NBA Power Rankings: Stephen Curry, Warriors cruise to No. 1 spot; surprising Wizards, Nuggets make big jumps


It wasn’t precisely a assassin’s row of opponents this week, however the Warriors took care of enterprise, successful all 4 video games by a mean margin of over 20 factors (the 41-point victory over the lowly Pelicans helped). Already house owners of the league’s greatest protection, the Warriors offense exploded this week, partly on account of Stephen Curry’s 28.5 factors per recreation on 46/40/92 taking pictures splits, together with a spectacular 50-point, 10-assist recreation towards the Hawks. Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins every averaged over 20 factors per recreation for the week as properly, with contributions coming from up and down the roster. The schedule will begin to get tougher, however as of now it is laborious to argue towards the Warriors being one of the best staff within the NBA. 2 10-1

The Wizards picked up three extra high quality wins this week over the Grizzlies, Bucks and Cavs, managing to take action with Bradley Beal averaging simply 20 factors on 27 p.c 3-point taking pictures. The Russell Westbrook commerce turned Washington into one of many deeper groups within the league, and Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie are thriving. Kuzma shot 57 p.c from the 3-point line this week, together with two clutch nook 3s in a comeback highway win over the Cavs on Wednesday. 9 8-3

Give the Nuggets all of the credit score on the earth for rattling off three wins this week, the final one with out Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic, who dedicated probably the most egregious and harmful flagrant fouls you will ever see within the win over the Warmth and earned a one-game suspension. Denver’s protection has been excellent all season, and that continued in all three wins this week, holding every opponent beneath 100 factors. 9 7-4

Regardless of the league’s pending investigation into the proprietor, the Suns had an excellent week on the court docket, going undefeated with wins over the Rockets, Hawks, Kings and Path Blazers. They received the final three video games with out beginning middle Deandre Ayton, whose minutes had been changed partly by Frank Kaminsky, who averaged 14.8 factors and 4.5 rebounds on 62 p.c taking pictures for the week. Devin Booker has additionally caught hearth, placing up 23.8 factors, eight rebounds and 5.3 assists per recreation this week on 46 p.c 3-point taking pictures. 10 7-3

The Nets went 3-1 this week, with their solely loss coming to the Bulls in Chicago. Kevin Durant is towards the highest of the MVP race, averaging 32 factors this week on absurd 57/46/92 taking pictures splits. James Harden seems to be slowly rising from his early-season funk, placing up 18 factors, 9.8 rebounds and eight assists over the previous 4 video games on 39 p.c 3-point taking pictures. LaMarcus Aldridge has additionally been glorious of late, averaging 14.5 factors and 6.5 rebounds per recreation this week. — 8-4

The Jazz beat the Hawks twice this week, whereas dropping a detailed one to the Warmth after which a tough hangover loss (metaphorically talking, in fact) in Orlando the following evening with Mike Conley resting. Donovan Mitchell missed the primary win over Atlanta, however averaged 28.3 factors and 6.3 assists within the different three video games. Jordan Clarkson’s tough taking pictures begin to the season continued, although he confirmed indicators of life in each Atlanta video games. For those who chalk up the Orlando debacle to a schedule loss, the Jazz have seemed extremely stable to begin the yr. 2 8-3

Philly ran its win streak to 6 video games earlier than Joel Embiid entered well being and security protocols, additional decimating an already-depleted roster. Even so, the 76ers put up valiant efforts in losses to the Knicks and Bucks with Tyrese Maxey, Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang and Shake Milton main the way in which offensively. Additionally, within the final two video games with out Embiid, fill-in starter Andre Drummond has averaged 15.5 factors, 22.5 rebounds (not a typo) and two blocks. The excellent news is that Tobias Harris seems to be on his means again, and he’ll present a much-needed increase to a staff that has far exceeded expectations to date this season. 5 8-4

The Bulls shook off a loss to the 76ers to select up spectacular wins over the Nets and Mavericks this week. The offense is beginning to click on, producing 115.3 factors per 100 possessions within the three video games this week, even with Nikola Vucevic nonetheless struggling to seek out the scoring contact. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan proceed to hold the load offensively, with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso including protection and 3-point taking pictures. They’ve additionally gotten precious and vital contributions from Javonte Inexperienced, Derrick Jones Jr. and rookie Ayo Dosunmu. — 8-3

Luka Magic confirmed up with a game-winning 3-pointer towards the Celtics, and the Mavs additionally beat the Pelicans earlier than Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls. The offense picked up this week after a gradual begin, a very good signal shifting ahead, led by Doncic’s 26 factors per recreation on 38 p.c 3-point taking pictures. Kristaps Porzingis additionally returned to the lineup, averaging simply over 18 factors in 28.6 minutes per recreation. 4 7-4

My, how shortly issues can change within the NBA. Final week Miami seemed like the category of the Japanese Convention, however they fall significantly after a 1-3 week together with blowout losses to the Celtics and Nuggets. The win got here towards an excellent Jazz squad, however the Warmth had been unable to beat Jimmy Butler’s early exit in Wednesday’s time beyond regulation loss to the Lakers. Max Strus was out this week, scaling down an already shallow bench, and so they actually hope Butler is not compelled to overlook vital time after hurting his ankle. One vivid spot was Tyler Herro, who averaged 18.3 factors on 45 p.c 3-point taking pictures this week. 9 7-4

The Clippers continued their sturdy play this week, beating the Wolves, Hornets and Blazers to increase their successful streak to 5 video games. The Clippers’ protection has been excellent all yr lengthy, a major feat contemplating they’re lacking one of many league’s high defenders in Kawhi Leonard, and the offense has picked up of late. Much more spectacular, the Clippers received all three video games this week regardless of Paul George taking pictures simply 35 p.c from the sphere and 21 p.c kind 3-point vary, because of the superb play of Reggie Jackson and a resurgent Nicolas Batum, who put up 16.7 factors and 6.7 rebounds per recreation this week whereas hitting 57 p.c of his 3s. 9 6-4

The Cavs had a 2-1 week, however received the unhealthy information that Collin Sexton is out for the foreseeable future with a meniscus harm. The Cavs have been good with Sexton on the bench this season, however they’ll miss having one other scorer and creator on the perimeter. Ricky Rubio, who went bonkers in a 37-point efficiency with eight 3-pointers at MSG in a win over the Knicks, will soak up extra enjoying time in Sexton’s absence. 3 7-5

The Knicks break up with the Bucks this week, with a win over the depleted 76ers and a loss to the Cavs. The protection continues to be a difficulty, however the offense seems extra dynamic than final season. Julius Randle led the way in which this week with 24.5 factors and 9 rebounds per recreation on 38 p.c 3-point taking pictures, whereas Derrick Rose averaged 17 factors and 4.5 assists per recreation on 50 p.c 3-point taking pictures. After placing collectively a powerful run of video games, RJ Barrett struggled taking pictures the ball within the 2-2 week. 4 7-5

It wasn’t fairly, however the Lakers managed to go 2-2 this week, with each of their wins coming in time beyond regulation after ugly losses to the Thunder and Blazers. The report that LeBron James would possibly miss as much as eight weeks together with his belly harm have to be extraordinarily regarding for the Lakers, whose web score is 11.1 factors per 100 possessions higher with him on the court docket. Anthony Davis left early within the Portland loss on account of an sickness, however nonetheless managed to common 21.8 factors, 11.5 rebounds and two blocks per recreation this week, whereas Russell Westbrook almost averaged a triple-double with 19.3 factors, 9.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists per recreation, however shot simply 36 p.c from the sphere and averaged over six turnovers per recreation. 4 7-5

The Bucks are beginning to get wholesome, with Jrue Vacation enjoying in all 4 video games this week — a break up with the Knicks, a win over the 76ers and a loss to the Wizards. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 25 factors, 14 rebounds and 5.3 assists per recreation, however shot an uncharacteristic 43 p.c from the sphere. Grayson Allen has been large, averaging over 20 factors per recreation this week on 51 p.c 3-point taking pictures. 1 6-6

Amid all of the Marcus Good drama this week, the Celtics turned in a completely dominating efficiency towards the Warmth and took care of the Raptors, with their solely loss approaching a Luka Doncic step-back, game-winning 3-pointer as time expired. In addition they misplaced Jaylen Brown for a least a couple of video games on account of hamstring tightness, however the Celtics made up for his absence with six gamers averaging double figures, led by Jayson Tatum’s 21.3 factors per recreation on 55 p.c 3-point taking pictures. 6 5-6

The Grizzlies began the week on a bitter observe, dropping by 28 to the Wizards, then beat the Wolves in a loopy time beyond regulation recreation earlier than Wednesday’s house loss to a struggling Hornets staff. Ja Morant averaged 25.3 factors, 6.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds per recreation this week, and Dillon Brooks was a welcome sight on the court docket in his first recreation of the season. He put up 20 factors on 4-for-7 3-point taking pictures within the loss to the Hornets. 10 6-5

Trail Blazers
The Blazers began off the week with back-to-back wins over the Pacers and Lakers, however adopted that up with losses to the Clippers and Suns. Damian Lillard made it recognized that he would not admire the way in which video games are being officiated, and he is nonetheless nowhere close to the manufacturing we have come to anticipate from the All-NBA guard. Norman Powell had a powerful week offensively, averaging 21 factors on 55 p.c 3-point taking pictures, however the Portland protection nonetheless has a protracted method to go. 5 5-7

After a giant climb final week, the Raptors fall within the rankings after losses to the Cavs, Nets and Celtics. The usually stingy protection betrayed Toronto this week, because it allowed almost 114 factors per 100 possessions within the three losses. The silver lining is that Pascal Siakam made his season debut, averaging 11.5 factors and 5.5 rebounds in 27.5 minutes over two video games. Fred VanVleet led the offense with 18.3 factors and 6.7 assists per recreation on 44 p.c 3-point taking pictures. 13 6-6

Effectively, right here we go once more. Regardless of a roster clearly catered towards a excessive lottery choose, the Thunder rattled off wins over the Lakers, Spurs and Pelicans this week to inch nearer to .500, similar to they surprisingly did final season earlier than the tankathon really started towards the top of the yr. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made maybe the signature shot of his younger profession with a dagger 3-pointer from the brand to safe their second straight win over the Lakers, and he averaged 22 factors, 6.7 assists and 6 rebounds for the week. Lu Dort offered a pleasant increase after lacking final week’s loss to the Clippers, averaging 19 factors in three wins this week. 9 4-6

San Antonio doubled its win whole this week because of victories over the Magic and Kings, with a loss to the Thunder in between. Drew Eubanks and Thaddeus Younger have stepped up within the absence of Jakob Poeltl, and so they had been two of seven gamers to common double figures for the Spurs this week. Dejounte Murray is pushing a triple-double common with 18.4 factors, 8.2 assists and seven.9 rebounds this season, whereas turning the ball over simply over twice per recreation. San Antonio’s 136 factors towards the Kings had been a season-high. 4 4-7

The Kings began off the week with a 30-point win over the Hornets, however issues shortly went downhill from there with losses to the Pacers, Suns and Spurs. The excellent news is that De’Aaron Fox is beginning to appear like his previous self offensively, averaging 24.8 factors and 5.5 assists per recreation this week. Tyrese Haliburton was additionally enjoying properly earlier than being compelled to overlook the ultimate two video games of the week with again points. 4 5-7

Lackluster protection led to 5 straight losses for the Hornets, together with three this week, however they ended the skid on Wednesday with a giant highway win over the Grizzlies. Charlotte has loads of offensive weapons now that Terry Rozier has returned, showcased by 5 gamers averaging 15 or extra factors this week. LaMelo Ball has been scintillating, placing up 20.5 factors, 8.8 rebounds and eight.8 assists on 39 p.c 3-point taking pictures this week. 6 6-7

The Pacers missed a primary alternative for a win towards a Nuggets staff with out Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, although Indiana was lacking Caris LeVert. TJ McConnell stepped up with further enjoying time from the absences of LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon this week, averaging 17.7 factors, 5.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 65 p.c taking pictures. Myles Turner made an affect on each ends, taking pictures 47 p.c from the 3-point line whereas blocking 4 pictures per recreation this week. 3 4-8

The Magic picked up a giant win over the Jazz this week, with losses to the Spurs and Nets. Cole Anthony was large within the win towards Utah, placing up 33 factors, three steals and two blocks on 5-for-10 3-point taking pictures. Wendell Carter Jr. averaged a double-double for the week, whereas Franz Wagner cooled off after a scorching taking pictures begin to the season. Orlando scored simply 95 factors per 100 possessions this week. 1 3-9

The Hawks misplaced all 4 video games this week to 3 very robust opponents (Jazz twice, Suns and Warriors), bringing their dropping streak to 5 video games total. The offense hasn’t been nice, however the protection has been the actual perpetrator, permitting 119.3 factors per 100 possessions over their final eight video games. It is also a foul signal that Atlanta has been dropping whereas Trae Younger has performed properly — he averaged 26.8 factors and eight.8 assists within the 4 losses this week with 46/41/89 taking pictures splits. It was a wake-up name this week for the Hawks in assessments towards a number of the league’s high groups, and so they’ll want to enhance defensively if they’ll flip issues round. 7 4-8

The Wolves almost pulled off a miracle win towards the Grizzlies after Karl-Anthony Cities’ unbelievable 3-pointer to beat the fourth-quarter buzzer, however they went on to lose in time beyond regulation. In addition they dropped video games to the Clippers and Warriors for an 0-3 week, regardless of Anthony Edwards averaging 30.7 factors, together with a career-high 48 within the loss to Golden State. Cities was third on the staff in discipline objective makes an attempt per recreation this week behind Edwards and D’Angelo Russell, which might not be one of the best recipe for environment friendly offense. That being stated, the protection is basically what wants fixing right here to keep away from extending their six-game dropping streak. 3 3-7

The Pistons misplaced to the 76ers and Nets to begin the week, however picked up their second win of the season in a matchup between the highest two picks on this yr’s draft. Cade Cunningham scored 20 factors in half-hour within the win over the Rockets, and his 3-point taking pictures improved to a good 36 p.c this week after a traditionally unhealthy begin. Jerami Grant led the staff in scoring for the week, placing up 35 factors within the win over Houston. 1 2-8

The Rockets misplaced 4 extra video games this week, falling quick of their greatest alternative for a victory towards the Pistons at house. No. 2 total choose Jalen Inexperienced scored 23 factors in his first matchup towards the one participant picked forward of him within the draft, Cade Cunningham, although he shot simply 33 p.c from the sphere for the week. Christian Wooden averaged simply over 11 discipline objective makes an attempt in 4 video games this week, third on the staff, after placing up almost 16 per recreation final season, in order that’s one thing to regulate. 1 1-10

Three extra video games, three extra losses for the Pelicans, who’ve struggled mightily on each ends of the ground, resulting in a cringeworthy minus-21.2 web score for the week. Brandon Ingram missed all three video games, leaving the offense to Jonas Valanciunas, who averaged 22.3 factors and 13.7 rebounds for the week. It has been a dismal begin to the season for the Pelicans, who eagerly await the eventual return of Zion Williamson. — 1-11 | NBA Energy Rankings: Stephen Curry, Warriors cruise to No. 1 spot; stunning Wizards, Nuggets make huge jumps


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