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NBA Weekly Power Rankings

The Bet Central NBA Power rankings are upon us and they are a thing to behold at this very early stage of the season.

NBA Power Rankings

The NBA Power rankings after three weeks of competitive basketball action are here. Most teams have managed to shake off early struggles while others have consistently been poor. The Chicago Bulls’ surprise rise to the summit in the East has been a breath of fresh air, they have sent tongues wagging while the Los Angles Lakers have dispelled any notion that there may be trouble in paradise.

1 – Chicago Bulls (6-1)

The Chicago Bulls currently boast the best record in the league. The Bulls are averaging 109.7 points per game and they are not showing any signs of stopping. It may be too soon to call DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine a dynamic offensive duo as their union is only in its fledgling stage. However, numbers don’t lie and the duo’s offensive prowess has strengthened the Bulls’ push for Eastern Conference supremacy in the first three weeks of the season. The defensive exploits of Alex Caruso (2.6 steals per game) and Nikola Vucevic (10.9 rebounds per game) have also struck an offensive and defensive balance. They are much deeper and team-oriented than people give them credit for. The Bulls had dropped off the number one ranking after suffering their first loss of the season against the New York Knicks but they shrugged that off with two successive wins against the Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics.

2 – Golden State Warriors (5-1)

The Chicago Bulls haven’t made a 4-0 start to the season since Michael Jordan was playing for them. We are seeing ‘Last Dance’ numbers in Chi-Town as they sit 13th in Offensive Rating, 6th in Defensive Rating and 4th in Net Rating. The quality of the opposition hasn’t been great, but you have to play who’s in front of you and Chicago has beaten them all. Is it time to buy stock in the Bulls? Maybe. But that stock could plummet very quickly as the schedule gets harder.

3 – Miami Heat (5-1)

Utah has been on the rise in the last few seasons with Donovan Mitchell (offensive machine) and Rudy Gobert (defensive juggernaut) under the tutelage of the brilliant Quin Snyder. The Jazz have averaged 40-plus wins in the regular season in the last six seasons and they look set to continue that trend based on their impressive start to the campaign. The only blemish in Utah’s season is the defeat against the Bulls, they quickly atoned for that setback with a win against the reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks this past Sunday.

4 – Utah Jazz (5-1)

Utah has been on the rise in the last few seasons with Donovan Mitchell (offensive machine) and Rudy Gobert (defensive juggernaut) under the tutelage of the brilliant Quin Snyder. The Jazz have averaged 40-plus wins in the regular season in the last six seasons and they look set to continue that trend based on their impressive start to the campaign. The only blemish in Utah’s season is the defeat against the Bulls, they quickly atoned for that setback with a win against the reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks this past Sunday.

5 – New York Knicks (5-2)

Tom Thibodeau has transformed the Knicks from being a big market team with little to show for it to being a Playoff contender. The Knicks are on another strong start to the league season with a perfect 3-0 record on the road. They are 2-2 at home and it appears they play better on their travels as they have beaten the smoking-hot Bulls, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Orlando Magic on away duty. Their next road assignment is against the struggling Indiana Pacers and the defending champions, the Bucks.

6 – Washington Wizards (5-2)

As a collective, the Wizards are tallying 112.4 points per game which is the 6th best in the league. Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma, Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell are on a rampage in offensive terms and their hot scoring form is helping propel the team to better heights this season. A recent loss against the Atlanta Hawks ended a three-game winning streak.

7 – Philadelphia 76ers (5-2)

When the Ben Simmons saga started before the season began many expected the Sixers to have chemistry issues as the team hasn’t always been a strong unit. Simmons has his offensive limitations but he was always the one to add solid numbers (double-digit point tallies), 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game last season. Joel Embiid is the bonafide star but Simmons does the dirty work to make his more offensively gifted teammates flourish. The team has been in excellent form despite Simmons’ absence with players such as Seth Curry also adding a career-high 16.4 points per game to supplement Embiid’s 21 points per game and Tobias Harris’ 19.8 points per game. Doc Rivers’ side is offensively efficient with a conversion rate of a league-high 49.2% from the field (field goal percentage). Their free throw percentage is the second-best in the league (86.6%) as they impressively often knock them down from the foul line. It appears the best is yet to come from the Sixers as they are currently on a three-game winning streak.

8 – Dallas Mavericks (4-2)

The Luka Doncic-led Mavericks have climbed up the rankings from the 15th spot in week 1 when they previously had a 1-1 record. With efficient form from Doncic (22.5 points per season) the Mavs are sure of a solid run with the playmaker in chief in a rich vein of form. The likes of Tim Hardaway Jr, Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson are also chipping in with double-digit gamely tallies to provide a solid supporting cast. Jason Kidd is back in his old stomping ground and he seems to have settled like a duck to water.

9 – Toronto Raptors (5-3)

The former NBA champions have a knack of being a solid regular season team save for the disastrous 2020-21 season. The Raptors are on a mission to make up for lost time by starting the current season with a winning record. The Raptors are currently the sixth seed in the East and they are on a joint league-best four game-winning run.

10 – Charlotte Hornets (5-3)

The LaMelo Ball era is in full swing for the Charlotte Hornets and the young guard is tallying an impressive 20 points per game. The Hornets currently boast an overall 5-3 record in the East and they are the seventh seed in their conference. In the last six games, the Hornets have a reasonable 4-2 record.

11 – Brooklyn Nets (4-3)

One third of the Nets’ big three is currently out of action due to vaccination protocol resistance. The absence of Kyrie Irving has seen the team’s potent offence take a hit but they are still a formidable side led by all-round shooter Kevin Durant (27.7ppg) and James Harden (18.6ppg). The Nets are currently on a two-game winning streak.

12 – Atlanta Hawks (4-3)

Trae Young has already demonstrated his shooting prowess and his ability to carry a franchise on his young shoulders. The player’s consistency is a big reason why the Hawks are in the mix for the Playoff spots early on in the new season. The Hawks are only one win away from the Playoff positions. They have ascended from the 14th spot in the power rankings.

13 – Los Angeles Lakers (4-3)

The star-studded roster of the Lakers could be viewed as a cheat code with the joint record of accolades the players have amassed over the years. However, the star-laden team had a slow start to the season with chemistry issues proving to be the main problem. In recent games the Lakers have managed to figure it out as they currently have a winning record of 4-1 in their last five games. The Lakers are currently the fourth seed in the West and they are a team building up form.

14 – Memphis Grizzlies (4-3)

The Memphis Grizzlies are renowned for hustle, grit and determination. A player who symbolises all that the Grizzlies stand for is none other than Ja Morant who is tallying a career-high 28.3 points per game. The Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the West and they are 2-1 in their last three games.

15 – Denver Nuggets (4-3)

The Denver Nuggets are on a mission to book another Playoff contending season with reigning MVP Nikola Jokic leading the way. The Nuggets are currently the sixth seed in the West with a 4-3 record in a conference well known for being super competitive. Their winning record includes 4-2 record against teams in the West to prove that they can stand toe-to-toe against their conference counterparts.

16 – Cleveland Cavaliers (4-4)

The Cavs are yet to make the Playoffs without LeBron James on their roster and they are currently 4-4 through the first eight games of the regular season. The Cavs are 3-2 in their last five games and they look set to challenge for a Playoff spot this season. They are currently the 10th seed in the East and they are only one win away from occupying a Playoff spot.

17 – Minnesota Timberwolves (3-3)

For a team that has not made the Playoffs since 2018, the 3-3 start is a step in the right direction as they are currently the 7th seed in the West after the first six games. Karl-Anthony Towns (24.8ppg) is still the prime scorer while Anthony Edwards (23.2ppg) and D’Angelo Russell (14.8ppg) are also making meaningful contributions. The Wolves are currently 1-0 on the road.

18 – Sacramento Kings (3-3)

The Sacramento Kings are currently .500, which is encouraging as the team is still building consistency to sustain a Playoff challenge, The core duo of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox is still growing with each passing season. Last Sunday’s defeat against the Dallas Mavericks ended a two-game winning streak for the Kings.

19 – Milwaukee Bucks (3-4)

Defending champions aren’t supposed to be here. One may be forgiven for thinking the power rankings list has been turned upside down but it tells a story of a reigning champion still hungover from last season’s success. The Bucks have lost three successive games and they have the 22nd best (or worst) defensive rating in the league (109.6).

20 – Portland Trail Blazers (3-4)

With perennial All-Star Damian Lillard’s numbers on the decline (averaging 10 points less than last season) while his running mate CJ McCollum has been on fire this season (23.7ppg). The difference in their form has also contributed to the team’s struggle for consistency. The Blazers are currently on a two-game losing streak.

21 – Phoenix Suns (2-3)

Last year’s runners up have had an indifferent start to the new season. A 1-2 record in Phoenix demonstrates that the Suns are still struggling to find the right form to prove that last year’s run can be replicated or used as a foundation for greater success. Devin Booker (averaging three points less than last season), Chris Paul (tallying four points less) and DeAndre Ayton (averaging a point less than last term) have all seen their numbers decline this term and that has contributed to the team’s slow start. The team recently snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

22 – Los Angeles Clippers (2-4)

The Los Angeles Clippers are always revered for the big names they have on their roster, they have an intimidating team on paper but what happens on the hardwood is all that matters and the Clippers have flattered to deceive. A 2-4 start is disappointing by their standards, the unavailability of Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka has put the leadership responsibility on Paul George but the team has yet to make up for the injuries on a collective front. The Clippers have dropped from the 17th spot in the power rankings to fully demonstrate their slow start to the season. A recent win against the struggling Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a two-game losing streak.

23 – San Antonio Spurs (2-5)

The San Antonio Spurs have been the model of consistency in the NBA with over 20 consecutive seasons of Playoff appearances. However, their luck ran out in the 2019-20 season when they missed the postseason, the following campaign yielded more Playoff heartbreak. The Spurs are currently on a two-game winning streak which would help Gregg Popovich’s chances of building up a solid run to stand a chance of making the Playoffs in the wild West.

24 – Boston Celtics (2-5)

The Boston Celtics are synonymous with winning basketball and it is embedded in their culture to be a formidable team in the East, but they have been a shadow of their usual selves. The Celtics are currently on a three-game losing streak and they have dropped from the 16th spot to the 24th spot in the power rankings as their downward spiral continues.

25 – Orlando Magic (2-6)

A recent road victory against the Timberwolves has snapped a four-game losing streak for the Orlando Magic. They have improved their ranking from the 28th spot and moved up three places after their recent win. The team struggled in pre-season and it seems this has spilt over onto their regular season operations. They currently occupy the 13th seed in the East.

26 – Indiana Pacers (2-6)

The Pacers are still in the 26th spot in the power rankings, this is the same spot they occupied in week 1. Rick Carlisle’s second spell as Pacers head coach has not started the way he would have hoped as his side is currently the 14th seed in the East. They recently snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Spurs on Monday. With Domantas Sabonis continuing to post impressive numbers the Pacers can gradually build on his form and the experience of Carlisle who usually thrives in taking less fancied sides to the promised land.

27 – Detroit Pistons (1-5)

The Pistons have the unwanted tag of being the worst team in the East with a 1-5 record. They recently snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Magic but they could not build on it as they lost against the Nets. Dwane Casey’s charges are still figuring it out but they do not look like a team determined to avoid last season’s 15th seed standing. The Pistons are 1-1 at home. Their next three games will be a tough home schedule against the Bucks, the 76ers and the Nets.

28 – Houston Rockets (1-5)

The Houston Rockets have dropped from the 24th spot to the 28th spot in the power rankings after losing four consecutive games. The James Harden era ended last season following his blockbuster trade to the Nets. Harden’s offensive prowess was a big reason why the Rockets were a force in the West but his departure has seen a transitional period set in. The Rockets also lost an important piece in PJ Tucker. Injury problems have also haunted multiple All-Star John Wall who could have been helping the team perform better. On current form this season has all the ingredients to be another forgettable one for the Rockets.

29 – New Orleans Pelicans (1-6)

The Pelicans were widely tipped to be one of the NBA’s best teams in a few years due to their talented young core. Last season their form was encouraging as they were eight wins away from clinching a Playoff spot. However, this season they are on a turbulent run owing to the injury to Zion Williamson and the departure of Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram is the only bright spot for the Pelicans as he is tallying a career-high 25 points per game but his supporting cast is not on the same level. The Pelicans have lost their last three games allowing an average of 112.6 points per game to the opposition. They have also lost all four home games.

30 – Oklahoma City Thunder (1-6)

Years of Playoff runs are fast becoming distant memories as the Oklahoma City Thunder continue their rebuilding phase. As seen with other teams in the past, a rebuild coincides with a decline in the teams’ form and OKC are continuing that trend. The side currently has the joint-worst record in the league as it stands. Their road form is at an 0-4 low, it would be wise to put this in mind when betting for or against them on their travels.

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