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Monday, 25 November 2013 03:25

NBA Power Rankings: Week 5

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Owners of the NBA's longest winning streak (along with the Portland Trail Blazers), the Spurs hold onto the top spot in this week's NBA Power Rankings.

The top few teams hasn't changed much, but I'm not sure anyone thought that both New York teams would be near the cellar at any point in the season.

The Washington Wizards jumped up six spots, the most of any team, behind John Wall's high-scoring week. I was high on them from Day One and they should be climbing up the Eastern Conference ladder.

Speaking of which, if you're scoring at home, there are five teams with a .500 record or better in the East, Out West, there are 13 teams sitting at .500 or above.

Rank (LW) Team Name Record Reasoning
1 (1) San Antonio Spurs 12-1 10 wins in a row by an average of 14.7 points. What's even more impressive is that no player on the team has scored more than 24 points in any of those games (or any game this season for that matter).
2 (2) Indiana Pacers 12-1 Lance Stephenson picked up a triple-double in their win over Boston. It's his 2nd of the season, the only player to do so this season.
3 (4) Miami Heat 10-3 I could say something about D-Wade returning from two games out with a big performance against the Magic, but LeBron James was voted as the most stylish athlete in the country by GQ. So there's that.
4 (3) Portland Trail Blazers 12-2 Like the Spurs, they've won 10 straight games. It's time to start taking this team seriously.
5 (8) Oklahoma City Thunder 9-3 OKC might have the best home-court advantage in professional basketball now. I'm not talking about all the half-court shots by fans either. Their 6-0 start in their own arena is the best record since they moved from Seattle.
6 (5) L.A. Clippers 10-5 Chris Paul passed Magic Johnson for consecutive games to start a season scoring at least 10 points and dishing out 10 assists. He did so 13 times before being held to 9 two games ago. He followed that up with a 17-assist game against the Bulls.
7 (11) Dallas Mavericks 9-5 Mark Cuban says it's too early to tell if Monta Ellis or Dwight Howard is the better off-season acquisition in Texas. I might've laughed at that notion before the regular season began, but now...I'm giving the edge of Ellis. The Mavs went 3-1, beat the Rockets, and Ellis averaged 28 points -- on 55.4% shooting! -- and 6.5 assists this week.
8 (9) Houston Rockets 9-5 Three of their top four scorers are shooting better than 50% from the field. Two of those players are Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin.
9 (6) Golden State Warriors 8-6 Not thrilled with the prospect of Andre Iguodala going down with a strained hamstring and I really don't like how there's not set time for his return.
10 (12) Memphis Grizzlies 7-6 Mike Conley Jr. was getting a ton of love in the playoffs last year. With Marc Gasol's injury, it's time for the point guard to rise to the occassion because Zach Randolph can't do it all by himself.
11 (7) Minnesota Timberwolves 8-7 That "This Is Sportscenter" commercial with Kevin Love was right on point. Tied for the NBA-lead with Chris Paul, posting 14 double-doubles, although his include points and rebounds.
12 (15) L.A. Lakers 7-7 The Lakers are 3-1 against fellow California teams this season. In the past 6 games -- going 4-2 as a team -- Steve Blake is averaging 10.7 APG, with five games of at least 10 assists. Nash, who?
13 (14) Phoenix Suns 7-6 Two losses to the Kings don't look that good, but that was without Eric Bledsoe. Goran Dragic lit it up this week without him though, topping 30 points in one game and averaging 8.5 APG.
14 (13) Atlanta Hawks 8-6 The Hawks have yet to beat a team with a winning record. Although they've only played against two such teams (Dallas and Miami).
15 (16) New Orleans Pelicans 6-6 Did they win both their games this week? Yes. Did they beat anyone good? Not really. The 76ers better hope their pick from the Pelicans is really good. The problem is Jrue Holiday is really good and can keep this team in the playoff hunt, especially when Ryan Anderson returns.
16 (19) Denver Nuggets 6-6 Every single player who's played in more than one game this season is averaging more than 5.2 PPG. But only one (Ty Lawson) is averaging more than 11.0 PPG.
17 (10) Chicago Bulls 6-6 I really feel for the team that's been built around Derrick Rose and might have to go another (basically) full season without him.
18 (21) Toronto Raptors 6-7 Ladies and gentlemen, your Atlantic Division leaders!
19 (17) Charlotte Bobcats 7-7 This team has cracked triple digits in a game just once this season.
20 (25) Detroit Pistons 5-8 Andre Drummond has been really, really good, averaging 12.1 PPG and 12.2 RPG in his second season. With Greg Monroe as well, why again, did they give all that money to Josh Smith?
21 (20) Philadelphia 76ers 6-9 Philadelphia has allowed at least 100 points in all but two of their games this season. They allow an NBA-worst, 109.3 PPG.
22 (28) Washington Wizards 5-8 There's the John Wall we know and I love! Lead the Wizards to a 3-1 week with two straight 30-point performances. He tied a career-high with 16 assists in a win against the Timberwolves too.
23 (26) Sacramento Kings 4-9 If DeMarcus Cousins isn't starting the All-Star game for the West at the center position -- assuming he keeps this up -- I'll lose some faith in my fellow basketball fans. Leading the Kings to a 2-2 week, he averaged 21.5 points, 12.75 assists, and 4.75 assists.
24 (23) Boston Celtics 5-10 Starting "center" Kelly Olynyk is out two weeks with a sprained ankle. On the bright side, the Celtics don't have another, brutal Western Conference road trip until January.
25 (18) Orlando Magic 4-9 Limiting his turnovers (4.1 TPG, 3rd worst in the NBA) is a priority, but Victor Oladipo continues to stuff the box score in a positive way -- 12.3 PPG, 4.1 APG, 3.4 RPG -- and he score 37 points in two games against the Heat this week.
26 (22) Cleveland Cavaliers 4-10 I want to stay positive, so I'll point out how awesome Jarrett Jack (10.1 PPG, 3.7 APG) has been. He's might be the best back-up point guard in the NBA. Still not sure why Golden State let him go with how fragile Curry's ankles are.
27 (24) New York Knicks 3-9 Mike Woodson thinks it's too early to panic. That may be true in what could be a historically weak Eastern Conference, but as for his own job security? I think he'd be the first coach fired.
28 (27) Brooklyn Nets 3-10 Joe Johnson scored 34 points, including a career-high eight 3-pointers, on Sunday night; The most he's scored since joining the Nets. And they still lost.
29 (29) Milwaukke Bucks 2-10 Losers of 8 games in a row, the worst such streak this season.
30 (30) Utah Jazz 1-14 In a guard-dominated league, it's not a surprise that this team is the lowest scoring team in the NBA at 88.5 PPG. Gordon Hayward isn't a max player.

 

Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker is a Celtics beat writer for CLNS Radio and hosts the Celtics Beat on Sundays from 6-7pm. He’s also part of the CLNS Radio Post-Game crew. Daniel produces Counter Attack on SiriusXMFC, the first 24/7 radio network dedicated to soccer in America. He’s also the producer for Edge of Sports. He's been working at SiriusXM in Washington D.C. since 2009.

Daniel is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. At UMD, he called games for five different varsity sports for WMUC Sports and his favorite memory was calling the 2012 Men's Lacrosse Final Four for the Terps.

Visit his website for all his other work: danielrbaker.wordpress.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @Daniel_Baker9

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