The NBA: Power Rankings: Week 4

It was a terrible week for injuries to major players last week. The Bulls probably lost Derrick Rose for the entire season while the Grizzlies lost Marc Gasol indefinitely to a MCL sprain. The Warriors lost Andre Iguodala while the Rockets won't have James Harden for at least 2 games.

The Spurs and Blazers both have 10-game winning streaks while the Bucks have lost 8 straight and the Jazz is not far away with 6 straight defeats.

Surprise team of the week: Miami won 3 straight games by an average of  20 points without D-Wade and with reserve players finishing the last quarter without LeBron or Bosh.

Sucky teams of the week: Teams from the state of New York have both lost 5 straight games each and are a combined 6-19.

The standings are current up to November 25, 2013 and the rankings from Last Week refer to Week 3.

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LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard have led the Blazers to 10 straight wins.
1. San Antonio Spurs | 12-1 | Last Week: 1 | Same
Another double digit win streak for the Spurs and the best point differential in the league are the norm for the steady Spurs. Their defense is much improved at 2nd in the NBA and ball is moving unselfishly (4th in assists). Their closest game was an 11-point win over the Celtics.

2. Portland Trailblazers | 12-2 | Last Week: 3 | +1
The Blazers have also won 10 straight including coming back from 20+ down vs the Bulls then beating the Warriors by 12 the next night. LaMarcus Aldridge was downright dominant vs the Dubs with his 30 points and 21 rebounds but the presence of Robin Lopez has aided LA in becoming comfortable as the PF.

3. Indiana Pacers | 12-1 | Last Week: 2 | -1
Lance Stephenson already has 2 triple-doubles this year which is 2 more than LBJ, CP3 and KD combined. Paul George continues to shine including a 35-point outing vs Carmelo whom he harassed for 10-28 shooting. They have 2 tough games this week: vs the Twolves and at Clippers (League Pass Alert).

4. Miami Heat | 10-3 | Last Week: 4 | Same
Dwyane Wade missed 2 games which Miami easily won by an average of 21 points with the reserves playing most of the 4th quarters. Then Wade comes back vs the Magic with an efficient game: 27 points, 4 rebs, 4 assists on 9-16 shooting and 2 vicious dunks but the Heat only escaped by 2 points. What the heck right?

5. Oklahoma City Thunder | 9-3 | Last Week: 5 | Same
The Thunder have won 4 straight including 2 quality wins over the Nuggets and Clippers. Kevin Durant averaged 28.5 points, 7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in that span which resembles LBJ's numbers. Westbrook is no slouch either with his 24, 7 and 6 in his last 5 games.

6. Los Angeles Clippers | 10-5 | Last Week: 7 | +1
Chris Paul has 14 double-doubles in 15 games and leads the NBA in assists. One of the beneficiaries of those assists is JJ Redick who is having his best scoring year with fewer minutes played. Blake Griffin has an improved jumper. He averages 4 pts/game for Pull Up shots which is more than the Gasol brothers and Durant.

7. Houston Rockets | 9-5 | Last Week: 10 | +3
Impressive win by the Rockets over the Twolves without James Harden (foot injury). Aaron Brooks exploded with 26 points on 10-14 shooting. Terrence Jones has been phenomenal in his last 4 games as a starter: 18.5 points, 8 rebounds, 5-9 from deep and 2 double-doubles.

8. Dallas Mavericks | 9-5 | Last Week: 11 | +3
Dirk recently passed Reggie Miller for 15th on the NBA scoring list. In that game, Nowitzki and Monta Ellis combined for 72 points to defeat the Rockets last week. So far, Dirk and Monta have been able to play together on offense (5th in scoring) but their team defense needs some more work (26th).

9. Atlanta Hawks | 8-6 | Last Week: 12 | +3
The Hawks owned Josh Smith and his new team, the Pistons with 2 straight wins over them last week. Too bad Atlanta was not able to sustain their momentum by losing to the Celtics at home. Kyle Korver is 2 games away from tying the record of Dana Barros with 89 straight games with a three.

10. Golden State Warriors | 8-6 | Last Week: 5 | -5
The Warriors had some injury woes with Steph Curry (concussion) and now Iguodala is down with a strained hamstring. Still no word on when Iggy can come back. They have lost 3 straight but Andrew Bogut has been great with 3 double-doubles in his last 5 games.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves | 8-7 | Last Week: 8 | -3
Kevin Love has 14 double-doubles in 15 games (tied for 1st). The T'wolves are 3rd in offense mainly due to Love and Martin being in the top 8 in scoring. Ricky Rubio has been a terror in the passing lanes as he leads the league in steals at 3 per game.

12. Phoenix Suns | 7-6 | Last Week: 14 | +2
Eric Bledsoe has missed their last 4 games and the Suns managed to go 2-2 with both losses coming from the Kings. Goran Dragic has picked up the slack by averaging 19 points and 9 assists in his last 5 games. The Suns need Bledsoe back ASAP with their next 2 games vs Miami and Portland.

13. Memphis Grizzlies | 7-6 | Last Week: 13 | Same
The Grizzlies relaxed a little bit when Marc Gasol only got a sprained MCL which does not require surgery. No timetable has been given for his return but on average, players with the same injury miss about 25 games which is about 6-8 weeks of recovery and rehab.

14. Charlotte Bobcats | 7-7 | Last Week: 15 | +1
The Bobcats were 7-5 at one point last season and they proceeded to lose 18 straight which effectively ended their playoff hopes. This season does not feel like that especially with Kemba Walker and MKG playing better. Al Jefferson has played in their last 2 games so hopefully he stays healthy.

15. Denver Nuggets | 6-6 | Last Week: 19 | +4
The Nuggets had 2 wins over quality teams (Bulls, Mavericks). Kenneth Faried has been good with 2 double-doubles in his past 2 games while Randy Foye has been shooting well from deep including a game-winner vs the Mavs. Ty Lawson is averaging 21 and 9.

16. New Orleans Pelicans | 6-6 | Last Week: 18 | +2
The Pelicans have won 3 straight against teams below them in the standings. Ryan Anderson remains hot with 19 ppg and 62% from deep over his first 3 games but his rebounding has been absent (3 rpg). Anthony Davis had 17 blocks in 2 games and is quietly catching up to Roy Hibbert for the lead in blocks per game.

17. Los Angeles Lakers | 7-7 | Last Week: 17 | Same
Pau Gasol donated $24,000 for the relief efforts in the Philippines after scoring 24 points vs the Warriors last Friday. Too bad he didn't score 44 points which is his career-high. Kobe Bryant is getting close to returning. Jordan Hill has been amazing in his last 5 games: 14 points and 11 rebounds.

18. Chicago Bulls | 6-6 | Last Week: 9 | -9
The Bulls are in trouble since they will be without Derrick Rose for probably the rest of the season. They were already having problems scoring without him and now that Rose is gone, the Bulls could plummet to be bottom of the league in points. It does not help that Jimmy Butler will miss another 2 weeks with a foot injury.

19. Toronto Raptors | 6-7 | Last Week: 21 | +2
The Raptors have won 2 straight and they lead the pathetic Atlantic Division by 1 game. DeMar DeRozan is on a tear in his last 5 games: 27 ppg on 51% shooting which has raised his shooting to 42% from 37% earlier in the season. Meanwhile, Rudy Gay is still shooting below 40%.

20. Philadelphia 76ers | 6-9 | Last Week: 16 | -4
The Sixers have lost 4 of 5 but the important thing is that MCW is back playing. He has played the last 3 games and his numbers are impressive: 17 ppg, 7, rpg, 7 apg and 4 spg. Spencer Hawes has been their best player with 9 double-doubles and averaging 17 and 11.

21. Detroit Pistons | 5-8 | Last Week: 24 | +3
Andre Drummond has been their most efficient player after 13 games and he has 9 double-doubles. It's just too bad he cannot play much in the 4th quarter or during clutch situations due to his abysmal FT shooting which stands at 6 out of 25 for a paltry 24%!

22. Washington Wizards | 5-8 | Last Week: 27 | +5
John Wall had 31 and 37 points in his last 2 games and the Wizards have won 3 of 4 games. His back-court mate Bradley Beal is doing his share: 23 ppg in his last 5 games. The Wizards are 5-6 in the 11 games that Nene has played (15 ppg, 6 rpg).

23. Boston Celtics | 5-10 | Last Week: 22 | -1
The Celtics have snapped their 6-game losing streak with a nice win over the Hawks. Jared Sullinger has been solid so far with 13 ppg and 7 rpg. Some bad news though since rookie Kelly Olynyk will miss at least 2 weeks with a sprained ankle.

24. Sacramento Kings | 4-9 | Last Week: 28 | +4
The Kings won 2 straight vs the Suns and almost beat the Clippers in LA. DeMarcus Cousins has been ballin' with 3 double-doubles in his last 4 games (21.5 ppg, 13 rpg). Jason Thompson has struggled with career-lows in minutes, points and rebounds.

25. Orlando Magic | 4-9 | Last Week: 20 | -5
The Magic were leading most of the game vs the Heat and almost won it. Glen Davis had an impressive debut with 20 points and 5 rebounds in 26 minutes. That was his first game since January. Arron Afflalo has steadily made his mark as the best SG in the East right now.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers | 4-10 | Last Week: 23 | -3
Kyrie Irving is starting to heat up: 25 ppg in his last 5 games. The Cavs as a team are struggling scoring though (26th in scoring). Anderson Varejao is nowhere close to his production from last season and #1 pick Anthony Bennett has been very disappointing (2 ppg, 21% shooting).

27. New York Knicks | 3-9 | Last Week: 25 | -2
Carmelo is doing everything in his power to lead the Knicks to a victory but they have lost 5 straight even with Melo averaging 29 and 12 with 4 double-doubles. Injuries have taken over the Knicks with MWP being slowed down by knee problems and Raymond Felton missing the last 3 games.

28. Brooklyn Nets | 3-10 | Last Week: 26 | -2
More injuries and problems for the Nets with Deron Williams having a sprained ankle again while Brook Lopez has missed  the last 5 games with a foot problem. Consequently, the Nets have lost 5 straight. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are both shooting below 38% which are career-lows.

29. Milwaukee Bucks | 2-10 | Last Week: 29 | Same
The Bucks don't have the worst record yet but they have the longest losing streak at 8 games. Some good news: Ersan Ilyasova, Caron Butler and Luke Ridnour are all back from injury but that has not resulted into any wins for them. The Bucks are last in points and 29th in rebounding.

30. Utah Jazz | 1-14 | Last Week: 30 | Same
They have lost 6 straight and still stuck at one win. They are now on pace for the worst record in NBA history which is less than 9 wins. Rookie Trey Burke has struggled in his last 2 games with 4.5 points on 4-17 shooting after having a good debut with 11 points on 5-8 shooting.

Biggest Jump of the Week: Wizards +5

Biggest Drop of the Week: Bulls -9

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