After weeks of panic in the Bay Area, the Warriors are beginning to look whole again as they take a big jump in this week’s Power Ranking. Toronto will need to keep their foot on the gas pedal as Steph Curry and company are looking to blow right by them. We also saw the continued rise of the Lakers and Celtics, as well as the sharp decline (again) of the Houston Rockets. Is this their rock bottom? We’ll find out!
High-Riser of the week: Warriors +8
Biggest Flopper of the week: Rockets -12
<> 1. Toronto Raptors – This Week: 1-3
Toronto is 21-7 and is a favorite for a shot at the NBA title in June. Kawhi Leonard is showing the league that he is still a top three player, in case they forgot. This team has the city of Toronto buzzing like never before.
+8 2. Golden State Warriors – This Week: 3-0
Can everyone stop worrying now about the Warriors? They got Steph Curry back and went undefeated for the week, winning by an average of 17 points per game. This team is beginning to resemble the reigning championship team on the court. Not to mention Draymond Green is close to returning to action.
+1 3. Philadelphia 76ers – This Week: 1-1
The Sixers are playing amazing basketball right now led by Jimmy Butler’s phenomenal play. Even with a loss to the top-seeded Raptors in Toronto, Philadelphia could very well contend for a title in June.
+4 4. Los Angeles Lakers – This Week: 2-1
Look out! LeBron James and the kids are hitting their stride (and many believe ahead of schedule). Not only is LeBron doing LeBron things on a nightly basis, but he is also receiving help from his supporting cast. The purple and gold should be 3-0 this week if not for a Spurs comeback on Friday. However, the Lakers recovered very well with a blow out on a tough road back-to-back against the Grizzlies.
+1 5. Oklahoma City Thunder – This Week: 2-1
Last week they were a half game back in the Northwestern Division, now they are tied for first along with a hot week, beating Detroit by 27, followed up by an impressive win against the Hawks which featured Vince Carter and Russell Westbrook jawing at each other. OKC finished off the week by losing to the Bulls in a close one, but look for them to continue to push for the top seed in the West.
+1 6. Milwaukee Bucks – This Week: 2-1
Milwaukee just acquired a good veteran in George Hill via trade, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing at an MVP level. With a win over the Raptors Sunday night, the Bucks are making a case to be the best team in the East. The Bucks aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
+4 7. Boston Celtics – This Week: 2-0
The Celtics are finally playing like we had expected them to. Cruising on five straight wins, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum are back to playing great basketball. Expect for this team to continue to heat up and make a run at the Raptors for the top seed.
+4 8. Indiana Pacers – This Week: 3-0
Victor Oladipo is carrying this team on his back, and hopefully to a top 3 seed. Indiana is 16-10 and continues to play exceptional ball. Expect this team to make a hot surge at some point in the season.
-7 9. Denver Nuggets – This Week: 2-2
Busy week for the boys of Denver. They played on the road all week beginning on Monday with a win against Toronto in a tightly contested game decided by three points 106-103. Then followed up that performance with an excellent game that went to OT against the Orlando Magic, resulting in another Denver win. They lost to the Hornets and Hawks after the first two wins, which now has the Nuggets tied for the 2nd seed in the Western Conference, and also for first in their division with the OKC Thunder. Nuggets will look to make some sort of separation this upcoming week.
-7 10. Los Angeles Clippers – This Week: 1-2
Are we starting to see the Clippers turn into the Clippers we expected them to be at the beginning of the season? After splitting the first couple of games this week, they lost a bad home game to the Miami Heat. This is arguably their worst week of the season. The Clippers hope that this isn’t the new norm.
-2 11. Memphis Grizzlies – This Week: 2-1
Memphis started their week off with an impressive ten point win against the LA Clippers, followed up by a division win against the Pelicans who are trying to climb their way up the Southwest. After a strong start to the week, Memphis was routed by the Lakers in a 23 point loss. Memphis still remains atop the Southwest Division with a 1.5 game lead over the Dallas Mavericks. They will look to cushion their lead in the division hosting Miami and Portland this week at home.
+4 12. Dallas Mavericks – This Week: 2-1
Dallas has been a surprise team this year. With the help and tremendous playing ability of Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are just 1.5 games back of first place in the Southwest division. Dallas defeated Portland in a great game from Luka who had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Following that win, Dallas took a huge loss to New Orleans by 26 points. They then went and defeated their Texas counterpart Houston Rockets by three points. Look for Dallas to attempt a run for the top of the Southwest division lead by their rookie Luka Doncic.
+1 13. Portland Trailblazers – This Week: 2-1
Dame and company began the week in Dallas taking a loss to the Mavericks by just nine points. They then headed home for a two-game homestand. They defeated the Phoenix Suns by 22 points which showed potential for Portland in their route to the top of their division which they are only two games out of first. Following their win against Phoenix, they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves by eight points capping off the week with a win before they meet with Houston and Toronto next week.
+4 14. Minnesota Timberwolves – This Week: 2-1
Minnesota began the week really well, defeating the Rockets behind a Karl-Anthony Towns double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Followed by that win the T-Wolves went on to beat Kemba Walker and the Hornets by 17 points. After two impressive wins, Minnesota lost to the Trail Blazers keeping them four games back from first place in the Northwestern Division.
-10 15. Detroit Pistons – This Week: 0-4
The Pistons have been on and off this season but are 5-1 in their last six games. This team seems to be one who will be hosting a first-round playoff series in April and could possibly make a playoff run behind the two-headed frontcourt monster that is Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin.
-1 16. Charlotte Hornets – This Week: 2-1
The Charlotte Hornets continue to do just enough to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Kemba Walker has definitely cooled off from his scorching start to the season. One positive note for the Hornets is that Malik Monk has shown to be a nice contributor after all.
+3 17. Utah Jazz – This Week: 2-1
A very impressive week from Utah who is still showing life in the Northwestern Division. They began their week trucking through the Spurs 139-105 with an impressive 18 point and 10 rebound outing from Rudy Gobert. Following that win they carried the momentum against the Houston Rockets, defeating Harden, Paul, and the rest of Houston by 27 points. After two impressive wins, the Jazz dropped a game to the Spurs who came back with their own revenge to keep Utah 4.5 games back of first in the Northwest.
+1 18. Sacramento Kings – This Week: 2-1
Sacramento was able to turn things around a little bit from last week. De’Aaron Fox is continuing to shine, as he is scoring while playing efficiently. In Friday’s win against Cleveland, Fox dropped 30 points on 12-16 shooting. The Kings may not be as good as they showed to start the season, but they are far from the team of last year.
+5 19. Miami Heat – This Week: 2-1
The Heat have been absolutely devastated by injuries lately, as they’ve been without Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson (and lost Tyler Johnson early in Saturday’s game against the Clippers). Hassan Whiteside hasn’t helped things either. However, it has been fun to watch Dwayne Wade turning the clock back in his farewell season.
+2 20. Washington Wizards – This Week: 2-1
The Wizards started the week on a high note, beating the Knicks and Hawks, before losing to the Cavs on Saturday. Bradley Beal is showing that he is the outright star of the team (and probably the better trade asset). John Wall had himself a terrible game on Saturday as he was only able to manage one point on 0-5 shooting. If the Wizards are going to recover in the East, they are going to need their 1-2 punch running on all cylinders.
-4 21. Orlando Magic – This Week: 1-2
Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon have been solid for the Orlando Magic, but it hasn’t been enough to prevent the team from suffering a losing record this week. They did have a much-needed win against the Miami Heat this week to keep ahead of them in the standings.
-1 22. New Orleans Pelicans – This Week: 2-2
The Pelicans began the week with a loss to the Clippers in a game decided by three points. After the loss, they then routed the Mavericks 132-106 as they climb their way up the Southwest Division. The Pelicans then took a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies who run the Southwest division, but still showed life defeating the Pistons by 8 on Sunday night. Pelicans are still looking to climb past the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies in the Southwest division as they sit back 2.5 games.
<> 23. San Antonio Spurs – This Week: 2-2
San Antonio started off the week with a 34 point loss to the Utah Jazz, followed by an additional loss to the Lakers. Spurs then bounced back with a win against the Los Angeles Lakers by 13, then followed that win up with an additional win against the Jazz. It’s been a very bipolar season for San Antonio who is still trying to begin some kind of winning streak rather than lose and win, win and lose.
+2 24. Brooklyn Nets – This Week: 2-2
Brooklyn sits at 10-18… so right now the season can go either way. With a win over the top-seeded Raptors this week, this team has shown its potential. It’d be fun to see things get entertaining in Brooklyn.
-12 25. Houston Rockets – This Week: 0-3
Houston, well Houston definitely has a problem. They were completely wrecked this week by the Timberwolves, Jazz, and Mavericks. Houston, who looked very promising to start the season, seemed to be too good to be true. They have two All-Star guards in Paul and Harden, but cannot seem to find a way to turn their all-star numbers into wins. Some games the Rockets show their full potential, but most nights have become nightmares for Rocket fans and players.
-1 26. New York Knicks – This Week: 0-4
The Knicks aren’t playing terrible basketball right now, compared to other struggling teams in the East. Until kristaps Porzingis makes his return, New York doesn’t have much to celebrate.
+1 27. Cleveland Cavaliers – This Week: 2-2
Cavs are in total rebuild mode. Cleveland is 6-20 and is completely out of the playoff conversation right now. GM Koby Altman is looking to make moves for this team though, as George Hill was traded to Milwaukee on Monday. Expect more moves from this organization sometime soon as they look to get back on track in the post-LeBron era.
-1 28. Atlanta Hawks – This Week: 1-2
In a week where almost every player on the roster struggled, John Collins has been strong. However, in the battle for Zion, I’m not sure that is a good thing in Atlanta. Let’s see if Trae Young can find ways to become more efficient on offense.
+1 29. Chicago Bulls – This Week: 1-2
Chicago looks like a train wreck. Suffering the worst loss in franchise history with a 56 point defeat vs. the Celtics, the 2018-2019 Bulls are a sad chapter in a storied franchise. Although this team is slammed with injuries, head coach Fred Holiberg is taking the blame. Things are looking bad in Chicago.
-1 30. Phoenix Suns – This Week: 0-3
Things in Arizona continue to go from bad to worse, as they post a winless week to drop them to last in this week’s power rankings. The team is losing big on a nightly basis and the two stars in town in DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker are feuding. Look to Phoenix to become sellers as December 15th comes and goes.