2013 NBA Power Rankings Week 6: Pistons, Mavericks Rising While Nets Keep Falling
2013 NBA Power Rankings Week 6: Pistons, Mavericks Rising While Nets Keep Falling
We are now six weeks into this exciting and already drama-filled 2013 NBA season. It seems like just yesterday we were crowning the Philadelphia 76ers as the next great team in the Eastern Conference, who would ultimately wind up in the Finals against the Kevin Love-led Minnesota Timberwolves.
It seems like just yesterday when those supporting the Brooklyn Nets were saying, "Just give it time. They will turn it around eventually. Once the chemistry continues to build, they will be a unit to be reckoned with."
Well, actually that's one thing that hasn't changed. Anyway, moving on.
It seems like just yesterday that the Chicago Bulls were continuing to get Derrick Rose back into the groove and ultimately prove to the rest of the East that they were back at full force. It seems like just yesterday that Kobe was still amidst his rehab and couldn't set an exact date for his inevitable return.
Well folks, yesterday is gone and over with. Today, the league looks a little bit differently for many of those names. A few things haven't changed a bit, but for the most part -- as usual -- this league is all about who's hot and who's not, and there are some teams on the rise. To give better reason as to who is rising and who is falling, here is the week six edition of our NBA Power Rankings.
30. Milwaukee Bucks (4-16)
Did the Milwaukee Bucks really think that O.J. Mayo would be the answer to all of their problems? Sure, he's leading the team in scoring but he's also shooting under 42 percent and has a lousy PER of just 12.5. Milwaukee doesn't have much to be thrilled about at this point.
29. Utah Jazz (4-13)
Knowing this was going to be a rebuilding year for the Utah Jazz, did we really expect much different? After six weeks, the Jazz are 28th in scoring and 25th in points allowed. That pretty much sums it up.
28. Brooklyn Nets (6-14)
There's a lot I could say about this reeling Brooklyn Nets team. In a word: Pathetic. In a few: Jason Kidd is in way over his head and can't seem to figure out how to coach a group of guys that include three he was playing against in the postseason seven months ago.
27. Orlando Magic (6-14)
The Orlando Magic didn't win a single game last week and have dropped five in a row. For that, they fall frightfully close to the bottom of the rankings.
26. New York Knicks (5-14)
Melo still isn't having any fun and the Knicks are still losing games. Tyson Chandler's injury has hurt them more than words can even come close to describing, but this stat will do it justice: New York is now 29th in the league in rebounding.
25. Philadelphia 76ers (7-14)
The Sixers lost three of four last week with their only win coming against the Magic. That incredible start for Michael Carter-Williams and Philly seems like centuries ago at the moment.
24. Toronto Raptors (7-12)
The biggest reason I have the Toronto Raptors dropping to 24th is due to the loss of Rudy Gay. Of course, this was a good thing in the grand scheme of things. Sure, he was their leading scorer but barely shooting close to 40 percent and tough to build around. Points may still be hard to come by, though.
23. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-13)
The Cleveland Cavaliers won two of three last week and continue to be one of the better rebounding teams in the league. Will Dion Waiters be dealt soon? That seems to be the talk around town.
22. Charlotte Bobcats (9-11)
Defense continues to be great for the Charlotte Bobcats (2nd in the NBA) as they are hanging around in a weak Eastern Conference. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's hand injury, though, will be a tough one to overcome for Charlotte.
21. Sacramento Kings (5-13)
Why such a high ranking for a 5-win team? The Sacramento Kings have proven in the last two weeks they are serious about winning. Sacramento welcomes in both Derrick Williams and the recently-acquired Gay in hopes that they will be able to make a push in the West. These trades won't mean instant contention, but the Kings aren't laying down anytime soon.
20. Chicago Bulls (8-10)
Without Rose, the Bulls simply cannot score enough to keep them in games. Defense will always come naturally for a Tom Thibodeau-coached team, but without Rose for a few months and Jimmy Butler sidelined still, Chicago may be scratching and clawing for every win they get from here on out.
19. New Orleans Pelicans (9-10)
A triple overtime win over the Rose-less Bulls last Monday was the highlight of the week for the New Orleans Pelicans. As New Orleans has now dropped two in a row, they are dearly missing Anthony Davis. The currently-ranked 11th rebounding team in the league are taking some steps back in that department in a hurry.
18. Washington Wizards (9-10)
Only having two games on the schedule all of last week must have been nice for the Washington Wizards. Losing in overtime to the 4-win Bucks, however, probably wasn't so nice.
17. Memphis Grizzlies (9-10)
The Memphis Grizzlies are surviving by the skin of their teeth without Marc Gasol at the moment. With Zach Randolph also hurting, Memphis is still managing to hold down the fort defensively and ranks 7th in the league in points allowed. That's the way they'll get their wins until Gasol and Randolph are healthy.
16. Boston Celtics (10-12)
In a wide open playoff race early on, the Boston Celtics currently have the fourth seed. Boston has now won three straight, including a 41-point beat down of the Knicks on Sunday. Brad Stevens has done a nice job in getting his guys going on the defensive end as the Celtics are allowing 95.8 points per game, good for 5th in the league.
14. Atlanta Hawks (11-10)
Kyle Korver couldn't miss a three point shot if you paid him. Jeff Teague is playing the best basketball of his career. On top of that, Al Horford is leading the team in both scoring and rebounding. Those three guys have been huge keys to the Atlanta Hawks maintaining the third seed in the East.
13. Detroit Pistons (10-11)
The Detroit Pistons are in the midst of winning four of their last five, with a win over the Miami Heat and their only loss coming at the hand of LeBron James getting his revenge four days later. There may not be a better rebounder in the league right now than Andre Drummond, who has been playing unbelievable basketball lately. The Pistons are no joke after six weeks.
12. Los Angeles Lakers (10-10)
Without Kobe, the Lakers looked like they could be a playoff team. With Kobe? Oh, now it gets interesting. We'll see how long it takes the Mamba to get himself back into a rhythm after his 8-turnover debut.
11. Phoenix Suns (11-9)
The Phoenix Suns may not be top-10 in any major category, but with Miles Plumlee having a great sophomore season, Eric Bledsoe back from injury to continue his excellent year and Goran Dragic lighting up the box score as of late, they are out to prove they can contend in the West.
10. Golden State Warriors (12-9)
The Golden State Warriors are 4-3 on their current 8-game road trip that ends Monday night in Charlotte. As good as these guys can score the ball, the Warriors shouldn't be going anywhere and will likely find themselves in the top 10 for the remainder of the season. Oh, and Stephen Curry for MVP.
9. Dallas Mavericks (13-8)
A huge game-winner by Monta Ellis gave the Dallas Mavericks their biggest win of the season over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, which ended the week on a 3-0 note for he and his teammates. The Mavericks are slowly coming together as a very good team in the West, and with Ellis re-inventing himself once again, they could be a sneaky team to watch.
8. Denver Nuggets (12-8)
After seven straight victories, the Denver Nuggets have cooled off to go just 1-2 in their last three. To be fair, they are amidst a gigantic road trip that started November 25th and will now end on Monday. Denver continues to dominate on the boards as they enter this week as the number four ranked rebounding team in all of basketball.
7. Los Angeles Clippers (13-8)
I retract my previous statement in regards to a certain Warriors guard and the MVP award. While Curry has had an incredible season, Chris Paul has done a number on his opponents this year. Averaging 18.4 points, 12.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals, Paul should be number one in the running for the league's most valuable player.
6. Houston Rockets (15-7)
Tops in the league in both points and rebounds, it seems as though the Houston Rockets would be the NBA's top team. But, these guys still haven't played the best defensive ball they are capable of. James Harden and Dwight Howard also can't do everything on both ends, so they need some help when it comes to Houston's 21st-ranked defense.
5. Miami Heat (16-5)
Same story, different week for the Miami Heat. The best player on the planet does all he can to score, rebound, assist and defend his way to win after win. But, without Dwyane Wade at full health, the Heat could be looking to be in some trouble.
4. San Antonio Spurs (15-4)
After winning 11 straight, the Spurs have gone 2-2 in their last four games but still sit tied atop the Western Conference. There's no reason to worry about an inconsistent stretch for San Antonio because, let's be honest, they could turn right around and rip off another 11 wins starting this week.
3. Portland Trail Blazers (17-4)
Continuing to be one of the biggest surprises this season, the Blazers are in a three-way tie atop the West in terms of losses. I think LaMarcus Aldridge has been able to keep his name out of trade rumors for the longest period of time in the last couple of years, which Portland should be extremely thankful for.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (15-4)
Though the Blazers have been impressive, the Oklahoma City Thunder still boast two of the top seven or eight players in the league and have won nine out of their last 10 games. Funny enough, the one loss came from Portland.
1. Indiana Pacers (18-3)
If you want to talk consistency, the Indiana Pacers should be at the forefront of that conversation. Even though the Pacers have lost two of four now, they are still playing the best basketball there is. Why? Because, defensively, there is no team better -- period.