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Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings: Week 7

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

 

Follow me on Twitter: @TommyBeer

 

1. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 18-3
The C’s finally had their 16-game winning streak snapped in Miami on Wednesday, but won each of their next two contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Boston is just the 23rd team in NBA history to win at least 16 straight games within a single season. Folks in Beantown should be happy to hear that 12 of the previous 22 teams advanced to the NBA Finals, with 10 of them taking home the title.

 

2. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 15-4
Rockets haven’t just been winning; they’ve been dominating. Houston has won their last four games by an average margin of 23.3 points. In addition, 11 of their 15 wins this season have been by at least 15 points. If they beat Brooklyn by 15 or more on Monday, they will tie the 1969-70 Knicks for the most 15-point victories (12) in the first 20 games of a season.

 

3. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 15-5
The Warriors have been nearly unbeatable in November since Steve Kerr began coaching the team. Dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season, Golden State is 52-5 in the month of November. Even playing without Kevin Durant hasn’t slowed this team down. The Warriors have won each of their last 19 games (including the postseason) without KD in the lineup.

 

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4. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 12-7
The stunningly consistent Spurs keep plugging along, fueled by defensive excellence. San Antonio is the only team in the NBA that has yet to allow a player on an opposing team to score 30-plus points in a game. San Antonio adds to their intimidating depth this week, with the return of point guard Tony Parker (quad) to the lineup.

 

5. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 12-6
Detroit has shown some impressive resolve early on. They have recorded the most comeback wins of 10-plus points among all NBA teams this season with seven. They are also 3-1 on the second night of back-to-backs this season. They went 3-14 in such games in 2016-17.

 

6. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 12-7
The Raps have an opportunity to get on a roll over the next few weeks, as nine of their next ten opponents have losing records. From now through December 20th, the only team Toronto plays that currently has a record above .500 is Indiana.

 

7. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 12-7
The Cavs sat at 5-7 after a loss to the Rockets on November 9th. Since then, Cleveland has run off seven straight wins, calming the chatter surrounding the Cavs. LeBron and company take on the Sixers Monday night in what should be an interesting test for both teams.

 

8. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 12-8
Minnesota has won eight games this month and can break the franchise record of nine wins in November if they are able to knock off the Wizards on Tuesday and the Pelicans on Wednesday. The Wolves 12-8 record is their best 20-game start since 2005-06.

 

9. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 12-8
It was quite an exciting weekend for Portland fans. The Blazers were down six points to the Nets with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter on Friday and were able to squeak out a victory. Then, on Saturday in D.C., Portland was down seven with less than 2:30 left in the game and again came back to win. Per Elias, Portland became the first team since 2008 to win games on consecutive days despite trailing by six or more points in the final three minutes of each contest.

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 11-7
With three straight wins, the Sixers are now four games above .500. That’s rarefied air for a Philadelphia franchise that has been enduring the #TheProcess. Per NBA.com, this is the earliest in the season (by date) the Sixers have achieved 11 wins since the 2002-2003 season. The Sixers have also been winning in dominating fashion. Saturday’s win blowout win over Orlando marked the first time since March 3-9, 2008 that the Sixers have defeated an opponent by 19-plus points in three consecutive games.

 

11. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 11-9
The Pelicans had won three straight games, including impressive wins over the Thunder and the Spurs, before getting thumped in Golden State by the Warriors on Saturday night.

 

12. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 11-8
It seemed there was fleeting hope that Paul Millsap might be able to avoid surgery following his wrist injury, but the Nuggets officially announced that he went under the knife on Sunday. Millsap had surgery to reconstruct ligaments in his left wrist and is expected to miss "the next several months." It’s obviously an extremely tough blow for Denver. It appeared that Millsap and Nikola Jokic were just starting to develop some terrific chemistry.

 

13. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 10-9
The Wiz are dealing with an injury issue of their own, but fortunately, it’s only for the short-term. Washington announced over the weekend that John Wall would receive platelet-rich plasma and viscosupplementation injections to reduce the inflammation in his left knee and is expected to miss approximately two weeks. Tim Frazier will handle point guard duties while Wall is on the shelf. Frazier is averaging 7.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 steals in the three games he has started this season.

 

14. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 11-9
The Pacers have played impressively well of late, winning five straight before falling to the Celtics on Saturday night. In order to stay above .500, Indiana will need Victor Oladipo as close to 100 percent as possible. ‘Dipo had to sit out Saturday’s game after banging his knee on Friday. He is dealing with some swelling and will be a game-time decision Monday vs. the Magic.

 

15. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 9-9
After winning each of their first four games following the trade for Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee lost three of their next four contests. The good news is that Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to action on Saturday. The Greek Freak is currently averaging 29.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocks this season. He is now on pace to join David Robinson (1993-94) and Russell Westbrook (2016-17) as just the third player since 1975 to average at least 29 points, 10 boards and four dimes over a full season.

 

16. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 10-9
The Heat went 3-0 last week. Included in those three victories was an impressive win over the Celtics (snapping Boston’s 16-game winning streak) in Miami on Wednesday and a road win in Minnesota on Friday.

 

17. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 8-11
The Thunder’s 2017-18 campaign has not started the way folks in OKC had envisioned, as Oklahoma City currently finds itself in last place in the Northwest Division. Fortunately, the Thunder have some time to regroup. OKC last played Saturday and doesn’t play again until Wednesday, when they take on Orlando. It is OKC’s first of only two three-day breaks this season. That's their longest outside the All-Star break.

 

18. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 10-9
The good news for the Knicks is that they have more home wins than any team in the league. New York is 9-3 inside the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden. The bad news is the Knicks are just 1-6 on the road, and they have been outscored by an average margin of 17 points in those six defeats. Knicks have to take advantage of a favorable early schedule, as things get tough after Christmas. New York plays 16 of 20 games away from home between December 27th and February 2nd.

19. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 9-11
Many pundits predicted doom and gloom for Utah once Rudy Gobert (knee) went down. However, the Jazz has won three of their last four. Derrick Favors has stepped in and stepped up in the middle. Favors is averaging 17.6 points (on 64.0 percent shooting), 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games.

 

20. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 7-12
The Grizz lost to their eighth straight game on Sunday night and franchise-cornerstone Marc Gasol was none too pleased with being benched the entire fourth quarter. "I don't like it one bit," Gasol said. "I'm not just gonna lay down and take it. I hate not playing, that's what I value most. If I'm not out there, I'm not valued. I'm sure they knew that would hurt me the most." Things are likely to go from really bad to much worse this week. Memphis’ next four opponents are the Spurs (twice), the Cavs and the Wolves. Yikes.

 

21. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 8-11
Some pros and cons related to Dwight Howard’s 2017-18 campaign thus far: Encouragingly, he’s averaging over 15 points and 12 rebounds per game for the first time since 2013-14. On the downside, he’s shooting just 45.9 percent from the free-throw stripe and is averaging career lows in steals (0.5) and blocks (1.2).

 

22. LA Clippers
2017-18 record: 7-11
Wesley Johnson has made the most of his opportunity to play extended minutes due to the absence of Danilo Gallinari. Over the Clippers last five games, Johnson is averaging 13.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.8 blocks, while shooting 56.8 percent from the field (25-44) and 57.7 percent from downtown (15-26). That accuracy from 3-point territory is the highest over any five-game stretch of his career.

 

23. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 8-12
The Magic’s once-promising start to the season is a now distant memory. Orlando was one of the most pleasant surprises in October, when they jumped out to a 6-2 start. However, they have now dropped eight straight. Putrid defense has been the main culprit in this latest losing skid. They’ve allowed at least 110 points in seven of their last nine and allowed 70 first-half points in back-to-back blowouts over the weekend.

 

24. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 8-11
One of the Lakers main strengths this season has been their improved interior play. L.A. currently leads the league in points in the paint, at 55.1. Per NBA.com, L.A.’s 55.1 paint points per game would be the second-highest average ever recorded since the NBA began tracking the stat in 1996-97. The Lakers have scored 60-plus points in the paint on seven occasions, including an NBA season-high 70 points November 19th vs. Denver.

 

25. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 7-12
Spencer Dinwiddie has done his best to keep the shorthanded Nets afloat as they deal with an onslaught of injuries. Over his last six games, Dinwiddie is averaging 16.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.7 treys.

 

26. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 5-15
Break up the Mavs. Suddenly surging Dallas has won three of their last four games, including an impressive win over Oklahoma City on Saturday night. Here’s an interesting tidbit from that victory courtesy of Elias research: Thirty-nine-year-old Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 19 points and Dennis Smith Jr., who was celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, scored 15. Nowitzki and Smith are the third pair of teammates, one age 39 or older and one age 20 or younger, to both score 15 or more points in the same game. John Stockton (age 39) and Andrei Kirilenko (age 20) had five games like that for the Jazz in 2001-02, and Michael Jordan (39) and Kwame Brown (20) did it twice for the Wizards in 2002-03.

 

27. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 7-14
The Suns have lost three straight, and that streak could get quite long if they are unable to beat the Bulls on Tuesday. After their game against Chicago, Phoenix plays at Detroit, at Boston, at Philadelphia, at Toronto, and then heads back home to host the Wizards and Spurs.

 

28. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 5-14
The Kings had plenty of questions marks heading into this season, but one player they assumed they would be able to count on was George Hill. However, Hill has been frustratingly inconsistent and unproductive. After averaging 16.9 points (on 47.7 percent shooting) and 4.2 assists in 31.5 minutes for Utah last season, Hill is averaging just 9.1 points (on 43.5 percent shooting) and 2.5 assists in 26.1 minutes for Sacramento.

 

29. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 4-16
The Hawks played well on Friday, beating the Knicks 116-104. How did they follow it up? By losing by 34 points to the Raptors (112-78) the next night. Atlanta has yet to win consecutive games this season.

 

30. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 3-15
The Bulls have lost five-straight games and, at 3-15, are tied for their worst start 2001-02. Chicago managed to lose to the Heat on Sunday despite Miami missing 17 of their first 19 shots and scoring a total of seven points in the first quarter.