Despite a disappointing loss to the Suns, the Clippers maintain the No.1 overall spot in the updated Power Rankings, while the impressive Timberwolves leap into the top-10.
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1. Los Angeles Clippers
LA started the season looking unbeatable. They cruised past the Lakers on opening night and then crushed the Warriors at Golden State. On Saturday, they traveled to Phoenix to take on the lowly Suns, who were playing without their starting center and point guard. Easy win, right? Wrong. L.A. stunningly lost 130-122. However, bad beats aside, Clippers fans have every reason to believe that their team will be a championship contender come June.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid (right ankle sprain) was sidelined on Saturday night; however, he participated in Monday's morning shootaround and is listed as questionable on the Sixers injury report tonight's game vs. Atlanta. Embiid has stated he wants to play in 70+ games this season, so we'll see if he works his way into the lineup.
3. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are remarkably deep this season. They currently have seven players averaging at least ten points per game, and that doesn't include rotation regulars, Torrey Craig, Mason Plumlee and Monte Morris. And they still have Juancho Hernangomez and Michael Porter Jr. waiting in the wings.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo has fouled out of both Bucks games (a win in Houston and a loss to Miami), but is still averaging a whopping 29.5 points (on 60% shooting from the field), 15.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists a night.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis put his prodigious talent on display for Lakers fans last night in LA's victory over the Hornets. AD poured in 29 points (10-of-19 FGs 6-of-6 FTs), three 3-pointers, 14 rebounds, three assists, a steal, three blocks and five turnovers in 33 minutes.
6. Houston Rockets
James Harden has attempted 26 shots from behind the arc this season, and only made three. It hurt the Rockets in their season opener when they blew a double-digit lead to the Bucks. However, Houston held on to beat the Pelicans at home on Saturday. Russell Westbrook did the heavy lifting in that win, recording his first triple-double in H-Town, piling up 28 points, ten rebounds and 13 assists. It was the 139th of his career, passing Magic Johnson for second on the all-time list, behind only Oscar Robertson's 181.
7. Utah Jazz
Bojan Bogdanovic twisted his ankle in the first half of Wednesday's game and needed help exiting the court. He did return to that contest but was unable to play Friday vs. the Lakers. However, Bogey was back in action on Saturday and scored a game-high 26 points (10-of-18 FGs) to go along with five triples, four rebounds, one assist and a steal.
8. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers entered the season with shallow depth up front, so the injury to Zach Collins's shoulder is particularly concerning. He dislocated his left shoulder in Sunday's win over Dallas and has been ruled out of Monday's game vs. the Spurs. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI, and Portland fans are anxiously awaiting the results.
9. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs got the benefit of an easy early-season schedule to rack up two wins. Yet, they were down big to the Knicks in the season-opener before mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter. On Saturday vs. the Wizards, but were bailed out by a DeMar DeRozan game-winner as they eked out a 124-122 victory. The Spurs host the Blazers on Monday.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have raced off to an impressively fast start, and Karl-Anthony Towns has jumped to the head of the MVP debate in the season's first week. Just how well is KAT playing? Well, consider this: He is averaging career highs in points (32.0), rebounds (13.3), assists (5.0), steals (3.0) and blocks (2.0) per game.
11. Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker and his new Celtic teammates stumbled a bit out of the gates by losing badly to the Sixers on Opening Night, but got back on track this weekend by beating the Raps on Friday and the Knicks on Saturday night in New York. Walker was shooting just 30% from the floor over his first two games in green but busted out of an early-season shooting slump by torching the Knicks for 32 points (on 11-of-17 shooting), five rebounds, four assists, seven 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He scored 21 of those points in the second half, when he converted eight of his nine FG attempts.
12. Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler (personal) missed each of the first three games of the season to be with his family following the birth of his daughter. The Heat held their own without him, winning two of three. However, they will welcome Jimmy Buckets back to the lineup Tuesday vs. the Hawks. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he has no plans to limit Butler's minutes.
13. Toronto Raptors
Prior to the start of the season, coach Nick Nurse told reporters that he thinks Pascal Siakam could increase his scoring average by as many five points per game in 2019-20. Well, three games into the new year, Siakam is making his coach look prophetic, as he's currently averaging 28.7 points, to go along with 10.7 rebounds, 3.7 dimes and 2.7 triples.
14. Dallas Mavericks
As of opening night, Kristaps Porzingis hadn't set foot on an NBA court in 610 days, so plenty of rust was to be expected. However, KP has looked terrific early on, averaging 26.3 points. 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.7 blocks and 3.0 made treys in 31 minutes a night.
15. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have played two games this season. They've won them both. And, in each game, Trae Young has scored at least 38 points, grabbed at least seven boards and dished out at least nine dimes. He's the first player in NBA history with 38/7/9 in each of the first two games of a season.