The NBA: 2012 Power Rankings: Week 1

The new season is a week old. There are still 4 unbeaten teams (Spurs, Knicks, Magic, Bucks) while 3 teams have yet to register their first win (Pistons, Nuggets, Wizards). Every Tuesday or Wednesday during the NBA season, there will be updated Power Rankings on all 30 teams. The rankings from last week refer to the Pre-Season Power Rankings. So, how did your favorite team do during Week 1?

Tony Parker and Tim Duncan led the Spurs
to a perfect 4-0 start during Week 1
(Image by Associated Press)

1. San Antonio Spurs | 4-0 | Last Week: 4
The Spurs have won 2 games with game-winners from Tony Parker who is among the early candidates for MVP. Meanwhile, Tim Duncan looks about 5 years younger with averages of 20 and 10 in about 32 minutes a game. Manu Ginobili started the season injured and has missed 2 games, both wins.

2. New York Knicks | 3-0 | Last Week: 13
The Knicks have the highest scoring differential in 3 games at +19.3 and that's without Amare. They are shooting the ball well especially from three and sharing the basketball. The Knicks also have the least points allowed so far. Can they sustain this level of success? They have been ahead big in all 3 wins that Rasheed Wallace has been able to play some garbage time minutes.

3. Miami Heat | 3-1 | Last Week: 1
The Heat lead the league in scoring but they are also the 2nd worst team in points allowed. Their offense has been humming so far with Ray Allen among the early candidates for sixth man of the year. The defense seems to be in championship hangover mode, giving up numerous threes and getting out-rebounded in 3 of their 4 games.

4. Dallas Mavericks | 3-1 | Last Week: 11
Without Dirk and Kaman missing 2 games to injury, the Mavs still managed to go 3-1 including winning against the Lakers. Darren Collison and OJ Mayo are an explosive backcourt. Collison provides the penetration while Mayo hits the perimeter shots. Brandan Wright has been an improved player averaging 12 ppg and 4 rpg.

5. Memphis Grizzlies | 2-1 | Last Week: 10
Zach Randolph is healthy and his numbers in their 3 games prove that. Z-Bo is getting 16 ppg and 16 rpg. Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay scoring about 20 a game and with Randolph, the Grizz have the best front court in the league.

6. Houston Rockets | 2-1 | Last Week: 24
James Harden was just named Player of the Week for the West. He deserved that award with a staggering 35 ppg and 6 apg in 3 games. He is shooting efficiently and making the right plays. Jeremy Lin aint bad himself providing 15 and 7 with 5 boards. Omer Asik has been a monster on the boards at 14 rpg.

7. Chicago Bulls | 2-1 | Last Week: 15
The Bulls thrive on teamwork and defense to win games without Derrick Rose. They're currently 2nd in least points allowed while on offense, they have 5 players averaging double figures. Their bench has provided scoring with the likes of Nate Robinson, Marco Bellinelli and Taj Gibson combining for 30 a game.

8. Milwaukee Bucks | 2-0 | Last Week: 19
Brandon Jennings was named Player of the Week for the East after leading the Bucks to two wins, including a game-winner. Jennings leads the league in assists with 13 a game. Mike Dunleavy has been a revelation from the bench in two games, averaging 18 ppg and 9 rpg which leads the team.

9. Orlando Magic | 2-0 | Last Week: 29
If Glen Davis (25 and 9) continues to get numbers similar to Dwight Howard, the Magic might win more games than lose them. JJ Redick has been hot so far getting 22 ppg with 64% shooting and even better at threes at 75%. Anyone here thought that the Magic would be better in the standings than the Lakers?

10. Los Angeles Clippers | 2-2 | Last Week: 6
The Clippers prevailed on the first battle of LA and they are the better team right now but the Lakers are not that far behind. The Clippers dropped their next 2 games to lesser teams (Warriors and Cavs) after defeating playoff teams (Grizzlies and Lakers) to start 2-0. Blake Griffin has started slow but Jamal Crawford is lighting it up and is the current leader for Sixth Man of the Year.

11. Indiana Pacers | 2-2 | Last Week: 7
There is no specific return date for Danny Granger. The Pacers wont miss him too much if George Hill and Paul George continue to pick up the slack offensively. David West has also been scoring like his days in New Orleans (19 and 8). Gerald Green and Lance Stephenson have also provided a boost from the bench.

12. Portland Trailblazers | 2-2 | Last Week: 21 
Damian Lillard can play. The rookie is averaging 20 and 9 and has led the Blazers in 2 wins against the Rockets and Lakers. Nic Batum and Wes Matthews are shooting better especially from downtown while JJ Hickson has provided double-doubles manning the center slot.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves | 2-1 | Last Week: 16
No Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio yet the T'wolves managed to upset the Nets in Brooklyn after being down by as much as 22. Brandon Roy has struggled in his return from retirement while Andrei Kirilenko can still fill the box score. Chase Budinger and JJ Barea have been big sparks off the bench.

14. Golden State Warriors | 2-2 | Last Week: 18
The injury to Brandon Rush will hurt the Warriors and talk of an injury curse is gaining some steam. Andrew Bogut made his debut but the coach is limiting his minutes. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the best shooting back court in the league but they will need help from rookie Harrison Barnes to step up now that Rush is out for the season.

15. Oklahoma City Thunder | 1-2 | Last Week: 3
Kevin Martin can score but he is not a playmaker or ballhandler like Harden. He also cant defend like Harden. The Thunder will win more games if Durant shoots more than Westbrook. KD should be rewarded with more shots since he is playing with more intensity on defense and he leads the team in rebounds (14) and points (22) even with less shots than Russell.

16. Boston Celtics | 1-2 | Last Week: 5
The Celtics could have been 0-3 if Paul Pierce didnt make a three in the clutch versus the Wizards. They still have a lot of chemistry issues with their revamped lineup. Jeff Green has not been impressive in his return from missing a year. So far, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee are a combined 16 points a game which is similar to what Ray Allen is averaging with the Heat.

17. Los Angeles Lakers | 1-3 | Last Week: 2 
The Lakers finally won against a helpless Pistons team. Dwight Howard is getting monster numbers but their defense has been erratic, partly his fault too. Steve Nash could be out for more than a week (maybe a month) and their bench has been outscored in all four games. Their starters are all logging big minutes and that could be a problem if it continues.

18. Cleveland Cavaliers | 2-2 | Last Week: 25
Andy Varejao is healthy and getting 14 points and 15 boards. The tandem of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters is an exciting thing to watch. Both can shoot and can explode to the rim. Irving will be an all-star this season while Waiters can contend for ROY. Unfortunately, their forwards need some more seasoning and improvement both on offense and defense.

19. New Orleans Hornets | 2-1 | Last Week: 22
Anthony Davis had a good debut versus Tim Duncan. On the other hand, Austin Rivers has struggled and he even gave Davis a mild concussion by accident. Al-Farouq Aminu has been great on defense and he has provided impressive highlights above the rim. On a sad note, the uncertain status of Eric Gordon's kneeinjury is a black cloud looming over the team.

20. Atlanta Hawks | 1-1 | Last Week: 17
The Hawks lost to Harden's new team and then went on to defeat his old team without Josh Smith. Lou Williams leads the team in scoring even when coming off the bench. Devin Harris and Kyle Korver have yet to provide enough offensive support. The Hawks also need Horford (8.5 rpg) to rebound more since the Hawks are getting out-rebounded by more than 10 boards a night.

21. Brooklyn Nets | 1-1 | Last Week: 12
The Nets almost started their season 2-0 at home until they collapsed in the 4th quarter versus the T'wolves, getting outscored 32-10. Gerald Wallace missed that game due to a sprained ankle and could miss the next game versus Miami. Joe Johnson has not found his rhythm yet, shooting below 40% and averaging about 15 a game.

22. Philadelphia 76ers | 1-2 | Last Week: 9
The Knicks pounded the Sixers in their home and home series, losing the games by 16 and 22 points. Andrew Bynum has yet to play to minute in the regular season and his debut is still uncertain. On the bright side, Holiday and Hawes have played well. On the not so bright side, Evan Turner and Nick Young are both struggling with their shots.

23. Toronto Raptors | 1-2 | Last Week: 20
Kyle Lowry is doing everything for the Raptors. He leads them in points, rebounds, steals and assists. DeRozan has been hot of late, proving to the fans that he was deserving of the contract extension. Meanwhile, Bargnani has started slowly averaging 13 ppg and shooting in the low 30s.

24. Utah Jazz | 1-3 | Last Week: 14
Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are both averaging double-doubles but their points are below 14 a game. Mo Williams is on a hot streak leading the team in scoring. The Jazz have six players scoring more than 10 a game but their early schedule has been tough going against the Mavs, Hornets, Grizzlies and Spurs.

25. Denver Nuggets | 0-3 | Last Week: 8
The Nuggets started the season with 3 games on the road and lost all of them including a blowout versus the Magic. They almost beat the Heat until Allen made a four-pointer to give the Nuggets their 3rd straight loss. Gallinari leads the team at 18 ppg but is shooting horribly at 25%. Their next game is at home versus the Pistons so their first win is at hand.

26. Phoenix Suns | 1-3 | Last Week: 23
The Goran Dragic era has not started strong. His numbers are decent (15 and 8) but the Suns have not translated those into wins. Gortat and Scola have been pretty good combining for 30 points and 22 rebounds. Mike Beasley, their prized free agent acquisition has started slow shooting at 41% and 15 ppg.

27. Charlotte Bobcats | 1-1 | Last Week: 30
The Bobcats finally won a game by 1-point with a big game from Kemba Walker. That broke their 23-game losing streak from last season. Their next game was a blowout lost from the Mavericks so maybe another losing streak is coming up. Their next two games are against the Suns and Hornets so win #2 could be around the corner.

28. Sacramento Kings | 1-3 | Last Week: 28
DeMarcus Cousins had a monster game of 23 and 15 to give the Kings their first win in 4 games. Tyreke Evans has continued to regress offensively as the former Rookie of the Year only averages 11 ppg and shooting around 36%. Marcus Thornton

29. Washington Wizards | 0-2 | Last Week: 26
The Wizards almost won against the Celtics but almost doesnt count in the standings. Their next game is against the Celtics again. John Wall is still out with an injury for maybe 6 weeks and their rookie Bradley Beal has looked shaky in the 2  games he started averaging only 5 ppg.

30. Detroit Pistons | 0-3 | Last Week: 27
Rodney Stuckey is in a shooting slump, starting the season 1-21 in 3 games. The leading scorer is Tayshaun Prince at 13 ppg while Greg Monroe, their best player is only averaging 10 and 7. Their next game is at Denver so one of them will be win-less no more, most likely the Nuggets. After that, the Pistons could have a chance versus the Kings which is the 4th game in a 6-game road trip.

Biggest Rise: Orlando Magic +20
Biggest Fall: Denver Nuggets -17

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