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Monday, 02 December 2013 15:06

NBA Power Rankings: Week 6

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The Indiana Pacers still have just one loss on the season and they reclaim the top spot in this week's NBA Power Rankings. They're not just feasting on weak Eastern Conference teams either. Speaking of the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat follow the Pacers as they are riding a 10-game win streak, best in the association as of now.

The top five remains the same but there are some changes as you look in the middle. Watch out, the Washington Wizards (my personal favorite "sleeper" team) continues their ascent up the NBA Power Rankings as John Wall plays like an All-Star. They make the biggest leap, up 10 spots from 22 to 12. The Nuggets also rose up significantly on the backs of a six-game winning streak and thanks to rookie head coach, Brian Shaw.

The Toronto Raptors fell the most, five spots from 18 to 23. But hey, they're still on top of their Division!

The Boston Celtics celebrated their first Gino Time of the year in a huge win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Find out where your team ranks below!

Rank (LW) Team Record Reason 1 (2) Indiana Pacers 16-1 The numbers continue to back it up: The Pacers are the best defensive team in the league as Keivn Arnovitz points out. 2 (3) Miami Heat 14-3 Owners of the NBA's longest current winning streak (10 games). Even Chris Bosh is winning games for the Heat. 3 (4) Portland Trail Blazers 14-3 I feel like we continue to wait for the wheels to fall off for the Blazers but they just keep rolling. Kind of like how I'm still waiting for Wesley Matthews' shooting numbers to dip below 55.2% fromt he field and 51% from three-point range. 4 (5) Oklahoma City Thunder 12-3 Kevin Durant corralled at least 10 rebounds in every game this week as the Thunder went 3-0, continuing their Western Conference best nine game winning streak. Durant, who leads the NBA in scoring once again (28.3 PPG), also notched his first triple-double of the season. 5 (1) San Antonio Spurs 14-3 I mentioned it in my What's Cookin'? column this week: The Spurs' three losses have come against three teams in the top-six of this week's NBA Power Rankings. 6 (8) Houston Rockets 13-5 There will be plenty of time this season to slurp Chandler Parsons, but let's take a moment to revel in the ability of second-year forward Terrence Jones. He stayed an extra year at Kentucky and though his raw numbers dipped, he clearly benefited from the learning experience. He's averaging 10.1 PPG and 6.5 RPG while shooting 52.7% from the field and 47.6% from beyon the arc. School is cool, kids. 7 (6) L.A. Clippers 12-6 Held the Knicks (yea, I know, it's just the Knicks) to 80 points in a game this week, but they're struggles on defense probably won't vanish while J.J. Redick recovers from an injured hand. 8 (16) Denver Nuggets 10-6 Note to owners. If you want to hire a former player as a head coach, make sure he has some experience on the bench. Brian Shaw is doing one helluva job in Denver without two critical players. If it wasn't for Portland's success, he'd be the early Coach of the Year favorite. Oh and Timofey Mozgov, even after this block, you're known for being on the wrong end of those plays. 9 (9) Golden State Warriors 10-8 It's been a rocky road without Andre Iguodala (expected back soon) and Seth Curry and Klay Thompson have both cooled off, but this team will be fine as long as David Lee and that Australian center stay healthy (feverishly knocking on all the wood in my apartment right now). 10 (7) Dallas Mavericks 10-8 Dirk Nowitzki has made 83 of his 88 free throws this season. Good for a NBA best 94.3%. 11 (13) Phoneix Suns 9-8 Another win over Portland looks really good. So does Goran Dragic. 22.2 PPG and 10 APG in his last five games. 12 (22) Washington Wizards 8-9 One of just three teams with a winning record in their last 10 in the East (6-4). John Wall is playing like an All-Star and today, he's the best point guard in the East. 13 (12) L.A. Lakers 9-9 There's a chance Kobe Bryant returns this week. 14 (15) New Orleans Pelicans 8-8 Anthony Davis fractured his hand but they've got the hot-shooting Ryan Anderson to fill in for him at power forward. This is also why they traded for Tyreke Evans, to help with the scoring load. 15 (11) Minnesota Timberwolves 9-10 A losing record yet they have the eight best scoring differential (+4.1 PPG) this season. 16 (10) Memphis Grizzlies 8-8 Without Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies have only beaten the Celtics. 17 (14) Atlanta Hawks 9-9 An impressive win over the Mavericks on Friday night salvaged a miserable week as the Hawks went 1-3. Jeff Teague has been pedestrian after I was singing his praises. 18 (17) Chicago Bulls 7-8 One of just three teams in the East with a positive scoring differential. 19 (19) Charlotte Bobcats 8-10 Somehow only lost to Miami by one point the other night. Gave up 38 fourth quarter points. Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson continue to form a formidable 1-2 punch. 20 (20) Detroit Pistons 7-10 Andre Drummond set career highs for points (31), rebounds (19), and steals (6) in a win over the 76ers. All while missing 11 free throws. He became the first player to have 31 points, 19 rebounds and six steals in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990 21 (25) Orlando Magic 6-10 The Magic have six players averaging double-figures in points. 22 (24) Boston Celtics 7-12 A 2-2 week for the Celtics as Jordan Crawford tripped his way to his third career triple-double. Brad Stevens got to experience Gino Time for the very first time as well. 23 (18) Toronto Raptors 6-10 By default the Raptors are the 4th-seed in the East. Thanks, Atlantic Division. Jonas Valanciunas had his best outing in a loss to the Nuggets scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking three shots. Still too early to say if he's a bust or not, but it's not looking good. 24 (21) Philadelphia 76ers 6-12 The NBA's most porous defense (110.1 PPG) has allowed at least 105 points in it's last six games. 25 (26) Cleveland Cavaliers 5-12 Is Andrew Bynum back? In a win over the Bulls (after five losses in a row), the center played 30 minutes, scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking five shots. It was Bynum's first 20-point game and also the first time he secured at leats 10 boards. 26 (28) Brooklyn Nets 5-12 Maybe Jason Kidd spilling his drink lit a fire for the Nets showing them that he's willing to do anything to win...and so should they. When Joe Johnson plays well, this team tends to play well. 27 (23) Sacramento Kings 4-11 Fortunately for the Kings, they only have one more game against a California team the rest of 2013. They're 0-6 so far. 28 (30) Utah Jazz 3-15 Two wins in three games this week? Quick! Everyone in Salt Lake City go play the lottery! That's exactly where they got their point guard of the future, Trey Burke, who started this week, showcasing the talent and moxy that made the Jazz trade two first-round picks to grab him. 29 (27) New York Knicks 3-13 I guess it makes sense that Carmelo Anthony (their best player) said the team is "playing to lose" when they've lost nine games in a row, worst in the NBA at the moment. 30 (29) Milwaukee Bucks 3-13 If only they could play the Celtics every game! Two of their three wins have come against the team in green.

 

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