After a few weeks of NBA action we’re seeing teams establish themselves early and others are still meshing. Here’s this week’s society NBA power ranking.
1. Toronto Raptors (12-2, Next three: @ ATL, vs. DAL, @ LAL)
Toronto has won five in a row, including an impressive road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but four of their next five games are on the road. Let’s see if the Raps can continue their strong start to the season.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (12-2, Next three: @ LAL, @ POR, @ SAC)
Marc Gasol has arguably been the best big man in the game so far this season, and Memphis is rolling because of him. Gasol’s acuity on the defensive end, and his severely underrated offensive game have he and the Grizzlies primed for big things in the tough Western Conference.
3. Golden State Warriors (10-2, Next three: @ MIA, @ ORL, @ CHA)
The Warriors are still elite defensively, and Harrison Barnes has seemed to recapture his rookie year magic. This is a huge plus for Golden State, who is still without starting power forward David Lee. Steve Kerr has done a brilliant head coaching job thus far.
4. Houston Rockets (11-3, Next three: vs. SAC, vs. LAC, @ MIL)
After a bad loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets have responded nicely, collecting wins over the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks in their last two games. Houston is still without Dwight Howard, who has missed the past few games with a knee injury. Their defense has been worse without Howard on the floor, and at times the effort is downright hilarious.
5. Washington Wizards (9-3, Next three: vs. ATL, @ CLE, vs. NOP)
Washington has won five of their last six games, and sharpshooting guard Bradley Beal has made his return to the team. However, the Wizards 0-3 against playoff teams from last year.
6. San Antonio Spurs (9-4, Next three: vs. IND, vs. SAC, @ BOS)
After a sluggish start to the season, the defending champs have won four games in a row. Although their opponents haven’t been the strongest, the Spurs appear to be escaping the offensive funk they were in to start the year
7. Portland Trail Blazers (11-3, Next three: @ CHA, vs. MEM, vs. MIN)
Portland has won eight games in a row, but starting December 7th we will find out who this team really is. That’s the date they kick off their five game-seven day road trip against the New York Knicks.
8. Chicago Bulls (9-5, Next three: @ DEN, @ BOS, @ BKY)
Chicago nearly blew a 20+ point lead against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, but managed to hang on for a thrilling road victory. The Bulls got Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose back on Monday, but Rose looked far from his usual self. Unfortunately for Bulls fans, that may be a reoccurring issue as the season continues.
9. Dallas Mavericks (10-5, Next three: vs. NYK, @ TOR, @ PHI)
The Mavericks lead the league in points per game (109.9,) and field goal percentage (48.9%,) but a bad loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday revealed what must be corrected in Dallas if they plan to make another title run: defense. The Mavericks are currently 15th in defensive efficiency, and things can’t afford to get much worse in the West.
10. Phoenix Suns (9-6, Next three: vs. DEN, @ DEN, vs. ORL)
Phoenix’s defense allows penetration too easily, and guards Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic have looked strange at times this year, but playing the Denver Nuggets in two consecutive games should allow Phoenix to get back on a track after a tough loss to the Raptors on Monday.