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Victor Oladipo
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Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings: Week 4

by Tommy Beer
Updated On: November 13, 2018, 8:39 am ET

The Pacers and Kings climb up the ladder, while the Pelicans and Pistons tumble backward, in this most recent edition of the NBA Power Rankings.

Find me on Twitter: @TommyBeer

1. Golden State Warriors
2018-19 record: 9-1
When the Warriors are clicking, they are virtually unbeatable. Golden State has won seven straight games and has outscored their opponents by 135 points (1,241 to 1,106) over that seven-game stretch. Already this season, we’ve seen both Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry each score more than 50 points before the end of the third quarter. Oh, and Kevin Durant outscored New York 25-14 by himself in the fourth quarter of a win over the Knicks at MSG.


2. Toronto Raptors
2018-19 record: 8-1
The Raptors are 5-0 in the games Kawhi Leonard has played this season, and they have also won two of the three contests he’s missed - including Sunday night’s demolition of the Lakers in Los Angeles. Kawhi is questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Jazz due to a sore left foot/ankle that he initially injured on Friday against Phoenix. He is traveling with the team, so there’s a chance he suits up in Utah.

3. Milwaukee Bucks
2018-19 record: 8-1
The Bucks 8-1 record is the best nine-game start in franchise history; and it’s not just that they are compiling wins, they are doing so in dominating fashion. The Bucks average margin of victory this season is 14.6 points. The only team in the league with a double-digit average margin of victory is the Warriors, at 13.3.

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4. Denver Nuggets
2018-19 record: 8-1
A primary reason Denver has won four straight and eight of their first nine games has been their surprisingly impressive defense. Last season, the Nuggets allowed 109.9 points per 100 possessions and ranked 23rd in the NBA in Defensively Efficiency. In 2018-19, Denver is allowing nine fewer points per 100 possessions are rank third in DefEff. The Nuggets host the Celtics on Monday in a cross-conference showdown between two of the NBA's best defensive squads.

5. Indiana Pacers
2018-19 record: 7-3
Victor Oladipo did it again Saturday night in Indiana, nailing a game-winning 3-pointer with less than three seconds on the clock to sink the Celtics. Considering how well ‘Dipo has performed with the game on the line in an Indiana uniform, Pacers had to feel very confident when he rose up over Kyrie Irving and company. Per NBA.com, Oladipo is 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) from the floor, 5-of-6 from 3-point territory (71.4 percent) and 5-of-6 from the free-throw stripe in clutch situations this season.

6. Boston Celtics
2018-19 record: 6-3
The C’s have won four of their last five games despite disappointing production from their highest paid player. Over Boston’s last five contests, Gordon Hayward is averaging 9.6 points and has been remarkably inefficient, shooting just 38.3 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from 3-point territory, and 60.0 percent from the charity stripe. Will he start to cede minutes to other, more productive reserves off the Celtics bench? The Celtics have been outscored by three points in the 199 minutes Gordon Hayward has played this season. In contrast, the Celtics have outscored their opponents by 50 points in the 209 minutes Marcus Smart has played this season.

7. Portland Trail Blazers
2018-19 record: 7-3
The Blazers went 3-1 last week and are in the middle of a six-game homestand. However, they take on a few tough teams this week, with the Bucks, Clippers and Celtics all coming to Portland. Then, beginning in mid-November, they embark on a six-game road trip, that will take them from Los Angeles to New York and back to California.

8. San Antonio Spurs
2018-19 record: 6-3
The Spurs had their four-game winning streak ended by the Orlando Magic on Sunday night in a disappointing 117-110 defeat in San Antonio. Rudy Gay has been playing well in 2018-19 but missed his first game of the season on Sunday due to right heel soreness. However, it was due primarily to the Spurs looking to give Rudy a night off on the second night of a back-to-back. Coach Gregg Popovich joked that Gay was sitting out because “he has other things to do."

9. Philadelphia 76ers
2018-19 record: 6-5
The Sixers remain winless on the road this season after getting blown out by the Nets on Sunday in Brooklyn. In the 122-97 defeat, Philadelphia committed 28 turnovers, most in the NBA this season, leading to 39 points for the Nets. Afterward, coach Brett Brown said of his Sixers, who are 6-0 at home but 0-5 on the road: "We're not among the Eastern Conference royalty." Ben Simmons said the team has been playing “soft.”

10. Utah Jazz
2018-19 record: 4-5
Jazz fans got a major scare late Saturday night when Donovan Mitchell fell to the floor and clutched his left ankle before being carried off the court by trainers. However, Utah faithful were able to breathe a sigh of relief a short while later when he returned to the bench and then checked back into the game. "I was just being a baby," Mitchell told reporters afterward. "I'm good. I've twisted an ankle before. It's not a great feeling. I don't tape my ankles, so I'll probably start." Utah will likely need Mitchell if they want to snap their three-game losing streak when they square off with the Raptors on Monday night.


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11. Houston Rockets
2018-19 record: 3-5
Houston got the gang back together in the Windy City over the weekend. The Rockets welcomed James Harden, who had missed three straight games with a strained hamstring, back into the lineup in Chicago and handily beat the Bulls. Dating back to the start of last season, Houston is 44-4 when Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela play together. Carmelo Anthony is also starting to find his groove with his new teammates. Over the Rockets last five games, he’s averaging 19.8 points and 3.2 triples, while shooting over 49 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder
2018-19 record: 4-4
It appears reports of OKC's demise was greatly exaggerated. After losing their first four games of the season, the Thunder have reeled off four consecutive victories. Yes, the return of a healthy Russell Westbrook has been crucial, but Jerami Grant’s improved play has also been important in OKC’s turnaround. Over his first four games, Grant averaged 7.0 points while shooting just 30.3 percent from the floor, 15.4 percent from 3-point range and 54.5 percent from the free-throw line. Over OKC’s most recent four games, Grant is averaging 14.5 points and shooting 61.8 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from downtown and 61.1 percent from the stripe.

13. Memphis Grizzlies
2018-19 record: 5-3
The Grizz had strung together three impressive wins, including a victory over the Jazz in Utah, before disappointingly falling to the Suns on Sunday night. On Monday, Memphis has the unenviable assignment of playing the Warriors in Golden State on the back end of a back-to-back.

14. L.A. Clippers
2018-19 record: 5-4
The Clippers next five opponents are the Wolves, Blazers, Bucks, Warriors and the Spurs. Fortunately for Los Angeles, they play four of those next five games at home.

15. New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 record: 4-5
After starting the season by winning each of their first four games, the Pelicans have now lost five in a row. Worse yet, New Orleans has been outscored by an average of 14.6 points during this five-game stretch. After playing the final game of a five-game road trip in OKC on Monday night, the Pels head home for a pair of winnable games (vs. the Suns and Bulls) later in the week.

16. Los Angeles Lakers
2018-19 record: 4-6
After beating the Mavs and then defeating the Blazers in Portland earlier in the week, the Lakers were badly beaten by a Raptors team playing with Kawhi Leonard on Sunday. On Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that "evidence is mounting that Luke Walton's job security ultimately depends upon his ability to significantly improve upon a 3-5 record to start." Sunday’s inopportune home loss to the Kawhi-less Raps won’t make that hot seat any cooler.

17. Sacramento Kings
2018-19 record: 6-4
The Kings had their five-game winning streak snapped Sunday night in Milwaukee, but Sacramento deserves plenty of credit for their impressive play early on. During that five-game stretch, per NBA.com, the Kings averaged 117.8 points, 50.6 rebounds, 26.4 assists, which ranked sixth, third and fifth respectively in the NBA over that time. In Thursday’s win over the Hawks, De’Aaron Fox became just the third player in league history, age 21 or younger, to tally at least 30 points, 15 assists and ten rebounds in an NBA game. The other two? Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

18. Charlotte Hornets
2018-19 record: 5-5
After a phenomenal start to the season, Kemba Walker has come back down to earth a bit. Kemba averaged 31.7 points over his first seven games, and is averaging 19.5 over his past three contests. However, the Hornets have gotten terrific production from their supporting staff. Charlotte has eight players averaging at least eight points. On the season, their reserves are averaging 50 points per game, which ranks second in the NBA behind only the Clippers.

19. Detroit Pistons
2018-19 record: 4-4
Blake Griffin initially struggled to get acclimated in Detroit after a mid-season deal last February. However, BG is off to a phenomenal start this season. Over the Pistons first eight games, Griffin is averaging 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.6 treys, while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 45.7 percent from downtown.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves
2018-19 record: 4-6
The good news for the Wolves is that they are 4-1 at home. The bad news is they are 0-5 away from home, and they play three more road games this week (against the Clippers, Lakers and Kings). Worse yet, the specter of Jimmy Butler continues to hang over the team. In an interview published on Saturday, Butler said that although he desires to be traded, he is not a distraction and that he loves his teammates. On Sunday, he decided to sit out due to “precautionary rest,” and the Wolves got blowout by the Blazers.

21. Brooklyn Nets
2018-19 record: 4-6
The Nets pounded the Sixers on Sunday and pulled to within two games of .500. That represents progress for the Nets, who have finished each of the last three seasons at least 25 games under .500. Part of the reason for their relative success early this year may be due to continuity. Brooklyn has used the same starting five (Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Joe Harris, Jared Dudley and Jarrett Allen) for each of the first ten games. Remarkably, it’s the first time the Nets have started the same five players in each of the first ten games of a season since 2002-03 (Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson, Kenyon Martin and Dikembe Mutombo).

22. Miami Heat
2018-19 record: 3-5
The Heat lost all three games they played last week, including a pair of disappointing losses to the Kings at home and Hawks in Atlanta. Miami allowed over 120 points in each of those three defeats. Coach Erik Spoelstra has demanded better defensive effort from his troops going forward. After playing the Pistons in Detroit on Monday, the Heat begins a four-game homestand Wednesday vs. the Spurs. They’ll have to play without Hassan Whiteside (right knee) on Monday vs. Detroit, but will get Goran Dragic (toe) back in the starting lineup.

23. New York Knicks
2018-19 record: 3-7
The Knicks have gotten an unexpected boost off the bench from undrafted free agent rookie Allonzo Trier. Coming into this year, no rookie in NBA history had ever averaged at least 10 points and shot over 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range over a full season. Through 10 games, Trier is averaging 10.6 points and shooting 52.8% and 42.9%.

24. Atlanta Hawks
2018-19 record: 3-6
It’s still early, but Trae Young has silenced some folks that claimed he couldn’t handle NBA action. In Saturday’s victory over the Heat, Young tallied 24 points, 15 assists, five rebounds and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. According to Basketball-Reference, Young is just the seventh rookie in NBA history with at least 24/15/5 in a game, and the first player ever with 20+ points, 15+ dimes and 5+ boards in one of his first ten career contests.

25. Orlando Magic
2018-19 record: 3-6
The Magic notched their most impressive victory of the season on Sunday night when they knocked off the Spurs in San Antonio. Orlando has faced one of the league’s toughest schedules early on, but it lightens up this week. The Magic head home to host the Cavs on Monday and then welcome the Pistons and Wizards, before heading to New York to take on the Knicks.

26. Washington Wizards
2018-19 record: 2-7
The Wizards entered this past weekend as the only team in the league yet to win a game in regulation this season (their lone victory came in overtime). However, the Wiz finally played some defense and took care of the Knicks in D.C. on Sunday. Washington had allowed at least 107 points in each of their first eight games, but held New York to just 95.

27. Dallas Mavericks
2018-19 record: 2-7
Things were looking up when the Mavs won two of their first three games this season. However, Dallas has lost six straight since then. The Mavericks needs Harrison Barnes to snap out of his early-season slump. Over the past five games, Barnes is shooting 35.1 percent from the floor, 29.6 percent from 3-point territory and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line. On the bright side, Luka Doncic has looked as great as advertised. He leads the Mavs in scoring (19.4 points) and is also chipping in 6.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.7 treys and 0.9 steals.

28. Phoenix Suns
2018-19 record: 2-7
It certainly appeared the Suns were going to lose their eighth straight game on Sunday. Entering the fourth quarter, Devin Booker had five fouls, and the Grizzlies grabbed a 91-79 lead with less than nine minutes remaining. However, Booker scored 14 of his 25 points in the final frame, including two supremely clutch contested jumpers, the final one putting the Suns ahead for good with less than three seconds on the clock. Booker, an incredibly smooth offensive player, just turned 22 years of age last week and is only beginning to scratch the surface of his prime.

29. Chicago Bulls
2018-19 record: 2-8
The Bulls played four home games last week but lost all four of them. However, to be fair, they faced four quality opponents (the Warriors, Nuggets, Pacers and Rockets) and, for the most part, hung tough. They lost to the Nuggets in overtime and took the Pacers down to the wire before losing by a bucket.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers
2018-19 record: 1-8
The Cavs are an absolute mess right now. Per Joe Vardon of The Athletic: “Things are even worse on the Cavaliers than they seem. Vets expect to be traded. Growing disillusionment with Collin Sexton. Mixed messages from management. Players are backing Drew’s contract request.” But other than that, things seem to be going well in Cleveland.