By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman
Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 2 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings: Preseason Week 1
Tony: Wow. Never thought I'd lead off with NY.
Mark: LeBron put on one for the ages vs. Houston
Tony: Huh. Maybe age won't ever catch up to them.
Mark: Duncan may never slow down.
Tony: Ray Allen a perfect fit in South Beach.
Mark: Still the NBA's only undefeated.
Tony: Kevin Martin replacing Harden admirably.
Mark: Ibaka has an offensive game. Look out.
Tony: Griffin's numbers have generally declined each year.
Mark: Still the best team in Los Angeles.
Tony: They'll be fine. Stop freaking out.
Mark: No Mayo hasn't hurt Memphis' sandwich.7
Tony: D-Will looks rejuvenated. Could be in MVP talks.
Mark:4-game win streak had Denver rolling before Phoenix loss.8
Tony: Rondo has taken his game to another level.
Mark: D'Antoni will do wonders for a team with great individual defenders.
Tony: Very solid team. Z-Bo is back with a vengeance.
Mark: 2-game road win streak has them back on track.
Tony: Coming off a week with two tough losses.
Mark: Jennings continues to roll in contract year.
Tony: Holiday is on fire, but Bynum news a big blow.
Mark: If Hinrich's out, defense suffers big time.
Tony: They just need a bit more time to gel.
Mark: Brook Lopez benefitting early.
Tony: JenningsEllis learning how to co-exist?
Mark: They're winning, and Love return on the horizon.
Tony: And suddenly, Bulls may be favorites in Central again.
Mark: Bynum news (out until January) is huge.
Tony: Teague improved, but needs to jump to another level.
Mark: Injuries really piling up in the front court.
Tony: Mayo on fire, but can he be a No. 2 option when Dirk returns?
Mark: Always good to win a triple-overtime game.
Tony: Bogut's health could damper playoff aspirations.
Mark: Horford healthy and looking great.
Tony: Injuries are decimating a decent team.
Mark: Granger to miss 3 months. Paging Paul George.
Tony: At least Mo Williams is looking good.
Mark: Huge win over the Nuggets on Monday.
Tony: Who said Omer couldn't play offense?
Mark: Anthony Davis didn't miss a step post-concussion.
Tony: Gortat is a monster, but he and Dragic need help.
Mark: Maybe Asik is worth 25 million.
Tony: Seriously, no depth. Injury to starter would derail this team.
Mark: Tough schedule last week, but they've lost 4 straight.
Tony: Surprisingly hot start, but won't last.
Mark: Klay Thompson's shooting needs to improve, and it will.
Tony: My boy Kemba is turning into a star.
Mark: Kemba Walker early favorite for most improved player.
Tony: Kyrie has gone to next level, but not much of a supporting cast.
Mark: Lowry could be out another week.
Tony: Lowry injury allows them to showcase Calderon for trades.
Mark: 2-0 start may have been a mirage.
Tony: And...there it is. This is more like what I expected.
Mark: Waiters is starting to really get it going.
Tony: Cousins is a child. But a very talented child.
Mark: See: last week. Cousins hasn't grown up.
Tony: Hasn't Seraphin earned more minutes?
Mark: Bradley Beal looking like the right pick.
Tony: Laughable start to the season. Ouch.
Mark: How have they not won with Greg Monroe?
Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:45 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
1. Corey Crawford vs. ... Oscar Dansk?
The Golden Knights have seen both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban go down with injuries, so they're scraping for goaltenders at this point.
On one end of the ice, you have one of the best netminders in the league and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Crawford. On the other, you have a 23-year-old rookie in Dansk making his first official NHL start who will be backed up by a 24-year-old rookie in Maxime Lagace, who has never appeared in an NHL game.
In his first game action, Dansk stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief during Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.
2. Fast start.
The Blackhawks are tied for second in both goals scored (13) and fewest goals allowed (four) in the first period, which has a large reason for their early season success.
The Golden Knights aren't the kind of team that gets out to a blazing start. They've allowed only five goals in the opening frame, but they've scored only five as well, which ranks among the bottom 10 teams in the league.
3. Beware of James Neal.
The Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to win six of their first seven games of their inaugural season. And they probably don't have half of those wins if it weren't for Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in each of their first three games.
He leads the club with six goals and eight points, and serves as the motor for a team that doesn't have much offensive talent. He's the go-to guy, and somebody you have to keep an eye on when he's on the ice.
Here are Three Things to Watch in the Bulls' Tuesday night tilt against the Cavaliers on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.
1. LeBron James will be on your television
Love him or hate him, LeBron James is must-see TV. Now in his 15th NBA season, James has shown no signs of slowing down. Despite playing just one preseason game (against the Bulls), James has shown anything but rust in three games, averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 37 minutes. He's a threat every night to do something you've never seen on a basketball court, His Airness included. Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser will have their hands full against the game's best player.
2. Lauri Markkanen, Week 2
Small sample size alert! But through the season's first week Markkanen and Ben Simmons are the only rookies averaging a double-double (Dallas' Dennis Smith has played just one game, averaging 16 points and 10 assists). While the Bulls have struggled through two games, Markkanen's net rating is third best on the team and he leads the Bulls bigs in rebounds per game and rebound percentage. Markkanen has shown some versatility offensively, and his 7 free-throw attempts have been a nice surprise as well.
3. Don't forget: The Bulls swept the Cavaliers last year
OK, so expecting a victory Tuesday night in Cleveland isn't smart. The Bulls will be underdogs just like they were in each of the four games last season, all of which were Bulls winners. It was the first time in 52 division series that LeBron James had been swept, which is pretty remarkable considering the Bulls were the No. 8 seed and the Cavs coasted to a third straight NBA Finals. We're not over here predicting a win. But just remember: the Bulls have fared well against James in the regular season.