 5 games, he’s scored 40, 40, 34, 33 and 32. That’s pretty great, especially for him. Their recent loss to the Kings was a letdown.
8). Utah Jazz- Utah has had a very good week winning on the road against the Spurs and the Knicks. However, they lost to the Spurs in Utah. The Jazz are one of the best defenses in the league and they will be a top 15 team this season.
9). Detroit Pistons- Detroit is getting it done without starting point guard Reggie Jackson. Stan Van Gundy has to be considered one of the best coaches in the league. He has a system that works, and his players all buy into it. Let’s see how well they do their 4 game road trip this week.
10). Atlanta Hawks- honestly, the Hawks strength of schedule hasn’t been that tough. However, Dwight Howard has looked like an upgrade over Al Horford. This week will be a good test for the Hawks.
11). Portland Trail Blazers- The Blazers have been in several games that they’ve lost. They’re not getting blown out and they’ve won more than they have lost. Their early season East road trip is coming up in 3 games. The road trip for Portland will be a huge test to see how good they are.
12). Boston Celtics- This week, the Celtics lost by 6 to the Cavaliers in a tightly contested game and were shockingly blasted by the Nuggets Sunday. Who would’ve thought a defensive minded Celtics team would give up FORTY TWO points in the first quarter? I didn’t. The good news though is Jaylen Brown has looked impressive and made a case for why he went number 3 overall this draft. The Celtics will rise in the rankings once they gather up so more wins. We know it’s coming, just not sure how soon.
13). Indiana Pacers- Indiana is 3-0 at home and 0-3 on the road. They dominated the Bulls Saturday night in what looked to be a refocused bunch. The Bulls were on the 2nd night of a back to back, but regardless Indiana looked willed to win. Teague finally came through with a big game, and if Indy keeps that up they’ll start rising.
14). Milwaukee Bucks- Parker and The Freak have been getting it done. Now at 4-3, the Bucks have won 3 of 4 and not by a slim margin either. Dominating Indiana and Sacramento by 16 & 18 points. Maybe the team we wanted last year, is here this year.
15). Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers looked destined for another losing season, but with impressive wins against the Hawks and the Warriors, the Lakers could be a surprise team. Luke Walton has a scary good young core that will be competitive every night.
16). Chicago Bulls- The Bulls had a major letdown this week. They went 0-3 this week with losses to the Celtics, Knicks, and Pacers. This is a team that will do this throughout the season. Wins will be sporadic but they’re still too talented to keep this losing trend going
17). Houston Rockets- So basically the Rockets are a 500 team. They’re trading losses for wins, and their defense is lackluster. Don’t see the Rockets as a legit threat.
18). Denver Nuggets- A load of a talent on this roster but who is the dog? They’re collectively talented enough to win games but can they string enough wins together to make a real push?
19). Memphis Grizzlies- Adding Chandler Parsons into the mix will be 2 things for the Grizzlies. 1, they’ll be more talented because they are adding a very solid basketball player into their lineup, and 2 they’ll possibly struggle with chemistry. A 3-4 record describes how much they’ve missed the presence of Parsons. Plus they have a new system and coach.
20). Orlando Magic- Coach Vogel got his team on a 3 game winning streak, regardless if it was against subpar teams. The Magic are at best a mediocre team. Sorry to disappoint Magic fans, but this is not the Year you make the playoffs. If I’m wrong, I will wear a Magic t-shirt the whole playoffs.
21). New York Knicks- The early season struggles are real for the Knicks but they did come into Chicago and dominate the Bulls. They’re 2-4 right now, and honestly, they’re possibly the hardest team to predict going forward.
22). Sacramento Kings- The recent injury to Rudy Gay has hurt the Kings, but they’re still playing semi-competitive basketball. They’ve fallen off their early hot streak and are now 3-5. But they did beat the Raptors Sunday evening.
23). Miami Heat- Miami had a pretty uneventful week. They are beating teams that are about their level and losing games to teams better than them. So you’re basically getting what you expect with this Heat roster.
24). Phoenix Suns- A young team still trying to figure out how good they are. We still haven’t seen this group reach its potential but as chemistry develops that backcourt could be deadly.
25). Minnesota Timberwolves- A rough start to the best young core in the NBA. They’ll turn this around, but as for now, they’re here at the bottom of the Rankings.
26). New Jersey Nets- You know this seasons isn’t a season Nets fans are investing in. They’re playing hard but they’re not good enough. Give them credit for playing hard despite the lack of talent.
27). Washington Wizards- I feel bad for John Wall. He’s a really good point guard who gets overlooked because this front office hasn’t given him the right pieces. He set out last game too due to an injury. Maybe one day they’ll get this figured out, or Wall maybe on a different team.
28). Dallas Mavericks- They finally got their first win tonight against the Bucks in OT. Dirk Nowitzki is not getting any younger. Maybe the Mavs could bring Dirk off the bench and limit his minutes? It’s a risky move but they need to shake this up a little bit.
29). Philadelphia 76ers- The 76ers have been very close in 3/5 games played. They ALMOST beat the Cavaliers for their first W but of course the Cavs pulled through. They won’t be the worst team in the league this year but they’re still a work in process.
30). New Orleans Pelicans- This team is a sad thing to watch. Still no help for Davis. They’re struggling without Holiday and just released Lance Stephenson. Maybe the Archie Goodwin signing will get them their first win? I know, that made me laugh too.