Tha Sports Junkies 101

NBA Power Rankings Update #3

New CBA Arturo Padavilla III/


NBA Power Rankings #3

Instead of going over single team like I have in previous rankings, I’m going to stick to just the top-15 of the NBA. I’m doing this mainly because I think it’ll make it more interesting since not many people care about how bad the Suns and Pelicans are. Anyway, there has been some shakeups in the top 15 since the last update about 2 weeks ago. How far did the Hawks fall?            Far…

  1. Golden State Warriors (20-3) – Previous Ranking: No. 2 (+1)

    The Warriors have won 16 of their last 17 with their only loss in double-overtime against the surging Rockets. They have the most lethal offense in the NBA and they’re displaying it against the league’s best.

  2. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-5) – Previous Ranking: No. 1 (-1)

    Following an out-of-the-ordinary three-game losing streak, the Cavs have recovered by beating the Raptors, Heat and Knicks. Kevin Love is still playing well and it seems that when they want to play as a team, they can beat anyone.

  3. San Antonio Spurs (18-5) – Previous Ranking: No. 3 (=)

    Before their most recent loss to the Bulls, the Spurs had won 13 of 14 including a nine-game win streak. Theres been some ridiculous criticism that this team isn’t as good as advertised because a majority of their wins have been by single-digits. But folks, wins are wins, and as long they continue to win, I won’t accept any Spurs slander.

  4. Toronto Raptors (16-6) – Previous Ranking: No. 6 (+2)

    The raps have won 8 of their last 9 with the only loss coming at the hands of the Cavaliers, which bumps them up a couple of spots and makes me wish I never said they would have a down year. They haven’t been challenged much lately and their easy schedule will continue until a huge game in Golden State on Dec. 28.

  5. Los Angeles Clippers (16-7) – Previous Ranking: No. 3 (-2)

    Losing 4 of their last 6 including two against the Pacers (the first game the Clips only scored 70 (!!!) points) and one against the Nets, the Clippers hot start is now in question. I still believe this team is as good as their record indicates and their losing skid will subside as their schedule is moderately easy the next several games.

  6. Houston Rockets (16-7) – Previous Ranking: No. 8 (+2)

    The Rockets are on a 5-game win streak including a double-overtime win against GSW and the James Harden/Mike D’Antoni combo has created the second-most dangerous offense in the league.

  7. Memphis Grizzlies (16-8) – Previous Ranking: No. 7 (=)

    The Grizz are on a 5-game win streak and the return of Zach Randolph has been a crucial part of that. Marc Gasol is playing out of his mind lately and Memphis is looking the best that I’ve seen them in a couple of years.

  8. Oklahoma City Thunder (14-9) – Previous Ranking: No. 13 (+5)

    The Thunder have 6 of their last 7 and Westbrook now has his 7th straight triple-double. I always say how I’m not sure if Russ will be able to keep up his play, and now this historic run he’s on, while keep the Thunder winning games but he has yet to let up so I will continue to shut my mouth.

  9. Charlotte Hornets (14-9) – Previous Ranking: No. 10 (+1)

    Winning 6 of their last 8, the Hornets have quietly been playing their best basketball in years. Kemba Walker is still on an absolute tear and should definitely be in the conversation for MIP.

  10. Boston Celtics (13-10) – Previous Ranking: No. 11 (+1)

    This Celtics team is one of the more interesting in the NBA. They are winning the games they are supposed to but they haven’t beaten anyone I would say is better than them. The return of Al Horford has made an obvious improvement but nothing about this team seems to “wow” me. It’s still early, and I do expect them to pick it up after the All-Star break.

  11. New York Knicks (13-10) – Previous Ranking: No. 15 (+4)

    The Knicks have won 5 of 6 with their only loss coming against (you guessed it) the Cavs. Porzingis continues to play better each and every game and Knicks fans still refuse to believe that they are better off without Derrick Rose.

  12. Utah Jazz (14-10) – Previous Ranking: No. 12 (=)

    Injuries, man… I’m not sure if the Jazz have played a full game (or at least their last 10) this year where Hood, Hayward, Favors, Gobert, or Hill have all played at the same time. What’s crazy is their still four games above .500 and they played the Warriors to a 106-99 loss without Hood, Hayward, or Hill. Simply put, IF this team ever gets full healthy, they are a top 3 or 4 seed in the West, no doubt.

  13. Chicago Bulls (12-10) – Previous Ranking: No. 9 (-4)

    Losers of 4 of their last 6, the Bulls are coming down to earth after their incredibly hot start to the season. Like Rose with the Knicks, the Bulls play better without Rondo, however, Bulls fans actually seem to understand this, for the most part at least. A few days ago, I remember saying Knicks fans were crazy to believe they are the better team than the Bulls. Immediately after I said that I questioned myself as an NBA fan because the Knicks are (and have been) the better team between the two. (Sorry I called you crazy, Knicks fans, just remember that I’m a huge advocate for #JohnWallToNY and you should be too)

  14. Milwaukee Bucks (11-10) – Previous Ranking: No. 20 (+6)

    The Bucks have won 5 of their last 7 games and it’s all thanks to Giannis “The Alphabet” Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 20.3/9.7/5.3 INCLUDING 2.6 BPG and 2.3 SPG. No one has ever averaged those numbers in NBA history, besides Giannis. He is saving the Bucks season solely by himself and if they can continue to float around. 500 until Middleton returns from injury (which would be a borderline miracle), this team could be a scary 7 or 8-seed come playoff time.

  15. Detroit Pistons (13-12) – Previous Ranking: No. 17 (+2)

    Ever since the long-awaited return of Reggie Jackson, the Pistons have been a “Lose one, win one” team. Reggie’s play has enhanced the team’s play as a whole but they just havent seemed to take that jump that fans thought Reggie would bring, but give it time, and this team’s record will improve as everyone meshes together.

  16. Portland Trail Blazers (12-12) – Previous Ranking: No. 16 (=)

  17. Los Angeles Lakers (10-15) – Previous Ranking: No. 14 (-3)

  18. Indiana Pacers (11-12) – Previous Ranking: No. 18 (=)

  19. Orlando Magic (10-14) – Previous Ranking: No. 22 (+3)

  20. Atlanta Hawks (12-12) – Previous Ranking: No. 5 (-15)

    Even though I said I wouldn’t talk about the lower half of the power rankings, the Hawks recent turmoil needs to be addressed. Losing 10 of their last 13 with very few injuries, the entire league is left scratching their head. I’ve never been a Dennis Schroder “fan” and the Hawks recent losing streak is not solely due to him but he is not helping his team in any way. The Millsap/Howard combo is slowly disintegrating from what it was just a couple short weeks ago. I believe this team can turn it back around but I think it may take some trades to get them there.

  21. Denver Nuggets (8-15) – Previous Ranking: No. 19 (-2)

  22. Sacramento Kings (8-14) – Previous Ranking: No. 21 (-1)

  23. New Orleans Pelicans (7-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 23 (=)

  24. Phoenix Suns (7-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 27 (+3)

  25. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-17) – Previous Ranking: No. 25 (=) 

  26. Miami Heat (7-16) – Previous Ranking: No. 24 (-2)

  27. Washington Wizards (8-13) – Previous Ranking: No. 26 (-1)

  28. Brooklyn Nets (6-15) – Previous Ranking: No. 28 (=)

  29. Philadelphia 76ers (5-18) – Previous Ranking: No. 29 (=)

  30. Dallas Mavericks (5-17) – Previous Ranking: No. 30 (=)


(Statistics via Basketball-Reference)