Dec. 27, 2016
NBA Power Rankings: Week 6, Spurs/Warriors Rolling, Clippers Slip
An interesting week saw the Clippers drop two in a row against middling Eastern teams while the Cavaliers dropped over 20 three pointers on consecutive games. Week 5 can be found here.
High-Risers: Pistons/Thunder +6
Big-Droppers: Blazers -9, Wizards/Pelicans/Nuggets/Clippers -3
1] Golden State Warriors (15-2), Previous 2:
Golden State has won 11-in-a-row with only two of those games coming within single digits, including a 149-106 shellacking of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thanksgiving Eve. They've also won the last five home games by an average of 20.6 points. If the Warriors can keep this going, they may challenge their own 73-win record from a year before, though, a championship will greatly surpass another regular season record.
Week 7: vs Atlanta, vs Houston, vs Phoenix
2] Cleveland Cavaliers (13-2), Previous 3:
Kevin Love had a huge showing as the Cavaliers put away the Portland Trail Blazers before Kyrie exploding as the Cavs demolished the Mavericks, while LeBron continues to be LeBron. A tough week lies ahead as the Clippers come to town and the squad takes a trip up to Canada. Cleveland, however, has had the luxury of playing 10 of 15 at home.
Week 7: @ Milwaukee, vs Clippers, @ Chicago*
3] San Antonio Spurs (14-3), Previous 4:
Pop has the Spurs streaking again, having won nine in a row, while holding a 10-0 road record (in contract, the Spurs are 4-3 at home). Once the schedule balances out, you can expect the Spurs to continue their recent success en route to another, very surprising, 65-win season.
Week 7: vs Orlando, @ Dallas*, vs Washington
4] Los Angeles Clippers (14-4), Previous 1:
Questions are hovering all around Lob City about peaking too early, while others are saying that the Clippers are who everyone thought they were. Back to back loses against Detroit and Indiana really sting as the Clippers lose two in a row for the first time all year, and they weren't even close against the Pacers. Must be as a result of hanging out with Tony Romo. Week 7 is busy with a date in Cleveland a rematch against the pesky Pacers.
Week 7: @ Brooklyn, @ Cleveland, @ New Orleans*, vs Indiana
5] Toronto Raptors (10-6), Previous 8:
Toronto bounced back well after losing four of five with a 13-point win in Houston and a six point victory in Milwaukee. DeRozan continues to score over 30 points per evening while attempting as many threes as one would expect from an Adonal Foyle. Four home games coming up should help the Raptors pad their wins to secure the second slot in the East.
Week 7: vs Philadelphia, vs Memphis, vs Lakers, vs Atlanta*
6] Memphis Grizzlies (11-6), Previous 5:
A split with Miami, with each team losing at home, cost the Grizzlies a perfect week, but one can't argue with the results as they have recovered well from a horrendous start, winning eight of the last ten. All this while the Grizzlies are battling injuries early on. If they can get healthy, challenging for a top three slot may not be out of the question.
Week 7: vs Charlotte, @ Toronto, vs Orlando, vs Lakers
7] Houston Rockets (11-6), Previous 6:
Houston took no mercy against the Blazers, dropping 130 on a skidding Portland side behind 38 from James Harden. Eric Gordon chipped in with 26 off the bench, hitting 6-9 from three, while Clint Capela exploded for a surprising 21 on 9-12. What's impressive about D'Antoni's start is that 11 of the 17 games have been on the road, with more of the same coming up.
Week 7: @ Utah, @ Golden State, @ Denver*
8] Chicago Bulls (10-6) Previous 7:
Going 4-2 off a six game road trip, with all but one being against the Western conference isn't a bad thing, namely when the losses were against the Clippers and the high-altitude Denver Nuggets. Chicago has only played five of its 16 at home, going 4-1 and will be welcoming any home games they can get.
Week 7: vs Lakers, vs Cleveland, @ Dallas*
9] Oklahoma City Thunder (10-8), Previous 15:
The roller coaster in a post-Durant Oklahoma City continues, as Westbrook has secured seven triple-doubles just 18 games into the campaign. Continuity has been key for the Thunder as they have used the same starting unit for every game thus far, and need to put together a win streak to keep up in the loaded West.
Week 7: @ New York, vs Washington, vs New Orleans
10] Boston Celtics (9-7), Previous 10:
Boston went toe to toe with the San Antonio Spurs, ultimately dropping the game by six points, thus ending a three game win streak put together by the boys in green. Al Horford and Jae Crowder need to stay healthy if Brad Stevens wants the Celts to have a puncher's shot in the East.
Week 7: @ Miami, vs Detroit, vs Sacramento, @Philadelphia*
11] Atlanta Hawks (10-7), Previous 9:
In the midst of a five game road trip, Atlanta was only able to score 68 in Utah before the Lakers shellacked them by 15, while missing Julius Randle & D'Angelo Russell. The trip isn't getting any easier as the Warriors are next on the slate but they are almost home. Need to get back to playing the way they did during their 9-2 start.
Week 7: @ Golden State*, @ Phoenix, vs Detroit, @ Toronto*
12] Charlotte Hornets (9-7), Previous 12:
Charlotte split a home-and-home with the Knicks, both games being real interesting, after a five point defeat at the hand of the surging Spurs (who probably should be #2 in the rankings). Belinelli is averaging 16.8 points per contest while connecting on 62.% from three over the past four.
Week 7: @ Memphis, vs Detroit*, vs Dallas, vs Minnesota
13] Utah Jazz (9-8), Previous 16:
Utah recovered from a four skin with consecutive blow-outs against the Nuggets (108-83) and the Hawks (95-68). Staying healthy has been an issue for Utah and a lengthy home stand should help get them closer to the fourth slot, with eight of the next ten at home.
Week 7: @ Minnesota, vs Houston*, vs Miami, vs Denver
14] Indiana Pacers (9-9), Previous 17:
Missing Paul George didn't seem to be much of an issue as the Pacers shell-shocked the Clippers, holding them to just 30 points in the second half, en route to a 91-70 victory. Glenn Robinson III had a superb night, scoring 17 on 7-9 shooting, while Myles Turner continues his spectacular play as the Pacers look to erase early season woes and get back into the home court fight in the East.
Week 7: @ Portland, @ Clippers
15] New York Knicks (8-8), Previous 15:
New York has been a tale of two teams, as they are a solid 7-2 at home, while a struggling 1-6 on the road. Coming off a split against the Hornets, New York has three of four at home, a good chance to pad wins and try to get back into the playoff picture for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign when they made the conference semi-finals.
Week 7: vs Oklahoma City, @ Minnesota, vs Minnesota, vs Sacramento
16] Los Angeles Lakers (9-9), Previous 14:
An early season blow-out win over Golden State may have been the reason why the Warriors were ready for a home-and-home against the purple and gold, winning both games by huge margins (149-106 & 109-85). The Lakers bounced back well with a 15-point victory over the Hawks just in time to get ready for a four game road trip. In fact, 12 of the next 15 for the Lakers will be on the road. A make-or-break time for the squad.
Week 7: @ New Orleans, @ Chicago*, @ Toronto, @ Memphis*
17] Detroit Pistons (8-10), Previous 23:
Like Golden State, Detroit remembered the embarrassment they faced against the Clippers at Staples, and used that to fuel a 108-97 home victory after Thanksgiving. A split week, the Pistons lost to the high scoring Rockets by three while dropping a big game in Oklahoma City on the second night of a back-to-back.
Week 7: @ Charlotte, @ Boston*, @ Atlanta, vs Orlando
18] Milwaukee Bucks (7-8), Previous 19:
Giannis continues to show why he's known as the Greek Freak as the Bucks remain hovering around .500, despite nine of the 15 games being played at home. The last four games have been decided by a combined 23 points, with the Bucks winning two and dropping another two.
Week 7: vs Cleveland, @ Brooklyn, vs Brooklyn
19] Portland Trail Blazers (9-10), Previous 10
20] Sacramento Kings (7-10), Previous 21
21] Denver Nuggets (7-10), Previous 18
22] Sacramento Kings (7-10), Previous 21
23] New Orleans Pelicans (6-12), Previous 20
24] Minnesota Timberwolves (5-11), Previous 25
25] Washington Wizards (5-10), Previous 22
26] Miami Heat (5-11), Previous 27
27] Phoenix Suns (5-13), Previous 29
28] Brooklyn Nets (4-12), Previous 26
29] Philadelphia 76ers (4-13), Previous 28
30] Dallas Mavericks (3-13), Previous 30