NBA Power Rankings: Drummond, Pistons sprint out of the gates


NBA Power Rankings: Drummond, Pistons sprint out of the gates

Yes, we're six calendar days into the season, which can only mean the hot-take cannon is locked and loaded. The truth is doing power rankings this early in the season is a little unfair, as sample sizes are much too small to tell what's for real and what's not.

That being said, teams like the Warriors, Pistons and (for the wrong reasons) Rockets all made statements with their play. We'll have a better idea in a few weeks about these rankings, but as we're rolling these out every Monday this is all we've got to go on for now.

Previous power rankings: Preseason |

Rank (LW) Team
Record Comment
1 (1)
(3-0) Steph Curry (39.3 PPG) couldn't have started hotter for the defending champs, and has fourth most points in NBA history to begin a season.
(4) (3-0) Both Westbrook (32.0) and Durant (30.0) are averaging 30+ points per game. So far, so good. (Last week: 4)
(6) (3-0)  Easy schedule to open things up but they took care of business, and Blake Griffin hasn't slowed down after last year's playoffs.
4 (2) (2-1)  They've looked the part - especially Kevin Love (19.7 points, 11.7 rebounds) - after an opening night hiccup in Chicago.
5 (3) (2-1)  They had Oklahoma City on the ropes opening night, and LaMarcus Aldridge is still in the feeling out process with his new team.
6 (13) (3-0)  DeMarre Carroll is fitting in just fine in Toronto, helping the Raptors to the No. 7 defense through the season's first week.
7 (9) (3-1)  Nikola Mirotic was made for Fred Hoiberg's offense, but it's been the Bulls defense earning them victories in the early going.
8 (8) (2-1)  Ran into the Cleveland buzz saw on opening night but responded with two wins, scoring 100+ points in both.
9 (10) (2-1)  Their offense is rolling - No. 4 in efficiency - behind a healthy and energetic Dwyane Wade (21.7 points, 5.3 assists).
10 (23) (3-0)  Andre Drummond is playing like an All-Star, and Marcus Morris (19.3 points, 7.7 rebounds) has been a welcome addition to the league's biggest surprise in Week 1.
11 (7) (3-1)  Al Horford is 5-for-18 from beyond the arc in four games this season. He attempted 36 triples in 76 games a year ago.
12 (19) (2-1)  Impressive starts for Derrick Favors (21.3 points, 8.3 rebounds) and Rodney Hood (15.3 points). They lead the NBA in defensive efficiency through one week.
13 (5) (0-3)  Yikes. The first team in NBA history to lose their first three games by 20+ points. James Harden is shooting 9 percent from deep. Nine. Percent.
14 (12) (2-1)  John Wall is 10th in the NBA in assists per game (6.7) and 8th in blocks per game (2.7). Yeah.
15 (15) (2-1)  Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles less than 8 months ago and is already logging 26 minutes a night (while sitting out a back-to-back). Just remarkable.
16 (16) (2-1)  Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are off to hot starts, but Markieff Morris or T.J. Warren must step up as a third scorer to give the Suns a chance.
17 (11) (0-3)  They're as banged up as any team in the league, and a pair of games against the Warriors in the first week didn't ease any pain.
18 (17) (1-2)  Not a great start as Brad Stevens continues looking for ways to efficiently divide up frontcourt minutes.
19 (14) (0-3)  The Bucks were the second most efficient defense in the NBA last year. In three games this season, they're allowing a league-worst 117.1 points per 100 possessions.
20 (25) (1-2)  They hung with the Clippers twice (both losses) and embarrassed the Lakers. Odd week for them, but the talent around DeMarcus Cousins is improving (he is, too).
21 (27) (2-1)  It hasn't looked pretty, but wins against two playoff teams from a year ago is a solid way to begin the year for Carmelo and Co.
22 (18) (0-3)  Wait for Paul George to knock off some rust and Monta Ellis to mesh. Indiana will be fine. George Hill's bleached hair will never be.
23 (24) (0-3)  They've looked REALLY good for a winless team, nearly beating the Wizards (lost by 1), Thunder (lost by 3 in 2OT) and Bulls (lost by 5). Their time is coming.
24 (29) (2-0)  The Timberwolves are one of four teams ranked in the top-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The other three? The Clippers, Cavs and Raptors.
25 (20) (0-3)  Their top four scorers are shooting a combined 40.5 percent. Not a great start for MJ's squad, though they hung tough in a pair of losses to the Hawks.
26 (21) (1-2)  Chalk up C.J. McCollum as the biggest surprise of the week. The shooting guard averaged 22.7 points in three games, including 37 on opening night.
27 (26) (1-2)  The Nuggets are going to let Emmanuel Mudiay work through his early struggles. He has 20 turnovers but is also averaging 30 minutes in three games.
28 (22)   (0-3)  Second worst point differential, but opening with Chicago, San Antonio and Memphis was no gift from the scheduling gods.
29 (28) (0-3)  Kobe is 16-for-51 to begin the year, which sums up the Lakers' start. The good news? Julius Randle (13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds) has looked stellar.
30 (30)   (0-2)  Jahlil Okafor has looked the part in two games, averaging 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Maybe he and Nerlens Noel can co-exist.

Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls


Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls

Just two years after being drafted in the second round, Paul Zipser told German media that he doesn’t see the Bulls wanting him next season.

The Bulls have until mid-July to pick up Zipser's option.

"I would not be surprised if they no longer want me.” Zipser said in German and translated via Google Translate

“Actually, I'm pretty sure I will not play in Chicago soon.”

Last month, Zipser had surgery on his fractured left foot, in his native country of Germany, which grew speculation the Bulls wouldn’t pick up his player option for next season. Zipser said the surgery "went perfectly."

Zipser showed some flashes of potential in his rookie season, averaging 5.5 per game and 2.8 rebounds in 44 games. But this past season, he played more games, but injuries derailed him from improving his overall production. He finished with four points and 2.4 rebounds in 54 games, including 12 starts.

Zipser explained that things changed from his first year to his second year.

“They were very varied," Zipser said. "The first year was just going very well. I fought my way into the team from the beginning and showed how I can help the team. The Bulls just needed someone like me. That's why it worked so well. We benefited from each other - that's why we were successful.”

“That was very different. It was not right from the beginning, and I was already struggling with my injury. It was not quite clear what it is. If you have pain in your foot, you automatically go down a bit with intensity. You just do not want to hurt yourself and be completely out. It was then difficult for me to keep my head in the sport - I did not manage that well. Nevertheless, the injury should not be an excuse.”

Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Zipser might not dress up in a Bulls uniform next year.

Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression


Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression

During his NBA career, he was known as having a joking, outgoing, clown-type of personality. Now, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson opened up about having depression.

Robinson, an 11-year NBA veteran, told Bleacher Report that he began going to therapy sessions in the 2012-13 season when he played for the Bulls.

He said he would struggle with having an angel and a demon inside of him.

"The NBA gave me my depression," Robinson told Bleacher Report. "I've never been a depressed person in my life."

"The hardest thing in my whole life, of my 34 years in existence on earth, was dealing with 11 years in the NBA of trying to be somebody that [NBA coaches] want me to be," Robinson said.

When Robinson was with the Bulls, he said he would sit in front of the plane so he wouldn’t be tempted to crack jokes. His one year with the Bulls ended up being one of the top seasons statistically in his career. He averaged just over 13 points and four assists per game. He played in all 82 games (starting 23) on a team that finished 45-37 with a berth in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He thought his behavior was always looked down upon, and Robinson thought he was being punished for his actions.

“It’s like Spider-Man, that Venom. I never wanted that Venom outfit to just consume me,” he says. “I wanted to be Spider-Man. I wanted to be positive. I never wanted that dark side to come out because I know what that dark side could do.” 

This might come as a surprise for NBA fans, knowing how energetic Robinson was on the court, no matter what team he was a part of.

Even though Robinson is just 5-foot-9, he brought a spark of energy when he came into the game.

He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season with the Pelicans and spent last year with the Delaware 87ers in the G League.

Robinson is known for his participation in the NBA Slam Dunk competition. He won three contests, going back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

One highlight was Robinson jumping over Dwight Howard in 2009, which ultimately gave Robinson his third title. Another highlight is welcoming former 1986 Slam Dunk Champion Spud Webb on the floor in 2006 and jumping over him.

Robinson is still vying for a comeback to the NBA.