NBA Power Rankings: Only one team ahead of Warriors
From 30 to 1
James Ham stacks up all 30 teams...
30. Mavs (1-9)
Mark Cuban doesn’t believe in rebuilds, so we’ll just call his team bad. The Mavs have lost six straight and are showing very little signs of life. Too many guards. Too many old players anchoring the rotation. Bad team.
29. Kings (1-8)
Sacramento is having trouble putting the ball in the basket. For almost seven seasons, this was the most interesting bad team in the NBA. Boogie Cousins and relocation attempts are all things of the past. Now it’s just a team riding a seven-game losing streak posting 80-something points a night.
28. Hawks (2-8)
After an opening night win over the Mavs, the Hawks dropped eight straight before knocking off the Cavs on Sunday. A broken clock is right twice a day. Does John Collins have his own drink yet? He’s a good looking rookie.
27. Bulls (2-6)
Lauri Markkanen call ball. The rest of the Bulls? Not so much. The rookie is giving Chicago fans something to look forward to, but in the meantime, they’ll collect a ton of losses.
26. Nets (3-6)
Aggressive. Fun. Tons of 3-balls. Brooklyn is the second highest scoring team in the league and the worst defensive team. They’re doing it the right way - losing, but having a good time doing it.
25. Suns (4-6)
Jay Triano, NBA savior. The Suns were a trainwreck a week ago. Earl Watson out. Eric Bledsoe at the salon. Phoenix is starting to look interesting...in a good way. They can really fill it up, but they’re also giving up 117 points per game.
24. Heat (4-5)
Erik Spoelstra’s team comes at you waves. They hadn’t beaten anyone of consequence before dropping the Clippers on Sunday. It’s a strange collection of players, but they have one of the best coaches in the league to piece it all together.
23. Bucks (4-5)
Losers of three straight, the Bucks are tumbling down the ranks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a joy to watch and Khris Middleton is a nice wingman. Malcolm Brogdon is a nice third, but they need more help.
22. Lakers (5-5)
Lonzo Ball came into the league with a broken jumper. It’s gotten worse with NBA defenders running at him. Kyle Kuzma is the best rookie on this team so far. That pick keeps looking better and better.
21. Philly (5-4)
Ben Simmons is already clearing a spot on his trophy shelf for the Rookie of the Year Trophy. The 21-year-old is posting 18 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists through his first nine games in the league. He can’t shoot from the perimeter, but no one around the league seems to notice.
20. Pacers (5-5)
Victor Oladipo is the gift that keeps on giving. 60 percent of Nate McMillan’s rotation is new, but they are competing in every game. If Myles Turner can become a star level player, Indy might be onto something.
19. Knicks (5-4)
Porzingis and Kanter make an interesting pairing. Can the Knicks find a point guard? The three-headed hydra of Jarrett Jack, Ramon Sessions and Frank Ntilikina isn’t working.
18. Nuggets (5-5)
Whatever happened to Kenneth Faried? He’s buried on Michael Malone’s bench, playing just 10.3 minutes per game. It’s shocking that Denver hasn’t moved their former star rebounder. So many teams hovering around .500 early in the 2017-18 season
17. Hornets (5-5)
Dwight Howard continues to hit the glass hard for the Hornets. The injury list is still brutal and so is the early season schedule, but Charlotte is hanging tough. Reinforcements are on their way.
16. Cavs (4-6)
Cleveland needs LeBron to score 57 points if they hope to win. For a team that’s 12 deep in NBA regulars, this is team is a mess. Where is Dave Blatt when you need him. Life was so much easier when the Cavs had a scapegoat. Now it’s just a lot of soul searching.
15. Thunder (4-5)
It’s like an awkward game of my turn. Dealing for Paul George was a nice move. Adding Carmelo Anthony was questionable. OKC’s management figured out how to do what no other team in the league - take the ball out of Russell Westbrooks hands.
14. Jazz (5-5)
Ricky Rubio is leading the team in scoring. I’m sure that’s sustainable for 82 games. Donovan Mitchell is heating up. The 2017 NBA Draft class is looking incredible through 10 games.
13. Pelicans (5-5)
DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis combine to score 56 points, grab 26.4 rebounds and dish out 8.2 assists per game. You don’t need to look much farther than this pair. It’s the most dominant duo of bigs that the league has seen in while.
12. Clippers (5-4)
After starting the season 4-0, the Clips have dropped four of their last five. The talent is there, but this might be one of those teams that takes 25-30 games to find a real identity.
11. Raptors (5-4)
Kyle Lowry decided to head to the showers early Sunday against the Wizards and cost his team a chance to move way up in the ranks. The Raptors are a solid team on both sides of the floor. Not very exciting, but solid.
10. Wizards (5-4)
John Wall went out and ran his mouth and LeBron showed him who’s boss. Great teams don’t need to tell the world they are great. They are there at the end standing tall. Great teams also don’t lose to the Suns.
9. Magic (6-4)
Break up the Magic. Aaron Gordon is finally living up to his potential, just in time to get that Amway money! Vucevic is ballin. Jonathan Simmons was a nice addition and Evan Fournier is shooting at an improbable clip.
8. Grizzlies (6-4)
Tyreke Evans hasn’t looked this good since his 20-5-5 rookie campaign. He’s added a third scorer to the Grizz and helped solidify the second unit. Fizdale has his team playing way above their heads early in the season.
7. Trail Blazers (6-4)
The big three of Lillard, McCollum and Nurkic need others to step forward if they want to stay in the top 10. They can score with the best of them, but Terry Stotts has his team ranked sixth in defensive rating early in the season.
6. Spurs (6-4)
Rudy Gay is proving to be quite the addition. He’s helping hold down the fort until Kawhi Leonard is healthy. The two together might make an interesting forward pairing for stretches.
5. Timberwolves (7-3)
The defense is still atrocious, but the T-Wolves are winning. They won’t be take the big jump until they figure out how to get stops, but Thibs has a really nice roster to work with and so far, it’s working.
4. Pistons (7-3)
Andre Drummond is cleaning the glass. Tobias Harris is firing away. Reggie Jackson is passing the ball and Avery Bradley is a catalyst player. Stan Van Gundy may have finally found the right parts in Motown.
3. Rockets (8-3)
James Harden is back to his old tricks, posting near triple-double numbers on a nightly basis. The Rockets are faring well without the services of Chris Paul, but if and when he is ready to come back, will he disrupt the flow?
2. Warriors (7-3)
The Warriors offense is rounding into shape, but the defense is nowhere near where it was a season ago when they ranked second in the league in defensive rating. They are quickly shaking the rust off and once again look like the best team in the Western Conference.
1. Celtics (8-2)
Young, athletic and fun. The Celtics have survived the Gordon Hayward injury thus far. It’s a talented group led by All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. The Warriors are charging, but so far, Boston is the top team.