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Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings: Week 6

by Tommy Beer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

 

Follow me on Twitter: @TommyBeer

 

1. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 15-2
The surging Celts have pushed their win streak to 15 games, and their 15-2 record is tied for the best start in franchise history. Boston's current winning streak is the fifth-longest in club history. The franchise's longest winning streak is 19 games, set back in 2008-09. Only one of the Celtics next four opponents (Dallas, Miami, Orlando and Indiana) has a winning record. The C’s have a legit chance to push their streak to 19.

 

2. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 13-4
Just how deep are the defending champs? Well, dating back to March of last season, the Warriors are a perfect 17-0 in the last 17 games they have played without Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA Finals MVP. Contrast that with the Cavaliers without LeBron James. Dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season, the Cavs are 1-13 in the 14 games they have played without LeBron James.

 

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3. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 13-4
The Rockets have won their last five road games by an average of 21.6 points. Their current streak of five consecutive road wins by 15-or-more points ties the all-time NBA record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, three previous teams had streaks like that, and all three went on to win the championship that season: The Knicks in 1969-70, the Pistons in 2003-04, and the Heat in 2011-2012.

 

4. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 11-5
The Raps have won six of their last seven games, and that one loss was to the Celtics in Boston. Last week, Toronto scored at least 125 points in back-to-back road games (wins over Houston and New Orleans) for the first time in franchise history.

 

5. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 10-6
Coach Gregg Popovich won his 500th career road game last week in Dallas. He is 500-336 on the road in his career. Per NBA.com, Coach Pop is just the third coach in NBA history to reach 500 road wins and the fastest to ever do so (835 games). He is 21 road wins short of having the most wins away from home of any coach in NBA history.

 

6. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 11-5
The Pistons started last week off 0-2, and it appeared they would lose all three games on their road trip when they were down double digits to the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Sunday evening. However, Reggie Jackson spearheaded a dramatic comeback victory. The Pistons only play twice this week, but their next three opponents are the Cavs, the Thunder (in OKC) and the Celtics (in Boston).

 

7. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 10-6
Jimmy Butler, who has been stuffing the stat sheet of late, has at least two steals in each of the Wolves last four games. Over that four-game stretch, Butler is averaging 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.0 steals.

 

8. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 9-7
The Cavs, winners of four straight, seem to have finally righted the ship. They will be without Derrick Rose for two more weeks and Iman Shumpert for 5-7 days, but neither player has brought much to the table this season. Unsurprisingly, LeBron James has put the team on his back. What is surprising is that King James, in his 15th season, leads the league in minutes and is averaging career-highs in field goal percentage (58.5 percent), 3-pointers (1.8 treys per game), free throw percentage (78.0 percent), and blocks (1.2). The lone blemish on his 2017-18 resume is the 4.7 turnovers per contest.

 

9. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 9-7
John Wall was forced to sit out Sunday’s loss to the Raptors due to a swollen knee that has limited his mobility. However, coach Scott Brooks said he was just “playing it safe” by sitting Wall. "We got three games in four nights, so we’re going to sit him out [Sunday] and see how he feels [Monday]. It’s a great chance there that he will play [Monday]," said Brooks. The Wiz need a healthy Wall if they hope to be considered true contenders this season.

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 8-7
It certainly appeared the Sixers were well on their way to their most impressive victory of the season on Saturday night. They poured in a whopping 47 points in the first quarter and led Golden State by 22 at halftime. However, the Warriors outscored the Sixers 47-15 in the third quarter and cruised to an easy victory. The Sixers lost despite having four starters score at least 20 points (Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Robert Covington and JJ Redick). According to the Elias, it’s the first time four Philly starters each scored 20-plus since April of 1997 (Jerry Stackhouse, Allen Iverson, Mark Davis and Clarence Weatherspoon).

 

11. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 7-8
Despite sitting at 7-8, the analytics suggest OKC has played better than their sub-.500 record would indicate. Per NBA.com, the Thunder is forcing turnovers on 19.5% of opponent possessions, which leads the NBA. The Thunder also ranks third in the NBA with a 98.6 Defensive Rating and fifth in the NBA with a 5.4 Net Rating.

 

12. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 8-7
Heading into a winnable matchup with the Mavs on Saturday, the Bucks had won four straight and were undefeated since acquiring Eric Bledsoe from Phoenix. However, the Bucks got blown out in Dallas, 111-79, despite 24 points and a career-high 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

 

13. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 9-7
Paul Millsap exited Sunday's game with a left wrist sprain and was unable to return. Millsap was in a nice groove, having scored at least 16 points in six straight games for the Nuggets heading into the weekend. Hopefully, he’ll be able to suit up on Monday night when Denver travels to Sacramento to play the Kings.

 

14. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 9-7
Portland has played well of late, holding four consecutive opponents under 95 points, winning three of those four. The Blazers head to Memphis on Monday to start a five-game road trip, tied for its longest of the season.

 

15. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 8-8
Pelicans fans got some excellent news on Sunday when the team announced that Anthony Davis had been cleared of a concussion diagnosis after taking an accidental headbutt from Nikola Jokic on Friday night. Davis is only dealing with a facial contusion and is listed as probable for Monday’s game vs. Oklahoma City.

 

16. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 7-8
Memphis is headed in the wrong direction primarily because of their recent regression on the defensive end of the floor. Memphis is giving up 110.5 points and allowing opponents to shoot 47.3 percent from the floor and 43.3 percent from 3-point territory, during its four‐game losing streak. Over the first six games of the season (Memphis won five of those six), they held their opponents to 94.2 points on 39.7 percent shooting, including 31.8 percent from downtown. Mike Conley sidelined by an Achilles injury is also a significant factor in their recent slide. The Grizz are 0-3 without Conley in the lineup.

 

17. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 8-7
After a scorching hot start to the season, Kristaps Porzingis has come back down to earth a bit of late. Over his first 11 games, KP averaged 30.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 treys, while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and 84.1 percent from the charity stripe. Over his most recent three contests, Porzingis is averaging 18.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 triples, while shooting 34.0 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from the line.

 

18. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 9-8
Bojan Bogdanovic has been a barometer for the Pacers play over the first month of the season. Indiana is 8-1 this season when he scores at least 15 points. They are 0-5 when he scores fewer than 14. Bogdanovic is averaging 17.9 points on 60.0 percent shooting in Pacers wins. He’s averaging 10.3 points on 40.3 percent shooting in losses.

 

19. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 8-8
The Magic started the season with a 6-2 record. They shot 48.9 percent from the floor and a league-leading 44.2 percent from 3-point territory over those first eight games. Orlando is just 2-6 since then. The Magic are shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 34.0 percent from downtown over these past eight games.

 

20. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 7-10
The Jazz had lost three in a row and had yet to win a road game all season when they traveled to Orlando on Saturday night. They played like a team desperate for a win and walked away with a convincing 125-85 victory. Utah will continue to try and keep its head above water while waiting for the return of Rudy Gobert. Fortunately, Derrick Favors has played well with Gobert sidelined. Favors finished with a season-high 25 points (on 10-of-12 shooting) and 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 25 minutes against Orlando.

 

21. Los Angeles Clippers
2017-18 record: 5-10
The Clippers joined ignominious company on Saturday when they dropped their eighth straight game. According to Elias research, L.A.'s eight-game skid matches the longest in the last 15 years by a team before the start of December after winning at least 50 games the previous season. Fortunately for the Clips, point guard Patrick Beverley is expected to return to the lineup Monday night in New York.

 

22. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 7-9
Dion Waiters missed all ten of his field goal attempts on Sunday. Since returning from an ankle injury earlier this month, Waters has shot below 43.0 percent from the floor in six straight games and is shooting 33.7 percent on 15.3 attempts over that six-game stretch.

 

23. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 6-9
The Hornets got a much-needed win Saturday vs. the Clippers. Charlotte had lost six straight before beating Los Angeles. Kemba Walker is doing all he can to carry his squad. Over his last five games, Kemba is averaging 26.8 points, 7.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 treys.

 

24. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 7-10
Coming into this season, no rookie had recorded multiple triple-doubles in their first 20 NBA games since Magic Johnson in 1979. This season, both Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball have two trip-dubs in their first 17 games.

 

25. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 6-10
With Jeremy Lin (knee) out for the season and D’Angelo Russell (knee) out indefinitely, Spencer Dinwiddie has stepped in and stepped up for the Nets. Dinwiddie is averaging 19.3 points, 9.0 assists and 3.0 treys over Brooklyn’s last three games. Per Basketball-Reference, he joins Deron Williams as just the second Nets player this decade with more than 20 points and at least eights dimes and two triples in consecutive contests.

 

26. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 7-11
Over the Suns last 12 games, dating back to Halloween, T.J. Warren is averaging 20.9 points (on 53.0 percent shooting), 6.3 rebounds, 0.9 blocks and 0.7 steals. Despite the lack of 3-pointers, Warren still ranks inside the top-60 overall in nine-category fantasy leagues over that stretch.

 

27. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 3-14
The Mavs only have three victories this season, but all three wins have been undeniably impressive. The beat Memphis in October, whacked the Wizards by 14 in Washington in early November, and then blasted the Bucks 111-79 on Saturday.

 

28. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 4-12
The Kings salvaged an atrocious week by beating the Blazers at home on Friday. Unfortunately, that win was preceded by a horrific 46-point blowout loss in Atlanta and two other lopsided defeats in Washington and New York.

 

29. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 3-13
A pair of Hawks bigs have been remarkably efficient of late. John Collins is shooting 74.1 percent from the floor (20-of-27) and has made all four of his free throws over Atlanta’s last three games. Dewayne Dedmon is shooting 85.0 percent (17-of-20 from the field) and is 2-of-2 from three-point territory over that same stretch.

 

30. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 3-11
The Bulls will be bad all season, but Chicago fans should be ecstatic about the play of Lauri Markkanen. The Finnish forward poured in 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Phoenix on Sunday. According to Per Basketball-Reference, he is the first rookie with at least 26 points, 13 boards and four 3-pointers in single game since Lamar Odom accomplished that feat for the Clippers in April of 2000.