NBA Power Rankings – Week 1

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, October 28th, 2017
1. Houston Rockets (3-0)
Last week: 2
Having an All-Star point guard on the floor at all times is out
the window until Chris Paul’s left knee heals, and the Rockets have
scored less than 90 points per 100 possessions in James Harden’s 39
minutes on the bench
Week 2: vs. MEM, @ PHI, @ CHA, @ MEM
2. San Antonio Spurs (2-0)
Last week: 3
LaMarcus Aldridge has thus far made the Spurs look smart for
giving him an unexpected contract extension on Monday, averaging 26.5
points and 10.0 rebounds in the team’s first two wins.
Week 2: vs. TOR, @ MIA, @ ORL, @ IND
3. Golden State Warriors (1-2)
Last week: 1
We shouldn’t put much into opening-night results and Draymond
Green’s absence was critical. Simply, the Warriors’ D has not been to
their standards.
Week 2: @ DAL, vs. TOR, vs. WAS, vs. DET
4. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1)
Last week: 9
Karl-Anthony Towns’ defense is still a major issue, but Wiggins’
ability to succeed off the ball and add variety to his offense has
been a big positive.
Week 2: vs. IND, @ DET, vs. OKC
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1)
Last week: 4
LeBron James is “out of shape,” their starting lineup is a
minus-8 in 27 minutes together, they’re taking far fewer 3-pointers
than they have in the past.
Week 2: vs. CHI, @ BKN, @ NOP, vs. NYK
6. Memphis Grizzlies (2-0)
Last week: 16
The Grizzlies’ lost to JaMychal Green to an ankle injury in the
first quarter of their first game, but have gotten good minutes from
their reserves.
Week 2: @ HOU, @ DAL, vs. DAL, vs. HOU
7. Washington Wizards (2-0)
Last week: 7
New season, same bench issues for the Wizards, forcing them to go
down to the final minute against two inferior opponents (Philly and
Detroit) at home.
Week 2: @ DEN, @ LAL, @ GSW, @ SAC
8. Toronto Raptors (2-0)
Last week: 8
After games against the Bulls and Embiid-less Sixers, the
schedule gets a little tougher this week.
Week 2: @ SAS, @ GSW, @ LAL
9. Utah Jazz
Last week: 12
The league’s best shooter (among players who took at least 25
shots) in Week 1 was Joe Ingles, who had an effective field goal
percentage of 84.6 percent in Utah’s first three games.
Week 2: @ LAC, @ PHX, vs. LAL
10. LA Clippers
Last week: 10
It’s tough to glean much from games against the Lakers and Suns,
but the Clippers are a good team in transition.
Week 2: vs. UTA, @ POR, vs. DET
11. Oklahoma City Thunder
Last week: 6
Russell Westbrook has been taking fewer shots than his star
teammates and is averaging a league-high 11.7 assists.
Week 2: vs. IND, @ MIN, @ CHI
12. Milwaukee Bucks
Last week: 14
Giannis Antetokounmpos is averaging a league-high 38.3 points
having made exactly four shots from outside of nine feet. Week 2: vs.
CHA, vs. BOS, @ ATL
13. Portland Trail Blazers (2-1)
Last week: 13
The Blazers lost just one of the 12 quarters they played last week,
but that was good for just a 2-1 record.
Week 2: vs. NOP, vs. LAC, vs. PHX
14. Boston Celtics (1-2)
Last week: 5
Hayward’s absence also means that the Celtics are depending more
on the perimeter shooting of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson
Tatum, who are a combined 9-for-32 from 3-point range thus far. Week
2: vs. NYK, @ MIL, @ MIA
15. Denver Nuggets (1-1)
Last week: 11
Nikola Jokic didn’t exactly pick up where he left off at the end
of last season, dishing out 15 assists, but shooting just 3-for-13 in
the Nuggets’ first two games.
Week 2: vs. WAS, @ CHA, @ ATL, @ BKN
16. Miami Heat (1-1)
Last week: 15
Since the start of last season, they’re 21-2 when Goran Dragic and
Dion Waiters both play and combine for at least 35 points.
Week 2: vs. ATL, vs. SAS, vs. BOS
17. Detroit Pistons (2-1)
Last week: 19
The regular season is not the preseason, as the Detroit offense
was at its best in Week 1 with Reggie Jackson on the floor.
Week 2: vs. PHI, vs. MIN, @ LAC, @ GSW
18. Orlando Magic (2-1)
Last week: 23
Injuries to Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, along with a loss in
Brooklyn, seemed to kill any momentum the Magic had with their
starting lineup that played well at the end of last season.
Week 2: vs. BKN, vs. SAS, @ CHA
19. Charlotte Hornets (1-1)
Last week: 18
The Hornets racked up an uncharacteristic 38 turnovers in their
first two games.
Week 2: @ MIL, vs. DEN, vs. HOU, vs. ORL
20. New Orleans Pelicans (1-2)
Last week: 17
The Pelicans signed Jameer Nelson on Sunday and got important
minutes from him in L.A. on Sunday night, recovering from their second
big collapse of the weekend to pick up their first win of the season.
Week 2: @ POR, @ SAC, vs. CLE
21. Indiana Pacers (1-2)
Last week: 26
The Pacers are undefeated with Myles Turner, who missed weekend
losses to Portland and Miami with a concussion. Week 2: @ MIN, @ OKC,
vs. SAS
22. Brooklyn Nets (2-1)
Last week: 24
The Nets are better equipped — with more experienced
ball-handlers — to deal with the absence of Jeremy Lin than they were
last year.
Week 2: @ ORL, vs. CLE, @ NYK, vs. DEN
23. Los Angeles Lakers (1-2)
Last week: 22
You only needed 24 hours of patience with Lonzo Ball to be
rewarded with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in Phoenix, a
night after getting smothered by Patrick Beverley.
Week 2: vs. WAS, vs. TOR, @ UTA
24. Philadelphia 76ers (0-3)
Last week: 20
Ben Simmons has begun his career with three double-doubles, but
has shot 4-for-17 from outside the restricted area.
Week 2: @ DET, vs. HOU, @ DAL
25. Sacramento Kings (1-2)
Last week: 25
De’Aaron Fox was a blur, but in enough control to lead the Kings
in scoring (13.7 points per game) and assists (5.3) in their first
three games.
Week 2: @ PHX, vs. NOP, vs. WAS
26. Atlanta Hawks (1-2)
Last week: 29
Dennis Schroder sprained his ankle late in Sunday’s loss in Brooklyn
and will not be playing in Miami on Monday.
Week 2: @ MIA, @ CHI, vs. DEN, vs. MIL
27. Dallas Mavericks (0-3)
Last week: 21
The Mavs are off to another rough start (they began last season
0-5), with two guards – Dennis Smith Jr. and Seth Curry – injured and
the three guys who have started all three games — Harrison Barnes,
Wesley Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki — combining to shoot 30 percent.
They erased double-digit deficits in each of their first two games,
but allowed the Hawks and Kings to 10-for-17 on clutch shots. No
matter the circumstances, those were two losses at home to teams
expected to fall well short of the playoffs.
Week 2: vs. GSW, vs. MEM, @ MEM, vs. PHI
28. New York Knicks (0-2)
Last week: 28
Kristaps Porzingis (64 points and 19 free throw attempts in two games)
has looked good, but the Knicks aren’t quite ready to put the future
ahead of the present.
Week 2: @ BOS, vs. BKN, @ CLE
29. Chicago Bulls (0-2)
Last week: 30
The fight that sent Nikola Mirotic to the hospital and got Bobby
Portis suspended for eight games was an ugly start to what should be
an ugly season in Chicago.
Week 2: @ CLE, vs. ATL, vs. OKC
30. Phoenix Suns (0-3)
Last week: 27
It seems rather exceptional to fire your coach after just three
games, but the Suns played exceptionally poorly in those 144 minutes.
Week 2: vs. SAC, vs. UTA, @ POR


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