The Pacers stay in the top spot of the Power Rankings didn't last long — defending Western Conference champs the San Antonio Spurs took over as the number one team in the NBA this week thanks to a seven-game winning streak. But the Spurs' stay at the top might not be long. The Pacers are still lighting it up, while the Derrick Rose finally had his "I'm back!" game for the Bulls.
Will the Spurs reign for another week? Will the Bulls charge into the top five? Can the Heat get hot? What does the Jazz need to do to win a game? Find out in this week's rankings!
Check out this week's NBA Power Rankings and tell us in the comments section where you think your team should be ranked!
1. San Antonio Spurs (9-1, Last Week: 2)
Despite Tim Duncan averaging a career low 12 points per game (a far cry from the flashes of vintage Timmy we saw last season), San Antonio isn’t worried. Duncan is still an imposing threat down low and his offense is bound to show up any day now. And after winning seven in a row, the Spurs clinch the top spot this week.
2. Indiana Pacers (9-1, Last Week: 1)
A 110-94 blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls unseats the Pacers from a No. 1 ranking. The defeat, the first of the season, comes before a tough stretch in the Pacers’ schedule. Eight of their next 11 games are on the road, which include a back-to-back versus the Clippers and Trail Blazers. And there are rumblings that a Danny Granger return may happen soon.
3. Golden State Warriors (8-3, Last Week: 5)
The Warriors proved there’s more to fear than smooth shooting “Splash Brothers” Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. After Andre Iguodala knocked down a game-winning fadeaway against the Thunder, teams should be afraid of the Warriors’ shooting depth (Iguodala is shooting more than 60 percent from behind the arc). Iguodala also shined on defense, helping lock down OKC star Kevin Durant to 5-of-13 from the field.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (9-2, Last Week: 11)
The Trail Blazers are quietly on the rise. The only squad to knock off the Spurs this season, Portland is riding a six-game win streak and leading the Northwest division. They’ve got five players shooting over 50 percent during that span and have the third best offense in the league. They’re also grabbing offensive boards for second chance opportunities. Upcoming games against the Bulls and Warriors will test their durability.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (7-4, Last Week: 7)
With a NBA Western Conference Player of the Week in Blake Griffin (he averaged 25.7 points and 11.3 rebounds a game last week) and double-double performances from pass master Chris Paul, the Clippers put away the Thunder and Nets in impressive fashion. But they still need to work on solid defense, especially when they face the Thunder again this week.
6. Miami Heat (8-3, Last Week: )
Consistency has been a problem early on for the Heat, but not for LeBron James. He’s red hot at the three point line, shooting 62 percent before the Heat hosted the Hawks on Tuesday. With a double dose of Orlando this week, Miami should be able to add to its four game win streak.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-3, Last Week: 4)
If the back-to-back losses to the Clippers and the Warriors are any indication of the team’s playoff future, the Thunder will have a tough time emerging from the West in their quest to an NBA finals return. The offense is clicking, but costly turnovers (41 combined against Clippers and Warriors, with 10 coming from Durant) have contributed to digging itself late game holes in with each loss.
8. Chicago Bulls (6-3, Last Week: 16)
Fans had been waiting for a “show me you’re back” breakout game from Derrick Rose. They got one last Saturday, as Rose sank six three-pointers to finish with 20 points and helped the Bulls give the Pacers their first loss of the season. The win gives the Bulls a boost heading into games against the Trail Blazers and Clippers later this week.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-5, Last Week: 3)
Kevin Love’s numbers are still MVP worthy, but let’s not forget to show some love to the other Kevin. Kevin Martin is averaging 24.4 points a game and shooting 47.4 percent from three-point range. This Kevin duo helps Minnesota space the floor with a good inside-outside threat, though it wasn’t enough to stave off the Wizards on Tuesday.
10. Houston Rockets (8-4, Last Week: 9)
Hacking Dwight Howard in late game situations may not be as successful as it has been in the past. Howard hit 17 of 24 free throws, scoring 25 points in the Rockets’ 122-111 victory over the Nuggets Saturday. Howard is shooting a lowly 53.1 percent from the charity stripe, but nailed 27 of 41 (65.9 percent) shots in the past three games after making 14 of 39 (35.9 percent) in the previous three Houston contests.
11. Dallas Mavericks (7-4, Last Week: 12)
Against the 76ers Monday night, Monta Ellis (24 points and 11 assists) and Samuel Dalembert (14 rebounds) came up big for the Mavs, who rejected a season-high 11 of Philly’s shots.
12. Memphis Grizzlies (6-5, Last Week: 15)
Note to defensive specialist Tony Allen: no more high leg jumping jacks in paint. His kick to Chris Paul’s face booted him out of the game, but Memphis held off the Clippers Monday night.
13. Phoenix Suns (5-5, Last Week: 10)
There’s nothing like being within five points in the final five minutes of a game to get your adrenaline pumping. That’s been the case for the Suns whose 10 games this season are always that close—losing to the Trail Blazers by one and the Nets by two.
14. Atlanta Hawks (6-5, Last Week: 14)
The Hawks have won four of six games. Jeff Teague’s 16 points led a balanced attack with eight players in double figures in a 110-90 win in New York on Saturday.
15. Denver Nuggets (4-6, Last Week: 28)
The good news: the Nuggets know how to share the offensive wealth, with five players putting up double figures against OKC. The bad news: They gave up 19 offensive rebounds before the Thunder edged them 115-113 Monday.
16. New Orleans Pelicans (4-6, Last Week: 19)
The Pelicans are soaring after a 135-98 rout of the 76ers on their home court. A solid effort from Anthony Davis who scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had eight blocks, while the New Orleans bench scored 71 combined points.
17. Orlando Magic (4-6, Last Week: 13)
There’s some on the job training and growing pains happening in Orlando. Rookie point guard Victor Oladipo had nine turnovers, four of them in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Mavs on Sunday.
18. Los Angeles Lakers (5-7, Last Week: 24)
They have yet to pick up a quality win again a quality team, but news of Kobe Bryant’s return to practice last weekend overshadows the Lakers inconsistencies.
19. Philadelphia 76ers (5-7, Last Week: 8)
Philly’s surprise hot start has turned cold. Rookie star Michael Carter-Williams is nursing a foot injury and the 76ers have only one win in the last six games. They are, however, still the Atlantic division leader.
20. Charlotte Bobcats (5-6, Last Week: 23)
Despite outscoring Chicago 38-28 in the paint, Charlotte didn’t defend the perimeter when it counted (Deng’s three-points with under 30 seconds).
21. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7, Last Week: 21)
Rumor has it tensions are running high in the Cavs locker room. They’ll need to come together for a tough string of games that include the Spurs and Heat.
22. Boston Celtics (4-8, Last Week: 17)
It’s never a good thing when a team doesn’t score a field goal until nearly six minutes into a game, as the Celtics did against the Rockets on Tuesday. Eek.
23. Washington Wizards (3-7, Last Week: 20)
After edging the Timberwolves, the Wizards could build a win streak if Bradley Beale and Nene continue to produce (they combined for 45 points against Minnesota).
24. Toronto Raptors (4-7, Last Week: 26)
Last week, Rudy Gay scored 23 points in his first appearance in Memphis since the Grizzlies traded him last season. The Raptors won 103-87, then dropped their last two games.
25. Brooklyn Nets (3-7, Last Week: 22)
Kevin Garnett is still not the KG we’re used to. He made all six of his shots in the first period, then went 2-for-13 to finish with a season-high 16 points in the Nets loss to the Trailblazers Monday.
26. Sacramento Kings (3-7, Last Week: 29)
Some relief for the Kings, who had lost seven of eight games, before facing the Clippers: They took advantage of the Suns’ last minute miscues to pick up a win on Tuesday.
27. Detroit Pistons (4-6, Last Week: 18)
A short-handed Pistons squad put away the struggling Knicks Tuesday. It was their first win against the Knicks since 2011.
28. New York Knicks (3-7, Last Week: 25)
Until Carmelo Anthony learns how to make his teammates better (ahem, share the ball a little more), the Knicks will be stuck at the bottom of the Atlantic division.
29. Milwaukee Bucks (2-7, Last Week: 27)
Losers of five straight, the Bucks are ravaged with injuries and rely heavily on O.J. Mayo, who has scored more than 20 points five times this season.
30. Utah Jazz (1-10, Last Week: 30)
Recording just one win in 11 contests, things are far from pretty in Utah.
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