NBA Power Rankings: Week One
With the first week of the NBA season now in the books, it's time to take my weekly look at the league. I ranked the defending champion Boston Celtics number one in my preseason power rankings , but will they be able to stay there? A number of still-undefeated teams might have something to say about that.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (3-0) - The Lakers' first week went about as well as anyone could have asked for. Just ask the newly re-signed Andrew Bynum if you don't believe me.
2. New Orleans Hornets (3-0) - Chris Paul already appears to be in midseason form, carrying the banged-up Hornets to wins over Phoenix and Cleveland last week.
3. Boston Celtics (2-1) - The C's looked like champions against the Cavs and Bulls, but I have to drop them after they got burned in Indiana.
4. Houston Rockets (3-0) - Two of their three wins came against a couple of cream puffs, but Houston could be better than advertised if McGrady gets healthy. Boston is up next.
5. Detroit Pistons (2-0) - Who'd have thought "The Herrmannator" would be the one to get the Pistons to 2-0? Detroit's bench is excellent.
6. Toronto Raptors (3-0) - The Raptors' season-opening road win over the 76ers surprised me, but Jose Calderon's early season dominance hasn't.
7. Utah Jazz (2-0) - Utah didn't need Deron Williams to pick up a pair of home wins over the Nuggets and Clippers.
8. Phoenix Suns (2-1) - Amare sure does look dominant early, but I'll need to see more consistency from the Suns' bench before I anoint them as serious contenders.
9. Atlanta Hawks (2-0) - Joe Johnson gets my vote for player of the week after leading the Hawks to wins over the Eastern contenders Orlando and Philadelphia.
10. Chicago Bulls (2-1) - The Bulls (and Rose) looked good against a couple of bad teams, but the blowout at the hands of the Celtics showed they have more to learn.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) - Cleveland had a tough opening week with road losses in Boston and New Orleans, but LeBron still has yet to truly get going.
12. Dallas Mavericks (1-1) - The Mavericks are going to have to play better defense to have a shot against some of the better teams in the league.
13. San Antonio Spurs (0-2) - Spurs fans outraged at their team's 0-2 start can take solace in the fact that Tim Duncan is looking as spry as ever.
14. Philadelphia 76ers (1-2) - Philly dominated against the Knicks, then looked sluggish the next night against Atlanta. At least Brand looks to be back to All-Star form.
15. Orlando Magic (1-2) - Disappointing week for the Magic, but Dwight leads the league in rebounds and blocks, and it's only a matter of time before Rashard and Hedo catch fire.
16. Portland Trail Blazers (1-2) - LaMarcus Aldridge is going to have to pick up the slack while Greg Oden is out with yet another injury.
17. Indiana Pacers (1-1) - Danny Granger was so motivated by his new $60 million contract extension that he was willing to sacrifice his two front teeth.
18. Denver Nuggets (1-2) - Carmelo didn't start his season the way he wanted, but thankfully for him Denver next plays the defensively challenged Warriors and Mavericks.
19. Charlotte Bobcats (1-1) - Unless you live in the Charlotte area, you probably won't be able to witness just how good Gerald Wallace is, and that's a shame.
20. Milwaukee Bucks (2-2) - Skiles has the defense clicking, but with Michael Redd possibly out a while, can Jefferson and Sessions keep this team afloat on offense?
21. Miami Heat (1-2) - Miami definitely excels when they run, as we saw in the win over Sacramento, but I question their ability to get it done in the halfcourt.
22. Golden State Warriors (1-2) - The Warriors need to try to move Al Harrington so Don Nelson and the rest of the team can focus on winning games.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) - Al Jefferson is a double-double machine, but he's going to need some help for the Wolves to stay competitive.
24. New Jersey Nets (1-1) - The Nets better hope that Vince Carter's hand injury isn't serious, because they don't have much else.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (1-2) - Memphis has the dubious honor of being the league's lowest scoring team so far, which makes sense considering that they have three rookies starting.
26. Washington Wizards (0-2) - The Wiz will need Nick Young to continue to play well on offense to help out Butler and Jamison until Agent Zero returns.
27. New York Knicks (1-2) - I think it's a safe bet to say that Stephon Marbury's days as a member of the Knicks are coming to an end.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2) - Thunder fans have to be happy that they now have a defensive stopper in training in Russell Westbrook to take some of the pressure off KD.
29. Sacramento Kings (0-3) - The one bright side to the Kings' 0-3 start has been the play of Spencer Hawes filling in for Brad Miller.
30. Los Angeles Clippers (0-3) - It's possible that the loss of Baron Davis could plunge the Clippers' negative 23.3-point differential even further into the red.
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