NBA Power Rankings: Are the Blazers an early season surprise?
NBA Power Rankings
We're heading into Week 5 of the NBA season and things are finally starting to heat up.
The Jimmy Butler saga came to a close over the weekend as the Minnesota Timberwolves traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, rumors that Carmelo Anthony's time with the Houston Rockets could soon be over made headlines around the NBA.
Throughout the season, our Blazers insiders and reporters will rank the league's top 10 teams.
This week, Dwight Jaynes is taking over our NBA Power Rankings. Here's a look at where your team landed in Week 5, according to Dwight.
1. Golden State Warriors – Yeah, I know, they aren’t sizzling hot with Steph Curry out of the lineup with a groin pull and Draymond Green limping on a sprained toe. But come on – how can you rank anyone ahead of this juggernaut? Last I checked, Kevin Durant is still in the lineup with Klay Thompson and that pair is enough to beat most teams.
2. Toronto Raptors – Need I tell you, these guys are good? Their record (12-1) speaks for itself and really, this was an outstanding team last season. Problem is, we aren’t going to know how good until the playoffs – where the Raps usually wrap.
3. Portland Trail Blazers – There, I said it. Right now, there aren’t many teams playing better than the Blazers. In fact, NBA.com has this team ranked No. 2, behind Toronto. Portland is ranked fifth in both offensive and defensive rating in the NBA system and there have already been quality wins. The next road trip, a six-gamer, will go a long way toward legitimizing this team’s rank.
4. Milwaukee Bucks – Don’t be misled by the way these guys played in Portland – this is one of the most dangerous teams in the league. And in a week, the Blazers offer the Bucks a chance to avenge the Portland loss with a home game, where Milwaukee is 6-0.
5. Boston Celtics – I know, the record is 7-6 and they just finished a rather miserable Western trip – but I’m still a believer. Brad Stevens just has to do a little more sorting out of his roster, which may be a little too talented for its own good.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder – I’ve been impressed by how well this team has played without Russell Westbrook, which may tell you something about Russell Westbrook.
7. Utah Jazz – This team mystifies me because I can’t get a proper read on it. Let’s just say with Rudy Gobert in the middle, things are always going to be solid defensively.
8. Houston Rockets – This is based on the rumor of the Rox ridding themselves of Carmelo Anthony. Addition by subtraction.
9. Philadelphia 76ers – The addition of Jimmy Butler will make them better. But not a lot better.
10. New Orleans Pelicans – Probably higher than they should be but I just can’t get that playoff memory out of my mind.