NBA Power Rankings: Warriors fall outside the Top 3
From 30 to 1...
The inaugural 2017-18 season edition...
30) Suns (0-3)
This team is a hot mess. Watson lasted three games as the team’s head coach. Bledsoe is tweeting out “I Dont want to be here.” Booker isn’t hitting his shots. Neither is Warren or Chriss. So far this team is getting outscored by more than 30 points per game. Dumpster fire.
29. Bulls (0-2)
Bobby Portis tried to punch his way off this team. It’s a bad roster heading for a very long season. Making Lauri Markkanen can give a glimmer of hope to a team that is imploding from within.
28. Mavs (0-3)
Dennis Smith is super fun to watch. The rest of the roster, not so much. Rick Carlisle will have to balance a young an exciting backcourt with an aging star in Dirk Nowitzki. The time is coming when he’ll have to ask the future Hall of Famer to take a step back.
27. Knicks (0-2)
The Unicorn has arrived. Now if only the Knicks had a pegasus, a chupacabra, a Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot in the pipeline. So far, it’s a bunch of zombies in the Big Apple.
26. Lakers (1-3)
The NBA is already sick of LaVar Ball and he’s never played a minute in the league. His son is pretty good, but I can’t remember his name. Ingram is developing and Kuzma was a very nice pull from the Lakers brass. This team started 10-10 last season before finishing 26-56.
25. Philly (0-3)
NBA schedulers didn’t get the memo about the up and coming 76ers. Wizards, Celtics, Raptors put The Process on ice. Lots of scoring options for coach Brett Brown, but this team is a mess on the defensive end early.
24. Hawks (1-2)
For better or worse, this is Dennis Schroder’s team. No one knows where this team is heading, but they have a few young pieces that intrigue. John Collins is a freak athlete that plays with a fire. Taurean Prince is getting his opportunity in year two.
23. Nets (2-1)
Brooklyn is trying to be interesting by scoring in bunches. They are also giving up plenty of points to their opponents. D’Angelo Russell is going to get every opportunity to chuck away. Losing Jeremy Lin is a tough blow.
22. Kings (1-2)
De’Aaron Fox is already pushing for a bigger role just three games into the season. He’s the fastest player in the league and he plays both ends of the floor. Getting the rest of the team to keep up is going to be an issue. This team plays hard and they might be better than folks predicted.
21. Pacers (1-2)
Indy shook up their roster in the offseason, dealing All-Star forward Paul George to the Thunder for Oladipo and Sabonis. So far, it’s been a group effort with seven players averaging double-figures. They’ll need time to gel, but this is a nice little team in the East.
20. Hornets (1-1)
The injury bug has this team on the outside looking in. Kemba Walker will do his best to keep them relevant until they can get Batum, Kidd-Gilchrist and Carter-Williams back in the fold. Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lamb need to keep playing above their heads.
19. Pelicans (2-2)
The jury is still out on whether Cousins and Davis can fit together long term. The duo’s putting up huge numbers, but the only one that truly matters is the team’s win total. It’s an oddly constructed roster. They need shooters, but it’s a little late for that.
18. Magic (2-1)
Holy Vucevic, Batman. After a subpar 2016-17 season, Orlando’s center is averaging 27.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game through the team’s first four. Frank Vogel can coach and his roster looks improved over last season.
17. Pistons (2-1)
We bought in last year and Stan Van Gundy’s group let us down. The addition of Avery Bradley is nice. Reggie Jackson is healthy to start the season. If he can take a step back and make his teammates better, this team has a chance. All the pieces are in place.
16. Timberwolves (2-1)
So many weapons. The T-Wolves went crazy in the offseason, adding Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford. Thibs has one of the most talented rosters in the league, but they’ll need to play defense or face a similar fate as last season.
15. Nuggets (1-1)
The Joker forgot how to play basketball during the offseason. Michael Malone is counting on his budding star, but he’s yet to find his offensive game. The addition of Paul Millsap is huge, but Jokic is the straw that stirs the Nuggets drink.
14. Jazz (2-1)
Tough, gritty and missing Hayward and Hill. The Jazz can still be a playoff team, but a lot has to go right. Not many franchises lose their top two scorers and continue on an upward path.
13. Heat (1-1)
Spoelstra is coaching. That’s good enough to keep you in the top 15. The league needs more Whiteside/Embiid twitter battles. A healthy Justise Winslow could help take this team to the next level.
12. Trail Blazers (2-1)
This is a fun team to watch. Dame and C.J. are the best backcourt not named Steph and Klay. Nurkic can make this a solid playoff team if he plays like he did after the trade from Denver last season.
11. Celtics (1-2)
Danny Ainge swung away and then kept swinging. Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum in one offseason is a haul. Losing Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko and Gerald Green from a 53 win team was bold. Haywards injury was brutal, but this is still a quality team in the Eastern Conference.
10. Thunder (1-2)
Do they allow banana boats in the dust bowl? Sam Presti swung for the fences with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Westbrook was so impressed, he signed an extension to stick around. Will he take a back seat all season as a scorer? Can Billy Donovan weave a tapestry or will he spend the season mending holes in an imperfect, but talented roster? Lots of questions for this team.
9. Grizzlies (2-0)
Half of the vets are gone, but as long as Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are still on board, this team has a shot. Newcomer Dillon Brooks has impressed early. Chandler Parsons and Tyreke Evans might combine to make one interesting player.
8. Bucks (2-1)
The year of Giannis. Antetokounmpo is ready to ascend to the top of the NBA heap. The Bucks are going to need one or two players to become something more than they have been in their career, but when you have a transcendent talent, teammates usually rise to the occasion.
7. Clippers (2-0)
The Chris Paul era in LA is over, but the Clip show might be better this season. Losing Milos Theodosis to a plantar fasciitis injury hurts. The additions of Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari are intriguing. They need to bubble wrap their starting forwards, but this team got younger and deeper.
6. Raptors (2-0)
Same look. Same feel. Same Raptors. Good enough to roll up 50 wins in the regular season. Not good enough to challenge for a ring.
5. Wizards (2-0)
Otto Porter got paid. But that means the Wizards have placed all of their eggs in the same basket that lost in the conference semifinals. Can Scotty Brooks squeeze more out of the same lineup? So far, the Wizards are winning and moving up the board.
4. Warriors (1-2)
A week ago, the Warriors were numero uno and it wasn’t even close. But a slow start has them sliding down the ranks to start the season. This is still the most talented roster in the league, but you can’t stumble out of the blocks and expect to stay on top.
3. Cavs (2-1)
Runner up. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving couldn’t get along, so Cleveland stripped it down and built it back up. The Cavs are 14 deep of NBA regulars. The additions of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jose Calderon and Jeff Green change the look of the Eastern Conference’s best team. If this is LBJ’s last season in Cleveland, they gave him an arsenal to work with.
2. Spurs (2-0)
No Kawhi? No problem. LaMarcus Aldridge has turned back the clock, posting big numbers in his first two games. DeJounte Murray is holding his own as the starting point guard. It’s a long season, but the Spurs always seem to be there in the end.
1. Rockets (3-0)
The Rockets dug deep in the offseason and came away with nine-time All-Star Chris Paul. This team will run and gun and gun and run. Get prepared for a historical number of 3-pointers from Mike D’Antoni’s band of shooters.