NBA Week 1 Power Rankings
The season has started, and teams are trying to get off to a hot start. We’ve already seen fights, and now it’s time to overreact a little to teams records.
30. Chicago Bulls- 2018-19 record 0-3 (down 6): The Bulls have Zach LaVine back, and he looks as explosive as ever. Defensively they can’t stop anyone, and Jabari Parker is bad at defense. It is early but that is not a good sign.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers- 2018-19 record 0-3 (down 11): I thought Cleveland was going to be the sleeper of the Eastern Conference, but after three games they look like they lost a really good player over the summer. Kevin Love can’t do it all, and I did not see this slow start coming.
28. Atlanta Hawks- 2018-19 record 1-2 (up 2): Trae Young dropped 35 points against Cleveland and it looks like Atlanta will need him real bad. They don’t have much except him, but he is one of the funnest rookies to watch play.
27. Sacramento Kings- 2018-19 record 1-3 (same): It is interesting to see Marvin Bagley come off the bench, but the Kings are loaded at his position. It will be interesting to see how he fits in the rotation throughout the year. The Kings won’t be good, but look out for Bagley.
26. New York Knicks- 2018-19 record 1-3 (down 1): The Knicks don’t look that bad. The Kevin Knox injury hurts their start, but they seem to have a system in place for how they want to play. I like Fizdale so hopefully he succeeds.
25. Brooklyn Nets- 2018-19 record 1-2 (up 4) : The Nets are the Nets and they still don’t look great. Caris LeVert has played well for them and Jarrett Allen is undoubtedly their best defender, but their schedule does not get any easier facing Cleveland, New Orleans and Golden State.
24. Phoenix Suns- 2018-19 record 1-2 (up 2) : The Suns started off hot and opened the season with a win, but then lost to the Warriors and the Nuggets. Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker both look good. Hopefully, they can keep improving with each other.
23. Washington Wizards- 2018-19 record 1-2 (down 8) : The Wizards started the season with two losses and then shocked Portland on the road. A very confusing start but they’ll be staying on the west coast for their next three games in California. It’s a test that they might not be ready for.
22. Orlando Magic- 2018-19 record 2-2 (up 6) : A big win against the Celtics has helped put the Magic up here. The Magic are a strange team that will rely on defense to win games, but a 2-2 start doesn’t look too bad.
21. Dallas Mavericks- 2018-19 record 2-1 (down 1) : After a tough loss to the Suns, the Mavs have won two straight against the Timberwolves and Bulls. Luka Doncic and DeAndre Jordan have fit in well with the team and they have gotten off to a decent start.
20. Miami Heat – 2018-19 record 1-2 (up 2) : Three nail-biting games and Miami is 1-2. If they keep putting themselves in positions to win they should be a playoff team in the East. Now they just need to finish games.
19. Memphis Grizzlies- 2018-19 record 2-1 (same) : The Grizzlies are a historically scrappy team and they’ve looked bad and good. They got blown out by the Pacers and beat the Hawks and Jazz. They have a pretty easy start to the schedule and if they want to surprise people these are the games they need to win.
18. Los Angeles Laker- 2018-19 record 0-3 (down 11): What a left hook from Rondo. This 0-3 start is the worst for a Lebron James led team since 2004. They are destined to flip this around, but the young guys need to step up and help. JaVale McGee has looked really good and Lance Stephenson has done his part. Now it’s time for those young guys to figure it out.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder- 2018-19 record 0-3 (down 12) : Another good team with a bad start. They didn’t have Russell Westbrook for the first two games, but they should not be this bad with the roster they have. They’ve lost to the Kings, Clippers and Warriors. With Westbrook back look for the Thunder to start taking things seriously.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves- 2018-19 record 2-2 (same) : The Timberwolves are trying to make it work with Jimmy Butler and as long as the off court antics are done, they should be pretty solid. They really do need Butler, and they are another one of those fun young teams to watch.
15. Los Angeles Clippers- 2018-19 record 2-2 (up 2) : The Clippers have lost all of their stars and now they are identifying themselves as a scrappy team that wants to over achieve. They were close to doing it last season, but now they have another year of experience with the team under their belt.
14. Utah Jazz- 2018-19 record 1-2 (down 6) : The Jazz have started a little rocky, but after three games they still are a competitive team that will fight for a playoff spot in the west. They have the tools now they just have to make it work.
13. Charlotte Hornets- 2018-19 record 2-2 (up 10): Kemba Walker is willing his team to wins now averaging 33 points per game. The Hornet’s need to capitalize on the weak Eastern Conference and these early wins will help start that.
12. Houston Rockets- 2018-19 record 1-2 (down 3) : The Rockets have lost against good teams and won against a Lakers team. They will be back in the top five, but they will get back on track when Chris Paul comes back from his suspension.
11. Detroit Pistons- 2018-19 record 3-0 (up 10) : Blake Griffin is helping the Pistons win and after scoring a career high 50 points, he has the Pistons at a 3-0 start. They are a talented team and maybe Dwane Casey can get this team to perform to their talent level.
10. Indiana Pacers- 2018-19 record 2-2 (same): The Pacers are starting off a little shaky, but the east is is weak enough for them to make a comeback. Keep an eye out for them to get everything back on track.
9. San Antonio Spurs- 2018-19 record 2-1 (up 3) : The Spurs are coming off a strong win against the Lakers. DeMar DeRozan looks comfortable averaging 29.3 points per game and 9 assists. They might be the sleeper team in the west, and if they keep up this production they could pose a serious threat.
8. Milwaukee Bucks- 2018-19 record 3-0 (up 6) : Giannis Antetokounmpo can shoot threes. This is a game changer for a team that was one of the worst in three-point attempts. They will be one of the most dangerous offenses in the league and Antetokounmpo is the key.
7. Philadelphia 76ers- 2018-19 record 2-2 (down 3) : The Sixers took a difficult loss to the 76ers without Ben Simmons, but Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid look good. They will start gelling together and in a couple of months and will be one of the most dominant teams in the league.
6. Boston Celtics – 2018-19 record 2-2 (down 4) : The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams, but they have to start scoring more on offense. They suffered a devastating loss to the Magic 93-90, but they will recover. Everyone is still getting used to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
5. Portland Trail Blazers- 2018-19 record 2-1 (up 6) : Portland has looked good. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are really good together, but after a loss to the Wizards they need to bounce back against Orlando and Miami.
4. New Orleans Pelicans- 2018-19 record 3-0 (up 9): The Pelicans are blowing teams out and Anthony Davis is looking like the MVP. They have looked great together and everyone is jelling. From Julius Randle to Nikola Mirotic the Pelicans roster looks like they are trying to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke.
3. Denver Nuggets – 2018-19 record 4-0 (up 6) : Probably the hottest start in the NBA has been the Denver Nuggets. They beat the Warriors and Nikola Jokic is just a machine out there. He had a perfect 35 point triple double and with a healthy Paul Millsap the team looks like a force to be reckoned with.
2. Toronto Raptors- 2018-19 record 4-0 (up 4) : The best start in the East goes to the Toronto Raptors. Kawhi Leonard fits in perfectly and Kyle Lowry is learning to work with him. Nick Nurse is off to a big start in his first NBA head coaching job and they have the talent to keep this start-up.
1. Golden State Warriors- 2018-19 record 3-1 (same) : The Warriors only loss is to the number 3 team on this list, but they could easily be 4-0. They are still the best team in the league and unless something drastic changes they will continue to hold that distinction.