The NBA season is under way, and the standings are starting to take shape. The best teams in the league continue to make their case for legitimacy of All-Star berths, while some more unexpected contenders have made waves on their own merit.
The “nba standings” is a weekly ranking of the National Basketball Association teams. The rankings are updated every Wednesday and will be released on Thursday.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks have quietly turned things around after poor starts, while the NBA’s attention is focused on the two teams leading the Western Conference. Mike Malone, on the other hand, has experienced the Denver Nuggets sans MVP Nikola Joki. The monster is terrible, so it’s a scene out of a Halloween horror film, yet you can’t look away.
There has been one little alteration in the top five NBA Power Rankings over the last six weeks, one that is sure to perplex and perplex. That’s fitting, since both of those sensations have dominated this season. On Oct. 27, the Phoenix Suns were defeated by the Sacramento Kings at home. It’s notable since it’s the Suns’ most recent loss. With a win over Brooklyn on Nov. 27, Phoenix extended their winning run to 16 games. The Golden State Warriors, who are 17-2 in the NBA, are up next on Nov. 30.
You may wish to mark that day in your calendar. These rankings are based on adjusted ratings (with garbage time removed) and a review of team wins. Toss it in a pan, stir vigorously, and cook for 45 minutes on low heat. No, that’s the recipe for spaghetti sauce. Whoops. Let’s get started with the rankings.
Playing ping-pong for the sake of ping-pong balls
Last week, Jae’Sean Tate and the Houston Rockets won two games, one more than they had won in the previous five games combined. | Getty Images/Carmen Mandato
The Detroit Pistons (4–15, 29th last week) are ranked 30th. The Orlando Magic (4–17, 27th) are ranked 29th. The Houston Rockets (3–16, 30th) are ranked 28th. Oklahoma City Thunder (6–13, 28th) are ranked 27th. New Orleans Pelicans (5–17, 25th) are ranked 26th.
Despite a shocking victory against the Jazz in Salt Lake City on Nov. 26, the Pelicans have dropped back to the bottom of the league. The Jazz stomped on the Pellies’ bills on the second night of the hope-the-baseball-series-scheduling-goes-away-soon back-to-back in Utah. Hard. The Rockets moved up two slots after winning more games in four days than they had in the preceding five weeks.
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Los Angeles Lakers (10–11, 26th last week) are ranked 25th. San Antonio Spurs (5–13, 24th) San Antonio Spurs (5–13, 24th) San Antonio Spurs (5–13, 24th) Memphis Grizzlies (9–10, 19th) are the 23rd team in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings (8–12, 23rd) are ranked 22nd. The Dallas Mavericks (10–8, 22nd) are the 21st team in the standings.
The Los Angeles Lakers. There are a lot of pixels devoted to describing what’s wrong with Los Angeles. But, at the quarter-pole of the NBA season, they’re basically a terrible defensive club with a lack of urgency. The Grizzlies are hopeful that Ja Morant’s damaged knee will heal quickly. Despite a poor defense, they’re an entertaining team to watch with Morant. What would happen if he wasn’t there? This is a terrible defense. What about Dallas? Either the measurements will adapt to the frequency with which the Mavericks win, or the losses will catch up to the numbers. They’ve had more bad luck than good luck thus far.
I’m living on a play-by-play basis.
Monte Morris describes exactly how the Denver Nuggets’ injury-plagued previous several weeks have gone. | Getty Images/Abbie Parr
The Nuggets (9–10, 8th last week) are ranked 20th. The Toronto Raptors (9–11, 13th) are the 19th best team in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers (10–10, 17th) are the 18th team in the NBA. The Minnesota Timberwolves (10–10, 20th) are ranked 17th. The Philadelphia 76ers (10–10, 15th) are ranked 16th.
This week’s “Life comes at you quickly” award goes to the Nuggets. Before Joki hurt his wrist, Denver had lost two consecutive games. They’ve gone 0–4 and have been outscored by an average of 16.3 points without the reigning NBA MVP. The season-ending injury to PJ Dozier, Michael Porter Jr.’s long-term back concerns, and the ongoing absence of Jamal Murray, who is rehabilitating, aren’t helping matters. Minnesota has been acting erratically recently, and the 76ers have re-signed Joel Embiid, so that’s excellent news.
The bracket’s bottom
15. Washington Wizards (13–7, previous week’s 11th place) The Charlotte Hornets (13–9, 16th) are the 14th team in the league. The New York Knicks (11–9, 12th) are the 13th best team in the NBA. The Boston Celtics (10–10, 10th) are in 12th place. The Brooklyn Nets (14–6, 14th) are ranked 11th.
So, who among you thought the Wizards and Nets were premier defensive teams in the NBA? Anyone who raises their hands is lying, yet they rank first and second in adjusted effective field goal percentage, respectively. However, Washington continues to be harmed by turnovers, while Brooklyn continues to get destroyed on the glass. The Celtics may seem to have worked something out, only to lose to the Spurs by 88 points.
NBA title candidates with a sneaky edge
The Milwaukee Bucks have climbed the NBA Power Rankings after Khris Middleton’s return from health and safety procedures. | Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
The Milwaukee Bucks (12–8, 21st last week) are ranked tenth. The Atlanta Hawks (11–10, 18th) are ranked ninth. Chicago Bulls (#8) (13-8. 4th) The Los Angeles Clippers (11–8, 7th) are in seventh place. The Portland Trail Blazers (10–10, 6th) are in sixth place.
Give a warm welcome to the week’s two greatest gainers. The Bucks have won six games in a row. Khris Middleton was missed, but Bobby Portis is having one of his greatest seasons in the NBA. What about the Hawks? On Nov. 27, they lost to the Knicks, ending a seven-game winning streak that began with a blowout of Milwaukee. The Bulls are revealing some gaps in their armor, particularly on defense. They play with their hands much too frequently instead of their feet. Only Minnesota gives up more free throws than the rest of the league.
Indiana Pacers, No. 5
9–12, last week’s 9th
The Indiana Pacers have been dubbed the “anti-Mavericks.” Either Indiana will start winning according to its measures, or their record will revert to mediocrity. However, the Pacers are in the top ten in the NBA in terms of effective field goal percentage on both ends of the floor, and they storm the glass and finish out possessions with defensive rebounds at a high rate. Those are all positive qualities. The Pacers are another club that takes too many fouls, which is how you end up 9–12 when your stats suggest you should be 12–9.
Phoenix Suns, No. 4
Devin Booker (1) is contributing to the Phoenix Suns’ 16-game winning run, which is the longest in the NBA this season. | Getty Images/Elsa
Last week’s score was 17–3, enough for fifth place.
A nod to the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers seems fitting. The Phoenix Suns are on a 16-game winning run, but they’re still not anywhere close to matching the NBA record of 33 established by the Los Angeles Lakers 50 years ago. Phoenix has some rebounding concerns, but they’ve had injured big men all season.
Deandre Ayton has been out for six games due to a lower-leg injury, and backups Frank Kaminsky while JaVale McGee are now injured. Dario Ari is currently rehabbing from an ACL tear he suffered in the NBA Finals. But the Suns have a chance every night with Chris Paul and Devin Booker in the backcourt.
Miami Heat, No. 3
Last week’s score was 13–7.
The Miami Heat finished their road trip with a 2–2 record, winning at Detroit and Chicago and losing to the Wizards and Timberwolves. Jimmy Butler’s 3-point shooting never appeared on the aircraft from Philadelphia in July 2019, marking one of the strangest NBA regressions in recent years. It doesn’t matter since he does so much good. Duncan Robinson has made 12-of-32 field goals in his previous three games, which is good.
Utah Jazz, No. 2
Despite Donovan Mitchell’s shooting struggles, the Utah Jazz are dominating the competition. Getty Images/Chris Gardner
Last week’s score was 13–7.
Yes, the Utah Jazz stepped on the Pelicans’ toes. The following night, they made amends with a rout of New Orleans. Donovan Mitchell isn’t firing on all cylinders. He has enough experience to know that this is a lull rather than a worrying trend. Jordan Clarkson, on the other hand, is putting a lot of pressure on himself. The second unit’s shooting percentages of 37.5 percent overall and 28.2 percent from 3-point range, along with the second-highest usage rate on the roster, are cause for worry.
Golden State Warriors, No. 1
Last week, we were 17–2, and we were in first place.
The Golden State Warriors have won six straight games and 13 of their last 14 overall. Their matchup in Phoenix on Nov. 30 is shaping up to be a battle for the Western Conference’s top place. Adjusted for garbage time (which they’ve had a lot of), the Warriors are second in offensive efficiency and first on defense. Golden State also possesses the greatest effective field goal percentage in the NBA, as well as the second-best defensive rebounding defense.
The Warriors are doing a lot of things right, and they’re counting down the days rather than months before Klay Thompson returns. If you’re looking for a defect, you’ll probably turn the ball over a lot. It hasn’t stopped them before, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping them now.
Basketball Reference and Cleaning the Glass provided the statistics.
Dwight Howard was enraged after Ben Simmons didn’t dunk the ball despite being wide open against the Hawks in Game 7: ‘As a competitor, I was irritated.’
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