NBA Power Rankings, Nov. 13-Nov. 26
by Josh Nagel - 11/27/2007
With one month complete in the NBA season, teams are starting to settle in and offer an idea of how they will perform on a regular basis. The Celtics and Magic continue to add credibility to an Eastern Conference that sorely needed it. The Rockets have faded after a fast start, and the Bucks have made a respectable showing in the early going. Here are the NBA power rankings through Nov. 25:
1. Boston -- 11-1. The new-look Celtics continue to roll and, after a string of home games to start the season, have proven they can win on the road as well. Their 9-3 record ATS is a nice bonus for bettors who anticipated this hot start.
2. San Antonio -- 11-2. They are just 7-6 against the spread, which is indicative of the typical double-figure spreads the Spurs spot their opponents when in San Antonio. The traditional value on the Spurs is picking them to cover relatively small to mid-range numbers on the road, which they've done for years.
3. Orlando -- 12-3. The Magic's young core has thrived around Rashard Lewis, and the team showed some maturity in picking up a couple of big road wins last week. They also are a whopping 12-3 ATS thus far.
4. Phoenix -- 11-2. The Suns are 7-6 ATS, but after covering two huge numbers against Sacramento and the Clippers last week, it looks like they might be back on track to blow out the majority of their opposition and reward their backers.
5. Dallas -- 9-4. Only 1-4 ATS in their last five games, the Mavericks are off to a bit of a slow start by their standards, but they are finding ways to win, and you can't help but think they are about to go on a tear and start covering some numbers.
6. Utah -- 9-4. Impressive road win against Detroit gives the Jazz three straight wins and covers, and the new up-tempo style seems to suit their younger players well.
7. New Orleans -- 10-5. A mediocre 8-7 ATS, but the Hornets have been a pleasant surprise and it seems as if all five starters score in double figures every night. This speaks to nice balance and good team chemistry; definitely a team to keep an eye on.
8. Detroit -- 8-4. Inconsistent thus far, with a road loss to the Kings and a home loss to the Jazz last week, but there's a good chance the Pistons could cover all four games this week as they play teams (Cavs, Bucks, Nets and Hawks) that historically match up terribly against them.
9. Denver -- 9-5. The Nuggets can be explosive but have looked erratic at times. Three straight ATS losses after six straight wins.
10. L.A. Lakers -- 7-5. The Lakers are 8-4 ATS and have covered their last four home games, where the oddsmakers still seem to give them a lack of respect, with pretty easy numbers such as the 5.5 spread they obliterated against the Bulls in a 106-78 win last week.
11. Houston -- 7-7. From 6-1 to 7-7, the Rockets remain as big an enigma under Rick Adelman as they were under Jeff Van Gundy. Just 1-6 ATS in their last seven.
12. Toronto -- 7-7. Chris Bosh and a bunch of players you've never heard of have been solid enough to win four straight ATS and are 9-6 ATS for the season.
13. Milwaukee -- 7-4. The team with the biggest jump from the previous NBA power rankings (from No. 26), the Bucks have won five in a row straight up and have covered in four of those. Production from Andrew Bogut and Yi Jianlian in the post has been the key.
14. Cleveland -- 8-6. Impressive road win and cover against the Pacers last week, but an equally inexplicable home loss to the Bucks. Hard to figure out this team.
15. L.A. Clippers -- 6-6. Up and down so far, as their record suggests, but the Clippers seem to be staying afloat as well as they can while awaiting the return of Elton Brand from injury.
16. Golden State -- 5-7. The Warriors are 5-1 since their 0-6 start and almost all of the turnaround can be attributed to the return of the gritty Stephen Jackson from suspension. Finally starting to look like last year's playoff team, they are 4-2 ATS in their last six.
17. Indiana -- 6-7. A terrible road team, but look for value in the Pacers as a home dog, as they showed last week by beating the Mavericks straight up as a seven-point underdog, and they did the same against the Jazz.
18. Washington -- 6-7. Wizards have played surprisingly well since losing Gilbert Arenas for the season due to injury; maybe that's because there are more shots to go around. The Wizards are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.
19. Charlotte -- 6-7. The only team that can boast a win over the Celtics, the Bobcats have benefited from consistent play from Raymond Felton and Emeka Okafor.
20. New Jersey -- 6-7. There's really nothing to like about this Nets team that is full of softies and overrated players, but you can't rank them much lower based on their record. Rumor has it Vince Carter just stubbed his toe in the locker room and might be out for the season.
21. Atlanta -- 5-7. This young team is coming along nicely, led by veteran Joe Johnson and perhaps several future stars such as lottery pick Al Horford. Definitely on the rise.
22. Portland -- 5-8. After a fairly strong start the Blazers, who are winless on the road, have lost six straight ATS and five of six overall.
23. Memphis -- 4-9. The young Grizzlies have been surprisingly competitive in almost every game, as evidenced by their 9-4 mark ATS and 6-1 ATS in their last seven.
24. Miami -- 3-10. There is still time for the Heat to turn things around and, while Dwyane Wade's return hasn't reversed Miami's fortunes yet, he's good enough that it eventually might.
25. Chicago -- 3-10. Probably the best team talent-wise among teams with really bad records, you keep waiting for the Bulls to come around, but they have shown no signs of life. They are 0-4 ATS and straight up over the past week.
26. Sacramento 4-9. The Kings will spring the occasional home win to keep their fans happy, as they did last week against the Pistons, but don't expect too much out of them.
27. Philadelphia 3-9. The grind-it-out 76ers went 3-1 ATS last week, but it's hard to get a firm grasp on where the value lies for betting this team. Stay away from them most of the time.
28. Seattle 2-11. Despite their dreadful record, super rookie Kevin Durant and friends are fun to watch and they show a lot of heart and determination. However, they went 0-4 ATS and straight up last week.
29. New York 3-9. Just when it seemed Isaiah Thomas couldn't possibly do the organization any more harm, he exceeds all expectations by welcoming back malcontent Stephon Marbury with open arms and turning the rest of the team against him. The predictable result: The Knicks are 1-8 in their last nine games.
30. Minnesota 1-10. To say the Timberwolves are rebuilding would be way too generous; they are a couple years away from that.