#NBA2015: Power Rankings: Week 2

Two weeks finished and every team has at least one loss while only the Sixers have yet to notch a single win (they could end up win-less again this week). 

Anyway, the Cavs and Spurs are sporting 3-3 records and off to slow starts. The slow starts were somewhat expected at this juncture but count on that not lasting too long. 

Meanwhile, the top of the standings are populated by teams from the West (anyone surprised?) and the best team in the East isn't even in America. 

The standings are current up to November 12, 2014 (Manila time).

The rankings from Last Week refer to Week 1.

Please hit the comments and follow me on Twitter @rollzter

The best shooting duo has the best team in the NBA as of Nov. 11, 2014
(Image taken from: geeksandcleats.com)

1. Golden State Warriors | 5-1 | Last Week: 2 | +1

The last unbeaten team lost to the Suns after knocking out the Rockets the night before. Klay Thompson also missed that game to rest a sprained hand that has been shooting the lights out. If Klay played, the Dubs could still be flawless.

2. Houston Rockets | 6-1 | Last Week: 4 | +2
The Rockets are going through some early season injury woes with Pat Beverley and Terrence Jones yet they have been winning. Trevor Ariza has been a very good addition. His numbers are a lot better than the departed Chandler Parsons of Dallas. 

3. Memphis Grizzlies | 6-1 | Last Week: 6 | +3
The Grizzlies suffered a hiccup in Milwaukee after Mike Conley missed a crucial FT which allowed the Bucks to win by 1 after Brandon Knight converted an And-1. However, the Grizz are playing excellent defense. They are the only team giving up less than 90 ppg. 

4. Toronto Raptors | 6-1 | Last Week: 11 | +7
The hottest team in the NBA resides in the East and it aint the Cavs or Bulls. The Raptors have won 4 straight including a solid win over the Wizards. They lead the league in winning margin. Their big test will be their Friday game vs the Bulls.

5. Miami Heat | 5-2 | Last Week: 5 | Same
Chris Bosh has responded with 24 and 10 while Dwyane Wade looks healthy and leads them in assists. However, Miami is still looking for a reliable 3rd option. They are 3rd in assists but just 28th in team rebounds.

6. Chicago Bulls | 6-2 | Last Week: 9 | +3
Derrick Rose is back after missing 3 of their past 4 games. He unloaded 24 points and 7 assists vs the Pistons. Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol crushed the Pistons with a combined 30 points, 29 boards and 10 assists. They are definitely the best passing big men duo.  

7. San Antonio Spurs | 3-3 | Last Week: 1 | -6
Quite a slow start for the Spurs who have yet to have a convincing win. All 3 wins have been within 4 points or less. On the plus side, Kawhi Leonard is slowly recovering from his eye infection and his play has been better; 2 double-doubles in the past 2 games. 

8. Washington Wizards | 5-5 | Last Week: 12 | +4
This team is loaded with veteran leadership (Pierce, Miller, Nene, Gooden) and their influence has had a positive effect on John Wall who is averaging 19 and 9. Just imagine what they can achieve when Bradley Beal gets healthy in less than a month. 

9. Sacramento Kings | 5-2 | Last Week: 14 | +5
This has to be one of their best starts in over a decade. Notwithstanding that loss to OKC, the Kings are truly playing well. DMC is dominating in the post because he is getting the ball when he wants it. Credit goes to Darren Collison who knows when to feed Cousins.

10. Dallas Mavericks | 4-3 | Last Week: 3 | -7
The Mavs are having a hard time beating Miami even with LBJ wearing another uniform. They have not beaten Miami since the 2011 Finals. Anyway, tough week/start for Parsons who is shooting under 40% and performing way below expectations. 

11. Portland Trailblazers | 4-3 | Last Week: 10 | -1
Damian Lillard was shooting poorly during the last week (below 40%) but that was somewhat ignored because the Blazers had solid wins over the Cavs and Mavs. Meanwhile, Coach Stotts continues to ride his starters a lot and that could be bad in the long run.

12. Los Angeles Clippers | 4-3 | Last Week: 7 | -5
Blake Griffin's offensive arsenal is firing nicely but his defense and rebounds have suffered. He needs to allocate energy and focus on those things too because a PF like him should be getting more than 7 boards a game. 

13. Cleveland Cavaliers | 3-3 | Last Week: 8 | -5
Underwhelming start by the Cavs but thanks to LeBron James and his triple-double, they now have a 0.500 record after beating the Pelicans. Kyrie Irving should also try to develop his play-making and passing skills. A point guard like him should never get ZERO assists. 

14. Phoenix Suns | 2-1 | Last Week: 10 | -4
The Suns need to be more consistent with their games. They have impressive wins over the Spurs and Warriors but they also have bad losses to the Jazz and Kings. They also need to tighten up their defense (27th) and share the ball more (26th in assists).

15. New Orleans Pelicans | 3-3 | Last Week: 17 | +2
Anthony Davis is slowly but surely cementing himself as a top 5 player. He is #1 in blocks and rebounds, #2 in double-doubles while also #5 in scoring. Oh, he also made the game-winning shot against the Spurs. 

16. Brooklyn Nets | 4-2 | Last Week: 19 | +3
An early soft schedule (even vs OKC) gave the Nets a solid record but the real test begins with their next 4 games (Blazers, Suns, Warriors, Heat). However, if Deron, Iso-Joe and Brook continue playing well, winning those games won't be a surprise. 

17. Charlotte Hornets | 3-4 | Last Week: 15 | -2
Lance Stephenson nailed a buzzer-beater to lift the Hornets over the Hawks which was a great ending but the Hornets followed that up by losing big time to the previously win-less LA Lakers. Their next 4 games are vs top West teams (Blazers, Suns, Warriors, Mavs).

18. Atlanta Hawks | 3-3 | Last Week: 16 | -2
Guess who is leading them in scoring? It's Kyle Korver with close to 17 ppg. They have 5 players averaging double digits and 2 more who are in the 9-point range. They are sharing the ball well (2nd in assists) but rebounding is a problem (27th).

19. Minnesota Timberwolves | 2-4 | Last Week: 20 | +1
Awful luck for Minny and Ricky Rubio who could be out for as much as 2 months due to his high ankle sprain. Any hopes of making noise and possibly contending for a playoff spot vanished when Rubio went down.

20. Milwaukee Bucks | 3-4 | Last Week: 26 | +6
The Bucks are competing and playing well early. Brandon Knight has been the catalyst for their offense while Giannis and Jabari Parker have been solid. Special mention goes to Larry Sanders who appears to be focused on playing defense again.

21. Utah Jazz | 3-5 | Last Week: 24 | +3
Bad loss by Utah to Indiana especially since Hayward delivered 30, 8 and 5 but their bench almost gave them nothing in production. Trey Burke is off to a slow start and that's okay because Dante Exum is waiting on the bench. 

22. Boston Celtics | 3-3 | Last Week: 25 | +3
Rookie Marcus Smart is starting to earn a reputation as a flopper. He also sprained his ankle and could miss a few weeks. Maybe that was bad karma for Smart. Interesting that the game Rondo missed was a win vs the Bulls who played without Rose. 

23. New York Knicks | 2-6 | Last Week: 18 | -5
The triangle offense hasn't quite worked for them yet. They are having problems scoring (30th in scoring) and even Melo is struggling shooting (39%) and scoring (20 ppg). Heck, even Commissioner Silver criticized how the Knicks were running their offense.

24. Detroit Pistons | 2-5 | Last Week: 27 | +3
Stan Van Gundy picked up back-to-back wins vs the Knicks and Bucks, then his team dropped 2 straight. Brandon Jennings should not complain about playing time when guards like DJ Augustine and Caldwell-Pope contribute similar production. 

25. Orlando Magic | 2-5 | Last Week: 28 | +3
Nic Vucevic continues to deliver beastly numbers with 19 and 12 but the surprising players from the Magic are Evan Fournier notching 16 ppg and rookie Elfrid Payton with 8 ppg and 6 apg. Payton is a dark horse contended for ROY after 2 weeks. 

26. Oklahoma City Thunder | 2-5 | Last Week: 22 | -4
That was a surprise win by OKC over the Kings but truth be told, how many times can they win without Russ and KD? Their next 3 games are vs lightweights in the East (Bucks, Celtics and Pistons). An 0-3 result would be deadly in the tough West.

27. Indiana Pacers | 2-6 | Last Week: 23 | -4
The Pacers have Roy Hibbert and his rare 29-point explosion to thank for their 2nd win. It came during the perfect time when David West missed a game due to injury. So, how many times can Hibbert explode like that which can result to a win? Not many.

28. Los Angeles Lakers | 1-5 | Last Week: 29 | +1
Kobe is currently the 2nd leading scorer. He is trying to will the Lakers to victory. On most nights, that isn't enough and their poor record reflects that. They need more from Carlos Boozer or the Lakers should play Ed Davis more than him.

29. Denver Nuggets | 1-5 | Last Week: 21 | -8 
They have lost 5 straight and the home-court advantage they used to have over at the Pepsi Center is diminishing. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are off to slow starts. However, it's good to see JJ Hickson back and he played well during his season debut.

30. Philadelphia 76ers | 0-7 | Last Week: 30 | Same
The only win-less team almost won a game but a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater buried them. Their next realistic chance for a win will be vs the Celtics in a week. Meanwhile, the next 3 games will probably be all losses (Mavs, Rockets, Spurs).

Biggest Jump of the Week: Raptors +7

Biggest Drop of the Week: Nuggets -8

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