Bang The Book NBA Power Rankings (Jan 1.)

Last Updated: 2018-01-02

  1. Golden State Warriors (29-8): The Warriors went (9-2) without Stephen Curry in the lineup. However, they lost two home games in that stretch towards the end of December. Just when you were forgetting about Curry, he returned to score 38 points in a win over Memphis. They have the best record in the NBA.
  2. Boston Celtics (30-10): The Celtics ended the calendar year with three straight wins. One of those wins was the epic comeback over the Houston Rockets. They are the first team with 30 wins this season and hold the No. 1 spot in the east.
  3. San Antonio Spurs (25-12): Despite losing their last outing, the San Antonio Spurs are headed in the right direction. They are holding the No. 3 spot in the west. Kawhi Leonard is starting to play more minutes coming back from injury.
  4. Toronto Raptors (24-9): Even though the Raptors lost a pair of games this week, they still remained in the Top 5 due to a couple of teams losing more games. The Raptors have won 7 of their last 10 games. It’s tied for the best stretch in the eastern conference.
  5. Houston Rockets (26-9): The Rockets finally broke a five game losing streak with a double overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the return of Chris Paul has coincided with an injury to James Harden. The Rockets still have the No. 2 seed in the west.
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-12):The Cavaliers have not had a successful road trip at all. They lost three straight games, including the Christmas day game at Golden State.
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-14): The Minnesota Timberwolves are holding onto the No. 4 seed in the western conference. Their only loss was to the Milwaukee Bucks. Jimmy Butler is really starting to take control of the offensive flow.
  8. Washington Wizards (21-16): Clearly, John Wall makes a difference. The Wizards are in the No. 5 in the eastern conference and climbing. They defeated Boston, Houston and Chicago. However, the Wizards lost to the Atlanta Hawks.
  9. Milwaukee Bucks (19-15): The Bucks received a gift in their win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are still only two games ahead of the No. 9 seed. The Bucks should be in a battle all season.
  10. Denver Nuggets (19-17): The Nuggets are too inconsistent to be a legitimate factor right now. They have lost two straight and split their last 10 games. When will the Nuggets really establish they are better than a .500 team.
  1. Detroit Pistons (20-15): The Detroit Pistons beat the Pacers and Spurs in a wild week. They also lost to the Orlando Magic. The Pistons have to manage the schedule without point guard Reggie Jackson in the mix.
  2. Indiana Pacers (19-17): Under normal circumstances, the Pacers would have plummeted. However, other teams didn’t have great weeks to elevate in the rankings. Still, the Pacers must get out of their slump quickly.
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17): The Thunder were on the verge of having a great end to the calendar year. Then, they lost the final two games. Oklahoma City is still in the No. 5 spot after winning 7 of 10 games.
  4. New York Knicks (18-18): They Knicks captured a must needed win in the final game of 2017. Prior to that, they took four straight losses to fall out of the playoff position.
  5. New Orleans Pelicans (17-18): The Pelicans are under .500. They suffered back to back losses to the Knicks and Mavericks. Yet, they are holding the final spot in the western conference playoffs. At least Rajon Rondo dished out 25 assists in a single game.
  6. Miami Heat (19-17): The Heat sandwiched wins over Orlando with a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. They are barely over .500. However, the Heat are slotted in the No. 7 spot.
  7. Portland Trailblazers (18-17): The Portland Trailblazers are holding onto their playoff positioning by a thread. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Part of their inconsistent play is due to Damian Lillard’s injury. They defeated the 76ers earlier in the week.
  8. Philadelphia 76ers (17-19): The Philadelphia 76ers won three games this week. They really ended the west coast trip strong with two wins. Now, they have five home games to start the new year.
  9. Chicago Bulls (13-23): The Bulls were 5 points away from having another perfect week. Their three game winning streak ended with a loss to the Washington Wizards. They beat the Bucks, Knicks and Pacers.
  10. LA Clippers (16-19): If the Clippers get healthy, they should make the postseason. Blake Griffin is back in the lineup and they have won three straight games.
  11. Utah Jazz (16-20): The Utah Jazz have one of the worst 10 game stretches in the western conference. They’ve only won three games due to injuries. However, they did knock off the Cleveland Cavaliers to end the year.
  12. Dallas Mavericks (13-25): The Dallas Mavericks have the longest winning streak in the NBA. They defeated four playoff teams in a row. Now, they look like a team that can vie for a playoff spot.
  13. Brooklyn Nets (13-22): Brooklyn lost 3 of 4 games to end 2017. More often than not, they are in games down to the final minutes. Their lone win came over the Miami Heat.
  14. Phoenix Suns (14-24): Phoenix split their last 10 games. They had two wins this week, but lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on New Years Eve. At least they had buzzer beating game-winner earlier in the week.
  15. Charlotte Hornets (13-23): Charlotte is 1 of the 2 teams to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the past week. However, they lost to the Clippers in a back to back. The Hornets are still trying to find their consistency.
  16. Memphis Grizzlies (12-25): The Memphis Grizzlies beat two teams right below them in the power rankings. They also suffered a blowout at Golden State.
  17. Sacramento Kings (12-24): Like most teams toiling at the bottom, the Sacramento Kings had a nice win over the Cleveland Cavaliers but lost three other games this week.
  18. Atlanta Hawks (10-26): There’s a glimmer of hope with the Hawks as the season turns into 2018. They won two games last week, including a victory over the Washington Wizards. Their lone loss came to the Raptors.
  19. LA Lakers (11-24): The Lakers have the longest losing streak in the NBA. They just lost their sixth straight game in double overtime to the Houston Rockets. Hopefully, point guard Lonzo Ball returns from injury soon. The Lakers are last place in the west.
  20. Orlando Magic (12-25):. The Magic finished the year with two losses to Miami. They also defeated the Pistons to get one win in forever. The Magic have the second worst record in the eastern conference.

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(503) ORLANDO @ (504) BOSTON | 7:35 pm 10/22/2018

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