Week number 3 is a wrap. The Jazz finally got their first win of the season this week! The Indiana Pacers finally got their first loss of the season! Other than that, did much change? Let’s get started and find out!
1. Indiana Pacers (9-1) previous rank : 1
The Pacers finally lost this week, but still rank at the top of my power rankings. We all knew they were going to lose eventually. Nobody will win all 82. Their defense is still the best in the league. Roy Hibbert is going after that Defensive Player of the Year award with those 4.6 blocks per game. Paul George is the leader with 23.3 points and 7 rebounds per game. This team is still a top team in the NBA, even with 1 loss.
2. San Antonio Spurs (9-1) previous rank : 2
As Jazz fans, we seen first hand how experienced this Spurs team is. The Jazz outplayed them for nearly 3 quarters, only to see their lead fall apart by the play of Tony Parker in the 4th quarter. Parker leads the Spurs with 18.5 points and 6.2 assists per game. Their defense ranks 2nd in the league. The Spurs will continue to be talked about how old they are and how they have nothing left in the tank, but come season’s end and the Spurs will be right there once again.
3. Miami Heat (7-3) previous rank : 7
Lebron James is on absolute fire right now. In the Heat’s games this week, James averaged 34 points per game while shooting the ball 70.6% from the field and 78.5% from 3. The Heat won all 3 games by an average of 15 points per game. There schedule isn’t very tough this week, so expect James to continue his stellar production.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (7-3) previous rank : 8
The Clippers rank 1st in scoring at 110 per game, and also rank 1st in assists at 26.4 per game. Chris Paul is averaging 12.8 of those assists per game. The Clippers played a tough schedule this week and came out on top in all 3 games. Their lowest scoring output in those games was 109 points. Blake Griffin leads the team in scoring at 22.9 per game. They will have a tough test this week with a back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday night @ Minnesota and then @ Oklahoma City.
5. Golden State Warriors (7-3) previous rank : 9
Another team that proved to Jazz fans that this is a team that can do some damage in the Western Conference. The Warriors rank 6th in the league in scoring at 104.9 per game, but they also rank in the top 10 in both assists and points allowed. The combination of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, a.k.a. the Splash Brothers, is a deadly backcourt combination. The duo combines for 40.6 points per game and is shooting a combined 50.5% from the field and 47% from 3. Is there a better scoring backcourt ever in the NBA?
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3) previous rank : 3
The Thunder had 2 losses this week to the 2 teams ranked right above them. They lost a hard fought game @ the Clippers. Then lost at the buzzer on a Andre Iguodala fadeaway @ the Warriors. They took out their frustration a couple nights later, however, on the Bucks in Milwaukee. This team seems to be the same as it was last season. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will score, but no one else really does. They need a big man that can score if they really want to make it out of the West. If they don’t get that big man, they might not even get past the 2nd round of the playoffs.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (8-2) previous rank : 5
The Blazers rank in the top 10 in points scored per game (104.6), rebounds per game (45.0), and assists per game (23.2). Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are averaging over 20 points per game. They’ve also won 6 games in a row. They currently are 2-0 on their current 4 game road trip, but they play at Brooklyn on Monday night. Besides the Nets, Portland also plays the Bulls and Warriors this week. This week will really tell us if this team is for real or not.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4) previous rank : 4
The Wolves are sitting in the top 5 in the NBA in points scored, assists, and rebounds. Kevin Love continues to put up solid numbers at 26.8 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. They barely lost to the Clippers on the road, and had blowout wins against the Cavaliers and the Celtics. However, they had a bad loss to the Nuggets this week. Wednesday night, the Wolves get their rematch against the Clippers, this time on the Wolves home court.
9. Chicago Bulls (5-3) previous rank : 18
The Bulls have started off the season a little bit rough, but had a very good week this week, handing the Pacers their first loss of the season. They didn’t just narrowly beat the Pacers either. They came out and smacked them by 16 points. They also put up 110 points on the top ranked defense in the NBA. Chicago ranks 3rd in defense, giving up 90 points per game. They also had blowout wins vs the Cavaliers and Raptors this week. Tough test this week though, as they travel to play the Blazers and Clippers.
10. Houston Rockets (7-4) previous rank : 10
The Rockets are ranked 1st in rebounding and 2nd in scoring in the league. They have 4 guys averaging over 17 points per game. You have to wonder how much longer the Rockets will keep Omer Asik. The big man has basically been requesting a trade since the Rockets signed Dwight Howard in free agency. Last week, he requested the trade once again according to reports. The reports seemed to be true as Asik has recieved a DNP in his last 2 contests.
11. Dallas Mavericks (6-4) previous rank : 11
The Mavericks have quietly been pretty good so far this season. The Mavs went 2-1 this week, with their only loss coming in a close contest @ Miami. Monta Ellis continues to lead the team in scoring, putting up 21.9 points per game. The Jazz travel to face the Mavericks in Dallas on Friday.
12. Phoenix Suns (5-4) previous rank : 6
The Suns only played 2 games this week and ended up losing both of those games. However, the 2 games were to 2 teams that before the season, you would expect the Suns to get blown out. The Suns though, have gotten off to a great start and only lost to the Blazers on the road by 1 point. Then they came home and lost to the Nets on a buzzer beater in overtime. The Suns rank 5th in points allowed at 95.8 per game. Eric Bledsoe is doing work, averaging 20.4 points and 6.8 assists per game.
13. Atlanta Hawks (6-4) previous rank : 13
The Hawks went 3-1 this week, scoring over 100 points in all 3 wins. They scored 110 points on Saturday in a blowout win over the Knicks in New York, 110-90. The Hawks next game is Tuesday when they visit the Heat in Miami. Both teams rank in the top 10 in the league in scoring.
14. Memphis Grizzlies (5-5) previous rank : 14
The Grizzlies have won 2 games in a row, but they won those games against teams that are not very good in the Lakers and Kings. The 2 game winning streak will be tested this week as they face the Clippers, Warriors, and Spurs. However, the Grizzles do rank 6th in the NBA in points allowed per game.
15. Philadelphia 76ers (5-6) previous rank : 12
The 76ers week 1 of the season was fantastic. Since then, they have started to fall lower and lower to where we all were expecting them to be. Since starting the season 3-0, the 76ers are just 2-6. There most recent loss was at the hands of the Pelicans by nearly 40 points, 135-98. The 76ers start to the season really was too good to be true, and now it is showing why.
16. Charlotte Bobcats (5-5) previous rank : 26
The Bobcats will not be ranked this high probably at all the rest of this season. They have actually played pretty well up til now. One thing that has really impressed me about the Bobcats is that this is a team with Al Jefferson as their starting center and the Bobcats rank 4th in the NBA in points allowed per game. Charlotte has played some pretty good defense, surprisingly. This week though, they have Chicago, Brooklyn, and Phoenix.
17. Orlando Magic (4-6) previous rank : 16
Orlando has started to come back down to earth a little bit. After beating the Pelicans, Nets, and Clippers, the Magic have dropped 4 of their last 5 games. This week isn’t going to be any friendlier to them as they face the Heat (twice) and the Suns.
18. Los Angeles Lakers (5-7) previous rank : 23
I don’t have anything to say about the Lakers.
19. New Orleans Pelicans (4-6) previous rank : 19
The Pelicans have a future All-Star on their hands with Anthony Davis. Maybe even as soon as this season. However, with as well as he has been playing, he still needs some help. Tyreke Evans hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since coming over from Sacramento. When they all finally mesh together, they could be dangerous later in the season.
20. Toronto Raptors (4-7) previous rank : 20
Rudy Gay enjoyed his return to Memphis last week. Beating up on his former team 103-87 and going for 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. However, the Raptors haven’t had a ton of success to start the season. This week though, they only have 2 games. 2 games where they face the 76ers and the Wizards.
21. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7) previous rank : 21
Kyrie Irving is averaging 21.3 points and 7 assists per game so far this season. Irving went off on Saturday, scoring a season high 41 points. His 41 point game came against the Wizards. They will face that same Wizards team on Wednesday before traveling to play the Pelicans and Spurs.
22. Denver Nuggets (4-5) previous rank : 28
The Nuggets have won 3 of their last 4 games. Surprisingly, after the injury to starting center JaVale McGee, the Nuggets rank 2nd in the NBA in rebounding. The Nuggets face the Thunder, Bulls, and Mavericks this week.
23. Boston Celtics (4-7) previous rank : 22
Boston started off the season 0-4. Then they went and rattled off 4 straight wins. Now they have dropped their last 3. This week is definitely not going to bean easy one for the Celtics, as they face the Rockets, Spurs, AND Pacers.
24. Brooklyn Nets (3-6) previous rank : 17
It probably hurts that the Nets had Deron Williams get injured, but this team being 3-6 to start the season is pretty baffling. They lost to the Kings this week. They didn’t just lose to the Kings, they got walloped by 21 points. The better get it together because their next team is against a Blazers team that is on a roll right now.
25. Detroit Pistons (3-6) previous rank : 15
This is another team that if they can learn to mesh, they have the pieces to be a pretty good team. However, right now they are not a very good team. They have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Their next game is against a Knicks team who is also struggling pretty bad right now.
26. New York Knicks (3-6) previous rank : 27
This team really misses Tyson Chandler. No one is scared to go into the lane with Andrea Bargnani defending the rim. Carmelo Anthony is trying to win games, averaging 25.8 points per game. They have the Pacers on ESPN this week.
27. Washington Wizards (2-7) previous rank : 25
This is a team that can still be pretty good and will probably be fighting for the 8th seed in the East at the end of the regular season. They ran into 3 pretty good Western Conference teams this week and it hurt them. Bradley Beal is playing well for the Wizards, leading them in scoring.
28. Sacramento Kings (2-7) previous rank : 29
The Kings beat the Nets, 107-86. This team is not terrible at home, thanks to their fans. They rank 10th in points allowed. They will play 2 sets of back-to-backs this week, 1 at home, 3 on the road.
29. Milwaukee Bucks (2-7) previous rank : 24
The Bucks have lost 5 in a row, and only 1 has been close. The schedule will soften up a little bit for the Bucks over the next couple of weeks, after they face the Blazers at home.
30. Utah Jazz (1-10) previous rank : 30
The Jazz finally got their first win of the season last week when they beat the Pelicans at home. The emotion that the Jazz showed in that win was unbelievable. It carried over for the next 3 quarters against the Spurs on Friday night, but the Spurs dominated the 4th quarter and the Jazz couldn’t get their 2nd straight win. Saturday night, the Jazz started off slow at Golden State, but came out in the 2nd half and really fought for the rest of the game. They cut the Warriors lead to 7, but couldn’t get any closer before running out of gas and falling 102-88. Both those last 2 games, the Jazz showed signs of some good things, but there were more signs of weakness than strengths. This team needs 2 things badly. 1) Trey Burke needs to get back soon. This team is struggling without having a point guard. Alec Burks came in and played well in his 1st career start at point guard, but struggled at Golden State. 2) They need a bench that can be productive. Marvin Williams is coming into form and producing more and more every night. They need Brandon Rush to come back and play. I’m not sure why he hasn’t been playing. They said his leg was a little sore after he played limited minutes in Brooklyn, but things have been pretty quiet since then. Derrick Favors has led the team in scoring the last 2 games. He and Gordon Hayward continue to play well night in and night out. The Jazz host the Warriors on Monday night before going on a 3 game road trip @ New Orleans, @ Dallas, @ Oklahoma City.