NBA Power Rankings: Week Three

Michael GlaessnerCorrespondent INovember 20, 2008

1. Los Angeles Lakers (8-1) (1) In suffering their first loss this year, L.A. was done in by an old Laker, as Kwame outplayed Bynum in the pivot with a 10-10 double-double.

2. Boston Celtics (10-2) (2) The scary thing is that they're capable of playing a lot better, but probably won't until Rondo evolves into a more complete PG.

3. Detroit Pistons (8-3) (5) Sheed and AI have already developed awesome chemistry, as both combined for 50 and 44 in big wins over the Lakers and Cavs, respectively.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (9-3) (3) This is clearly the best team of the LeBron era, but are they good enough to out-distance the Pistons in this year's Central Division marathon?

5. Denver Nuggets (8-4) (12) Marcus who? As long as Kenyon and Nene continue to dominate down low, Denver will remain in contention in the West.

6. Orlando Magic (8-3) (10) Still don't think Dwight has teammates? He had a four-point effort against Charlotte and the team still won.

7. Phoenix Suns (8-4) (8) I think I have a better idea of why Shaq guards the weak side so lightly. If he went hard every time someone cut to the basket, he'd get hit with a lot more flagrants and suspensions.

8. Utah Jazz (8-4) (6) If the Jazz have any more PG injuries, might John Stockton return? You know Sloan's got Stockton's number on speed dial.

9. Portland Trail Blazers (7-5) (11) It's true he looks like he's 65 and it's true he'd look about 7'5" if he wore Lincoln's stove-top hat, but Greg Oden's play on the court since returning from injury has been no joke.

10. Atlanta Hawks (7-4) (3) A four-game losing streak has taken a lot of starch out of the Hawks' strong start, and now they must survive injuries to Horford and Smith.

11. Houston Rockets (7-5) (7) Speaking of injuries, Houston's dealing with plenty with Shane Battier still on the shelf, Yao Ming sitting out with an ankle sprain, and Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest playing on bad ankles as well.

12. New Orleans Hornets (5-5) (9) Peja better find his shot and fast because the Hornets are not the same team when he can't stretch defenses.

13. Toronto Raptors (6-5) (16) I'm intrigued by the idea of starting Bargniani, Bosh and O'Neal together, it could give Toronto a dangerous frontcourt filled with matchup headaches.

14. San Antonio Spurs (5-6) (22) You can never count them out. Just when we throw in the towel on the Spurs, they bounce off the mat with three straight wins, including an inspiring comeback against Houston.

15. Dallas Mavericks (5-7) (20) I saw shades of the Mavs from two years ago in Houston, as they run-and-gunned their way to victory on the road.

16. Miami Heat (6-6) (14) Michael Beasley better get in there and fight for rebounds, Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem are taking all of his.

17. Indiana Pacers (5-5) (13) A lot of teams must feel pretty dumb right now for passing on Granger.

18. New York Knicks (6-5) (15) This team has a new attitude. You have to love the fight and unwillingness to back down they showed when Boston tried to intimidate them with trash talk.

19. Philadelphia 76ers (5-6) (17) Thaddeus is taking his game to another level, so you know this team will be scary if Brand and his teammates can ever develop chemistry.

20. Golden State Warriors (5-6) (19) Anthony Morrow? You could pull someone off the streets and they'd score 30 in Nellie's system.

21. New Jersey Nets (4-6) (25) As long as you've got a healthy Harris to feed those young bigs, the Nets have a lot of good things on the horizon.

22. Chicago Bulls (5-7) (23) Nobody can take them seriously until they sign some real big men, which they'll be able to do once Hughes's contract expires.

23. Memphis Grizzlies (4-7) (24) Marc is like the rugged version of Pau in every sense. You know when they went out drinking, Pau picked up the ladies and Marc picked up the tab.

24. Sacramento Kings (5-8) (21) Just when Hawes and Thompson were developing, Brad Miller and his stupid cornrows have to come in and mess everything up!

25. Milwaukee Bucks (5-8) (18) Doesn't it seem like Bogut is always involved in a tussle with another big?

26. Charlotte Bobcats (3-7) (27) Larry is doing his best to sabotage an already downtrodden expansion team, as if ruining the Knicks wasn't enough.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-8) (28) Every week, that Love-for-Mayo trade is looking more and more one-sided and may seal McHale's fate as a GM.

28. Washington Wizards (1-8) (26) It's evident that this team has fallen and can't get off the mat, and with Arenas, Jamison, and Butler tying up all their money, rebuilding is going to be a slow and painful process.

29. Los Angeles Clippers (2-9) (29) If this season has proven anything, it's that Dunlevy was the guy Sterling should have fired, not Baylor.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-11) (30) You've Got to love Westbrook, Durant, and Green, but they're too young to be asked to carry this joke of a team.