NBA Power Rankings: Week 6


It’s that time of the week where I look around the NBA and dive into my latest power rankings.

Who has moved up and who is sinking like the Titanic? Can the Memphis Grizzlies hold onto the No. 1 spot for the third week in a row?

Let’s not waste any time and answer all of those questions in my latest NBA Power Rankings.

Nov 28, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Fed Ex Forum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Toronto Raptors 103-82. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

30. Washington Wizards (2-13): A surprising win against the defending champs, but the Wizards are still the worst team in the league. The good news is that after 12 straight losses to start the season, Washington has won two of three. Last Week’s Ranking- 30.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-14): Losers of 10 of 12, the Cavs aren’t very good, which is a shame given the way Anderson Varejao is playing. Kyrie Irving also isn’t close to returning, so they will continue to struggle.  Last Week’s Ranking-29

28. Toronto Raptors (4-14): The Raptors have dropped seven of their past eight games and are 1-10 on the road. Last Week’s Ranking-28

27. Sacramento Kings (4-12): They have lost three straight and have the worst record in the Western Conference. Tyreke Evans was on a roll offensively, so his knee injury doesn’t help matters out.  Last Week’s Ranking-25

26. New Orleans Hornets (5-11): They are changing their name to the Pelicans. I’m sure that will turn everything around. Last Week’s Ranking-27

25. Phoenix Suns (7-12): The Suns lost five of six on their recent six game road trip, including four in a row. Lucky for them they return home for eight of their next 10. Last Week’s Ranking-22

24. Charlotte Bobcats (7-9): The Bobcats have lost four in a row, including a tough overtime loss against the Blazers where they blew an 18 point second half lead. Last Week’s Ranking-17

23. Portland Trail Blazers (8-10): They stopped a four game skid by winning two in a row-both in overtime- but they were the first to lose to the hapless Wizards. Last Week’s Ranking-23

22. Los Angeles Lakers (8-10): No point guard and now Pau Gasol is also injured, this Lakers team has issues, none bigger than Dwight Howard’s inability to make free-throws. Howard alone cost the Lakers two straight wins, where the Hack-a-Howard strategy worked for both the Magic and Rockets. Maybe he should have spent less time crying and complaining last year and more time working on making free-throws. The 46.8 percent Howard is shooting from the charity stripe is pathetic.  Last Week’s Ranking-16

21. Orlando Magic (7-10): Wins against the Warriors and Lakers on the road were impressive. You have to hand it to Jacque Vaughn. His team may not be a playoff team, but they compete every night. Last Week’s Ranking-24

Nov 30, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) drives against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Detroit 90-78. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

20. Dallas Mavericks (8-9): Nice move by Dallas by adding Derrick Fisher.  They’ve won only four of their past 12 and a veteran point guard could help. Last Week’s Ranking-21

19. Detroit Pistons (6-13): The Pistons 0-8 start is a memory as they have gone 6-5 since. However they are 1-10 on the road which could be a huge problem all season.  Last Week’s Ranking-26

18. Milwaukee Bucks (8-8): The Bucks are the most inconsistent team in the league. They beat the Celtics one night and lose to the Hornets without Anthony Davis by 21.  Last Week’s Ranking-14

17.  Chicago Bulls (8-8): The Bulls are getting it done the same way they always do, with rebounding and defense, but they’ve had problems putting together consistent wins. They suffered a tough division loss against the Pacers but have upcoming winnable road games against Detroit and Cleveland before hosting the Clippers and Knicks. After that we will know more about Tom Thibodeau’s team. Last Week’s Ranking-18

16. Utah Jazz (9-10): If only the Jazz could play all their games at home. They blew a lead and lost their first home game of the season to the Clippers on Monday but overall are 6-1 at home compared to 3-9 on the road. Three consecutive losses overall don’t help matters much either. Last Week’s Ranking-10

15. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-8): Since returning, Kevin Love has averaged 19.4 points and 14.6 rebounds in his seven games, but the ‘Wolves have only gone 3-4 in that span. Last Week’s Ranking-20

14. Houston Rockets (9-8): The Rockets have won five of six and have wins over the Bulls, Knicks, Lakers and Jazz in that span. The youngest team in the NBA is playing very well right now. Last Week’s Ranking-19

13.  Indiana Pacers (9-9): Everyone in a Pacers uniform not named David West has been very inconsistent all season, but they lead the Central Division despite scoring only 90.3 points per game. Last Week’s Ranking-15

Nov 25, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) celebrates making a basket during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers defeated the Suns 104-101. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

12. Denver Nuggets (9-9): The Nuggets blew fourth quarter leads in three straight losses before beating the Raptors on Monday. The up-and-down Nuggets now have five straight on the road where they are only 4-8 on the season. Last Week’s Ranking-11

11. Philadelphia 76ers (10-8): Jrue Holiday has been great and the Sixers sit over .500 thanks to beating up on some bad teams. They are allowing only 89.3 points per game, but are scoring only 88.6 Last Week’s Ranking-13

10. Boston Celtics (9-8): The Celtics went 1-1 while Rajon Rondo was suspended. They can’t afford many more blowups like that from their best player. Last Week’s Ranking-8

9. Atlanta Hawks (9-5): They have won four of five, but we will find out more when they face Memphis and Denver this week.  Last Week’s Ranking-7

8. Golden State Warriors (10-7): The Warriors won five of six, then came out and lost to the Magic at home. It may be a while still before we figure Mark Jackson’s team out. Last Week’s Ranking-12

7. Los Angeles Clippers (11-6): They snapped an odd four-game skid by rebounding to win three in a row. It’s safe to say Chris Paul and company are back on track. Last Week’s Ranking-9

November 26, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

6. Brooklyn Nets (11-6): The Nets saw their five-game win streak snapped with losses to Miami and Oklahoma City, showing that they still have a ways to go to hang with the NBA’s elite. Last Week’s Ranking-5

5. San Antonio Spurs (14-4): Probably would have the top spot had they not rested their starters and beaten the Heat. But they have gone 2-2 against the teams that are ranked ahead of them. Last Week’s Ranking-2

4. Miami Heat (12-4): It’s safe to say the Heat overlooked the Wizards and had their eyes on the Knicks, but you can’t lose to the Wizards regardless, especially when LeBron James has a triple-double. Last Week’s Ranking-3

3. New York Knicks (12-4): They’ve rebounded to win three in a row after losing to Brooklyn. The Knicks are perfect at home, with all four losses coming on the road. Carmelo Anthony is playing at an MVP level and will need to keep it up as the Knicks take on the Heat on Thursday. They have received scares though with injuries to Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton. Last Week’s Ranking-6

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (15-4): The Thunder have won six in a row and nine of 10. It’s safe to say they are clicking on all cylinders and have figured out how to win without James Harden. Last Week’s Ranking-4

1. Memphis Grizzlies (13-3): Zach Randolph had a performance for the ages with a 38 point, 22 rebound performance in a win over the Suns. Despite the loss against the Spurs, the Grizzlies hold onto the top spot for the third week in a row. One item of concern though is that Memphis is only 5-3 against the Western Conference.  Last Week’s Ranking-1

Biggest Climb-Detroit Pistons (+7)

Biggest Drop-Charlotte Bobcats (-7)