Hoops-Nation Power Rankings: Week 2
1. New York Knicks (4-0)- Carmelo and the New York Knicks are out to prove the critics wrong with their feisty, new rejuvenated squad. Their defense has been efficient in recent games, Carmelo has been putting up MVP type of numbers, and their offense has been adapted and consistent. With key wins over the reigning champs, a surprising Dallas squad, Philadelphia the Knicks have proven they can put up big wins.
2. San Antonio Spurs (6-1)- Oh yeah, just another season for San Antonio; the same team that always plays for wins. Tim Duncan is playing at MVP level for his team in his 16th season. He has three blocks in four straight games, three double-doubles, and obviously leading the squad to wins.
3. Miami Heat (5-2)- Miami hasn’t been the most consistent power team in recent games, but they have shown flashes of where they left off in June. Defense has been a struggle for the ball club, giving up 100.3 points per game. But it’s a bit too early to bash the defense, considering they have matched up against the best offenses in the league (Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and the Memphis Grizzlies) all in two weeks. But no need to panic, you know coach Spoelstra will tackle the defensive pressure in practice this week, and with the tag team duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on both ends, expect Miami to catch up in the power rankings this next week.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (5-2)- Who leads the city of Los Angeles in wins now? The Clippers, that’s who. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are on a mission to overcome the obstacles of defying the odds of another second round playoff collapse last season, and this group is too humble to let that happen again. With an impressive, 3-1 win/loss record on the week, they also tied a club-record with six straight 100-point games.
5. Memphis Grizzlies (5-1)- Memphis has left a towering record on the season, starting out with a 5-1 record with a proven track record mashing up against power teams. Zach Randolph is finally back to the Z-Bo we saw in the 2011 NBA playoffs, and is a solid contender for comeback player of the year, Wayne Ellington is on a hot streak with a career game against Miami, everything is going right for Memphis this season. But playing in the toughest division in the league, they’ll have to be on another level of consistent.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-2)- Newly acquired sharpshooter Kevin Martin has been consistently giving the Thunder all of his effort with a staggering 50.7% in three point field goals. Obviously, this team hasn’t been the same after the block-buster trade that sent their reigning sixth man of the year award winner, James Harden to Houston. With a narrow victory against statistically the worst team in the NBA last night, Oklahoma City drops to number six.
7. Denver Nuggets (4-3)- It seems as if that little span of three consecutive losses starting out the season have turned into a sprout. In week two the Nuggets went 3-0 and are finally grasping the energy that was speculated in the off-season.
8. Chicago Bulls (4-2) – Coach Tibbs, you sir are a glorious, magnificent mastermind. As usual, the Bulls have overcame the media and proven most critics wrong. Joakim Noah has finally captured his potential and is playing out of his mind, defying matter and nature at the same time. The duo with former All-star Luol Deng and Noah will eclipse an adolescent record when or if Derrick Rose returns for a run for the playoffs.
9. Milwaukee Bucks (3-2)- No one really expected the Bucks to be where they are right now currently; Brandon Jennings has vastly improved his mechanics and is finally living up to his potential.
10. Los Angeles Lakers (3-4)-
After a rough start to the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers have been succeeding in interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff’s system. It’s only a matter of time before this ranking will change whether they will rise or fall with new head coach Mike D’antoni. A questionable spot in the top ten to say the least.
11. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)-
No disclaims here in Philly town so far, Andrew Bynum has been absent for 6 straight games, but Doug Collins is guiding his team to the top. The tag team duo of Holiday and Turner in the back-court is already an issue for opposing teams. The only two losses this team has suffered was against Boston.
12. Boston Celtics (3-3)-
The new-look Celtics seem to have a few disclaims here and they are starting to counter-effect the team on the floor. Doc Rivers seems to have trouble juggling his bench player’s minutes, and on the other side, your players are not as consistent as they used to be. But Nonetheless with the shaky start, Rajon Rondo marked his 30th straight game with 10+ more assists.
13. Atlanta Hawks (2-3)-
Hawks GM Danny Ferry is starting to study the art of the Hawk’s organization. His moves have subsequently led the Hawks to a more reliable 2-3 record on the season.
14. Minnesota Timber-Wolves (4-2)-
Rick Adelman has always been a reasonable coach to each of the organizations he’s coached. Blame all these hard-earned wins to coach Adelman; who needs Love when you have soul?
15. Brooklyn Nets (3-2)-
Brook Lopez so far has been the most disappointing player of the year, if you read into it, he has all the intangibles to be a consistent 10 rebounds, 15 points per game kind of Center. Overall, the Nets have started the season on a shaky start despite a winning record. If Avery Johnson doesn’t coach up his talented roster, expect Johnson to be gone before the All-star break, you know Billy King is pondering right now.
16. Dallas Mavericks (4-3)-
This past week has been a rather mediocre week for Dallas. The loss Friday night in New York triggered a lack of leadership and inconsistency, which resulted in a downward spiral of a 2 game losing streak the following night against Charlotte.
17. Houston Rockets (3-3)-
The ambition since James Harden arrived in Houston is sub-sequential for his fellow team-mate’s success in the first week. Week 2 was another story filled with pondering thoughts. Can this team contend in the Southwest division? Is Houston’s mediocre span of years over? Bold thoughts, but Houston still hasn’t proven they are a contending team. James Harden shot 15-for-47 (.319) in three games, along with an average of just 17.7 ppg and deteriorated in games such as matching up against a tatty Detroit defense.
18. Portland Trail-Blazers (2-4)-
Defense has continued to be a struggle for this young, amateur squad. But in the Western Conference, there’s always an issue for most teams with defensive struggles. It seems as if Portland is not ready yet, the team needs more time with their 2 gifted 1st round rookies with Meyers Leonard, and Damian Lillard.
19. Indiana Pacers (3-4)-
With the loss of Danny Granger, there’s no surprise the group is ranked where they are. Roy Hibbert’s stat sheet has been a distress this year, which has been a big disappointment this season for the Pacer’s front office.
20. Golden State (3-4)-
It could be argued that the Warriors have vastly improved this season, but what’s happening now, is where they left off last season. Injuries. The team reportedly shut down their long awaited Center Andrew Bogut for 10 days due to his injury proneness. But don’t expect the least from Mark Jackson’s group of men. These guys will try to dismantle your team where-ever your team’s weakness is in, and they will not stop.
21. Phoenix Suns (3-4)-
Michael Beasley has had his fair share of blows in his career, but currently, at this point this sharp shooting monster has finally found a spot in a rotation where the team counts on him. But don’t expect much from the Suns this next week; facing Chicago, Miami, and the L.A Lakers, expect this squad to face diversity.
22. Utah Jazz (3-4) -
This wasn’t the squad we knew on opening week, the Jazz have rather been mediocre on the road and successful at home. However, Mo Williams has finally found a spot in Utah’s offense, and their front-court has been a dominant force against the smaller units in their wins. Utah looks a bit like a playoff team on paper, but they can’t cash in for the wins.
23. Cleveland (2-5)-
The back-court threat of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters was pondering for some teams the past week, but the Cavs couldn’t find a way to win.
24. Charlotte Bobcats (2-3)-
Charlotte finally found a couple splashes of the future in their win against Dallas on Saturday, Kemba Walker is making a case to bring the Bobcats to a more promising record this season for the association; going off with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 8 steals in that hard fought win against Dallas.
25. Toronto Raptors (1-5)-
The excitement of the city of Toronto is building every week, with the NHL lock-out taking into matter’s hands, and the new players on the block for the Raptors. Newly acquired Kyle Lowry has already grasped the fans of the city, and so has 1st round rookie, Jonas Valanciunas. But don’t hop on the bandwagon just yet, the Raptors will have to face their toughest month of their schedule this month with a pile of road games, facing off against power teams.
26. Orlando Magic 2-4-
It almost seemed at one point, the Magic would have immediate success after their fast start, but their lack of talent and consistency has already come to haunt them.
27. Sacramento Kings (2-5)-
The Kings have been rather- the usual Kings the past few games with Tyreke Evans staying in neutral, DeMarcus Cousins getting suspended a pair of games, and then all of a sudden you find yourselves 2-5.
28. New Orleans Hornets (3-2)-
New Orleans hasn’t been playing like they’re ranked, blame the rank on the amount of injuries of their rookies, and lack of chemistry. New Orleans will have to face diversity this month with the upcoming foes of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Memphis.
29. Washington Wizards (0-5)-
No surprise here when your main option and nucleus of the organization John Wall is out. However, 1st round lottery pick Bradley Beal has put the team on his back this season, but his efforts still cut the team short with 2 narrow losses against Boston the last week.
30. Detroit Pistons (0-7)-