The top half of the NBA is filled with teams who have come out of the gate strong and are prepared to compete for the NBA title. It may be early, but teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Memphis Grizzlies have surprised many as they have made leaps up the power rankings. Some teams like the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers had slow starts but are reappearing in the top fifteen.
15. Indiana Pacers
The loss of Danny Granger for about three-months is difficult to cope with, but Gerald Green is a capable starter and his explosiveness can keep the Pacers relevant. However, the Pacers should be more worried about the center position rather than the small forward, for Roy Hibbert has been awful in the opening seven games scoring nearly 9-points a game and grabbing only 7-rebounds. Giving him a max contract has been a mistake as of now.
Last Week: 10
14. Dallas Mavericks
After such a hot start the Mavericks were due to slow down, but this week was a disappointment. The Mavs fell to the Bobcats and the Timberwolves, which added to their loss on Friday to the Knicks. This looked like a Maverick team that misses Dirk Nowitzki.
Last Week: 9
13. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets 30-point loss to the Heat was forgotten with their 39-point decimation of the Magic. Brook Lopez has been much more effective on the defensive end, and Kris Humphries has aided him in his efforts with his great rebounding skills. Although the Nets do not have a true signature victory with their new squad, with a game against Boston Thursday, this will be their next change.
Last Week: 13
12. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks slipped a little this week with their losses to the Grizzlies and the Celtics but rebounded on Monday with a convincing victory over the 76ers. Brandon Jennings continues to emerge into a super star in this league and the outright leader of this Bucks squad. With Jennings at the helm running a potent offensive attack, the Bucks may outshoot any team in the league.
Last Week: 12
11. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls had an average week that included wins over the Magic and Timberwolves but losses to the Thunder and the Celtics. Nate Robinson coming into the starting lineup for the time being will give the Bulls instant offense.
Last Week: 11
10. Philadelphia 76ers
Philly’s slow start was forgotten this week due to their tough defense including only allowing 62-points to the Hornets. The news coming out of Sixers camp is that Andrew Bynum will resume basketball related activities on December 10th, so the 76ers need to continue their great defensive play.
Last Week: 16
9. Denver Nuggets
After a slow start out of the gate, the Nuggets responded with a great week highlighted by their 20-point victory over the Jazz on Friday. JaVale McGee continues to be misused in the Nuggets rotation, and without him in the starting lineup this Nuggets team will be held back.
Last Week: 18
8. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have avenged their loss to the Bucks on Saturday and followed it up with an impressive victory over the Bulls. Nothing has been too impressive from the Celtics so far but there is not much to complain.
Last Week: 8
7. Los Angeles Lakers
The Mike Brown era is quickly over. After reports surfaced that Brown was ousted in LA, Mike D’Antoni got the job early Monday morning. Although, D’Antoni is not a guarantee for the Lakers to rack up the wins, the key is for the Lakers to build chemistry together.
Last Week: 7
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder continue to look much different then they did last year with James Harden coming off the bench rather than Kevin Martin. The nucleus of the Thunder continues to be one of the most dominant in all of basketball, but they have not had their killer mentality yet. People are waiting for the Thunder of last year to come out.
Last Week: 3
5. Los Angeles Clippers
Last season, the Clippers were one of the most exciting in all of basketball, although they may not have been good enough to compete with the top half of the Western Conference. This campaign the Clippers are the real deal. With a major victory over the Spurs in convincing fashion, the Clippers have everyone looking at them. Jamal Crawford continues his great season off the bench as of now with his 20-point per game average.
Last Week: 5
4. Miami Heat
The Heat had a successful week with only one loss coming to the hands of very competitive Grizzlies team. Although Monday, Lebron James led a comeback over James Harden and the Rockets, and a 30-point victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Last Week: 2
3. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have been too quiet for too long. Sunday, the Grizzlies ran past the Bucks and the Rockets, than picked apart Lebron James and his Miami Heat. Zach Randolph continues to put up MVP numbers and we are yet to see the best from Spanish big man Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies are one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA.
Last Week: 6
2. San Antonio Spurs
After their 4-0 start, their first in team history, the Spurs got beaten by 22 to the hands of the Clippers. The Spurs though are still as good as it gets with great chemistry and can put a beating on anybody.
Last Week: 1
1. New York Knicks
Who would have thought this would be the number one team in the power rankings in only week two? The Knicks continue to score from all spots on the floor and just overwhelm teams. Carmelo Anthony is possessed right now as all the critics are staring at him without his fellow star, Amar’e Stoudemire. Melo has responded to the discoursing thoughts by leading his Knickerbockers to the only undefeated record in the NBA right now.
Last Week: 4