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Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings: Week 11

by Tommy Beer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @TommyBeer

1. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 27-7
After defeating the Cavs in their Christmas Day showdown, the Warriors have now won 12 of their last 13 games, including seven of eight without Stephen Curry. In addition to their prolific offense, it’s been the Warriors stifling defense that has sustained their remarkable success. Golden State leads the entire league in Defensive Efficiency, allowing just 100.8 points per 100 possessions.

2. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 25-7
The Rockets, losers of three straight, are struggling for the first time this season. Ironically, since Daryl Morey said in an interview last week that he and his team are “basically obsessed” with finding a way to beat the Warriors, Houston is 0-3 vs. teams not named the Warriors. However, those losses certainly can’t be pinned on James Harden. The Beard is averaging 43.7 points (while shooting 50.7 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from downtown), 10.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals during Houston’s three-game losing streak.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 24-10
The Cavs had scored at least 100 points in 26 straight games, before the Warriors held them to only 92 on Christmas Day. Cleveland shot just 31.8 percent from the floor vs. Golden State. That’s the first time the Warriors have held an opponent under 32 percent shooting since February of 2014. Next time the Cavs and Warriors square off (January 15th in Cleveland), we’ll likely see both Isaiah Thomas and Steph Curry at the starting point guards for their respective squads.

 

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4. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 27-10
After a red-hot start to the 2017-18 campaign, the Celtics have lost six of their last 11 games. They are 11-8 since opening the season 16-2. One reason Boston’s recent slump has been their surprising inability to rebound the basketball of late. The Celtics were second in the league in rebounding over the first 20 games of the season. However, they are rank outside the top-20 overall in the five weeks since.

5. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 23-8
Toronto seems to fly under the radar, but continue to rack up victories. The Raps have won six straight overall and 12 of their last 13. They are tied with the Warriors for most wins in the month of December.

6. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 23-11
The Spurs continue to sporadically mix Kawhi Leonard back into the mix, but it’s been LaMarcus Aldridge that San Antonio has been able to rely upon consistently this season. Aldridge has led the team in scoring in 28 out of the team’s 34 games, the most games a player has led a team in scoring in the entire NBA this season.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 21-13
The Timberwolves 21-13 start is the third-best record after 34 games in franchise history. Only Minnesota’s 25-9 start in 2001-02 and their 23-11 record in '03-04 were better.

8. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 19-15
John Wall had his minutes restrictions lifted on Monday and responded with one of his more impressive all-around games of the season. He registered 21 points, 14 assists, five rebounds, one steal and one turnover across 39 minutes in the Wizards big win over the Celtics in Boston. The “buy-low” window on Wall may have slammed shut.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 19-15
The offensive chemistry among OKC's 'Big 3' in the Thunder's impressive victory over the Rockets on Christmas Day is precisely what Oklahoma City fans were hoping for coming into this season. It was the first game all year that Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony all scored at least 20 points and all shot at least 50 percent from the floor in the same game.

10. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 19-14
Victor Oladipo has tallied a team-high 808 points this season. Per Elias, he is the first Pacer player to score more than 800 points in a season before Christmas.

11. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 17-14
Eric Bledsoe has provided the offensive spark the Bucks hoped he might when they traded for him back in November. In the 21 games he has played for Milwaukee, Bledsoe is averaging 18.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 treys and 2.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per contest.

12. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 18-14
The Pistons roller-coaster season has swung back up of late. After losing seven straight games to start the month of December, the Pistons regained their equilibrium and have won four of their last five. The only loss during this recent stretch was a disappointing defeat to the Mavs in Dallas.

13. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 18-15
The Nuggets registered arguably their most impressive victory of the season on Saturday, when they beat the Warriors in Golden State by 15 points. Nikola Jokic led the way by scoring 18 points and adding nine rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.

14. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 17-16
The Pels have won two straight and have a chance to build off that momentum and finish the year on a strong note, as they play three winnable home games this week (vs. the Nets, Mavericks and Knicks) to close out 2017.

15. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 17-16
Portland has lost three of their last four but got encouraging news over the weekend when stud point guard Damian Lillard (hamstring) said he would "definitely" return to play against the Sixers on Thursday night.

16. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 17-16
The Heat have won six of their last nine and a primary reason for their success this month has been the continued improvement from Josh Richardson. J-Rich is averaging 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals, while shooting a scorching 54.8 percent from the floor and 50.9 percent from 3-point territory in December.

 

17. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 17-16
By scoring a season-high 31 points and tying a career-high by pulling down with 22 rebounds during Monday’ matinee, Enes Kanter joined some pretty exclusive company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kanter joined Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bob Lanier as just the fourth player to record a 30-20 game on Christmas. Kanter is also the first Knick to tally more than 30 points and more than 20 boards in a game since Patrick Ewing produced 44 points and 24 rebounds against the Warriors in November of 1989.

18. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 15-19
Donovan Mitchell has scored at least 25 points in six of the ten games he’s played during the month of December. Per NBA.com, just three other players since 1983-84 have tallied six 25-point outings in December in their rookie seasons.

19. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 15-18
The Sixers had lost five straight and nine of ten before upending the Knicks in New York on Christmas. Of course, having stud big man Joel Embiid in the mix makes an immense difference. Embiid was dominant on both ends of the floor in Philly’s much-needed win over the Knicks, finishing with 25 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two 3-pointers and three blocks in 34 minutes.

20. LA Clippers
2017-18 record: 13-19
Austin Rivers, who posted career-highs in back-to-back games, had himself a pretty good weekend. Over the Clippers last three contests, Rivers is averaging 31.7 points (on 54.1 percent shooting), 5.0 assists, and 4.7 treys.

21. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 12-21
The Hornets are 6-3 this season when Kemba Walker scores more than 25 points. They are 6-18 when he scores 25 points or less.

22. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 11-21
Lonzo Ball, who is expected to miss a week due to a shoulder injury, shot 31.9 percent from the floor and 24.3 percent from downtown over the Lakers first 24 games of the season. Over his last eight games, Ball has shot 44.0 percent from the floor and 44.2 percent from 3-point range.

23. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 12-20
The Nets trade for DeMarre Carroll is looking better and better. Not only did the Brooklyn get back a first-round pick in the swap with the Raps, but Carroll is also averaging single-season career-highs in points (13.2), rebounds (7.1), made 3-point field goals (1.9) and 3-point attempts (5.3) per game this season.

24. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 10-22
The biggest surprise of last week had to be the Bulls actually losing a game in which Nikola Mirotic played! Despite suffering his first two losses of the season, Mirotic is still posting impressive numbers. He’s averaging 19.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.9 treys over his last eight games.

25. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 11-21
The Kings won two of the three games they played last week, including road wins in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Their sole loss was a defeat to San Antonio.

26. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 11-23
Orlando’s hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. The Magic have lost eight straight games and are an abysmal 3-19 over their last 22. Things went from bad to worse on Saturday, when Nikola Vucevic fractured his left hand, which will sideline him for 6-8 weeks.

27. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 12-23
Devin Booker (groin) was a full participant in Sunday's practice and barring a setback, he is expected to return to the Suns lineup for Tuesday's matchup against the Grizzlies. Phoenix has gone 3-6 in his absence.

28. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 10-23
The Grizzlies have won over 40 games in every season this decade, but are off to an awful 10-23 start in 2017-18. While some Grizzlies fans are understandably hoping the Grizz tank the rest of this season, Marc Gasol doesn’t want to hear it. "My job is not allowing that to happen," said Gasol to reporters over the weekend. "My job is not allowing anyone to throw away the season. Because at 32, 33 next month, I don’t have a season to throw away."

29. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 9-25
The Mavericks have been competitive recently, but don’t have many wins to show for it. Dallas has dropped eight of their last 10.

30. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 8-25
How rare was the Hawks win over the Mavs this past Saturday? Well, it Atlanta’s first win on the back end of a back-to-back all season. It was also the first time the Hawks won this season when trailing after three quarters. They had been 0-20 in such situations.