NBA Power Rankings: Week 7


Now that we are a quarter of the way through the NBA season, it is safe to say that most teams are what their record says they are at this point of the season.

With that being said, let’s jump right into this week’s NBA Power Rankings.

Dec 12, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford (15) passes against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

30. Toronto Raptors (4-19): I liked the Raptors young talent before the season, but six consecutive losses and 12-of-13 overall earn them the bottom spot. Last Week’s Ranking-28

29. Washington Wizards (3-16): The Wizards have actually won three of their past seven, but it’s hard to know if this team will be any good until John Wall returns and who knows when that will be. Last Week’s Ranking- 30

28. Charlotte Bobcats (7-14): So much for that good feeling from this Charlotte team. They’ve lost nine in a row after a surprising 7-5 start. Last Week’s Ranking- 24

27. New Orleans Hornets (5-14): Anthony Davis is back for now and the Hornets…err I mean Pelicans… need him as they have lost 7-of-8. Last Week’s Ranking-26

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18): Kyrie Irving is back and the Cavs had a big win over the Lakers, which snapped a string of five straight losses. Last Week’s Ranking-29

25. Phoenix Suns (8-15): They snapped a seven game losing streak with a surprising win over Memphis, but they have the talent to be better than this. Last Week’s Ranking- 25

Dec 11, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Knight (7) is defended by Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) during the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Nuggets beat the Pistons 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

24. Detroit Pistons (7-17): Brandon Knight is starting to look like a nice NBA guard, but while they started to look like they were going to put things together, they have stumbled and lost 4-of-5. Last Week’s Ranking-19

23. Sacramento Kings (7-14): They have talent, but don’t seem willing to learn how to win as a team. However the Kings have won five of their past 11. Last Week’s Ranking- 27

22. Los Angeles Lakers (9-13): Mike Brown must be laughing right now. There is no more disappointing tem in the league and if they are hoping Steve Nash is the cure for all their problems, they will have a while longer to wait for his return. Last Week’s Ranking-22

21. Portland Trail Blazers (9-12): The Blazers have won three of their past five including somehow beating Toronto on Monday when they went 0-for-20 from behind the arc. Last Week’s Ranking-23

20. Orlando Magic (8-13): Give Jacque Vaughn credit. His team competes hard every night. Last Week’s Ranking-21

19. Denver Nuggets (11-12): Talk about disappointments, George Karl’s team is an early season one. After winning four straight at the end of November, the Nuggets have lost 6-of-9. They have had only six home games all season and won five of them though. If they get through this month, most of their January games are at home. Last Week’s Ranking-12

18. Houston Rockets (10-11): Jeremy Lin is starting to pick things up after a very slow start. It looks like he and James Harden are slowly starting to learn how to play with each other. Last Week’s Ranking-14

17. Indiana Pacers (11-11): The Pacers just can’t find consistent offense right now and newcomer D.J. Augustin was demoted to third-string point guard after shooting only 26.6 percent from the floor so far. Last Week’s Ranking-13

Dec 12, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) asks for a foul call against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Target Center. Timberwolves won 108-105. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

16. Dallas Mavericks (11-11): Wednesday’s overtime loss to Boston broke a three-game winning streak that put the Mavs back over .500. If they can just hang around there until Dirk Nowitzki eventually returns, they could be a team that surges later in the year. Last Week’s Ranking-20

15. Minnesota Timberwolves (10-9): Despite all of the injuries the ‘Wolves are above .500. They got Kevin Love back and will get Ricky Rubio back in the next few days. Last Week’s Ranking-15

14.  Philadelphia 76ers (12-10): Andrew Bynum says he will return this season. The Sixers could use his scoring, but are hanging in there without him. Last Week’s Ranking-11

13. Milwaukee Bucks (11-9): Milwaukee is such a hard team to gauge. Can they keep winning with only two scorers averaging over 11 points per game (Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings)? Last Week’s Ranking-18

12. Brooklyn Nets (12-9): The Nets win over Toronto snapped a five-game skid, all without Brook Lopez in the lineup. Last Week’s Ranking-6

11. Boston Celtics (12-9): Boston has been so inconsistent all season, but won a big overtime game against the Mavs, which makes three wins in four games. They have to finish strong to the last three games of a tough road trip against Houston, San Antonio and Chicago to build some momentum. Last Week’s Ranking-10

10. Chicago Bulls (12-9): Chicago is starting to put some consistent wins together, winning five of their past seven, but have a very tough seven game stretch upcoming. Last Week’s Ranking-17

9. Utah Jazz (13-10): The Jazz have won four straight and faces a tough Western Conference matchup at San Antonio on Wednesday; however they are only 4-9 on road this season. Last Week’s Ranking-16

Dec 10, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) and power forward Zaza Pachulia (right) in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 101-92. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

8. Atlanta Hawks (13-6): They blew an opportunity to make a statement in Miami on Monday, but have been one of the NBA’s biggest surprises, winning 10 of their past 12. Last Week’s Ranking-9

7. Miami Heat (14-6): The Heat have some issues, but there is nothing to panic about, but they have lost three of their last five games. Last Week’s Ranking-4

6. Golden State Warriors (15-7): Speaking of pleasant surprises, the Warriors did make a statement by beating the Heat on the road. Mark Jackson’s team is hot, winning 10-of-12 overall. They have the talent to stay that way for a while. Last Week’s Ranking-8

5. Memphis Grizzlies (14-5): The Grizzlies have dropped three of their past five, including tough back-to-back losses to Atlanta and Phoenix. Their three week hold of the top spot is over. Last Week’s Ranking-1

4. Los Angeles Clippers (16-6): The Clippers have won six in a row and haven’t lost in December. They have a chance to continue their winning ways with a four-game road trip that features Chicago, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Detroit. Last Week’s Ranking-7

3. New York Knicks (16-5): The Knicks are for real and Carmelo Anthony is playing at an MVP-level, but what makes them tough is their extraordinary depth, something that will get even better when Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert return from injuries. Last Week’s Ranking-3

2. San Antonio Spurs (18-5): The highest scoring team in the NBA has games against Portland and Boston before a big Monday affair with Oklahoma City. The Spurs are an amazing 11-3 on the road and have won 10-of-12 overall. Last Week’s Ranking-5

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (18-4): The Thunder claim the top spot this week. Not only do they boast the NBA’s best record, but have won nine in a row and 12-of-13. I think it is safe to say they have figured out how to win without Harden. Last Week’s Ranking-2

Biggest Climbers: Utah and Chicago (+7)

Biggest Faller: Denver (-7)

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