After watching tons of basketball game highlights, reading box scores and looking at rosters, I've started my NBA Power Rankings once again. In the first addition there are some surprises such as the Hornets and Raptors being in the top 10.
After seeing the Heat get a 26-point win over the Magic, I had no other choice but to put them at No. 1. The Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets and Hawks round out the top five with the Blazers, Spurs, Raptors, Bulls and Grizzlies finishing the top 10. The Rockets, 76ers, Bobcats, Clippers and Wizards round out the bottom five.
No two players have been more impressive to start the year than Kevin Durant and John Wall. They are the real deal.
Here's how I see the NBA's 30 teams...
Note: W-L Records updated through November 1.
1. Miami Heat (3-1)
Not too bad of a start for the Heat. Once I saw them crush the Magic, I knew that this team has a great chance of living up to the hype. LeBron and D-Wade are both playing excellent, as expected.
2. Los Angeles Lakers (3-0)
So far so good for the Champs. This team has done a great job at putting points on the board. I’d be surprised if they aren’t 6-0 heading into the game against the Blazers on Sunday. Pau Gasol is off to a great start and Lamar Odom is grabbing quite a few rebounds.
3. Dallas Mavericks (2-1)
The Mavericks are playing a little defense. As long as they don’t meltdown consistently like they did against the Grizzlies, things are going to be looking great for the Mavs.
4. Denver Nuggets (2-1)
Great defensive play from the Nuggets, especially Sheldon Williams. I wonder how long it will be before Carmelo will get traded.
5. Atlanta Hawks (3-0)
Offense is looking good for the Hawks. They have a great chance at starting 7-0 before facing the Magic.
6. New Orleans Hornets (3-0)
Another team that’s played great defense to start the season. Looks like Chris Paul is over the injury bug.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (3-1)
Good defense from the Blazers so far. They could be 6-1 heading into the game against the Thunder.
8. San Antonio Spurs (2-1)
Interesting to see the Spurs averaging the sixth-most points, so far. The team looks good despite Chris Paul dropping 25 on them in a loss to the Hornets.
9. Toronto Raptors (1-2)
Nice start for Andrea Bargnani, who has scored 70 points in just three games.
10. Chicago Bulls (2-1)
Bouncing back nicely with wins over the Pistons and Blazers after letting Kevin Durant and his posse beat them.
11. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1)
The team has played better and better as the games go on: getting crushed by the Hawks, then a narrow win over Mavericks, then a blowout win over the Timberwolves. Grizzlies are going to see a lot more of Mike Conley, who signed a contract extension with the team.
12. Orlando Magic (1-1)
A blowout win over the Wizards and then get crushed by Miami. Let’s see if the Magic become a fraud team over the course of the season.
13. Boston Celtics (2-1)
Another team that’s played good defense to start the season, as expected. Especially Kevin Garnett.
14. Indiana Pacers (2-1)
Danny Granger is going to need some help if he wants his Pacers to sniff the playoffs this year.
15. Sacramento Kings (3-1)
Normally I would have a 3-1 team a little higher than 15th, but their three wins are by a combined seven points.
16. Golden State Warriors (2-1)
The 24-point loss to the Lakers leads me to believe that the Warriors won’t have much of a team behind Monta Ellis this year.
17. New York Knicks (1-2)
This team actually has a chance at making the playoffs this year but are going to need more than just Amare Stoudemire to make a Championship run.
18. Milwaukee Bucks (1-2)
Good defense to start the year. The Bucks could have a great chance at making the playoffs once again if their offense steps it up.
19. Phoenix Suns (1-2)
It’s pretty sad to see the Suns star player say that he doesn’t think that they will make the playoffs. However, based on what I’ve seen so far, I completely agree with him.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1)
Decent start offensively behind Kevin Durant, who has been the most impressive player so far in the NBA.
21. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2)
Great defensive play out of Kevin Durant to start the year, but the 20-point loss leads me to believe that the Wolves could end up having a bad team once again.
22. New Jersey Nets (2-1)
Derrick Favors is playing like a decent Rookie of the Year candidate. Only three other rookies have scored more points than him.
23. Detroit Pistons (0-3)
I’d be shocked if the Pistons have even 15 wins by January.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2)
Inconsistency to start the year: They can beat the Celtics, but they get blown out against the Raptors and lose against the Kings. This team could end up in the bottom five in wins.
25. Utah Jazz (1-2)
Paul Millsap starts the year as one of the league’s leading rebounders. A soft schedule ahead with teams like the Raptors, Warriors, and Clippers before they are thrown into the fire against the Heat, Magic, Hawks and Thunder in mid-November.
26. Houston Rockets (0-3)
Only Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade have impressed me more than Luis Scola to start the season. That’s saying a little bit despite the Rockets’ bad start. Kevin Martin hasn’t been too bad either.
27. Philadelphia 76ers (0-3)
Evan Turner has played pretty well over the first few games. Other than that, not much excitement from the Sixers to start the season.
28. Charlotte Bobcats (0-3)
It’s interesting to see the Bobcats (known for being a top defensive team) give up 303 points in their first three games.
29. Los Angeles Clippers (0-4)
As an Oklahoma Sooners’ basketball fan, I feel so bad for Blake Griffin. Such great talent and he plays for such a terrible team.
30. Washington Wizards (0-2)
It’s interesting: The MOST impressive rookie I’ve seen so far plays for the LEAST impressive team.
Carter’s MVP Candidates
1. Kevin Durant (Thunder)
2. Dwyane Wade (Heat)
3. Luis Scola (Rockets)
4. LeBron James (Heat)
5. Monta Ellis (Warriors)
6. Danny Granger (Pacers)
7. Pau Gasol (Lakers)
8. Kevin Martin (Rockets)
Carter’s Defensive Player of the Year Candidates
1. Luis Scola (Rockets)
2. Lamar Odom (Lakers)
3. Kevin Love (Timberwolves)
4. Paul Millsap (Jazz)
5. Shelden Williams (Nuggets)
Carter’s Rookie of the Year Candidates
1. John Wall (Wizards)
2. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings)
3. Landry Fields (Knicks)
4. Derrick Favors (Nets)
5. Wesley Johnson (Timberwolves)