NBA Power Rankings: Grizzlies, Knicks at head of the class

Rudy Gay and the Grizzlies have looked phenomenal through the first three weeks of the NBA season.

Records as of Nov. 19, 2012

1. Memphis Grizzlies (8-1 last week No. 4) – What hibernation? These Grizzlies are on the prowl and feasting on every team they come across. Eight wins in a row heading into Monday night.


2. New York Knicks
(7-1, last week No. 6) Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace might be just a few years away from bingo night, but their Knicks are making a strong bid for top dog in the NBA.

3. Los AngelesClippers (7-2, last week No. 5) – Just two games since last week’s power rankings, but one was a big win over the Heat. This week is huge: @Spurs, @Thunder, @Nets, @Hawks.

4. San Antonio Spurs (8-2, last week No. 1) – Gregg Popovich seems like the type of guy who puts a lot of stock into power rankings. Except the complete opposite.

5. Miami Heat (8-3, last week No. 2) – Panic! Panic! Kidding, unfortunately, but the Heat are getting opponent’s very best. Fortunately for them it’s Cleveland’s best later this week.

6. Oklahoma City (8-3, last week No. 3) – The Thunder fall out of the Top 5. Is THIS the fire they needed lit under their behinds? I like to think so. 

7. Brooklyn Nets (6-2, last week No. 12) The Nets are on a five-game winning streak and look like a real threat this season. Hipsters in Brooklyn are already on to the next thing.

8. Milwaukee Bucks (6-2, last week No. 15) Ladies and gentlemen, your surprise team of the year! Translation: It’s too surprising to last. But still, impressive.

9. Philadelphia 76ers (6-4, Last week No. 8) Andrew Bynum has decided to draw even more attention to himself by spending extra time at the hair salon … and by injuring his other knee.

10. Boston Celtics (6-5, last week No. 14) The Celtics wrapped up their seven-games-in-10-days stretch with an absolute stink bomb in Detroit. But hey, Rajon Rondo got 10 assists!

11. Dallas Mavericks (6-5, last week No. 9) When O.J. Mayo is your best offensive weapon, it means two things: Mayo has stepped up his game, and the Mavs can’t be winning at the rate they’d like to.

12. Los Angeles Lakers (5-5, last week No. 16) Why do I still get the feeling that Phil Jackson could be the team’s head coach later down the road this year?

13. Portland Trailblazers (5-5, last week No. 21) Big jump up for the Trailblazers this week – maybe too big – but a three-game win streak will do that. Their bench remains a problem.

14. Chicago Bulls (5-5, last week No. 11) The Bulls dropped three games over the last week. Even Joakim Noah thinks it’s ugly.


15. Denver Nuggets
(4-6, last week No. 7) Still have high hopes for the Nuggets, but can’t say the same for JaVale McGee and basketball IQ.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-4, last week No. 10) Nice win over Dallas, but following it up with a loss to Charlotte is a no-no.

17. Atlanta Hawks (4-4, last week No. 17) – They win some, they lose some. That will probably be the story of the Hawks season — until they trade Josh Smith. Then they’ll just lose some.

18. Houston Rockets (4-6, last week No. 18) Rockets GM Daryl Morey said he plans on bringing in a max player next season, but there are no players in the NBA with the first name Max. Bad joke. But he did say that.

19. Golden State Warriors (5-5, last week No. 22) –A couple good wins over the Hawks and Timberwolves, and an expected loss on the road to the Thunder. If they can stay healthy. . .


20. Indiana Pacers
(4-7, last week No. 19) The Pacers probably deserve to drop further down in the ranks after three losses last week. But they’ll be spared based on talent.


21. Orlando Magic
(3-6, last week No. 20) You don’t get points for beating the Pistons. Speaking of points, the Magic rank near the bottom of the pack with just over 90 per game.


22. Utah Jazz
(5-6, last week No. 23) –The Jazz continue to play well at home (3-0), but 2-6 on the road isn’t going to cut it. Paul Millsap is definitely an underrated player though.


23. New Orleans Hornets
(3-5, last week No. 13) Austin Rivers is having a rude awakening to the NBA game. He’s shooting just 28-percent from the field and 23-percent from 3. It’s not surprising.

24. Charlotte Bobcats (4-4, last week No. 27) – If the playoffs started today, Charlotte would sneak in as the 8th seed. Then again, that’d be one hell of a lockout-shortened season.


25. Phoenix Suns
(4-7, last week No. 24) – Marcin Gortat has already gone public on his displeasure with his role on the team. That’s led to trade speculation. Can you blame him?


26. Detroit Pistons
(2-9, last week No. 28) – Barack Obama may have saved the auto industry, but not even he could save this team in the Motor City. Hey, they’re in the win column anyways.

27. Toronto Raptors (3-7, last week No. 28) – It’s going to be a long season for the Raptors, but good news for the people of Toronto: The Blue Jays look good.


28. Sacramento Kings
(2-5, last week No. 26) – Simply put, there’s no leadership on this team. Also, Jimmer Fredette is averaging 6.8 points in 10.1 minutes. Will somebody please free Jimmer?!


29. Cleveland Cavaliers
(2-8, last week 25) – Both the Cavs and the Browns are 2-8 thus far in their respective seasons. Welcome to Cleveland!


30. Washington Wizards
(0-8, last week No. 28) – Nobody wants to be THAT team. The Wizards are.


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