NBA logoNBA

NBA Power Rankings Week 5: Lakers, Spurs at Top, but How Far Has Miami Fallen?

Allen KimSenior Analyst INovember 30, 2010

NBA Power Rankings Week 5: Lakers, Spurs at Top, but How Far Has Miami Fallen?

1 of 31

    Harry How/Getty Images

    Welcome to Week 5 of the B/R Featured Columnist weekly NBA Power Rankings.

    It was an exciting week with plenty of upsets and drama happening around the league.

    Between Bump Gate and Sext Gate, it was a busy week.

    So, who has risen and fallen in the rankings?

     

     

     

     

    The Bleacher Report NBA Power Rankings are done by averaging individual feature columnists' tallies. This week's contributors were Lance Pauker (NBA), Shams Charania (Bulls), Preston DeGarmo (Blazers), Brian Chappatta (Bulls), Brett Roberts (Magic), Patrick Harrel (Rockets) and Bryan Toporek (NBA Team Leader).

30. Los Angeles Clippers

2 of 31

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Record: 3-15

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Clippers started the week strong with a home stand against the Hornets and the Kings. Their win against New Orleans was pretty shocking, as the Hornets have been one of the hottest teams so far this season.

    However, the team came back down to Earth, splitting the week with losses coming against the Suns and Jazz.

    Baron Davis and Chris Kaman are set to return soon, so the team's future prospects are slightly better.

    The only bright spot for the Clippers is the inspired play of Eric Gordon and the highlight reel plays Blake Griffin performs on a nightly basis. The team has a young but promising roster.

    If the team wants to succeed, they need to axe the incompetent Vinny Del Negro.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    99-95

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

    11/25

    W

    100-82

    vs. Sacramento Kings

    11/26

    L

    108-116

    @ Phoenix Suns

    11/28

    L

    97-109

    vs. Utah Jazz

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. San Antonio Spurs

    Friday, December 3

    @ Denver Nuggets

    Sunday, December 5

    @ Portland Trail Blazers

29. Philadelphia 76ers

3 of 31

    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Record: 4-13

    Previous Rank: 29

    It was yet another bad week for the Philadelphia 76ers.

    The team may have gotten Andre Iguodala back, but the results were largely the same: more losses mounting up.

    Philly started the week off with an overtime loss to the Wizards and then followed that up with a drubbing by the Toronto Raptors, of all teams.

    They at least managed to stay relatively close against the Heat before finally breaking their losing streak with a victory over the Nets.

    Doug Collins has his work cut out for him. It doesn't help that he's had some Lucille Austero-type bouts in the early going, but even if his body stays healthy, his mind sure won't with all the headaches he's sure to face.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    114-116

    @ Washington Wizards

    11/24

    L

    90-106

    @ Toronto Raptors

    11/26

    L

    90-99

    @ Miami Heat

    11/27

    W

    102-86

    vs. New Jersey Nets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    Friday, December 3

    @ Atlanta Hawks

    Saturday, December 4

    vs. Charlotte Bobcats

28. Minnesota Timberwolves

4 of 31

    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Record: 4-13

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Timberwolves went 0-for-3 last week, but they showed some life in an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

    Minnesota is in the midst of a four-game losing streak that is likely to go to at least six with Dallas and San Antonio on their plate.

    Their best chance of breaking that losing streak will be against the Cavaliers.

    Is this some sort of mirage? Darko Milicic is actually playing well.

    We'll see if Darko can keep up his strong play for a prolonged stretch, but right now he has shed the one-of-the-biggest-busts-in-NBA-draft-history label.

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    107-117

    @ Oklahoma City Thunder

    11/24

    L

    109-113

    vs. San Antonio Spurs

    11/27

    L

    94-104

    vs. Golden State Warriors

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Dallas Mavericks

    Friday, December 3

    @ San Antonio Spurs

    Saturday, December 4

    vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

27. Sacramento Kings

5 of 31

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Record: 4-11

    Previous Rank: 25

    Unsurprisingly, the Kings failed to record a win last week.

    They had two tough games against the Jazz and Bulls, but an easy one against the Clippers. In an odd twist, their worst loss came against the Clippers, where they lost by an 18-point margin.

    Chances are the Kings will stretch their losing streak to seven with three tough games scheduled for this week.

    Sacramento is in shambles right now. Their coach, Paul Westphal, has been nothing short of awful in the early going. He can't decide on a starting lineup and seems to change it every single game.

    DeMarcus Cousins was recently thrown out of a practice, and Westphal seems to be losing control and trust of his team.

    As if things weren't bad enough, their star player, Tyreke Evans, is battling a number of injuries that have limited him.

    Right now, all the Kings can do is count the lottery balls and hope Westphal makes his way to the chopping block.

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    83-94

    @ Utah Jazz

    11/25

    L

    82-100

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    11/27

    L

    85-96

    vs. Chicago Bulls

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. Indiana Pacers

    Friday, December 3

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    Saturday, December 4

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

26. Washington Wizards

6 of 31

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Record: 5-10

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Wizards started off with an uplifting overtime victory over the 76ers but followed that up with consecutive losses against the Hawks and Magic.

    Washington fought valiantly against the Magic but lost to them on a crushing last second put-back by Dwight Howard.

    With John Wall still recovering, the Wizards will continue to lean on the player formerly known as Agent Zero to get the job done.

    Gilbert Arenas has been relatively quiet and very professional in the early going. With the way he's playing, the Wizards may even get some potential trade suitors calling at some point this season to take the enigmatic guard off their hands.

    Natives of our nation's capital are in for another rough week.

    The team has three road games, with their only home game coming against the Portland Trail Blazers.

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    W

    116-114

    vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    11/25

    L

    96-116

    @ Atlanta Hawks

    11/27

    L

    99-100

    vs. Orlando Magic

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    @ Miami Heat

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Toronto Raptors

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    Sunday, December 5

    @ Phoenix Suns

25. Detroit Pistons

7 of 31

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Record: 6-11

    Previous Rank: 23

    It was yet another bad week for the Detroit Pistons.

    The team lost three out of four games, with a crushing overtime loss to the Knicks to close out the week.

    Detroit has a rough week coming up. They face Orlando twice and go down to South Beach between those visits with Dwight Howard.

    They get a reprieve with Cleveland to finish the week, but it's looking like another three-loss week for the Pistons.

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    L

    84-88

    @ Dallas Mavericks

    11/24

    L

    84-105

    @ Memphis Grizzlies

    11/26

    W

    103-89

    vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    11/28

    L

    116-125

    vs. New York Knicks

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Orlando Magic

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Miami Heat

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Orlando Magic

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

24. New Jersey Nets

8 of 31

    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Record: 6-11

    Previous Rank: 26

    There is turmoil brewing in Newark.

    Terrence Williams—the Nets' talented swingman—was suspended and then sent to the D-League.

    Troy Murphy—the team's summer acquisition—has been riding the pine and appears to be in Avery Johnson's doghouse.

    The only positive outcome in the last week was the reemergence of Brook Lopez. Brook has been very inconsistent but kicked up his level of play in the last week or so.

    The Nets may have lost two out of the four games they played last week, but two of their victories came against the Hawks and Trail Blazers, with a close loss against the Celtics.

    New Jersey gets a cross-river rivalry match with the New York Knicks on Tuesday and then a follow-up game against the Thunder.

    The Bobcats will be their easiest matchup with the Celtics coming into town to finish out the week.

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    107-101

    vs. Atlanta Hawks

    11/24

    L

    83-89

    @ Boston Celtics

    11/26

    L

    86-102

    @ Philadelphia 76ers

    11/28

    W

    98-96

    vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ New York Knicks

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    Friday, December 3

    @ Charlotte Bobcats

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Boston Celtics

23. Houston Rockets

9 of 31

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Record: 5-11

    Previous Rank: 24

    Houston continues to underachieve with one of the worst records in the NBA.

    The team may have split their games last week, with a surprising close win over the Thunder, but playing .500 basketball will not get you a playoff berth, let alone a winning record.

    The team will get a rematch against the Lakers after a crushing late-game collapse against the reigning champions on opening night.

    However, this is not the same team.

    Aaron Brooks is still recovering, and the same goes for the injury-prone Yao Ming.

    Things don't get much easier with road games against the Grizzlies and Bobcats.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    116-123

    vs. Phoenix Suns

    11/24

    W

    111-101

    vs. Golden State Warriors

    11/26

    L

    89-99

    @ Charlotte Bobcats

    11/28

    W

    99-98

    vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Los Angeles Clippers

    Friday, December 3

    @ Memphis Grizzlies

    Saturday, December 4

    @ Chicago Bulls

22. Toronto Raptors

10 of 31

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Record: 6-11

    Previous Rank: 22

    Toronto is playing better than expected. The team was ranked as one of the worst teams in preseason, and while they're well below .500, they're off to a respectable start.

    The team's four-game winning streak was snapped when they went to visit Boston, a team they actually beat a week earlier.

    They get an easy matchup against the Wizards on Wednesday, but things get tougher with games against the Thunder and Knicks.

    Luckily, they're in the middle of a home stand with all three games slated to take place in Toronto.

    The Raptors were dealt a huge blow when Reggie Evans fractured his foot. Evans may not have been good for anything but rebounds, but with a horrible rebounding center in Andrea Bargnani at the helm, Reggie played a huge role.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/24

    W

    106-90

    vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    11/26

    L

    101-110

    @ Boston Celtics

    11/28

    L

    78-96

    vs. Atlanta Hawks

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Washington Wizards

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. New York Knicks

21. Cleveland Cavaliers

11 of 31

    Elsa/Getty Images

    Record: 7-9

    Previous Rank: 21

    Cleveland is playing far better than most people expected out of them in the early going. They're near .500, and they've had their fair share of strong wins.

    The Cavs may have only won two out of four games last week, but that's about par for the course for the team.

    Thursday night is one of the most anticipated games of the early season.

    LeBron cometh.

    Cleveland is beefing up security in anticipation of what is certain to be a rowdy and contentious return welcome. They're banning anti-LeBron gear and pouring beverages in cups in order to keep bottles out of the hands of angry Cleveland natives.

    With the way Miami has been playing lately, Cleveland actually has a very good chance of beating the Heat.

    Let's just hope LeBron is smart enough not to do his chalk toss prior to the start of the game.

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    L

    89-100

    @ Indiana Pacers

    11/24

    W

    83-81

    vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    11/26

    L

    100-111

    @ Orlando Magic

    11/27

    W

    92-86

    vs. Memphis Grizzlies

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. Boston Celtics

    Thursday, December 2

    vs. Miami Heat

    Saturday, December 4

    @ Minnesota Timberwolves

20. Charlotte Bobcats

12 of 31

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Record: 6-11

    Previous Rank: 20

    Charlotte started the week on a sour note.

    They lost two close back-to-back games against the New York Knicks. Both came down to the wire, and they had opportunities to win but couldn't finish the game strong.

    The Bobcats bounced back against an underachieving Rockets team but followed that up with a loss at Milwaukee.

    Gerald Wallace is currently battling an elbow contusion. The long rest should give him enough time to heal, but if he misses any time, the Bobcats will surely miss his presence on the court.

    Aside from an away game against the Hornets, the Bobcats get two easy matchups in the Nets and 76ers later in the week.

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    L

    107-110

    @ New York Knicks

    11/24

    L

    95-99

    vs. New York Knicks

    11/26

    W

    99-89

    vs. Houston Rockets

    11/27

    L

    101-104

    @ Milwaukee Bucks

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ New Orleans Hornets

    Friday, December 3

    vs. New Jersey Nets

    Saturday, December 4

    @ Philadelphia 76ers

19. Milwaukee Bucks

13 of 31

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Record: 6-10

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Bucks had a bad week.

    Milwaukee lost two out of three games against below .500 teams. Luckily, they bounced back in a close home game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

    However, things are not looking up this week. Andrew Bogut is sitting out until at least Saturday.

    If Bogut is healthy on Saturday, they're going to need him because Dwight Howard and the Magic are coming into town.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    106-97

    vs. Orlando Magic

    11/24

    W

    113-109

    @ Minnesota Timberwolves

    11/26

    L

    94-103

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

    11/28

    W

    109-95

    @ New Orleans Hornets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Golden State Warriors

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

18. Memphis Grizzlies

14 of 31

    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Record: 7-10

    Previous Rank: 16

    Memphis has been out of sorts in the early going.

    O.J. Mayo was recently benched in favor of Xavier Henry, and the team is not playing up to its potential.

    The Grizzlies managed to get wins over the Pistons and Warriors, but they fell to the Cavaliers last week.

    The team is up for a tough stretch with the Lakers, Hawks and Nuggets coming up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/24

    W

    105-84

    vs. Detroit Pistons

    11/26

    W

    116-111

    vs. Golden State Warriors

    11/27

    L

    86-92

    @ Cleveland Cavaliers

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Atlanta Hawks

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Houston Rockets

    Sunday, December 5

    @ Denver Nuggets

17. Golden State Warriors

15 of 31

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Record: 8-9

    Previous Rank: 14

    Golden State had a rough outing with three straight losses to start the week.

    They managed to win against the Timberwolves to close out their road trip, but things are not looking good.

    The only bright spot is that David Lee will be returning to a roster in dire need of some size up front.

    The Warriors have a brutal stretch coming up with the Spurs, Suns and Thunder up next.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    89-106

    vs. Denver Nuggets

    11/24

    L

    101-111

    @ Houston Rockets

    11/26

    L

    111-116

    @ Memphis Grizzlies

    11/27

    W

    104-94

    @ Minnesota Timberwolves

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. San Antonio Spurs

    Thursday, December 1

    vs. Phoenix Suns

    Sunday, December 5

    @ Oklahoma City Thunder

16. New York Knicks

16 of 31

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Record: 9-9

    Previous Rank: 18

    New York started the week with back-to-back games against the Charlotte Bobcats. The team managed to come away with wins in both games, but they were not easy.

    On Saturday, they were beaten by the Hawks. The box score doesn't tell the whole story, as the game was not as close as the score indicates.

    The team bounced back with an overtime win against the Detroit Pistons.

    The Knicks have a relatively light schedule, with a cross-river rivalry against the Nets on Tuesday and a road game against the Raptors to close out the week.

    However, they have a tough road game against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, which should be a good indicator of the team's strength.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    W

    110-107

    vs. Charlotte Bobcats

    11/24

    W

    99-95

    @ Charlotte Bobcats

    11/27

    L

    90-99

    vs. Atlanta Hawks

    11/28

    W

    125-116

    @ Detroit Pistons

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. New Jersey Nets

    Friday, December 3

    @ New Orleans Hornets

    Sunday, December 5

    @ Toronto Raptors

15. Phoenix Suns

17 of 31

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Record: 8-9

    Previous Rank: 15

    It was a high-scoring week for the Suns. In all four of their games, they scored at least 115 points in each contest.

    While they only managed to get two wins out of four, the team is still in relatively good shape, just a game below .500.

    Phoenix should be able to handle the Warriors and Wizards for the upcoming week, but the Pacers will be a true test for the team.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    123-116

    @ Houston Rockets

    11/24

    L

    115-123

    vs. Chicago Bulls

    11/26

    W

    116-108

    vs. Los Angeles Clippers

    11/28

    L

    133-138

    @ Denver Nuggets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Thursday, December 2

    @ Golden State Warriors

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Indiana Pacers

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Washington Wizards

14. Portland Trail Blazers

18 of 31

    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Record: 8-8

    Previous Rank: 12

    Portland only played twice last week, but it failed to get a win in either game.

    The Trail Blazers are a cursed team with all of the injuries they have faced.

    Greg Oden is out for the season once again, and Brandon Roy is dealing with knee troubles that could threaten his career.

    Roy is facing a tough month of December with a number of back-to-back games on the schedule.

    However, the Blazers get a break this week with their only tough game coming against the Boston Celtics.

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/26

    L

    78-97

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

    11/28

    L

    96-98

    @ New Jersey Nets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Philadelphia 76ers

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Boston Celtics

    Friday, December 3

    @ Washington Wizards

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Los Angeles Clippers

13. Indiana Pacers

19 of 31

    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Record: 8-7

    Previous Rank: 16

    Indiana is on a hot streak.

    They beat the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers all in the same week, with both of their wins coming on the road.

    They beat Cleveland by 11 points at home and followed that up with a close home loss against the Thunder.

    The Pacers will have their hands full with the Jazz and Suns to close out the week, but they can get things started with an early game against the Sacramento Kings.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    93-77

    @ Miami Heat

    11/23

    W

    100-89

    vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    11/26

    L

    106-110

    vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    11/28

    W

    95-92

    @ Los Angeles Lakers

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Sacramento Kings

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Utah Jazz

    Friday, December 3

    @ Phoenix Suns

12. Miami Heat

20 of 31

    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Record: 9-8

    Previous Rank: 7

    How the mighty have fallen.

    Miami is out of sorts, and people are calling for coach Erik Spoelstra's head.

    The Heat lost three out of their four games last week, with their lone win coming against the 76ers.

    However, an embarrassing loss coming against the Pacers to start the week took all the air out of the team.

    This week is a pivotal one, with three easy matchups to start the week. Of course, the game of the week comes on Thursday with LeBron making his return to Cleveland.

    However, they finish with a game against the hot Hawks.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    77-93

    vs. Indiana Pacers

    11/24

    L

    95-104

    @ Orlando Magic

    11/26

    W

    99-90

    vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    11/27

    L

    95-106

    @ Dallas Mavericks

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    vs. Washington Wizards

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Detroit Pistons

    Thursday, December 2

    @ Cleveland Cavaliers

    Saturday, December 4

    vs. Atlanta Hawks

11. Atlanta Hawks

21 of 31

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Record: 11-7

    Previous Rank: 11

    Atlanta faltered early in the week against the Nets, but the Hawks bounced back with a 20-point margin of victory over the Wizards the following game.

    They continued their strong play with a convincing win over the Knicks and closed the week out by destroying the Raptors.

    Josh Smith recorded the third triple-double of his career against Toronto.

    The Hawks should be able to take on the Grizzlies and 76ers, but they'll get a crack at Miami to finish the week.

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    101-107

    @ New Jersey Nets

    11/25

    W

    116-96

    vs. Washington Wizards

    11/27

    W

    99-90

    @ New York Knicks

    11/28

    W

    96-78

    @ Toronto Raptors

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Memphis Grizzlies

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    Saturday, December 4

    @ Miami Heat

10. Denver Nuggets

22 of 31

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Record: 10-6

    Previous Rank: 13

    Denver is on a hot streak, beating three top 10 teams last week.

    They thoroughly disposed of the Magic with a convincing 17-point win.

    The Nuggets followed that up with a nail-biter against Dallas and a shootout in New Orleans.

    Denver will look to continue its winning streak with easy games coming against the Bucks, Clippers and Grizzlies.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    106-89

    vs. Orlando Magic

    11/26

    W

    98-97

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

    11/28

    W

    138-133

    @ New Orleans Hornets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Los Angeles Clippers

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Memphis Grizzlies

9. Chicago Bulls

23 of 31

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Record: 9-6

    Previous Rank: 10

    The return of Carlos Boozer is imminent, and the timing couldn't be better.

    Chicago is coming off a .500 week with losses against L.A. and Denver.

    This week is going to be brutal for the Bulls, as they start their week with games against Dwight Howard and the Magic and the Rajon Rondo-led Celtics.

    Luckily, they get to finish the week against the Houston Rockets.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    L

    91-98

    @ Los Angeles Lakers

    11/24

    W

    123-115

    @ Phoenix Suns

    11/26

    L

    97-98

    @ Denver Nuggets

    11/27

    W

    96-85

    @ Sacramento Kings

    Upcoming Schedule

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Orlando Magic

    Friday, December 3

    @ Boston Celtics

    Saturday, December 4

    vs. Houston Rockets

8. Oklahoma City Thunder

24 of 31

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Record: 11-6

    Previous Rank: 6

    Kevin Durant may be out of sorts, playing a rather inefficient game, but he's still leading the league in scoring.

    The Thunder split their games last week, with wins coming over the Timberwolves and Pacers but losses coming against the Mavericks and Rockets.

    Aside from a tough game against New Orleans, the Thunder have an easy schedule coming up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    117-107

    vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

    11/24

    L

    103-111

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

    11/26

    W

    110-106

    @ Indiana Pacers

    11/28

    L

    98-99

    @ Houston Rockets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ New Jersey Nets

    Friday, December 3

    @ Toronto Raptors

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. Golden State Warriors

7. Utah Jazz

25 of 31

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Record: 13-5

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Jazz are coming off a strong week, winning all four of their games. After taking care of the sad Kings, they recorded an 18-point deficit win against the Hornets.

    The hyped matchup between Deron Williams and Chris Paul failed to excite with Deron getting the upper hand.

    Utah followed their win against New Orleans with a home win against the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Williams and the Jazz are in the midst of a home stand, with all three games slated to take place in Salt Lake City. They should be able to handle the Bucks with ease, but the Pacers and Mavericks are no pushovers.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    94-83

    vs. Sacramento Kings

    11/24

    W

    105-87

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

    11/26

    W

    102-96

    vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    11/28

    W

    109-97

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Indiana Pacers

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

6. Orlando Magic

26 of 31

    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Record: 12-4

    Previous Rank: 4

    Dwight Howard has really taken those limited lessons with Hakeem Olajuwon to heart. He's playing at his best on the offensive side of the ball, minus his horrendous free throw shooting, of course.

    Orlando started the week with a bad loss coming against the Spurs, but they bounced back by winning their next three.

    After getting thoroughly whipped in their first meeting, the Magic crushed the Heat at home.

    The Magic get three games next week against the bottom feeders of the East, with a tough game coming against the Bulls on Wednesday.

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    97-106

    @ San Antonio Spurs

    11/24

    W

    104-95

    vs. Miami Heat

    11/26

    W

    111-100

    vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    11/27

    W

    100-99

    @ Washington Wizards

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    vs. Detroit Pistons

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Chicago Bulls

    Friday, December 3

    @ Detroit Pistons

    Saturday, December 5

    @ Milwaukee Bucks

5. Dallas Mavericks

27 of 31

    Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

    Record: 12-4

    Previous Rank: 8

    Dirk Nowitzki is playing at an MVP level right now.

    The team is fresh off a perfect week, beating the Pistons and winning against three of the most talented teams in the league.

    Dallas had a close game against the Thunder, but they beat their rivals, the Spurs, by nine points and the Heat by 11 points.

    Aside from a matchup against the Jazz, the Mavericks are in for an easy four-game week.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    W

    88-84

    vs. Detroit Pistons

    11/24

    W

    111-103

    @ Oklahoma City Thunder

    11/26

    W

    103-94

    @ San Antonio Spurs

    11/27

    W

    106-95

    vs. Miami Heat

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    vs. Houston Rockets

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

    Friday, December 3

    @ Utah Jazz

    Saturday, December 4

    @ Sacramento Kings

4. New Orleans Hornets

28 of 31

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Record: 12-4

    Previous Rank: 2

    New Orleans was the hottest team to start the season, but it had a brutal week.

    The team lost three out of four games, with one of its losses coming against the lowly Clippers.

    The Hornets may have won in convincing fashion over Portland, but they were beaten by a 14-point margin against the Spurs.

    Things don't get any easier this week with games against the Thunder, Knicks and Spurs.

    Chris Paul will be forced to once again shoulder the load and carry this team if they want to maintain their top five ranking.

     

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    L

    95-99

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    11/24

    L

    87-105

    @ Utah Jazz

    11/26

    W

    97-78

    @ Portland Trail Blazers

    11/28

    L

    95-109

    Vs. San Antonio Spurs

    Upcoming Schedule

    Monday, November 29

    @ Oklahoma City Thunder

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Charlotte Bobcats

    Friday, December 3

    vs. New York Knicks

    Sunday, December 5

    @ San Antonio Spurs

3. Boston Celtics

29 of 31

    Elsa/Getty Images

    Record: 12-4

    Previous Rank: 5

    Boston has had some ups and downs in recent weeks, but they bounced back with a three-game winning streak last week.

    Aside from a game against the Nets, the team won in convincing fashion, even with their star point guard missing some time.

    After missing three games, Rajon Rondo finally made his return to the lineup against the Toronto Raptors, where he recorded 14 assists.

    The Celtics get two easy matchups this week with road games against the Cavaliers and Nets. However, they have a tough home stand with Portland and Chicago visiting Boston in between their road games.

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    99-76

    @ Atlanta Hawks

    11/24

    W

    88-83

    vs. New Jersey Net

    11/26

    W

    110-101

    vs. Toronto Raptors

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Cleveland Cavaliers

    Wednesday, December 1

    vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Chicago Bulls

    Sunday, December 5

    @ New Jersey Nets

2. Los Angeles Lakers

30 of 31

    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Record: 13-4

    Previous Rank: 1

    Los Angeles has finally fallen from its spot atop the ranking charts.

    The mighty Lakers are in the midst of a two-game losing streak, with the losses coming against the Utah Jazz and the Indiana Pacers.

    However, L.A. gets a breezy schedule with the Grizzlies, Rockets and Kings scheduled, so they should bounce back this week.

    With Andrew Bynum set to return in a few weeks, the stacked Lakers get even better.

    Until then, L.A. natives will have to patiently wait before the team can climb the ranking ladder again.

     

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/23

    W

    98-91

    Chicago Bulls

    11/24

    L

    96-102

    Utah Jazz

    11/26

    L

    92-95

    vs. Indiana Pacers

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Memphis Grizzlies

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Houston Rockets

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Sacramento Kings

1. San Antonio Spurs

31 of 31

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Record: 14-2

    Previous Rank: 3

    San Antonio has been on a tear lately.

    Many were quick to write the Spurs off as an aging team not capable of squaring off against the Lakers, but the Spurs have the best record in basketball, and they even look like the best team.

    Tony Parker has been playing like a man possessed after his recent marriage troubles.

    Maybe Tim Duncan needs to give Erin Berry a text to give his game a face-lift.

    While the Spurs lost to the Mavericks last week, they managed to get convincing wins over the Magic and Hornets.

    Aside from a rematch against the Hornets, the Spurs have a cakewalk schedule coming up. They're likely to hold on to the No. 1 ranking next week.

     

     

     

    Last Week

    11/22

    W

    106-97

    vs. Orlando Magic

    11/24

    W

    113-109

    @ Minnesota Timberwolves

    11/26

    L

    94-103

    vs. Dallas Mavericks

    11/28

    W

    109-95

    @ New Orleans Hornets

    Upcoming Schedule

    Tuesday, November 30

    @ Golden State Warriors

    Wednesday, December 1

    @ Los Angeles Clippers

    Friday, December 3

    vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

    Sunday, December 5

    vs. New Orleans Hornets

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices