It was a great week and only Cleveland Cavaliers are undefeated so far. Los Angeles Lakers stun Warriors 117-97, and Clippers destroy Spurs 116-92.
Check the NBA 2016-17 Week 3 Power Rankings.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 6-0
Cleveland had some close calls this week but ended up with three wins and is the only remaining unbeaten. They beat the Rockets by 8, the Celtics by 6, and came through with a 1 point victory over the Sixers. Irving, James, and Love are all averaging over 22 points per game and the team has been flowing very well.
LeBron has been amazing, averaging close to triple-double numbers (watch out Westbrook) with 9 rebounds and 10 assists per game to go along with the 22.4 points he pours in on opponents. The team looks as though they are ready to defend their title already.
2. Toronto Raptors 4-1
The Raptors had a solid week with wins over the Nuggets, Wizards, and Heat. They climb in the rankings after the Warriors and Spurs both experienced big losses this week. DeMar DeRozan continues to shine for this squad, becoming the first player since MJ to score at least 30 points in his team’s first five games.
DeRozan is currently averaging 35.8 points and 5 rebounds going with an astounding PER of 34.3. Kyle Lowry hasn’t been shooting well but has provided great defense and passing with 2.2 steals and 5.2 assists per game respectively. This team looks as though they are easily the next best to the Cavs in the East.
3. San Antonio Spurs 5-2
Spurs had been looking great before this week, but a loss to Utah (without Aldridge) and a blowout loss to the Clippers, both at home, have me questioning them a little bit. Kawhi Leonard has been amazing for the team, averaging 2.7 steals and over 28 points per game with a PER of over 38. Aldridge has also chipped in over 18 points per game for the team, but the team’s bench hasn’t looked as good as in years past.
Patty Mills is the only other player that is scoring over 10 points per game for the team. The Spurs have looked vulnerable in their losses to Utah and the Clippers, but ultimately they have Coach Pop and Kawhi Leonard so they should be fine in the long run.
4. Los Angeles Clippers 5-1
Los Angeles pulled off a huge win in San Antonio and had a win over the Grizzlies this week. They didn’t start the week off so hot with a close loss to the Thunder (85-83).
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are both pulling in over 10 rebounds per game, and Chris Paul has dished out over 8 assists a game. The team has played solid defense overall and is ranked 1st in the league with just 90.4 points allowed per game.
5. Golden State Warriors 4-2
Warriors have looked very good at times and very bad at times. They beat the Suns, blew out the Blazers and Thunder, but then turned around and got destroyed by the Lakers. Steph Curry lost his three-point streak against the Lakers, and Klay Thompson is shooting 19.6% from long distance, good for second worst in the league.
Kevin Durant has been the only consistently good player on this team, and the bench has downgraded a lot from last year. The team can be very good if they can get it together but they aren’t doing too well right now.
Instant Buy: New NBA Christmas Day Uniforms Leaked
6. Boston Celtics 3-2
The Celtics beat the Hornets and Bulls in close games and then lost a close one to the Cavs. Ball movement has been key for the team and they are getting over 27 assists per game, good for second in the league.
Al Horford didn’t play this week because of a concussion in practice, which somewhat explains the close games with the Hornets and Bulls, but they’ll be much better with him back. Rebounding has been somewhat of a problem for the team, but if they can figure that out they will go far this season.
7. Atlanta Hawks 4-2
The Hawks had double-digit wins over the Kings and Rockets this week but lost two close games to the Wizards and Lakers. Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap have both looked great so far this season. The team’s scoring has been pretty balanced, with five players averaging over 10 points per game.
The team has top 10 rankings in points, rebounds, assists, and points against. We have yet to see how they fare against a good team, as they haven’t played a team in this week’s top 15 yet. They play the Cavs this week so we’ll know more about them after that game.
8. Utah Jazz 3-3
Utah lost to the Clippers and the Spurs, but also beat the Spurs on the road and the Mavs at home. The team is ready to get Gordon Hayward back against the Knicks today and should get a good spark from him. The team has been slowing the pace down a lot, making their defensive length an advantage.
They rank 29th in points per game, but a 50% adjusted field goal percentage, and 2nd in points allowed per game. The team has looked very good, and can only get better with their best player coming back.
9. Portland Trail Blazers 3-3
The Blazers lost to the Warriors and Suns and beat the Mavs this week. Damian Lillard has looked awesome this year, playing to get his team back to the playoffs again.
The team is putting up a solid 109 points per game, good for 5th in the league, but give up almost 112 points per game. The Blazers will go as Lillard goes, and if he keeps playing well, they’ll be able to compete against most teams going forward.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder 5-1
The Thunder are somehow getting wins, with their only loss coming in a blowout to the Warriors in KD’s first game against the team. Westbrook has been doing all he can to lead the team to victory, but I’m not sure how long he can keep this up before he gets injured or has a slight dip in production and efficiency.
The team’s biggest strength so far has been rebounding, where they rank 3rd in the league. The trade for Jerami Grant makes sense as it adds more athleticism and defense to the team.
11. Memphis Grizzlies 3-3
The Grizzlies lost to the Wolves and Clippers this week but had a solid win over the Pelicans. Mike Conley is being watched closely with his left Achilles hurting a little bit, but Chandler Parsons is set to make his debut for the team today.
They will be a lot better with him in the lineup, as he can provide shooting and some playmaking ability that the current players aren’t as good at.
12. Indiana Pacers 3-3
Indiana pulled off good wins over the Lakers and Bulls but had a tough loss to the bucks this week. The team has been putting up points, with 109.4 per game (6th in the league) as well as 26.8 assists per game (4th in the league).
Paul George has played great, Myles Turner has turned it on, and Jeff Teague is playing well in his new role on his new team.
13. New York Knicks 2-3
The Knicks have looked solid sometimes but not so great at other times. They lost to the Rockets and Pistons this week but pulled out a victory in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah’s return to Chicago.
New York has the pieces to get into the playoffs, but they just need to put them together.
14. Chicago Bulls 3-3
The Bulls had a tough week after a 3-0 start, losing games to the Celtics, Knicks, and Pacers. The team is still top 10 in points, assists, and rebounds even after the three losses.
Dwyane Wade revitalized his career by expanding his range, shooting over 52% from long distance so far this year, and already surpassing his total three-pointers made last season. The team’s balanced scoring and rebounding to go with a solid bench can take this team to the playoffs.
15. Charlotte Hornets 4-1
The Hornets lost a close one to the Celtics and beat the Nets and Sixers this week. Kemba Walker has played well, leading the team in points and assists. The team also has top 10 rankings in rebounds, assists, and points against.
I’m still not sure how good the team is because of who they’ve played. Their wins have all come against teams in the bottom half of these rankings, and though they played well against the Celtics, they still lost.
16. Houston Rockets 3-3
Houston lost a close one to the Cavs, blew out the Knicks, and then got beaten by 15 by the Hawks. James Harden is flourishing in this new offense, averaging over 30 points and 10 assists per game. The team is putting up over 110 points per game, good for 4th in the league.
Their only problem is at the defensive end, as most Mike D’Antoni teams have been. Harden can take this team places, but not very far without anyone playing defense because we all know he doesn’t.
17. Detroit Pistons 4-2
The Pistons put up strong showings in wins over the Knicks and Nuggets but didn’t play as well in a loss to the Nets this week. Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond have been the high point of the team with Reggie Jackson injured. Ish Smith has played well filling in for Jackson with 10 points and 7 assists per game.
When Jackson returns to the lineup, the Pistons could improve a great amount and make another playoff push. Keyword: could.
18. Los Angeles Lakers 3-3
The Lakers lost to the Thunder and Pacers to start the week but finished strong with wins over solid Hawks and Warriors teams. The talent is definitely there for this team, but they aren’t going to be able to consistently put it together this year.
Luke Walton has helped the team in the scoring as they are now putting up over 108 points per game, but the defense will be an issue for the team as none of their starters are exactly lockdown defenders.
19. Milwaukee Bucks 4-2
Milwaukee beat the Pelicans, Pacers, and Kings this week. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker have looked very good so far for the team, but they don’t have much else. Greg Monroe is a solid rebounder but poor rim protector, and having Dellavedova as your 4th leading scorer is not exactly the sign of having a good team.
The Bucks haven’t beaten anyone very good yet, besides maybe the Pacers, so the 4-2 record doesn’t mean much yet.
20. Sacramento Kings 2-4
The Kings beat the Wolves and lost to the Hawks and Heat this week. Boogie Cousins has continued to be the one positive note on the team, at least when he isn’t running into the stands and chucking his mouth guard.
Cousins and Rudy Gay are the only players currently averaging over 10 points per game, and scoring has been somewhat of an issue for the team. They need to find scoring somewhere, maybe trading Gay for several assets and making Cousins happier in the process.
21. Washington Wizards 1-4
The Wizards haven’t started out strong this season, losing to the Raptors and Magic while having their lone win coming in a close game against the Hawks this week.
Even with the slow start, they are still better than some teams because of the playmaking abilities of John Wall. He has led the team with 22 points and 10 assists per game so far and is trying to will them back into the playoffs after missing out last season.
22. Minnesota Timberwolves 1-4
The Wolves are going to be good in the future, but they won’t be super good this year. They had a great win over the Grizzlies but lost to the Nuggets and Thunder later in the week.
Wiggins and LaVine are both averaging over 20 points per game, and KAT is right there with them at just under 20 per game. Like the Lakers, this team will win games because they have talent, but putting the pieces together every night will be tough.
23. Orlando Magic 3-3
The Magic turned around their tough start with three wins this week over the Sixers, Kings, and Wizards. Too bad those three are all in the bottom half of the league. The team has some talent but the amount of big men in the rotation hurts court spacing. They have a solid five players averaging double-figure points, but none over 20 a game.
24. Miami Heat 2-3
Without Dwyane Wade, the Heat are still trying to find an identity. Who is going to be their go-to guy? The team is ranked 9th in both rebounds and points against. Hassan Whiteside is becoming a much better offensive player, putting up 20 points and over 14 rebounds per game so far this year, but how far can the team ride him and Goran Dragic on the offensive end?
25. Dallas Mavericks 0-5
This team somehow still doesn’t have a win. They lost to the Rockets, Jazz, and Blazers this week. Harrison Barnes has played well in his expanded role compared to what he had previously with the Warriors, putting up over 18 points and 6 rebounds per game.
With Dirk out for at least a week with an Achilles injury, the team will need to look elsewhere for leadership to get them their first win of the season.
26. Phoenix Suns 2-4
The Suns turned around their bad start to the season with two wins over the Blazers and Pelicans to end the week. Devin Booker and TJ Warren have been major bright spots on a team that hasn’t had much to be happy about.
Tyson Chandler has played pretty well on the defensive end and has pulled in a solid 13.5 rebounds per game. Developing their young players will be the team’s main focus, and winning is not likely to come with that this season.
27. Denver Nuggets 2-3
Denver lost to the Raptors and Pistons and pulled off a close win over the Wolves this week. The team is leading the league in rebounds per game, and they have fairly balanced scoring with 6 players putting up over 10 points per game.
The team has had some offensive struggles so far, with an adjusted shooting percentage of just 45%, and there top pick in the draft Jamal Murray only shooting 10% from long distance so far in limited time off the bench.
28. Brooklyn Nets 2-4
The team had the same results as last week, one win and two losses. They were blown out by the Bulls, beat the Pistons, and lost to the Hornets in a close game.
The team hasn’t looked very good as they have some young guys that have potential but aren’t there yet, and some vets that are pretty much outdated. Maybe Sam Hinkie can get a job here and show them how to start “The Process” so they can get out of mediocrity.
29. New Orleans Pelicans 0-6
Anthony Davis has continued to play like the superstar he is, but the rest of this team is mediocre at best. They had three close losses to the Bucks, Grizzlies, and Suns this week.
The team had a late lead against the Suns but gave up a game-tying shot by Devin Booker that sent the game into overtime where they found a way to lose by one. New Orleans needs to make some changes or The Brow is going to find a way out of this franchise.
30. Philadelphia 76ers 0-5
They might not end up being the worst team in the league, but chances of that are small. The team lost to the Magic and the Cavs by a combined 3 points but were also blown out by the Hornets. The young team showed some flashes of brilliance, but their youth has also been the cause of the losses.
They may not get a win this coming week, but one will come eventually.