NBA Power Rankings: First Month of the Season


The NBA season is around a month old now and we have already seen exciting games and dominate performances from players around the league. But what teams have performed the best, and who has been revealed as favorites to win the 2017 NBA championship?

1. Golden State Warriors 14-2

Most people were unsure who would be the face of the Warriors, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant. But so far this season they have shown almost equal contribution to the team, and it is working perfect for Golden State. They are a dynamic duo that would give any team serious problems, and with great surrounding teammates they are regularly considered favorites to win the NBA championship.

2. Los Angeles Clippers 14-3

The Los Angeles Clippers have continued their best start in franchise history with great offensive and defensive play. Their starting five have shown great chemistry and the team finally has a bench, lead by Jamal Crawford and Marreese Speights, that can outscore other teams bench units comfortably. They seem to have enough talent to challenge and beat any team in the NBA.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers 12-2

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been coasting this season. They understand that they have the talent to easily finish as the number one seed in the eastern conference. Their franchise is about winning NBA championships and nothing more. But even as a team cruising the Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the best records in the NBA.

4. San Antonio Spurs 13-3

The San Antonio Spurs have been “Flying under the radar” as they love to do. Kawhi Leonard, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol have lead their team to a confident 13-3 record with a strong defensive presence and teamwork. They have been the classic San Antonio Spurs, except with Kawhi Leonard as the face of the team.

5. Atlanta Hawks 10-6

Many people were skeptical, but Dwight Howard has proven that he is still an elite center in the NBA as he is averaging 14.1 PPG and 12.9 RPG. The Atlanta Hawks have played with tremendous defense and even beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a close and competitive game on November 8th. They have a great all-around team and if they stay consistent they could easily be a top three seed in the eastern conference.

6. Memphis Grizzlies 10-6

Mike Conley has not, nor ever will, live up to his massive 5-year, $153 million deal. But Mike Conley and Marc Gasol have lead their team to a good position as they usually do. They have a strong defensive presence and their “Grit and Grind” offensive game plan is working as good as ever. Along with their usual play Marc Gasol has gained the ability to shoot three-pointers and stretch the floor for their offense. If they can continue their play and avoid injury they will easily make the NBA playoffs.

7. Toronto Raptors 10-6

DeMar DeRozan has been surprisingly skillful this season as he has averaged 30.2 PPG. With an MVP candidate the Toronto Raptors are easily the Cleveland Cavaliers biggest threat in the eastern conference. If Jonas Valanciunas, and their other big-men, can contribute to the team more then the Raptors could finish the season with the best record in the eastern conference.

8. Boston Celtics 9-7

The Boston Celtics have played the majority of their games without two of their most talented players Al Horford and Jae Crowder. But Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley have helped pick up the slack and lead their team to an above .500 record. But recently Al Horford and Jae Crowder returned, and the Boston Celtics have and will undoubtedly become more accustomed to winning games.

9. Chicago Bulls 10-6

With almost no perimeter shooters it was questionable if the Chicago Bulls could be successful on offense. But with talented scorers like Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade and an amazing playmaker in Rajon Rondo it was almost guaranteed that they would score at a good rate. They will more than likely continue with their winning ways and end as a top seed in the eastern conference.

10. Charlotte Hornets 8-7

Despite loosing Al Jefferson in free agency the Charlotte Hornets are still a good team with an ability to score and play defense at a high level. They will not compete for an NBA championship, but they could win a round or two in the NBA playoffs and bring excitement to Charlotte fans.

11. Houston Rockets 10-6

James Harden was recently moved to point guard and it has been great for the Houston Rockets. Harden is averaging the most APG in the NBA (With 12.4 APG) and is scoring 28.3 PPG. With these stats James Harden is a big candidate for the NBA MVP award, and with his teammates surrounding him the Houston Rockets should have no problem making the NBA playoffs.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder 9-8

Russell Westbrook has been outstanding this season. He is extremely close to averaging a triple-double and he is the front-runner to win the NBA MVP award. But besides Victor Oladipo he has not had a lot of help. If Westbrook can continue his reign of terror and his teammates can provide more help the Oklahoma City Thunder could even sneak into the playoffs as the 4th seed in the western conference.

13. Portland Trail Blazers 9-9

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have played great this season, but the Portland Trail Blazers as a team have struggled to do the same. They have almost no presence in the paint and can not defend other power forwards and centers. Either Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have to become even better, or the Trail Blazers big-men have to meet their own expectations. Otherwise the Trail Blazers will continue to struggle and Portland could even miss the NBA playoffs.

14. Los Angeles Lakers 8-9

The Los Angeles Lakers are evidently better than last season. With only seventeen games played the Los Angeles Lakers are only ten wins away from beating their win/loss record from last season (17-65). D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Jordan Clarkson have all been good scoring guards who have been the main reason for L.A.’s early success. This team will not end up in the playoffs but they have a great future ahead of them.

15. Indiana Pacers 8-9

This offseason the Indiana Pacers added several talented players to help their MVP candidate Paul George (Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young, and Al Jefferson). With their new added depth it will take some time to build chemistry. Currently this team is playing at an average level, but by time the season is over this team could be a top five team in the NBA.

16. Utah Jazz 9-8

The Utah Jazz were expected to play better this season than last, but unfortunately they are struggling to win more games than they lose. But even with the team struggling we can see their potential. George Hill, their new starting point guard, has been a great scorer for the team. Their new addition has helped combine a lighter “Big 4” in Utah with George Hill, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, and Derrick Favors.

17. New York Knicks 8-7

The New York Knicks are another team who added talent this offseason but are still going to continue to lose games at a consistent rate. They added Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee who have helped them move the ball on offense and play good defense. They also have am improving Kristaps Porzingis and their leader Carmelo Anthony. But again, this team is still not a “Super team” despite what Derrick Rose believes. They will, at absolute best, win one round of the NBA playoffs.

18. Detroit Pistons 8-9

The Detroit Pistons have the same starting lineup as last season but Reggie Jackson has been injured. Jackson brings them more scoring, better playmaking, and more athleticism than their current starting point guard Ish Smith. As soon as Reggie Jackson is back (Expected to return Dec. 1st) the Pistons will improve and become an above average team.

19. Orlando Magic 6-10

The Orlando Magic have played decent throughout the first month of the season. Serge Ibaka has helped them on the defensive end and even hit a game-winning shot against his old team the Oklahoma City Thunder. In order for the Orlando Magic to take the next step and become a playoff team one of their young players will have to progress and take a bigger role (Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, or Evan Fournier).

20. Milwaukee Bucks 6-8

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are showing why they “Own The Future”. Their young talented roster has improved since last season and gained depth. With such a young team, who is building chemistry and will not run out of energy, we could see them in the playoffs this season.

21. Minnesota Timberwolves 5-10

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a great amount of potential. In just a couple of years Karl Anthony-Towns will more than likely be considered a top five player in the NBA. And Andrew Wiggins, along with Kris Dunn, will progress and become great players at their respected positions. The Timberwolves will be a great team, but they are currently a below average team and will struggle to make the NBA playoffs.

22. New Orleans Pelicans 6-11

For the New Orleans Pelicans the begging of the season has been “The Anthony Davis show”. But Jrue Holiday recently returned and the Pelicans have begun to win games consistently. It will be tough, but with Anthony Davis and a decent surrounding team, the New Orleans Pelicans could make the playoffs this season.

23. Denver Nuggets 6-10

The Denver Nuggets are having another season in “No man’s land”. They simply do not have enough talent to make the NBA playoffs, but they will win enough games to ensure that they do not get a great pick. The team is trying to build around young talent, but they are not a sexy franchise that lures big-name free agents. It seems they will continue as an average team for the next few seasons.

24. Sacramento Kings 6-10

Besides the almost guaranteed drama that the Kings organization will bring their season is fairly predictable. They will struggle to win games and will not come close to making the NBA playoffs, but DeMarcus Cousins will still dominate most other centers.

25. Miami Heat 5-10

The Miami Heat have begun their post Dwyane Wade era and the team is struggling. But their young talent have shown they can make an impact and give the Miami Heat a promising future. Hassan Whiteside has averaged a very impressive 16.9 PPG 15.1 RPG and 2.5 BPG and their new starting shooting guard Dion Waiters has averaged 13.3 PPG 3.9 APG and 3.3 RPG. The Miami Heat will struggle this season, but they have a good young roster to build around for the future.

26. Washington Wizards 5-9

The Washington Wizards have been disappointing so far this season. Bradley Beal has only played ten games due to injury, but he is not the reason for their unsuccessful beginning of the season. Marcin Gortat, the Washington Wizards starting center, said “I think the Wizards got one of the worst benches in the league right now” and later apologized for his frustration. The Wizards simply have no depth, and their star players have not performed to their expectations. Until Bradley Beal improves or the Wizards make a trade to add depth they will not be a playoff caliber team.

27. Brooklyn Nets 4-11

The Brooklyn Nets have been lead by Brook-Lin (Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin) and Bojan Bogdanovic. They only have four wins, but they have still played better than most anticipated. But they still seem to have no future. They will not get a great draft pick this offseason due to trading, and their three best players are in their prime and will only regress.

28. Philadelphia 76ers 4-12

Joel “The Process” Embiid has been the top candidate for rookie of the year. Per 36 minutes he is averaging 28.3 PPG 12.1 RPG and 3.8 BPG and he is giving their fan base something to get excited about. The also have one of the most anticipated rookies in the last several years in Ben Simmons. Ben and Joel give the Philadelphia 76ers a future to look forward to. But for now they will continue to lose games and become humble to the game.

29. Phoenix Suns 5-12

The Phoenix Suns are having another depressing season. They are a team with a fairly good amount of talent but not much chemistry. Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and Devin Booker are all good scoring guards. They also have two young talented big-men in Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss. Despite the several young talented players the Phoenix Suns can not consistently win and will not be a successful team until they find some chemistry.

30. Dallas Mavericks 2-13

The Dallas Mavericks have played a majority of this season without Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, Devin Harris, and Andrew Bogut. They have suffered on offense, and due to the absence of Andrew Bogut they have almost no defense in the paint. But despite their tough start we have seen the potential of Harrison Barnes in a bigger role. The Dallas Mavericks could be an above average team, but it would take a completely healthy roster.

About Emanuel Godina

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com