NBA Power Rankings: Pacers, Spurs, Thunder, Heat are the fab four
1. Indiana Pacers (9-1, Last Week: 1) - A double-digit loss to the Bulls last weekend wasn’t pretty, but it’s really the only blemish through 10 games. There’s no reason why they can’t take their next three games as well (at Knicks, at Celtics, vs. 76ers).
2. San Antonio Spurs (9-1 Last Week: 4) - Their only loss so far is to the Trail Blazers. Once again, the Spurs will be a top contender in the NBA. #Popovich
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-3, Last Week: 2) - The Thunder’s loss to the Warriors at the buzzer last week might be the game of the year to this point. If there are basketball Gods, they’ll match these two teams up in the postseason.
4. Miami Heat (7-3, Last Week: 3) - Three straight wins since the buzzer-beater loss to the Celtics, and LeBron James has scored 30 or more points in all three. He’s good at basketball.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (7-4, Last Week: 5) - Before Monday’s loss to the Grizzlies, L.A. had four very impressive wins in a row over the Rockets, T-Wolves, Thunder, and Nets. They lead the NBA in points per game (109.3).
6. Golden State Warriors (8-3, Last Week: 7) - Klay Thompson is shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range. He’s also taking an average of 6.8 three’s per game. So, you’re saying he can shoot? Gotta love the Warriors.
7. Portland Trailblazers (9-2, Last Week: 13) - Your surprise team of the season to this point. The Blazers have ripped off seven wins in a row, but we want to see how they do against Chicago and Golden State this weekend.
8. Houston Rockets (7-4, Last Week: 6) - We have our first trade demand of the season, and it’s from Houston’s Omer Asik. Will it become a distraction? Hard to believe the Rockets will let it get to that point.
9. Chicago Bulls (6-3, Last Week: 9) - 15.0 points and 4.5 assists per game so far for Derrick Rose. We’re going to hope he’s still not quite 100-percent yet. Those numbers will only improve. The Bulls are winning anyways.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4, Last Week: 8) - The T-Wolves have five games from Tuesday to Monday, including ones against the Clippers, Nets, Rockets, and Pacers. It’s about to get real.
11. Memphis Grizzlies (6-5, Last Week: 11) - The Griz are grindin’ and back over .500. With games against the Warriors, Spurs, and Rockets, will they continue to stay above water?
12. Atlanta Hawks (6-4, Last Week: 12) - Paul Millsap sat out Tuesday’s game against the Heat with right elbow tendinitis. It’s no secret that he’s vital to Atlanta’s success.
13. Dallas Mavericks (7-4, Last Week: 14) - It looks like the Monta Ellis signing is working out in Dallas, as the shooting guard is averaging 22.1 points and 5.5 assists per game.
14. Denver Nuggets (4-6, Last Week: 20) - Denver let one get away in OKC on Monday. Going 25-43 from the free-throw line will do that. They’ve got their work cut out for them in a stacked Western Conference.
15. Brooklyn Nets (3-7, Last Week: 10) - Just picture Celtics GM Danny Ainge smiling like The Grinch in his office as the Nets continue to rack up losses.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7, Last Week: 15) – Dion Waiters has missed two games with “flu-like symptoms” and denied he got in a fight with teammates. Hmm… keep an eye on this team.
17. New Orleans Pelicans (4-6, Last Week: 17) - Anthony Davis was on his way to a triple-double against the 76ers (13 points, nine rebounds, eight blocks) when he was pulled for good with three minutes left in the third quarter in a game the Pelicans won, 135-98. This guy is a big part of the future.
18. Detroit Pistons (3-6, Last Week: 16) - Three wins over the Wizards, Celtics, and Kings aren’t anything to brag about. A positive: they lead the league in off-the-backboard alley-oops?
19. New York Knicks (3-6, Last Week: 19) - The Knicks are in full “Yeah, propose that trade – can’t hurt” mode. Say this for New York, it’s entertaining to watch.
20. Charlotte Bobcats (5-6, Last Week: 28) - OK, OK, we’ll give the Bobcats some respect. They actually don’t look completely helpless out there anymore.
21. Washington Wizards (2-7, Last Week: 18) - Nene ruffled a few feathers in the locker room when he called out his younger teammates for being selfish. Can’t fault the vet for being honest.
22. Phoenix Suns (5-4, Last Week: 23) - The Suns didn’t get the memo that every team is beating the Nets right now. Hopefully they got it for back-to-back games vs. the Kings.
23. Los Angeles Lakers (5-7, Last Week: 24) - The Lakers are floating around .500 while they wait for the return of Kobe, which could happen sooner than later.
24. Toronto Raptors (4-7, Last Week: 22) - Rudy Gay is averaging 20.6 points on 20.0 shots per game. Not exactly what you’d call efficient. And the Raptors aren’t exactly what you’d call good.
25. Boston Celtics (4-7, Last Week: 21) - The Celtics lose their first four games and “they stink.” They win the next four and “they’re too good!” They lose the next three and it’s, “nope, they actually do stink.”
26. Orlando Magic (4-6, Last Week: 27) - The Magic have lost four of five. Meanwhile, Glen Davis continues to stumble in and out of hotels in search of continental breakfasts’.
27. Philadelphia 76ers (5-7, Last Week: 25) - For a moment on Sunday, it looked like Eagles RB LeSean McCoy had a serious hamstring injury. Luckily, he returned to the game. Oh, you wanted to know about the 76ers?
28. Milwaukee Bucks (2-7, Last Week: 26) - What the Buck is going on in Milwaukee? We’ve already wasted too many words on this team.
29. Sacramento Kings (2-7, Last Week: 29) - According to Guinness, Kings fans set the record for loudest noise in an indoor stadium. We’re assuming they were booing.
30. Utah Jazz (1-11, Last Week: 30) - And the Jazz are on the board! A win last week over the Pelicans ensures they don’t go 0-82. And they play those same Pelicans Wednesday night.