30. New York Knicks (1-6)

The Knicks were anticipated to be one of the worst teams in the league, and they are. They have some good pieces on their team, but they just do not know how to win and or have the wrong combination of players. They rank 28th in the league in offensive rating as well as 22nd in defensive rating. In their solo win against the Bulls this year, Bobby Portis had himself a night.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (1-5)

This will be a season for the Grizzlies’ young players to showcase their talent and develop their game. It will be tough for them to rack up wins because even though the talent is there, the players on the team do not have much experience in the NBA. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr. got injured in Saturday’s game against the Suns, but they hope it is not too serious. Ja Morant is the player to watch on this team. He is averaging 19.5 points per game.

28. Golden State Warriors (2-5)

Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is out for at least three months with a broken hand and that is not a good sign for the already short-handed Warriors. Klay Thompson is out for most of the season already and now Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell are dealing with injuries as well. Even with Curry they got off to a rocky start of 1-4 with their one win being from the 1-6 Pelicans. One bright spot in the Warriors season has been rookie Eric Paschall from Villanova. He has been amazing in the last two games. He is averaging 29.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in those two games on over 50 percent shooting.

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27. New Orleans Pelicans (1-6)

With Zion Williamson sidelined by a knee injury the Pelicans have gotten off to a rough start. They’re also missing two other starters, Jrue Holiday and Derrick Favors, due to injuries. A strong point in the season for the Pels so far is the success that Brandon Ingram has had. He is averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and shooting 50 percent from three.

26. Chicago Bulls (2-6)

Chicago was looking great against the best team in the league last night, the Lakers, until they blew a 19-point lead. This was really tough for the Bulls who have losses to the Knicks, Hornets, and Cavaliers. The Bulls have plenty of players they want to develop this season: Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr., and Lauri Markkanen. This team by no means had intention at the beginning of the year to make the playoffs, so they most likely will not be moving up out of the top 20 in the power rankings.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-5)

The Cavaliers’ players have not looked bad this season, they just struggle to get into the win column. Kevin Love has put up numbers similar to when he was in is prime and Tristan Thompson has played much better than expected. The team is not good on defense or with ball security, and the rookie (5th overall pick) Darius Garland has struggled to start off. Cleveland will probably look to move some pieces to grab more future picks.

24. Orlando Magic (2-5)

The Magic were the seven seed in the East last year and want to make the playoffs again. Markelle Fultz has shown flashes this season of what he could be. If he actually plays to his full potential alongside Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon they could make a push for the playoffs. Orlando has been great defensively, but they rank at the bottom in offense so far this year.

23. Washington Wizards (2-4)

Isaiah Thomas made his first start with Washington last game against the Pistons and they picked up the win. With John Wall possibly out for the remainder of this season, Thomas is trying to prove he can be a starting point guard in the NBA. Bradley Beal looks even better than last year and the rookie Rui Hachimura has looked promising. The Wizards just don’t have enough pieces to be a winning team. Their defense is very lackluster too. They gave up 158 points to the Rockets then 131 points to the Timberwolves without Karl-Anthony Towns.

22. Sacramento Kings (2-5)

The Kings had a very rough start losing their first five games. They bounced back with two straight against the Jazz and the Knicks. The lack of height is probably the biggest question mark of this team, especially since Marvin Bagley is currently out with an injury. De’Aaron Fox is coming off a solid sophomore year and is looking to lead this team to one of the last seed spots in the playoffs. Buddy Hield needs to play well too because he just extended his contract to four years, $94 million.

21. Detroit Pistons (3-5)

Andre Drummond and Derrick Rose have been playing very well for the Pistons. Drummond has had four straight games with over 20 rebounds and three out of those four he has scored 20 plus points. D-Rose is averaging over 20 points and six assists. Besides those two players, the team lacks depth and star power, especially with Reggie Jackson and Blake Griffin out with injuries. The highlight of the season so far was D-Rose making a homecoming in Chicago, and if you didn’t like that you don’t like NBA basketball.

20. Indiana Pacers (3-4)

Malcolm Brogdon is trying to win another NBA award as he is making his case for most improved player of the year. He is averaging 23.6 points and 9.7 assists per game. The Pacers are coming off of a loss to the Hornets last night and have not started off the season great. They also have losses to the Cavaliers and the Pistons. The reason why they are struggling is because of injuries. Arguably their top three players are all out with injuries: Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, and Domantis Sabonis. Once they get those players back they will skyrocket in the standings and the power rankings.

19. Charlotte Hornets (4-3)

Charlotte was projected to be one of the worst teams in the league, but they have shown glimpses of being a decent team… it is only a couple weeks in, but they’ve been good. This is another team with a very good set of young players and if they can gain chemistry while improving on the defensive end, they may just stay out of that bottom five team tier they were put in the preseason.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-4)

The loss of Russell Westbrook and Paul George for the Thunder put them in a spot where everyone thought they would be a bottom tier team, but they have not been too bad to begin the season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been doing well and is an early candidate for most improved player. The roster on paper is good and balanced and it would not be surprising if they sneak in to the playoffs as a seven or eight seed.

17. Atlanta Hawks (3-3)

With John Collins being suspended 25 games for violiting the NBA’s anti-drug policy, the Hawks were dropped down a few spots. This is a good team with a very solid young core and have a tremendous player in Trae Young. He was out with an ankle injury and came back last night to face the Spurs and he went off scoring 29 with 13 assists. These Hawks are going to be a fun team to watch with Young at the point.

16. Portland Trailblazers (3-4)

Damian Lillard is doing very well to start off averaging 31.1 points and 7.3 assists, but the team has not had as much success as they would like. Trailblazers big man Zach Collins is out four months after having shoulder surgery, a big loss for them. Even though they have Hassan Whiteside, Collins is a great post playing, defending center. The G-league Warriors beat them two days ago which also caused them to be dropped down a few spots.

15. Brooklyn Nets (3-4)

Kyrie Irving is having a career year so far, but the Nets are still struggling. Uncle Drew is averaging 31.7 points 6.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. The Nets seem to be struggling with chemistry to start off because they average almost 20 turnovers a game. Kevin Durant will be out the whole season so they will have to figure out how to move the ball better and also improve on defense.

14. San Antonio Spurs (4-3)

Coach Popovich and the Spurs have started the year off looking good as usual. Two losses came to the Lakers and Clippers both in pretty close games. The Spurs have been very efficient in their first couple of games. With the return of Dejounte Murray off an injury and the reliable veterans Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge, the Spurs look to make some noise as one of the most underrated teams in the NBA.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2)

Minnesota started the season off 3-0 and in their match up with the Sixers Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns got into it. The two were suspended two games for fighting and the T-wolves ended up losing that game. Their other loss was to the Bucks (without Towns). Towns is back tonight against the Grizzlies as they look to stay in the top 15 of the power rankings.

12. Toronto Raptors (4-2)

The defending champions have looked good to start the 2019-2020 season. Pascal Siakam was extended to a max contract before the season started and he is performing very well averaging 26 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The schedule has been weak so far so they will have to prove themselves with upcoming games against the Clippers, Lakers, and Mavericks next week.

11. Houston Rockets (4-3)

The Rockets have not done as well as expected to start off the season, especially on the defensive end. Three of their wins have been by seven points or less to the Pelicans, Wizards, and Grizzlies which were all expected to be blowouts. They are ranked 29th in defensive rating. The offense has been there, but not to its full potential. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are still two of the best players in the league and the chemistry will get there. They need to focus on improving on the defensive end.

10. Utah Jazz (4-3)

The Jazz have been excellent defensively, but struggle on the offensive side. Rudy Gobert believes they need to feed him down low to strengthen the offense and spread the floor. Donovan Mitchell has been great this year and he wants to make a case to be one of the best players in the league. They have big games this week facing the Bucks and the 76ers so that will prove if they are worthy of this top 10 spot in the rankings.

9. Dallas Mavericks (4-2)

Luka DončiΔ‡ is the next big thing in the NBA, and he may already be a top 10 player this year. He is nearly averaging a triple-double and is looking like a great leader for the Mavs. Kristaps Porzingis is also a major contributor to their success because he is also playing very well this season. The Mavericks have a lot of depth and a veteran coach, so if Luka and Kristaps keep performing at a high level they could make some noise.

8. Miami Heat (5-2)

Kendrick Nunn went undrafted in 2018 and spent last season in the G League. This year, he is off to a hot start. He leads all rookies in points averaging 18.3 per game. The Heat took a tough loss to the Nuggets last night, but they are looking to learn from it. They have two tough games coming up against the red hot Suns and the Lakers which will be a test to prove themselves.

7. Denver Nuggets (5-2)

Denver had seemed to struggle a bit on the court to begin this season. They handed the Pelicans their first win of the season with lack of effort on defense and have struggled in most of their other games despite being 4-2. “I’m embarrassed,” Malone said at his post game news conference. “That was an embarrassing effort defensively. Gave up 37 fast-break points. You can give all the transition defense rules that you want. To me, transition defense boils down to one thing — effort. Get back. You can tell them. You can lead a horse to water, whatever analogy you want to use. We did not get back.”

In response to Mike Malone the Nuggets went out last night and beat one of the hottest teams in the NBA (Miami Heat) by 20 points. Jamaal Murray and Nikola Jokic need to step up and be leaders of that team if they want to compete with the big teams in the West.

6. Phoenix Suns (5-2)

Things were looking significantly bad for the Suns once DeAndre Ayton was suspended right at the beginning of the year for violating the leagues anti-drug policy. Turns out they don’t really need him and are off to a hot start. Former Celtic Aron Baynes has been playing great on both sides of the court in place of Ayton while the two best players in Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre have been balling out. Their schedule has been relatively tough too, they racked up wins against the Clippers and the 76ers. The two losses were both by one point to the Jazz and the Nuggets.

5. Milwaukee Bucks (5-2)

Giannis Antetokounmpo is performing at an MVP level once again and it seems like no one has found an answer for him and they probably never will. The Bucks are one of the most soundly rounded teams in the league, but have struggled to keep leads in games. They blew both games they lost leading by 19 at one point to the Celtics and the Heat. One loss that they are missing is Malcolm Brogdon who is playing well with the Pacers.

4. Los Angeles Clippers (5-2)

This team when Paul George comes back in a week or two will be tough to stop. The Clippers have the second best offense in the league (according to offensive rating) and the defense is great because they have some of the best defensive players in the league. Kawhi Leonard has some tough match ups coming his way when the Clips have to face the Bucks tonight and look to improve to 6-2.

3. Boston Celtics (5-1)

The Celtics are looking like a whole new and improved team now that Kemba Walker is in place of Kyrie Irving. Jayson Tatum has looked great this year as well. He hit a clutch game winner against the Knicks last week. Even with Jaylen Brown and Enes Kanter out for the last couple of games the C’s have played great. Gordon Hayward went off last night against the Cavs scoring 39 points on 17-20 shooting. The next two weeks for the Celtics are relatively easy games for them so they should be trying to extend their win streak of five games.

2. Philadelphia 76ers (5-1)

The Sixers started off hot with a five game win streak that was just ended last night by Devin Booker and the red hot Suns. They were without Joel Embiid, though, after he was suspended two games. The additions of Josh Richardson and Al Horford have helped the Sixers extended their depth and gain serious skill and defense and offense. They have a couple of big games coming up against the Jazz and the Nuggets and they want to win those games to stay hot.

1. Los Angeles Lakers (6-1)

The Lakers are hot with six straight wins and are sitting at the top spot in the power rankings. Lebron James and Anthony Davis are looking like one of the best duos in the league. Lebron is averaging a double-double, Davis is averaging a double-double, and even Dwight Howard is showing flashes of his old self. The eight-time all-star is making a big impact off the bench. The big-man is 5th in the league in blocks per game with 2.3. The Lakers have the best defensive rating in the league and are getting even better on the offensive end as the season goes on.