Los Angeles Clippers won six games in a row, the Splash Family have now four games in a row, DeMar Derozan has amazing scoring season so far, and who can stop LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers?
Check the NBA 2016-17 Week 4 Power Rankings.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 8-1 (Previous Rank: 1)
The Cavs still look like the best team in the league, even though they suffered their first loss of the season this week. The team had a slow week with only two games, and suffered a close loss to the Hawks but beat a measly Wizards team by double digits. LeBron is leading the team with almost 10 assists per game, Kevin Love is almost at 10 rebounds per game, and Kyrie is a scoring machine. The Cavs are also the top three-point shooting team in the league, who would’ve thought that?
2. Los Angeles Clippers 9-1 (Previous Rank: 4)
The Clippers pulled out four quality wins this week over the Pistons, Blazers, Thunder, and Wolves. All were double digit wins except for the game against the Thunder, which was by two points again. The Clippers are currently leading the lead in scoring differential at +15.1 per game. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are all playing at a very high level. This team is looking like a contender already.
3. Toronto Raptors 7-2 (Previous Rank: 2)
DeMar DeRozan is a beast. He has scored over 30 points in 8 of their 9 games and currently leads the league in scoring. The Raptors only drop in rankings this week because the Clippers have played so great. The team lost a close game against the Kings to start the week, but had wins at the Thunder and Hornets, and beat the Knicks at home. This team still looks like the biggest threat to the Cavs for the top team in the East, but we still aren’t sure how much of a treat they are going to be.
4. Golden State Warriors 8-2 (Previous Rank: 5)
Warriors move up a rank following a four-win week. They beat four crappy teams in the Pelicans, Mavs, Nuggets and Suns, who have a combined 9 wins. The team has started to look better, but the bench is somewhat of a problem because it isn’t as deep as it was in the previous two years. The team is going to get it together and be great, but will their bench step it up anytime soon?
5. San Antonio Spurs 7-3 (Previous Rank: 3)
The Spurs had a tough loss to the Rockets at home but beat them later in the week on the road. They also pulled out a win over the Pistons this week. The team played with a full squad for the first time in the win over the Rockets and looks as though they are still going to be one of the best teams in the league. Kawhi won’t have to do everything for the team anymore, and the team will benefit greatly from it.
6. Atlanta Hawks 7-2 (Previous Rank: 7)
The Hawks had a big week with wins over the Rockets, Cavs, Bulls, and Sixers. The team is top 5 in points, rebounds, and assists per game, and looking like the team that we have come to know that preaches ball movement. Moving on from Jeff Teague looks like it might pay off in the next few years, as Dennis Schroder has been playing great. Dwight Howard has been flourishing with this team, posting double-double averages so far this year.
7. Utah Jazz 7-4 (Previous Rank: 8)
The Jazz had a 5-game road trip across the east coast this week, and came out with 4 wins. The lone loss was to a good Hornets team. Getting Gordon Hayward back has been vital for the team, as he brings so many elements to their offense and defense. The Jazz currently have 6 players above the league average player efficiency rating, and 2 over 25. They can only get better from here on out.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder 6-4 (Previous Rank: 10)
The Thunder started the week with a good win over the Heat but then lost to some quality Raptors and Clippers squads. Westbrook is still doing it all for this team, leading them in points, rebounds, and assists. The team is going to go as he goes, so they need him to be at his best every night to have a chance at winning. Updated: Last night they lost against Orlando Magic. Serge Ibaka hits a game winner in return to Oklahoma City.
9. Charlotte Hornets 6-3 (Previous Rank: 15)
The Hornets have looked very good so far, beating the Pacers and a good Jazz team this week while only losing by 2 at home to the Raptors. The team has been playing good defense, moving the ball well, and rebounding well. Kemba Walker is playing at an All-Star level so far. Updated: They lost last night against Cleveland Cavaliers 93-100.
10. Portland Trail Blazers 7-4 (Previous Rank: 9)
The Blazers had a strong start to the season but have slowed down since then. They came out with very close wins over the Suns and Kings by a total of 5 points but were blown out by the Clippers on the road. Damian Lillard is looking like an MVP candidate, but the team is going to have to get better and win more games if he wants to stay in the conversation. Other than Lillard and McCullum, the team has been average at best. Role players need to step up for this team to get better.
11. Chicago Bulls 6-4 (Previous Rank: 14)
The Bulls pulled out a close win over the Heat in Wade’s homecoming, beat the Wizards by 11, but lost in Atlanta this week. Jimmer Butler has been a scoring machine lately, with 39 and 37 in their last two games. The team has been rebounding very well lately, and ranks second in the league with 47.7 per game. If Wade and Butler can continue to hit threes, this team should be fine.
12. Boston Celtics 5-4 (Previous Rank: 6)
The team should have come out of this week with 4 wins, but they only manage to beat the Pacers and Knicks. They lost to the Nuggets and Wizards by a combined 41 points! They have been playing without Al Horford and Jae Crowder this week, but still should be one of the better teams around. Chemistry doesn’t seem to be as good as it was last year.
13. Houston Rockets 5-4 (Previous Rank: 16)
The Rockets have been very up and down this season. They pulled out wins at Washington and San Antonio, but then lost at home to the Spurs. Harden has been playing at a very high level, leading the team in points, rebounds and assist. This team can be great but they need to get it together on defense or they’ll lose a fair amount of games when the offense just isn’t all there.
14. Los Angeles Lakers 6-5 (Previous Rank: 18)
I never thought the Lakers would end up being ranked this high this season, but the team has looked pretty good so far. Under Luke Walton’s coaching, the team is 3rd in points per game and 13th in assists per game. The team has five players averaging around 15 points per game. Julius Randle is looking like a mix of Z-Bo and Lamar Odom lately, which is a great sign for this franchise. They lost last night against Timberwolves 99-125.
15. Detroit Pistons 5-5 (Previous Rank: 17)
The Pistons lost to the Suns and Spurs on the road this week, but also had a solid win over the Nuggets on the road. Andre Drummond has been a rebounding machine for the team with 14.3 per game so far. They currently have five players with double-digit scoring averages and are still looking to get their starting point guard back. When Reggie Jackson rejoins the lineup, the Pistons will be a lot better because he brings a lot to the table for this team.
16. Memphis Grizzlies 4-5 (Previous Rank: 11)
Chandler Parsons saw action in a Grizzlies uniform for the first time this week. He has looked fairly rusty thus far, but will likely begin to play better going forward. The team hasn’t looked stellar like I thought they would, but they aren’t playing bad. Conley and Gasol are both putting up over 18 points per game, and Zach Randolph has been playing well in his new role off the bench. Other players need to step up if this team wants to start winning more games.
17. Milwaukee Bucks 5-4 (Previous Rank: 19)
The Greek Freak is leading this team in minutes, points, rebounds, steals, blocks, turnovers, fouls, free throw attempts, points per shot, and PER. That’s a lot of categories. He truly has been a freak of nature for this team. Another player flying under the radar for this team has been Jabari Parker, who has posted 19.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game so far this season. The Bucks need some production out of people other than those two if they want to continue winning and get back to the playoffs.
18. Sacramento Kings 4-7 (Previous Rank: 20)
Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins have looked good so far, but nobody else has. The team is apparently willing to trade Willie Cauley-Stein, which would probably make Boogie a lot happier. If they can get a solid role player for the former Kentucky player, the team could get a lot better, but that’s not very likely.
19. Indiana Pacers 4-6 (Previous Rank: 12)
I never thought the Pacers would end up this far down the rankings with the team they assemble. They somehow lost to the Sixers this week. Chemistry has not been there at all on the defensive end, as they rank 29th in points allowed. This team has the players to make a playoff run, but they need to get it together soon or they’ll be making an uphill climb to get there.
20. New York Knicks 3-6 (Previous Rank: 13)
The Knicks are like the Pacers in the way they assemble their roster. Good players that would put the team in the playoffs. Sadly, they haven’t looked like a playoff team yet. They are giving up 109.8 points per game, good for 27th in the NBA. Melo has looked great scoring the ball, and Porzingis has gotten a lot better, but the team’s defense has been losing them games. They need a new coach on that end to step it up or this team is going to be on the outside looking in come postseason.
21. Brooklyn Nets 4-5 (Previous Rank: 28)
The Nets have looked pretty good lately, even without starting point guard Jeremy Lin. Brook Lopez has been a beast for this team, extending his range out to the three-point line this season, hitting 1.5 per game. The team still isn’t good enough to win many games this season, but they are getting better.
22. Orlando Magic 4-6 (Previous Rank: 23)
The Magic have been very up and down so far this season. They are last in the league in scoring with just 92.3 points per game. Somehow they need to find scoring to get better, but they don’t have anyone to trade that will get them that. The team can be good in a few years, but they aren’t going to get anywhere close this year.
23. Denver Nuggets 3-7 (Previous Rank: 27)
The Nuggets were able to pull out a good win in Boston this week, but then lost to the Grizzlies, Warriors, and Pistons. The team currently has six players with double-figure scoring averages, but the defense has been a major problem for the team as they allow over 107 points per game. The young team will win some games because of their talent, but the youth is still going to cost them a lot of games.
24. Phoenix Suns 3-8 (Previous Rank: 26)
Devin Booker is becoming a star. Scratch that. Devin Booker is a star. He had some off-shooting nights this week, but putting up 38 and 39 in consecutive nights is crazy for a player who just turned 20. This Suns team has a bright future ahead of them if they keep all their players together, but don’t expect them to compete in every game the rest of this season.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves 3-6 (Previous Rank: 22)
The Wolves have lost 4 of their last 5 games. They haven’t looked good without point guard Ricky Rubio, but still have a lot of talent. Wiggins, Towns, and LaVine are all putting up close to or over 20 points per game, but nobody else is averaging over 10. The team needs to find scoring elsewhere or they won’t be able to stay in games when those three aren’t on their game. Last night, they beat the Lakers and Wiggins had a great performance with 47 points.
26. Washington Wizards 2-7 (Previous Rank: 21)
The Wizards have been a letdown so far this season. I thought they were going to make a playoff push again but they have not looked good at all thus far. Somehow their two wins have come against quality teams, but they have also lost to some bad teams. Ball movement has not been there for this team as they rank 26th in assists per game. Maybe they’ll turn it around and begin playing well but I doubt that will happen.
27. Miami Heat 2-6 (Previous Rank: 24)
The Heat are on a four-game losing streak, likely to be five after they play the Spurs this week, but all the losses have come against very good teams. The team only played two teams they should have beaten this season, and beaten both. Their low ranking might be from playing such a strong schedule at the beginning of the season, but I don’t know that beating other bad teams would help them at all. They look lost at times without Wade. Maybe they’ll get a good win soon and prove me wrong.
28. Dallas Mavericks 2-6 (Previous Rank: 25)
I couldn’t tell you why this team has sucked so far. Wait, it's defense. They haven’t been a bad defensive team and are in the middle of the pack, but they offense isn’t good enough to win games with an average defense. They need to step it up on this end or Dirk will miss the playoffs again, something he hasn’t done many times.
29. New Orleans Pelicans 1-9 (Previous Rank: 29)
The Pelicans finally got a win! Too bad they followed it up with a 27-point loss to the Lakers. Anthony Davis is putting up over 30 points and 10 rebounds, but nobody else on this team can do anything. Davis and Buddy Hield are the only players with a PER above the league average on this team. They showed a lot of promise with the playoff run two years ago, but that promise is all but gone now.
30. Philadelphia 76ers 1-8 (Previous Rank: 30)
The Sixers also got their first win of the season this week, which came over the Pacers at home. The team’s young core is looking good so far, but they are still too young to win games. They team just doesn’t have enough good players to win this season, and will likely stay in this spot in the ranking for the whole season.