NBA Power Rankings: Kings avoid winless trip, Warriors in Top 3
From 30 to 1
Two weeks are now in the books...
30. Pelicans (0-6)
Anthony Davis is in purgatory. Tim Frazier has earned his spot in the league. 0-6? I’m just going to say what all of us are thinking, you can fear the brow, but not the other 14 guys on the roster.
29. 76ers (0-5)
At least the 76ers don’t know any better. This is a typical start for the young, but very talented team from Philly. Brett Brown is 47-204 in his three-plus seasons at the helm. He’s 157 games under .500 for his career.
28. Mavericks (1-5)
Coach Rick Carlisle is one of the best in the business, but his club is playing well below their lot in life. Their early season schedule is tough, but not 1-5 tough. The Mavs have a ton of money tied up in 30-something talent. Harrison Barnes has been a pleasant surprise so far.
27. Timberwolves (1-4)
This team is talented, but they still feel like they are a year or two away. Minny has blown some huge leads already this season. Kris Dunn is getting an earlier than expected look. Ricky Rubio is praying that the Timberwolves sell their jersey sponsorship to a bubble wrap company. Fra-gi-le. No, he’s not Italian, he’s just fragile.
26. Wizards (1-4)
A tough early schedule has Scotty Brooks and his veteran team in a bind. They aren’t playing poorly, they just aren’t winning. John Wall is playing exceptional ball. This is one of many teams trying to learn a new head coach on the fly.
25. Suns (2-4)
Back-to-back overtime wins has Phoenix on the rise. T.J. Warren is turning heads with his early season play. This should be a fun and exciting 25-win team with a bright future.
24. Nets (2-4)
Jeremy Lin, Sean Kilpatrick and Bojan Bogdanovic? We should have known this team was destined for greatness. Or at least 2-4.
23. Knicks (2-4)
This team might figure it out. Then again, they have very little depth and you only get to play with one ball. On paper I like the idea of Carmelo, Porzingis and D-Rose scoring with Lee and Noah doing the dirty work. But Jeff Hornacek has his work cut out for him putting this puzzle together.
22. Kings (3-5)
The toughest schedule in the league through the first 12 days, Sacramento has already played three back-to-backs and six road games. An 0-4 start to the trip out east had Sacramento fans in a frenzy. But a huge win in Toronto to finish the trip has everyone breathing easier. Starting point guard Darren Collison comes back Tuesday, which should help.
21. Heat (2-3)
Pat Riley didn’t want to send Goran Dragic out before getting a good look at this squad. It might pay dividends. This is an exciting young team with plenty of upside. Plus, they have Sirens luring every team to the South Beach nightlife. Best homecourt distraction in the game. #FreeChrisBosh
20. Grizzlies (3-4)
Memphis backed up the truck for Chandler Parsons. The idea of Parsons is always better than the reality. 0-for-8 in game one for the $94 million man. Z-Bo off the bench is a bold and intriguing play by first year head coach David Fizdale.
19. Nuggets (3-3)
Emmanuel Mudiay is a special player, but his turnover issues make every game an adventure. The return of Gary Harris helps a bunch. Michael Malone has a ton of young talent to work with, but this team is still a year away.
18. Magic (3-3)
Grab your green hat, we’re going streaking! After starting 0-3, Frank Vogel’s squad has rattled off three in a row. Evan Fournier is trying to live up to his 5yr/$85 million deal. Playing a big frontline of Vucevic, Ibaka and Gordon is working early.
17. Lakers (4-3)
Breakup the Lake-show! How this young team escaped the Rockets, Jazz, Thunder, Pacers, Hawks, Warriors and Suns with a 4-3 record is beyond comprehension. Smoke and mirrors? Four high-volume jump shooting guards? The legend of Luke Walton grows.
16. Pacers (3-3)
Nate McMillan’s team is a work in progress. They have a ton of new faces and there’s no way that Jeff Teague continues to play this poorly. Finding a bigger role for Al Jefferson off the bench would help take the pressure off a perimeter oriented team.
15. Rockets (3-3)
James Harden is playing the point for Mike D’Antoni and somehow it’s working. The bearded one is posting 31.5 points, 12.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game. Eric Gordon looks good early, but he’s always a sneeze away from missing 10 games. Giving up 20 points and 14 rebounds to Dwight Howard in a loss to Atlanta had to sting a bit.
14. Bulls (3-3)
The secret to success for the Bulls won’t be decided by Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. They will go as far as Doug McDermott, Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis can take them. This could be a very good team. This could be a very bad team. We’ve already seen that through six games.
13. Celtics (3-3)
Avery Bradley is on fire, giving Boston one of the best backcourts in the game early in the season. Al Horford is doing whatever it takes to fit in. Jaylen Brown is already playing 20 minutes a night for a good team and he’s producing.
12. Trail Blazers (4-3)
Damian Lillard will battle for a scoring title with an incredible group of guards stepping forward this season. C.J. McCollum could do the same for a different team. Giving Evan Turner a giant check is still a head scratcher.
11. Jazz (4-3)
Gordon Hayward is back! Utah is shaping up to be an interesting team with high-end potential. George Hill has been a revelation. Joe Johnson off the bench is much more appealing than Joe Johnson the starter.
10. Bucks (4-3)
A Sunday loss to the Mavericks tarnishes an otherwise good week for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a rare talent. The fact that Jason Kidd won’t play Greg Monroe more than 22 minutes a night might be the most absurd coaching move in the game so far this season.
9. Pistons (4-2)
This team is starting to gel without Reggie Jackson. When he returns, the Pistons will be dangerous. Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris are really good compliments to Andre Drummond.
8. Raptors (4-2)
DeMar DeRozan took the money and now he’s earning every penny of it. The 27-year-old wing came into Sunday leading the league in scoring at 35.8 points per game, but his Raptors team was shocked by a road weary Kings team. Keep shooting it DeMar. Keep shooting it.
7. Hornets (4-1)
Steve Clifford has his band of misfits playing well. Kemba Walker is scoring at will. The three-headed hydra of Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes has combined to score nearly 30 points and grab 13 rebounds a night. Everyone in the league is pulling for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to stay healthy.
6. Hawks (4-2)
Who knew that Dwight Howard wasn’t done? His free throw issues will come back to haunt this team if he’s not careful. The Hawks are a quality club once again. They’re boring, but they’ll push for 50 wins. I guess boring is okay.
5. Spurs (5-2)
Tony Parker’s knee issue is a scary proposition for Gregg Popovich and his Spurs team. A backcourt of Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson isn’t going to scare any of the big boys out west. San Antonio will plug away at a high clip, but they will have to rely heavily on Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge for much of the year.
4. Thunder (5-1)
Russell Westbrook might finish the season with a top-5 all-time statistical campaign. He’s a running, jumping triple-double machine waiting to happen on a nightly basis. The addition of Victor Oladipo was brilliant. There’s no shame in losing one to the Warriors.
3. Warriors (4-2)
Patience is a virtue. This team will win 65+, but they are going to have hiccups along the way. Durant is playing at a different level. Curry is starting to wake up. Klay Thompson won’t be far behind. 19.6 percent from 3? That won’t last.
2. Clippers (5-1)
The battle for the best team out west is heated early in the season. The Clippers lone loss was by two points to OKC. After running over the Spurs on Saturday night, Chris Paul has his team back in the mix.
1. Cavs (6-0)
LeBron James passed the 3-1 jinx to his beloved Cleveland Indians. It’s all his fault. Go Cubs!