The NBA: Power Rankings: Week 1

A week of NBA regular season games has passed with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Andrew Bynum making their debuts from injuries. We also saw the Sixers, T'wolves and Rockets win their first 3 games before getting their first loss. The Sixers have been the surprise of the first week with stunning wins over the Heat and the Bulls. Michael Carter-Williams definitely garnered early consideration for Rookie of the Year with his superb play last week.

Only the Pacers remain undefeated but their upcoming games are tough (Pistons, Bulls, Nets, Grizzlies). How many more wins will they get before finally losing one?

The standings are current up to November 5, 2013 and the rankings from Last Week refer to Week Zero.

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Paul George and the Pacers are the only unbeaten team left after a week of basketball.
How many more can they win before losing one?

1. Indiana Pacers | 3-0 | Last Week: 3 | +2
The Pacers are the last unbeaten team standing. Their next 5 games are all against quality teams. It's early but their defense is already in mid-season form; ranked 1st in least points allowed. Paul George is having an exceptional start; leading them in 4 categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals). Danny Granger is still about 2 weeks away from playing.

2. Los Angeles Clippers | 3-1 | Last Week: 4 | +2
After their upset loss to the Lakers last week, the Clippers have won 3 straight by leading the league in team scoring and 2nd in assists. Chris Paul is the MVP of the first week (26 points and 13 assists) and he has an astronomical PER of 41.3 which is 6 points higher than the 2nd placer (Anthony Davis).

3. Golden State Warriors | 3-1 | Last Week: 8 | +5
The Splash Brothers (Curry and Thompson) have been on fire all week long from downtown. Together they have made 31 threes in 4 games. Curry is averaging almost 10 assists but his turnovers are problematic at over 5 a game. Andre Iguodala returned to Philly to burn his former team with 32 points and a win.

4. Houston Rockets | 3-1 | Last Week: 9 | +5
Dwight Howard looks healthy and has been very good with the Rockets. He leads the league in rebounds and has been active defensively. The injury to Patrick Beverley allowed Jeremy Lin to start the last 3 games and he has responded with 16 points and 5 assists when starting.

5. San Antonio Spurs | 2-1 | Last Week: 2 | -3
Both Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard have struggled to get their rhythm this early. Currently, they have failed to duplicate their superb play in the Finals but the Spurs are doing okay due to improved play from Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili. Meanwhile, Tony Parker continues to be their leader with his 18 and 8.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder | 2-1 | Last Week: 6 | Same
Russell Westbrook surprised a lot of people by only missing 2 games when estimates had him missing close to 15 games or more. A bigger surprise was his impressive debut with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists in his first game since April. With Westbrook back, we should see an increase in Durant's assists which stands at 1 per game.

7. Miami Heat | 2-2 | Last Week: 1 | -6
The Heat snapped double-digit winning streaks versus the Sixers (16 games) and Nets (13 games) with their 2 straight losses after a big win vs the Bulls. The champs are having problems with effort and consistency which shows on their defensive rotations and ball movement. Their rebounding problems are still a concern (last in the NBA).

8. Minnesota Timberwolves | 3-1 | Last Week: 19 | +11
The T'wolves almost had a 4-0 start but they fell short when Kevin Love missed a three at the buzzer vs the Cavs. K-Love was recently named West Player of the Week after he exploded with 30 ppg and 15 rpg in 3 games. Kevin Martin has been hot from three shooting it at 60% and averaging 21 ppg.

9. Philadelphia 76ers | 3-1 | Last Week: 30 | +21
The Sixers have 2 impressive wins over the Heat and Bulls and their 3-1 start was totally unexpected. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams played a major role in their hot start and he was named East Player of the Week. The last time a rookie won that award, it was Shaq in 1992. MCW has the inside track for ROY already.

10. Memphis Grizzlies | 2-2 | Last Week: 10 | Same
Memphis played uptempo ball in their first 4 games which placed them 13th in scoring (improvement from last year) but their defense faltered at 22nd (worse than before). Mike Conley has been very aggressive scoring (19 ppg, 7 apg) but Zach Randolph has struggled with only 13.5 ppg on less than 12 shots a game.

11. Portland Trailblazers | 2-1 | Last Week: 12 | +1
After being an average offensive team last season, the Blazers are a lot better this season at 5th in points and assists per game. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are leading the way in scoring with the duo combining for 51 points. Meanwhile, their bench has yet to contribute consistent scoring.

12. Dallas Mavericks | 2-1 | Last Week: 15 | +3
Dirk and Monta are clicking in their first 3 games. Both guys are averaging 23.3 and shooting at a similar rate of 46% from the field. Shawn Marion has been fantastic on the glass with 24 boards total in his last 2 games. DeJuan Blair has been a nice addition too with his 9 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes.

13. Detroit Pistons | 2-1 | Last Week: 20 | +7
Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have combined for 31 points and 23 rebounds. Josh Smith has started slow but that was expected due to the dominance of Monroe and Drummond. The Pistons' guards are playing extremely well too with Will Bynum, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings all averaging double digits in points.

14. Chicago Bulls | 1-2 | Last Week: 5 | -9
Derrick Rose has 1 game-winner already but his shots haven't been falling consistently. He is shooting an abysmal 29% and getting almost 6 turnovers a game. On the bright side, Carlos Boozer has been a beast offensively by making 66% of his shots while leading the Bulls in scoring at 22 a game.

15. Brooklyn Nets | 1-2 | Last Week: 7 | -8
The Nets beat the Heat for the first time in 4 years after 13 straight losses. Too bad they have been unable to play like that in their 2 losses. They failed to deliver in a loss against the Cavs and a blowout to the Magic. Deron Williams (8 ppg, 8 apg) is still rusty from missing the preseason.

16. New York Knicks | 1-2 | Last Week: 11 | -5
The Knicks have an excuse for starting poorly. JR Smith has missed all their games due to suspension while Amare has played only 1 game in limited action. Their two best scorers (Carmelo and Felton) are both shooting below 40%. The good news: JR will be back after 2 games and their next 2 games are against the Bobcats.

17. Toronto Raptors | 2-1 | Last Week: 22 | +5
Jonas Valanciunas has struggled producing (6 ppg, 7 rpg) in only 22 minutes of action. The Raps are leading the league in rebounding even though they have nobody averaging more than 10 boards a game. Rudy Gay is already on a shooting slump this early (33% FG) but at least he leads them in rebounding.

18. Phoenix Suns | 2-1 | Last Week: 29 | +11
The Suns were supposed to be tanking this early but they won 2 games already due to great defense (4th in points allowed). Eric Bledsoe has produced massive numbers (22 ppg, 9 apg, 6 rpg, 2 spg) in 36 minutes. Channing Frye returned to action after missing a year and he is among the six Suns averaging double figures in points.

19. Los Angeles Lakers | 2-2 | Last Week: 18 | -1
Xavier Henry has been a pleasant surprise with his 14 ppg and he was the catalyst in their opening night win vs the Clippers. Steve Nash has struggled scoring (7 ppg) even after missing the 2nd game of a back-to-back set. Pau Gasol is back to averaging a double-double but he needs to score more points.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers | 2-2 | Last Week: 17 | -3
The Cavaliers unveiled Andrew Bynum in their first game and he has been okay with limited minutes. The Cavs have been great defensively, ranking in the top 3 in points allowed. The bad news: Irving and the rest of the group are doing poorly on offense. Rookie Anthony Bennett is mired in a 0-15 shooting drought to start his career.

21. Orlando Magic | 2-2 | Last Week: 28 | +7
Orlando has won 2 games this early due to their balanced scoring attack led by Arron Afflalo. Center Nik Vucevic is averaging a double-double (14 &11). Rookie Victor Oladipo has been solid with his all-around game (14-5-4) while Tobias Harris is still recovering from a severe ankle sprain and his return is unknown.

22. Atlanta Hawks | 1-2 | Last Week: 14 | -8
Great start for Jeff Teague (18 ppg, 8 apg, 2 spg) who leads the Hawks in 3 categories. So far, they have a balanced scoring attack with 5 players averaging over 11 ppg but the Hawks need more points from Al Horford (15 ppg). The Hawks (and I) expect Horford to improve on his career-high 17.4 ppg from last season.

23. New Orleans Pelicans | 1-2 | Last Week: 23 | Same
Anthony Davis is having a superb start to the season. AD is averaging 24 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks. He is 2nd in the NBA in PER. Unfortunately, the Pelicans are not doing that great especially Tyreke Evans who is averaging just 6 ppg. BTW, Ryan Anderson has missed all their games due to a foot injury.

24. Milwaukee Bucks | 1-2 | Last Week: 21 | -3
The Bucks had an awesome comeback win against the Celtics for their 1st win. Zaza Pachulia who comes off the bench is leading them in points and rebounds. OJ Mayo and Larry Sanders (17 minutes per game) are off to slow starts. Brandon Knight has missed their last 2 games but could be back within the week.

25. Sacramento Kings | 1-2 | Last Week: 24 | -1
DeMarcus Cousins had a great home opener with 30 and 14 plus a win. He has 2 double-doubles in 3 games. Isaiah Thomas has been amazing off the bench (19 ppg) and is their 2nd leading scorer to DMC. The Kings need help from others as no other player is in double figures.

26. Denver Nuggets | 0-2 | Last Week: 13 | -13
The Nuggets are having problems scoring (23rd in points) after being in the top 3 last season. Kenneth Faried has seen his minutes drop to below 20 a game which effectively reduces his production on the floor. JaVale McGee started but only played 12 minutes. Wilson Chandler is injured again and his return is uncertain.

27. Charlotte Bobcats | 1-2 | Last Week: 25 | -2
Big Al Jefferson is off to a slow start with the Bobcats (13 points, 8 boards). He missed 2 games due to a sprained ankle and could miss more games. Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions are having great starts to the season. They are a combined 31 points and 8 assists while Kidd-Gilchrist continues to underwhelm.

28. Washington Wizards | 0-3 | Last Week: 16 | -12
The Wizards lost Nene to a calf injury already and they proceeded to lose their first 3 games. Their quest for a playoff spot isn't looking good right now. The Wiz are last in the league in points allowed and their interior defense is non-existent without Okafor. Bradley Beal had a great preseason but his shooting has deserted him so far (32%).

29. Utah Jazz | 0-3 | Last Week: 27 | -2
The tanking goal went well for the Jazz last week. They lost all 3 games played and they played well while doing it. They even had a 16-point lead versus the Rockets before eventually losing the game. Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors are averaging double-doubles this early.

30. Boston Celtics | 0-4 | Last Week: 26 | -4
Rookie coach Brad Stevens is still looking for his first career win and he got close a couple of times last week. The Celtics blew a 22-point lead vs the Bucks in their home opener and lost by 7 points. You know that Boston misses Rajon Rondo since they are last in the league in assists per game.

Biggest Jump of the Week: Sixers +21

Biggest Drop of the Week: Nuggets -13



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