NBA Power Rankings Week 2

Indiana continued to role in week two claiming the top spot in our rankings.  How did the rest of the league fare? This is how we see the league today.

These Pacers are Flexing their Muscles

1. Indiana (7-0): No brainer here.  This team is confident, they currently maintain the highest point differential in the league (9.6), they play hard on a nightly basis and Paul George has officially been anointed a superstar.  Barring injury, I don’t see this team being slowed this entire season. (WJ)

2. San Antonio (6-1):  Every year teams change, coaches change and the results change. Not with the Spurs, they continue to keep their core intact, keep their coach at the helm and most importantly, they continue to win. To start the season their number 3 ranked defense has been pulling them though. (EJ)

3. OKC (5-1): Westbrook is back and with that, the Thunder become one of the most dangerous teams in the league again.  The questions still remain, though.  Do they have the necessary depth?  Can this team win a title?  Also, Steven Adams?  Maybe the Thunder got something back for Harden after all.  The young big man is showing toughness and doing everything Kendrick Perkins cannot. (WJ)

4. LA Clippers (4-3): Well the inconsistencies of this team are certainly frustrating, but in the games that they have played well, they have looked dominant.  They lead the NBA in scoring at 110 points per game and lead in true shooting percentage as well at 57%. That’s the good news, the bad news is that they have the second worst defensive rating in the league allowing nearly 107 points per 100 possessions (trailing only the Kings).  Doc’s teams have historically been good defensive units, so I expect the Clippers to only get better as the season goes along. (AL)

5. Minnesota (5-2): Kevin Love is single-handedly outlet passing this team into NBA prominence.  All kidding aside, isn’t this the Wolves team that we have envisioned over the last few years?  Rubio, Love and Pekovic look to be 100% and Kevin Martin has fit in neatly with what this team is trying to do.  Stay healthy, Wolves. (WJ)

6. Miami (4-3): The Heat are showing symptoms of a veteran title contender: easing into the season stressing progress over wins. So far, their defense has came and went, from game to game. It hit a low point Saturday night, when it gave up 111 points to a bottom of the barrel Celtics offense. However, the fact remains that when they are at their peak no one can beat them. (EJ)

7. Houston (4-3):  The Rockets are still getting used to the addition of Dwight Howard. They currently aren’t scoring with the same efficiency as last year and aren’t defending at enough of an increased rate to make up for it. They are currently at 20th in defensive rating, if they can’t improve that they will not b the elite team they aim to be. (EJ)

8. Golden State (4-3): The entire NBA community breathed a sigh of relief when Steph Curry came back into the game after a minor ankle sprain.  The Warriors are coming off back to back road losses against good San Antonio and Memphis squads, which can be excused, What cannot is Klay Thompson being 10 for his last 29.  When Klay is good, this team wins, when he is bad they struggle, (AL)

9. Phoenix (5-2): Hell yes I love this team. How can you not? a bunch of overachievers and young gunners playing incredibly well so far. Markieff Morris is just playing out of his mind the last three games making 30 of 38 shots (79%)!!! He has averaged nearly 23 a game in his last four and is showing great chemistry with Eric Bledsoe, who is blossoming into a very good young star this season himself.  The Suns are a young, fun, high energy team right now playing really well. They do own the worst assist percentage in the NBA which is troubling and leads me to believe they will come crashing down hard soon, but enjoy this while it lasts.  (AL)

10.  Portland (4-2): This team lives with Damian Lillard, but does not die by Lillard.  That was proven the other night vs. Sacramento.  The talented guard shot 1-15 from the floor, but the team was able to pull out the victory.  That shows that Sacramento is very bad, but that the Blazers can pull out games when their star is struggling. (WJ)

11. Dallas (4-3): Dallas looks more and more like they did during their championship years. They have a healthy Dirk running the floor, hitting 3’s, and playing the pick and roll to perfection. They have a lightning quick guard coming off the bench who can fill it up in a hurry. They have athletic wing defenders. What they don’t have is a defensive replacement for Tyson Chandler, which makes their ceiling a mid seed in the playoffs. (EJ)

12. Memphis (3-3): The Grizzlies are scoring more points than they did last year but their defensive rating has slipped from the previous year as well. With their recent success being due to their elite defense, a slip in defense in favor of an improved offense takes them from a playoff team to a middling one. Not every team should run an uptempo system, the Grizzlies are a great example of this. (EJ)

13. Philidelphia (4-3): They have lost 3 of 4 and will certainly continue falling down the rankings, but there are still a lot of positives coming out of Philly.  With all the attention going to MCW for his incredible rookie start, teammate Evan Turner finally looks to be showing the promise that led to him being drafted second overall. Scoring  23 plus a game on 52% while grabbing nearly 7 boards a game is head turning.  He started showing signs last season, but I am incredibly encouraged and impressed by what he has done so far in the new season. (AL)

14. Chicago (2-3): They are ranked this high based purely on respect.  The Bulls can’t score, that much we knew. Unfortunately, the object of the game is to outscore the other team.  Bulls are averaging a meek 91.6 ppg while giving up 93 ppg.  Great defensive numbers, terrible offensive output.  This team needs a kick in the butt and fast. (WJ)

15. Atlanta (3-3): The Hawks have suddenly become a team that efficiently scores and pushes the pace to improve the quality of their opportunities. They have efficient big men in Al Horford and Paul Millsap, but they have yet to get their defense on track to become an efficient team on both ends. (EJ)

16. Brooklyn (2-4) This team just hasn’t clicked yet, looking a little slow on both ends of the court.  Statistically, nothing stands out evaluating this team and watching them is just as vanilla.  6 of their next 8 are on the road, so this would be an excellent time for them to come together as a team and at least show that they can play at an elite level before coasting until April. (AL)

17. Orlando (3-4):  The Magic are a young unit that grows better every game. Behind this young team is a strong defensive backbone, currently at 5th in the league in defensive rating. Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson and Victor Oladipo are looking like good NBA talents, while veterans like Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson are helping the first group grow. Expect them to improve as the year goes along, especially with Tobias Harris coming back later in the season. (EJ)

18. Detroit (2-3): The Pistons are beating the teams that they are supposed to beat and losing to the teams that they are supposed to lose to.  None of this is surprising.  They reek of mediocrity, but you’re a damn fool if you don’t think it is amazing to watch the crowd simultaneously wince and cheer during a Josh Smith – Brandon Jennings 2on1 fast break. (WJ)

19. New Orleans (3-4): The Hornets have shown themselves thus far to be an elite team as far as turnover ratio and rebounding. Their problem is defending and scoring when they are not able to force a turnover or scoring off offensive rebounds. With many young players, the efficiency of their shots and defense will only improve as this team gels. (EJ)

20. Charlotte (3-3): The Bobcats are miraculously a .500 team, despite having the worst point differential in the East. Stat heads would tell you their point differential indicates a bad team, in this case I tend to agree. Without Al Jefferson the Bobcats are the same terrible team they were last year. (EJ)

21. Cleveland (3-4): Hey, Anthony Bennett scored!  That exclamation alone can give you some insight into how this Cavs season has gone thus far.  With that said, they did pull out an impressive 2OT victory over the suddenly good Sixers this past weekend.  Greener pastures are ahead, though. Bynum will get healthier, Kyrie will figure out how to shoot again and hopefully Bennett figures his way into the rotation sooner rather than later. (WJ)

22. LA Lakers (3-5): Winning at Houston was nice,  but this team has looked terrible in their two games since.  If Steve Blake misses that last second three in H-town, the Lakers would be losers of 4 in a row.  This team has no hope this season, even the Black Mamba can’t see a playoff team in this group. (AL)

Carmelo, trying to count his number of misses in a game…

23. New York (2-4): This was a bad team before the Tyson Chandler injury and now they are downright miserable.  Carmelo called out his teams ability to compete after losing to the Spurs by 31 at home on Sunday, but I put this teams poor play squarely on his shoulders.  If Carmelo wants to be considered a superstar, he should start playing like one and shooting more than 41% from the field.  I just really hate his game and it is very apparent this team has no shot at winning a title with him as their leader. (AL)

24. Milwaukee (2-3): Zaza Pachulia flirted with a triple double the other night and very well might be this team’s most effective players.  So is the state of the Milwaukee Bucks.

25. Washington (2-4) Washington does not look great so far. Early in the season they are not defending at a level consummate with playoff  contenders. Without a strong united defense Washington simply does not have the talent to outscore opponents. (EJ)

26. Toronto (3-4): Jonas Valanciunas has played pretty well, no one else on the roster has. You can’t be a good team if you expect Rudy Gay to be your best player. (AL)

27. Boston (3-4): The win over Miami was one of the best buzzer beaters I’ve seen in awhile as it was an incredibly skillful play with flawless execution.  This team has some quality veterans and nice young pieces, but they just cant win this year for the good of the franchise long term.  Look for Brandon Bass and Maybe even Jeff Green to be moved shortly to help the team not-win (tank) in order to get a high lottery pick. (AL)

28. Denver (1-4) If you want to go to sleep early tonight, tune into the Nuggets-Jazz game.  Both teams will most certainly try to out-lose against each other.  Oh yeah, Javale McGee is out for an extended period of time.  Take all the time you need, Javele, this team ain’t going nowhere. (WJ)

29. Sacramento (1-5):  Demarcus Cousins and the Pint Sized Pitbull Isiah Thomas (I started the nickname last year and it did not catch on, but im stubborn so start using it so I can feel good about it) have played well.  Thomas can easily win the 6th man award this season if he keeps this up and Cousins will be an All-Star.  Ben McLemore has showed signs, flashing his incredible athletic ability on the break, but they just seem to be play terribly as a team.  They are the worst defense in the NBA allowing nearly 108 points per 100 possessions. (AL)

30. Utah (0-7): They’re tanking and they’re doing an awesome job at it.  Spectacular, even.  The Jazz can’t score, can’t pass and the team is just young enough to still care about winning to the point that the stands are filled.  Everyone wins. (WJ)

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One thought on “NBA Power Rankings Week 2

  1. Andrew Lipson Post author

    I’m close to writing my “I Hate Carmelo as a Franchise Player” post. Cause i really do

    Reply

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