A couple weeks into the 2013-14 NBA season, and the Pacers have been on fire. Indiana is 8-0 and setting the pace in the East. In the West, the Spurs aren't dwelling on their tough loss in last year's Finals — San Antonio has jumped out to a 7-1 start thanks to a crushing defense. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose is injured again and the Bulls have struggled as DRose continues his return to the court. And the Heat? The defending champs are winning, but they have issues they need to address if they want to threepeat.
There are lots of great storylines to follow — and we're only 15 days into the season! If this keeps up, this should be a great few months of basketball.
Check out this week's NBA Power Rankings and tell us in the comments section where you think your team should be ranked!
1. Indiana Pacers (8-0)
The undefeated squad is impressive on both ends. Paul George’s hot hand has him tied for fourth in scoring (24.9 ppg) and Roy Hibbert’s 4.4 blocks per game tops the league. Add Lance Stephenson’s all around growth— a triple double against the grit and grind Memphis Grizzlies — and you’ve got a dangerous team on a tear right now.
2. San Antonio Spurs (7-1)
Ranked third both in points allowed (91.5 ppg) and defensive efficiency, it’s hard to get a bucket against San Antonio’s defense. Just ask the New York Knicks, who were trounced by the Spurs, 120-89, over the weekend.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-3)
Kevin Love is putting up MVP numbers, averaging 26.4 points, and 15 rebounds per game. Don’t forget the big man is also one of the best outlet passers, while putting up five assists per game. As the anchor of the team, Love is steering the Wolves to a solid start.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1)
Even after a knee injury, there’s nothing that can slow down the speedy Russell Westbrook. It’s been nine days since his return, and he’s already back to his zippy-drive-to-hole self. His explosiveness still needs to be put in check at times. After getting physical with Nene, Westbrook was ejected during the Thunder’s OT victory versus the Wizards.
5. Golden State Warriors (5-3)
With the second-best defense in the league and scoring power from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors are proving to be a more exciting team the other Cali squads. The Warriors recorded a commanding win on the road against the T’Wolves, but proved they struggle without Curry (ankle problems are still a cause for concern). Golden State only mustered up 74 points against the Spurs without the pure shooter.
6. Miami Heat (5-3)
Troubled by inconsistency, the reigning NBA champs contained the Clippers in a 102-94 win but couldn’t lock down Boston’s Jeff Green in the final .6 seconds of last Friday’s game. Green outran his defender, LeBron James, to the far left corner and unleashed a game winning three.
7. Los Angeles Clippers (5-3)
Doc Rivers is a defensive wizard, but the Clippers have yet to show magic when defending the ball. The team that stormed through the first half of last season with a 17 game win streak, has had its ups and downs — bookend wins against the Houston Rockets with losses to the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat in between.
8. Philadelphia 76ers (4-4)
New Sixers coach said the team only had “six NBA players” before the season started. It’s safe to say Philly has a roster full of talent worthy of playing in the league. After wins against the Heat and Bulls, the Sixers lost some momentum dropping games versus the Cavs and Spurs. But strong performances from rookie Michael Carter-Williams help the Sixers sit atop the Atlantic division.
9. Houston Rockets (5-3)
When Dwight Howard becomes a reliable free-throw shooter and James Harden plays better perimeter defense, the Rockets will be a legit threat. Until then, Houston who had trouble shaking off Toronto in a double overtime win, will have a problem going toe-to-toe with a stacked Western Conference.
10. Phoenix Suns (5-2)
Brothers Markieff (17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Marcus (8.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are a solid tandem for the Suns. But Eric Bledsoe is sizzling with 20.9 ppg and 7.3 apg while rejecting big men. The 6’1” floor general blocked Anthony Davis shot in the paint in the Suns’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
11. Portland Trailblazers (5-2)
Despite the Trailblazers last three wins, a rusty reigning rookie of the year Damian Lillard makes it hard to take Portland seriously in the Northwest division.
12. Dallas Mavericks (5-3)
The unpredictable team scores a lot (more than 100 points six times), but also allows a lot of points (more than 100 points fives times).
13. Orlando Magic (3-5)
They’re below .500, but still fun to watch, especially when Victor Oladipo showcases his 360 dunk.
14. Atlanta Hawks (4-3)
Kyle Korver’s 54.3 percentage from three-point land is something to smile about, however, the same can’t be said about he Hawks defense.
15. Memphis Grizzlies (3-4)
With every win, comes a loss. The Grizzlies have yet to win consecutive games.
16. Chicago Bulls (3-3)
Chicago is still waiting for a break out game from Derrick Rose, but may have to wait as he injured his hamstring against the Cavs.
17. Boston Celtics (4-4)
Jeff Green’s miracle three to beat the Miami Heat along with a win against the Magic give the C’s some momentum. For now.
18. Detroit Pistons (2-5)
The Pacers were scored 59 points in 21 minutes against the Pistons — a prime example as to why Detroit is at the bottom of the eastern conference.
19. New Orleans Pelicans (3-5)
Their record and team name aren’t that attractive, but all eyes are on agile center Anthony Davis who can run the floor and put up steady numbers.
20. Washington Wizards (2-5)
With Bradley Beale growing into his role, the Wizards need to learn how to close out close games.
21. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-5)
Cavs need to find a way to win away from their beloved home court.
22. Brooklyn Nets (2-4)
Kevin Garnett, where are you? The big man has been a disappearing act on offense, shooting a dismal 32 percent from the field.
23. Charlotte Bobcats (3-4)
The Bobcats have a star in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
24. Los Angeles Lakers (4-5)
A blowout loss to Minnesota and an injured Steve Nash (back) are new frustrations for a Lakers team still waiting for Kobe Bryant’s return
25. New York Knicks (2-4)
The team faces a huge hole in the post without Tyson Chandler (right fibula fracture).
26. Toronto Raptors (3-5)
The Raptors rely on two scorers: Rudy Gay and DeMar Rozan. Both are shooting under 40 percent.
27. Milwaukee Bucks (2-4)
The Bucks need to focus on getting boards. They are currently the second worst rebounding team in the league.
28. Denver Nuggets (2-4)
The Nuggets are still trying to find a front court rotation, and a leg injury may sideline JaVale McGee indefinitely.
29. Sacramento Kings (1-5)
DeMarcus Cousin scored 68 points over the past two games. The Kings however, haven’t won since Oct. 30.
30. Utah Jazz (0-8)
Utah is in need of an offensive miracle: The Jazz is shooting an NBA-worst 40 percent from the field.
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