NBA Power Rankings: Celtics Stay on Top, Suns on The Rise
- BOSTON CELTICS: Three wins from four games last week for the C’s, although both Minnesota and New Jersey came close to causing upsets. Rasheed Wallace has made only two of his last 17 three-pointers.
- L.A. LAKERS: Kobe is averaging almost 34 PPG and while it’s always fun to watch him score, the Lakers would no doubt like to see more offense from Artest and Odom during Pau Gasol’s absence, whose return is still to be determined.
- PHOENIX SUNS: Steve Nash clearly didn’t read the preseason reports about the expected demise of the Suns this season. Phoenix is the only team able to put 100 points on the Celtics, which unsurprisingly was Boston’s only loss.
- MIAMI HEAT: After a surprising home loss to the Phoenix Suns, D-Wade quickly got the Heat back on track to hand the Nuggets their first loss of the season. Miami is quietly out to a 5-1 start and take on LeBron and the Cavs on Thursday.
- DENVER NUGGETS: Sharpshooter J.R. Smith returns this week after missing the first seven games due to suspension. And the Nuggets will definitely need him as their road trip continues in Milwaukee and Chicago before coming home to face the Lakers on Friday.
- HOUSTON ROCKETS: Aaron Brooks is staking his claim for Most Improved Player award. He still has a tendency to turn the ball over a little bit too often, but it’s easy to see why the Rockets had no problem trading away Rafter Alston last season.
- ORLANDO MAGIC: No one does post game press conferences like Stan Van Gundy. Even though they are still short handed, there was two bad losses for the Magic this week at Detroit and Oklahoma City.
- ATLANTA HAWKS: Apart from an ugly loss to the Bobcats, it was a pretty solid week for Atlanta. Josh Smith is shooting 57-percent from the floor and is yet to try a three-pointer this season, which suggests he might be finally maturing into the franchise player that the Hawks have been long hoping for.
- DALLAS MAVERICKS: The Mavs loss to the Hornets was disgusting and it squandered an amazing performance from Jason Terry, who has been red hot off the bench this season. It’s a big week in Texas as Dallas faces both Houston and San Antonio back-to-back.
- CHICAGO BULLS: The Bulls three wins were by one, two and three points, including one over Cleveland. Derrick Rose looked better this week but either his ankle still isn’t 100-percent or he’s just struggling a little bit.
- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Nobody thinks that the Cavs won’t get it together soon enough, but they face a tough Florida trip this week against the Magic and the Heat. Thankfully, LeBron has had his one and only trip to Madison Square Garden this season.
- SAN ANTONIO SPURS: The Spurs are yet to win on the road so it’s a good thing for them that they play eight of their next nine at home. Tony Parker’s ankle injury sounds comparatively minor to the one he suffered last year and he might only miss a game or two.
- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Kevin Durant had a great chance to be a hero against the Lakers but his air ball showed that there is still a lot of learning to be done in OKC.
- PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: Andre Miller finally got into the starting lineup and provided the Blazers with a steady hand. They’ll need more of it this week as Portland begins a five game road trip.
- PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: The Sixers are reportedly shopping Samuel Dalembert. While they’re at it, they’d probably like to find a taker for Elton Brand too. Offense is still a major problem in Philly.
- CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: Gerald Wallace is leading the league in rebounds with almost 14 per game. Yep, Gerald Wallace.
- INDIANA PACERS: The Pacers are on a two game win streak although those victories were at New York and home to Washington. They should be able to extend it to three straight as they host the Warriors on Wednesday before they face the Celtics on Sunday.
- MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Brandon Jennings continues to impress although he’d give anything to take his game winning shot against the Bulls again. Here’s a quirky stat, Andrew Bogut went 8-for-14 in all three games this week.
- DETROIT PISTONS: Considering the Pistons have only had Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince in the lineup once this season, Detroit is holding firm. Rodney Stuckey has all the tools to be a star, he just needs to develop a more consistent jump shot.
- TORONTO RAPTORS: The Raptors three wins have all come against teams playing the second of back-to-backs. They are just too fragile defensively to be taken seriously.
- L.A. CLIPPERS: Don’t look now but the Clips are on a tear. They have won three straight and have a light schedule this week in which they face the Hornets, Raptors and Thunder. The Clips might not get a better chance to get themselves into over .500 territory.
- UTAH JAZZ: Without leading scorer Kevin Martin, the Sacramento Kings waltzed into Salt Lake City and took a W off the Jazz. Can you say complacency?
- WASHINGTON WIZARDS: The opening night victory at Dallas now appears to be a severe aberration as the Wizards have lost four straight. Antawn Jamison is still at least a week away.
- NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: Chris Paul just can’t do everything himself. Emeka Okafor is big and strong, but he just doesn’t have any significant offensive game to provide enough help. A tough week for the Hornets, they face the Clippers, Suns, Blazers and Hawks.
- SACRAMENTO KINGS: Tyreke Evans has led the Kings to a 2-0 record since Kevin Martin went down. Added to that is the impressive play of Jason Thompson and the future in Sactown is not looking too bad after all.
- GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: You know what? The Warriors aren’t even fun to watch at the moment. Either Don Nelson or Stephen Jackson has to go before we can start enjoying the Warriors again.
- MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: How does Minny almost knock off the Celtics but then get hammered by the Bucks ?
- MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: It would be wrong to blame Allen Iverson completely for the Grizz's awful start, but really, it wasn’t exactly a stroke of genius by owner Michael Hiesley to sign him in the first place.
- NEW JERSEY NETS: Lawrence Frank has survived some pretty lean stretches before, but this one might be just too much. Injuries haven’t helped but the Nets are in a mess.
- 30. NEW YORK KNICKS: The Knicks are just pathetic.
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