NBA Power Rankings, Oct. 30-Nov. 13
by Josh Nagel - 11/13/2007
Through the first couple weeks of the NBA season there have been some pleasant surprises (Orlando, Houston), a few disappointments (Golden State, Chicago) and other teams that have delivered pretty much what we've come to expect (San Antonio, Phoenix). Here is an early look at the NBA power rankings thus far:
1. San Antonio 6-1. Only 3-4 against the spread so far but that should improve. The Spurs covered four points on the road against New Orleans last week in a game and spread that exemplifies their road value.
2. Boston 5-0. As good as advertised so far with the additions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Undefeated straight-up and ATS … what's not to like?
3. Houston 6-1. Tracy McGrady appears to be injury-free and the supporting cast looks improved. It remains to be seen if the Rockets can keep up this pace.
4. Orlando 5-2. Rashard Lewis has made all the difference -- he adds an experienced superstar to go along with rising stars Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. Keep an eye on the Magic.
5. Phoenix 5-2. surprisingly, five of its seven games have gone under the posted total so far, but the Suns are off to their usual stellar start.
6. Detroit 5-1. Despite some injury problems early on, Detroit has found a way to pull out some close games and have looked like the Pistons of old so far.
7. Dallas 4-2. Devin Harris and Jason Terry really get this team going to complement MVP Dirk Nowitzki.
8. Denver 4-3. A disappointing road loss to New York last week. Can be a lethal team when everyone is clicking. Expect them to get better as the season progresses.
9. Utah 5-2. The Jazz surprisingly have the league's top scoring offense but they have played some poor defensive teams (see Golden State). Remains to be seen if they can keep it up.
10. L.A. Clippers 4-2. Seem to be holding up nicely for the time being without injured star Elton Brand, and center Chris Kaman in particular has steep up in Brand's absence.
11. L.A. Lakers 3-2. The Lakers are 4-1 ATS and that's because there's often value in them as home dogs. Marginal teams often come in as a slight favorite, and Kobe and friends are known to take care of them.
12. Cleveland 4-3. Nice string of road wins through the West Coast but it was against a meager level of competition. The jury is still out as to whether Cleveland was just a one-year wonder.
13. New Orleans 5-2. A surprising start, but star Chris Paul has led the way along with a balanced and consistent effort coming from the likes of David West and Peja Stojakovic, something the team lacked last year.
14. Portland 3-3. The Trail Blazers have been respectable without top pick Greg Oden. The upside of the rookie's injury is that is gives LaMarcus Aldridge more room to develop and he's looked improved.
15. Toronto 4-3. The Raptors lead the league in three-point percentage but are near the bottom in rebounding, which doesn't bode well against some of the more physical teams in the East.
16. New Jersey 4-2. Vince Carter, surprise, surprise, is injured again. Something along the lines of a bruised hangnail. And the Nets still just threw something like a trillion dollars at the erstwhile China doll. What were they thinking?
17. Indiana 3-3. Danny Granger is turning into a quite a player, and the Pacers can use the lift after last year's misguided trade with the Warriors.
18. Charlotte 3-3. Emeka Okafor and Raymond Felton have given the Bobcats consistent performances, but they lack the outside threat that went down with Adam Morrison's season-ending injury.
19. Chicago 1-5. Lack of inside presence still hurts this team. It was painful to watch Tyrus Thomas try to stop Rasheed Wallace last week even though the Bulls won that game. However, 30-point home losses to the Raptors are unacceptable.
20. Golden State 0-5. This team badly needs Stephen Jackson to return, and Don Nelson might want to consider playing Brandan Wright a little. The team's struggles thus far prove that its frenetic style does not bode well for the long regular season.
21. New York 2-3. The Knicks have been competitive so far, but better your money goes on them than mine. Just can't trust that there's any leadership here.
22. Philadelphia 2-4. For a woefully bad roster by NBA standards (Willie Green and Reggie Evans are among the team's starters), the 76ers show surprising grit most of the time but they are a ways off from respectability.
23. Washington 1-5. One of the NBA's biggest disappointments so far, the Wizards rank last in field-goal and three-point percentage.
24. Atlanta 2-4. Draft picks Al Horford and Acie Law already have cracked the lineup for the youth-laden Hawks. Expect them to have some growing pains.
25. Sacramento 2-4. The Kings have eeked out a couple of wins at home but this is a truly awful team. Kevin Martin has become the Kings' go-to guy, which speaks to how bad things have gotten.
26. Milwaukee 2-4. The fact that the Bucks are near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories speaks to the problem that they still lack a legitimate second threat to complement Michael Redd.
27. Miami 1-5. The Heat have struggled to find any production from the point guard position, and the return of Dywane Wade might not be enough to make them a playoff contender.
28. Seattle 0-7. Yes, the Sonics are winless, but they have been in the thick of almost every game, and super rookie Kevin Durant looks as good as advertised. This team might be competitive quicker than most observers anticipate.
29. Memphis 1-4. Some good young talent in Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, but the Grizzlies are stuck in their perpetual rebuilding mode.
30. Minnesota 0-5. The good news is that the Timberwolves signed their best player, Al Jefferson, to a long-term deal. The bad news is that they've got the league's worst team.