Marquee matchups between several top ten teams leads to a lot of movement in the top ten. The red-hot Nets and Hawks make leaps through the top ten, while the Knicks have struggled this week and it shows with their rankings.
15. Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry may finally be living up to his potential. The Davidson alumni is averaging 18-points and 5-assists per game, and carrying this Warriors team. Although, the true devolvement from the Warriors has been Klay Thompson, the second-year pro is turning into a consistent scoring threat and makes Warrior fans forget about Monta Ellis. This week, Golden State got wins over the Mavericks, Nets, and Nuggets, and in their win over the Timberwolves, Harrison Barnes threw down the dunk of the year so far.
Last Week: 19
14. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks got a big win over the Knicks on Wednesday but then dropped a costly one to the Lakers by 21. The inconsistent play of the Mavs is holding back but they have played great without Dirk Nowtizki. The question is how long can O.J. Mayo continue to score this much before teams realize he is the Mavs only scoring threat.
Last Week: 13
13. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets continue to play at a fast pace, but the wins are not coming as much as many predicted. At 8-7 the Nuggets remain very much alive to compete with the top of the West, and with Andre Iguodala beginning to take charge for the Nuggets, which is a positive sign.
Last Week: 17
12. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks faced two tough opponents this week as they went to Miami and lost, and then split a home and home with the difficult Bulls. Brandon Jennings continues to be a star for this team, but Monta Ellis continues to shoot. Ellis is shooting 40% from the field and an even worse 19% from three. Ellis needs to step down to Jennings as their number one option.
Last Week: 8
11. Philadelphia 76ers
Jrue Holiday is single-handedly keeping this Sixers team from panicking. The Andrew Bynum saga rages on in Philly as he is out indefinitely now. Holiday is nearly averaging a double double this season and 33-point, 13-assist outing on Sunday against Phoenix proves his worth to this team. With the rate the Sixers are playing at without their star player should put Doug Collins in the Coach of the Year race.
Last Week: 11
10. Boston Celtics
Another team that had a slow start, the Celtics may have hit their stride and are ready to rise back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Rajon Rondo’s double-digit assist streak has hit 37 and tied John Stockton for his historic record. His great play has pushed the Celtics past the Thunder in OT and has the Celtics rolling.
Last Week: 10
9. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are riding a five-game winning streak and with Josh Smith beginning to find his touch, posting 15-points and 7-rebounds in his last ten, the Hawks are as dangerous as ever in the Larry Drew era. With Al Horford commanding the middle, the Hawks can be a tough team to score on as well as having a great offense.
Last Week: 12
8. Los Angeles Lakers
After the Lakers started their week with wins over the Nets they fell to the lowly Kings and then the league-best Grizzlies. Pau Gasol continues to play as poor as ever in LA and it does not seem to slow down. Gasol seems lost on the court right now and needs to find his role in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. The Lakers did wrap up their week with a domination of the Mavs behind a balanced effort as their three leading scorers each had 19 a piece.
Last Week: 7
7. Los Angeles Clippers
After beating the Spurs twice earlier in the season, the Clippers have begun to slip. The Clippers lost to the likes of the Thunder, Nets, Hawks, and Hornets to put together a four-game losing streak. Jamal Crawford has slowed up from his strong scoring in the first several weeks. The Clippers have an easy week ahead so well see how Chris Paul and company can recover quickly from a rough week.
Last Week: 3
6. New York Knicks
The Knicks finally had a mortal week this season. New York went 1-3, two of which by seven or less. Carmelo Anthony is still putting up MVP numbers for the Knickerbockers and Tyson Chandler is a defensive force in the paint. The instant classic loss to the Nets though is nothing to be ashamed of and the Knicks should bounce back quickly from this loss.
Last Week: 2
5. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets had a tough west coast trip as they lost a tight one to the Lakers and the Warriors on back-to-back nights, but rebounded to take down the Clippers and Blazers over the weekend. Their week was highlighted though by their rescheduled opening-night matchup against the Knicks. The inter-borough rivalry produced the game of the year so far that saw the Nets pull it out in overtime and win the first of many anticipated games between the two. This win proves that the Nets are no fluke and are truly ready for the elite teams in the NBA.
Last Week: 9
4. Miami Heat
The Heat had a slow week that included only two games that they won each. It is scary to see the Heat flying under the radar this season with other teams gathering more attention, but the big three will continue to put this team at the top of the rankings and the top of the East for the entire season.
Last Week: 5
3. San Antonio Spurs
There is another undefeated week for the team from the Alamo. The Spurs posted over 100-points in every single outing. Tim Duncan continues to play like he did when he was in his early twenties, and the Spurs among the best in the entire league. Even with Stephen Jackson and Kawhii Leornard out, Danny Green replaced the two well enough to keep the Spurs rolling.
Last Week: 4
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder finally made a statement this season. Wins over the Clippers, Sixers and the 42-point annihilation of the Bobcats overshadow their overtime loss to the Celtics. Kevin Durant is playing the most complete basketball of his career and Russell Westbrook is distributing the ball like a true point guard should.
Last Week: 6
1. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies remain the top team in this weeks power rankings with two victories most notably over the Lakers. Lionel Hollins’ ball club is playing its strongest basketball yet especially on the defensive end. Memphis is allowing the second leas amount of points per game at just under 92-points a game. With the way the Grizzlies are playing right now they may be set in this top spot for a while.
Last Week: 1
Click here to see teams 30-16