NBA Power Rankings After the First Week of the Season

NBA Power Rankings: Drama in L.A, Drama in N.Y. and James Harden

11/5/12 in NBA   |   GeorgeMon   |   159 respect

The NBA is back, and things are fantastic! We haven’t even had a full week of basketball and already have seen enough drama to fill a reality show. The sky has fallen in Los Angeles on no less than three separate occasions, Mike Brown has been fired on twitter no less than a few thousand times, the Miami Heat looked like the 96’ Bulls, and James Harden is averaging 35, 6 and 6. If the first week of basketball is any indication, we are in for one heck of a season. Let’s try and sort out the crazy week of basketball we just witnessed with an NBA Power Ranking.
Note: What exactly is a ‘Power Ranking’? Everyone has a different system but this ranking will simply be based on which teams had the best week. So a team being ranked number one does not mean that I believe they are the best team in the league.

Nov 2, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Rockets won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
It's still early in the season but by the looks of it, Houston absolutely robbed the Thunder.

Top 5
1) New York Knicks (2-0): With all the turmoil going on in New York, the Knicks played two inspired games of basketball—they beat Miami by 20 and Philadelphia by 16. Carmelo scored 57 and grabbed 15 rebounds in both games combined, so maybe Amare Stoudemire being out for a few months might actually be a good thing for the Knicks
2) Houston Rockets (2-1): Two words: James. Harden. After the initial trade with Oklahoma City the narrative started to switch from ‘what a dumb move by OKC’ to ‘what a savvy move OKC’ but after two massive James Harden performances and two typical Russell Westbrook performances, we can now say with certainty that Houston got the better of this deal. James Harden is a star, so expect his spectacular play to continue.
3) San Antonio Spurs (3-0): The Spurs just keep on trucking. They quietly won their first three games and looked great doing so. We are probably in for another 60 win season and deep playoff from these Spurs. San Antonio simply does everything right, and another title is definitely within reach.
4) Miami Heat (2-1): After destroying the Celtics on opening night, the Heat have played two close games and needed a last second four-point play from Ray Allen to escape with a win against Denver. Miami is still on their championship victory tour, so they might lose a couple games over the next few weeks, but once they get into a groove expect LeBron and company to run over the league.
5) New Orleans Hornets (2-1): The Hornets beat the Jazz and the Bulls after almost beating the Spurs on opening night. Anthony Davis hasn’t looked spectacular yet, but he immediately makes New Orleans better. The Hornets have a bright future and will make some noise this season.

Bottom 5

November 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) reacts after scoring a basket against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Did beating the Pistons really answer any questions about the struggling Lakers?


26) Phoenix Suns (1-2): The Suns got a taste of what life after Steve Nash will be like, and if the first three games are a sample, it will not be good.
27) Denver Nuggets (0-3): The Nuggets shifted their team around in the big Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum trade over the summer, but they were still expected to be a solid team with Andre Iguodala on the roster. They started the season 0-3 but play the Pistons next, so barring a disastrous effort, they’ll probably get their first win in Detroit.
28) OKC Thunder (1-2): The Thunder are lucky that the Lakers 0-3 start has overshadowed their own disappointing start to the season. OKC may have received excellent long-term prospects in the Houston trade, but in the short-term they got a lot worse. Not having Harden in the lineup magnifies Russell Westbrook’s weaknesses at point guard. The erratic Westbrook has taken 63 shots to Durant’s 49 and is shooting 38 percent to top it off. No one has noticed it yet, but the Thunder may be in a lot of trouble without Harden.
29) Los Angeles Lakers (1-3): To really illustrate how bad things were in Los Angeles, watch a few interviews after their win against Detroit. Everyone on the roster seemed genuinely relieved that they actually beat the Pistons. A win against Detroit is nothing to brag about, so let’s wait and see how the team does over their next few games against the Jazz, Warriors and Kings.
30) Detroit Pistons (0-3): The Pistons have been outscored by an average of 13.7 points— it’s going to be a long season in Detroit. 
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