NBA Power Rankings, Week 5

The NBA’s last one-loss team was defeated by the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Stephen Curry started the week with a 50 point performance against Atlanta Hawks. On Friday, he dropped 40 against Chicago Bulls. But, he was 7 of 22 from the field in Sunday’s loss.

The West’s best record still belongs to the Warriors. Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns and the Warriors are close behind. The Suns have an eight-game winning streak and are currently in second place in the West. The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to keep their feet on the ground while LeBron Jam recovers from an abdomen injury that has kept LeBron out of action for six games.

The Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal are trying to keep ahead of the surging Brooklyn Nets team. After a turbulent start, the team seems to have found its rhythm. The Miami Heat has cooled, while the Milwaukee Bucks lost seven of their ten previous games.

Can the Bucks end their slide? Will the Warriors falter on the road? Can the Lakers make a comeback to the top of West? Our experts breakdown the standings of all 30 teams after four weeks.

Note:Throughout the regular season our panel (Tim Bontemps Jamal Collier Nick Friedell Andrew Lopez Tim MacMahon Dave McMenamin Ohm Youngmisuk and Tim MacMahon), ranks all 30 teams. This allows us to see which teams are playing the best basketball right now and which teams look most like title contenders.

1. Golden State Warriors
2021-22 record: 11-2
Previous ranking: 2

Stephen Curry didn’t have a homecoming he desired in Sunday’s loss against the Hornets. He shot just 7-for-22, but the Warriors are still feeling great about the direction they’re heading thanks to a deep roster who is playing well together so early in the season. Tuesday night is the Warriors’ first big test of the season. They see Kevin Durant and his former teammate the Brooklyn Nets, as they continue their first East Coast swing for the season. — Friedell

This week:@BKN, @CLE and @DET

2. Brooklyn Nets
2021-22 record: 10-4
Previous ranking: 4

The Nets have had a chaotic few weeks. Despite Kyrie Irving’s absence, and James Harden’s slow start, they are tied for first place in the East with Wizards. They have also put several games between themselves and expected rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks. Things look bright in Brooklyn ahead to Tuesday’s showdown at Barclays Center with the West-leading Warriors. Bontemps

This week:GS, CLE and ORL

3. Phoenix Suns
2021-22 record: 9-3
Previous ranking: 7

JaVale Mcgee was forced to fill in for Deandre Ayton who was out injured this season. His biggest game of 2018 came on Sunday against the Rockets. McGee scored 19 points, had 14 rebounds, and made 3 blocks in just 25 minutes. McGee was the 10th NBA player able to achieve these feats in as little time as 25 minutes. McGee has averaged 12 points and 7.5 boards in six games this season. In those games, Phoenix is 6-0. — Lopez

This week:@MIN, DAL. DAL. DEN

4. Washington Wizards
2021-22 record: 9-3
Previous ranking: 11

The Wizards lead the East at 9-3 with a slightly better win percentage than the Nets (10-4). They have won four straight and have done so in different ways. They beat Memphis, while also winning a close game over the Cavs. Washington won without having to rely on Bradley Beal, their star. Beal struggled in the win over Cleveland, going 4-for-19 before revealing that his grandmother had passed. He did not participate in Saturday’s win against Orlando and will miss Monday’s game against New Orleans. But the Wizards are deeper, have more scorers and it’s paying off. — Youngmisuk

This week:NO, @CHA

5. Denver Nuggets
2021-22 record: 9-4
Previous ranking: 10

Last week began with the Nuggets speculating whether their franchise star would face a multiple game suspension. After taking exception at a Miami foul, Nikola Jokic was the league MVP. He was given a one game suspension for body-checking Markieff Morris. The skirmish elicited a lot of emotions. There was also a social media back and forth between Jokic’s brothers, Marcus Morris, Clippers’, and Morris’ twin brother, Marcus Morris. The Pacers were defeated by the Nuggets despite not having their top three players in Jokic Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Denver beat Portland and Atlanta with Jokic in the lineup. The Nuggets won five straight without Porter, and four of those victories were without him. Porter’s return is uncertain due to a back injury. — Youngmisuk

This week: @DAL, PHI, CHI, @PHX

6. Miami Heat
2021-22 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 3

After three straight losses, including fireworks in Monday’s loss against the Denver Nuggets on Monday, the Heat won a nice victory over the Jazz on Saturday. Tyler Herro scored 27 points for the Heat. Jimmy Butler still has a sprained ankle and Miami finally gets a brief, two-game rest after Monday’s match against the Thunder. — Friedell

This week: @OKC, NO, WAS, @WAS

7. Chicago Bulls
2021-22 record: 9-4
Previous ranking: 9

Chicago will have to adapt to playing without Nikola Vucevic as their center. He was positive for COVID-19 but the Bulls won three of their four games last week. Their bench will get a scoring boost with Coby White making his season debut against the Lakers on Monday. Collier

This week:@LAL, @POR and @DEN

8. Utah Jazz
2021-22 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 5

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    After a 7-1 start, Utah lost four of its five previous games. The Jazz’s defense has been terrible during the 1-4 funk. They allow 114.5 points per 100 possessions which is more than any other team in the league. During Thursday’s loss against the Pacers, frustrations flared and Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were ejected. Joe Ingles was also fined $85,000. — MacMahon

    This week: PHI, TOR, @SAC

    9. Dallas Mavericks
    2021-22 record: 8-4
    Previous ranking: 6

    Dallas is tied for third in the West’s best record despite being ninth in the conference in points differential. The Mavs have beaten poor and mediocre competition, but lost by double-digit margins against each of the three teams that they have faced, including the now-slumping Hawks. Dallas’ next seven games will be against plus-.500 foes. — MacMahon

    This week: DEN, @PHX, @PHX, @LAC

    10. Philadelphia 76ers
    2021-22 record: 8-6
    Previous ranking: 1

    Philadelphia followed up a 4-0 week of success with a 0-4 showing. This was largely due to Joel Embiid’s inability to play for all four games because he was positive for COVID-19. Although Tyrese Maxey provides plenty of reasons for 76ers fans to be excited, and the team played well despite losing several players, losses are losses. The West swing is five games away. Bontemps

    This week: @UTAH, @DEN, @POR

    11. Los Angeles Lakers
    2021-22 record: 8-6
    Previous ranking: 15

    Could L.A. be making a comeback? The Lakers are now 3-3 without LeBron James after Sunday’s 114–106 win over San Antonio Spurs. A source close to the 19 year veteran told ESPN that James’s return will be “soon.”The rest of the Lakers are improving their health. Wayne Ellington (out for the first eight games due to a hamstring injury), and Talen Horton Tucker (out for the first 13 games after thumb surgery) scored respective 15 and 17 points against the Spurs. McMenamin

    This week: CHI, @MIL, @BOS, @DET

    12. LA Clippers
    2021-22 record: 8-5
    Previous ranking: 20

    The Clippers lost their first November loss to the Bulls on Sunday. They have snapped LA’s seven-game winning streak. The Clippers have played a lot like last season’s Western Conference finals team. They’ve played well and defended with a lot fun throughout this stretch, even with Marcus Morris and Kawhi Leonard out and Serge Ibaka only playing in two games as the big man recovers from injury. After a difficult seven-game stretch Eric Bledsoe is starting to look like the Clippers’ point guard. Paul George continues to play like a do it all MVP candidate, and Reggie Jackson acts as a catalyst when the Clippers perform at their best. — Youngmisuk

    This week:SA, @MEM and @NO, DAL

    13. Cleveland Cavaliers
    2021-22 record: 9-5
    Previous ranking: 16

    It is beginning to look like the Cavs’ early season success will last. Cleveland is now winners of six of seven — the Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma scored two 3s in the final thirty seconds to defeat them — and has not only proved it can win even without Collin Sexton (meniscus injury), but it seems to be improving. Saturday’s victory over the Celtics was 91-89. It came after trailing by 19 in the third quarter. Darius Garland scored 22 points. “We’re here and we’re not a slouch anymore,”Garland said this postgame. McMenamin

    This week:BOS, @BKN and GS

    14. Milwaukee Bucks
    2021-22 record: 6-8
    Previous ranking: 8

    Although the Bucks have started their title defense slower than they expected, a pair of wins last Wednesday will keep them from panicking. Khris Middleton is expected back to the team Wednesday night ahead a five-game homestand against some positive competition. This should give a boost to an offense that has struggled with consistent scoring. Collier

    This week:LAL, OKC, ORL

    15. New York Knicks
    2021-22 record: 7-6
    Previous ranking: 12

    New York’s starting five are being outscored by more than 14 points per 100 possessions. New York’s all bench unit is outscoring teams almost 20 times per 100 possessions. The Knicks are 24th in defensive rating, thanks to Tom Thibodeau as their coach. The Knicks have been inconsistent in their start to the season, going 2-5 since November’s calendar was flipped. Bontemps

    This week: IND, ORL, HOU, @CHI

    16. Charlotte Hornets
    2021-22 record: 8-7
    Previous ranking: 17


    Wednesday, Nov. 17
    Lakers at Bucks, 7:15 p.m.
    Mavericks at Suns 10 p.m.

    Friday, Nov. 19
    Lakers at Celtics, 8:30 p.m.
    Mavericks at Suns 10 p.m.

    All times Eastern

    Charlotte beat the surging Warriors to win its third straight game. This was largely due to the performances of Terry Rozier and Terry Rozier who combined for 63 points. Wednesday’s game against Wizards will be another test for a young team who has rebounded well after dropping five consecutive games last week. — Friedell

    This week: WAS, IND, @ATL

    17. Toronto Raptors
    2021-22 record: 7-7
    Previous ranking: 14

    Toronto looks to be a difficult opponent. Here’s a look at Toronto. Thursday’s win in Philadelphia was a nice comeback for the Raptors, but they lost a game on Saturday to the Pistons. Toronto is yet an additional team that should be considered for the East play-ins all season. Bontemps

    This week: @POR, @UTAH, @SAC, @GS

    18. Memphis Grizzlies
    2021-22 record: 6-7
    Previous ranking: 13

    Memphis is currently in a bad stretch. The team has lost four of five games and had a minus-67 points differential. Ja Morant tweeted that he had gotten over the Pelicans’ nine-game losing streak against the Grizzlies. “gotta do more,”He is the only player in the league to average at least 26 points per game and 7 assists per match. MacMahon

    This week: HOU, LAC, @MIN

    19. Boston Celtics
    2021-22 record: 6-7
    Previous ranking: 22

    Boston has lost two double-overtime and one on a Luka Docic buzzer-beating win heave, and has blown big fourth-quarter leads in favor of Chicago and Cleveland. Jayson Tatum is shooting 38.8% on the field. All of this is to say that it has been a difficult start. The Celtics are hovering at.500 and have a top-10 defence. There are better days ahead. Bontemps

    This week:@CLE, @ATL and LAL, OKC

    20. Portland Trail Blazers
    2021-22 record: 6-8
    Previous ranking: 18

    As if the Blazers weren’t already dealing with enough, Damian Lillard is still recovering from a lower abdominal injury which kept him out of Sunday’s game. Denver’s Blazers lost 124 to 95 without their star. Portland has lost three of its four previous games by eight points or more. The Blazers are currently investigating Neil Olshey, their general manager. Chauncey Bilups, a rookie head coach, has a lot of work ahead of him. — Youngmisuk

    This week:TOR, CHI, and PHI

    21. Atlanta Hawks
    2021-22 record: 5-9
    Previous ranking: 19

    The Hawks ended a six-game losing streak by defeating the Bucks on Sunday with Trae Young scoring 42 points and 10 assists. According to ESPN Stats & Information research it was Young’s eighth 40 point, 10-assist game of his career. This broke a tie with Luka Docic for the most such games by a player in their first four seasons (1976-1977). Young’s 17th game of 40 points was also tied with LeBron and Kevin Durant, which tied him for third in such games, just behind Shaquille and Michael O’Neal (21). — Lopez

    This week:ORL, BOS, CHA

    22. Indiana Pacers
    2021-22 record: 6-8
    Previous ranking: 23

    Indiana has rebounded from a 1-6 starting with wins in five of the seven games it has played, including victories over Knicks, Sixers and Jazz. Despite Caris LeVert being out with a back injury, Indiana’s offense ranks among the top 10, and T.J. Warren has yet to make his season debut. Collier

    This week:@NY, @DET. @CHA, NO

    23. Oklahoma City Thunder
    2021-22 record: 5-7
    Previous ranking: 26

    Lu Dort, who is known for being one of the league’s top perimeter defenders has made significant improvements as a driver as well as a finisher this season. According to NBA.com stats, he’s shooting 61.5% within 5 feet this season. This is an improvement from 49.8% the previous two seasons. During the Thunder’s four-game winning streak of 19.8 points, Dort averaged 19.8 point. The streak was ended Sunday by the Nets. — MacMahon

    This week: MIA, HOU, @MIL, @BOS

    24. Sacramento Kings
    2021-22 record: 5-8
    Previous ranking: 21

    The only positive thing about the Marvin Bagley III drama is that it’s getting more intense this week, with coach Luke Walton having questions to answer. Bagley refused to check-inIt has been a highlight of Sacramento’s poor play lately, especially when it is called upon against Suns. The Kings have lost four straight, including a 136 117 loss to a Spurs team that was only 2-7 before that game. McMenamin

    This week:@DET and @MIN, TOR, UTAH

    25. Minnesota Timberwolves
    2021-22 record: 4-8
    Previous ranking: 24

    Minnesota has lost seven out of eight games and is struggling for consistent offense, despite having three dynamic scoring talents: Anthony Edwards (Karl-Anthony Towns), and D’Angelo Russell (D’Angelo Russell). Minnesota is ranked as a bottom-five team for offensive efficiency. Collier

    This week:PHX. SAC, SA, MEM.

    26. San Antonio Spurs
    2021-22 record: 4-9
    Previous ranking: 25

    The Spurs had four players from their bench score at least 15 in Wednesday’s win over Kings. According to ESPN Stats & Information research this was the second such occasion under Gregg Popovich. The Spurs’ bench has been a major strength this year. San Antonio is leading the NBA in bench scoring with 41.7 points per match. This is thanks to Devin Vassell, second-year forward who has scored in double figures in eight out of the Spurs’ 13 games. — Lopez

    This week: @LAC, @MIN

    27. Orlando Magic
    2021-22 record: 3-10
    Previous ranking: 27

    The Orlando youth group suffered two losses but Mo Bamba’s performance was impressive. He scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Wizards. Orlando is on a five-game road trip that includes two trips to Brooklyn and two in Milwaukee. — Friedell

    This week: @ATL, @NY, @BKN, @MIL

    28. Detroit Pistons
    2021-22 record: 3-9
    Previous ranking: 29

    After a win over No. After a victory over No. 2 overall pick JalenGreen and the Houston Rockets earlier this week, Cade Cunningham, a Pistons rookie, followed that up with his first moment of excellence in the clutch during Saturday’s win against Toronto Raptors. Cunningham scored twice in overtime against OG Anunoby’s stellar defensive wing to help Detroit win. It is a sign that things are about to get better. Collier

    This week:SAC, IND GS, LAL

    29. Houston Rockets
    2021-22 record: 1-12
    Previous ranking: 28

    Houston, which has lost 11 of its previous games, is paying the price for having relied so heavily on such a young backcourt. The Rockets are last in offensive efficiency with 98.9 points per 100 possessions. Their starting guards, Kevin Porter Jr. (36.79%, 4.3), and Jalen Green (33.58%, 3.1), are the only two players in the league who shoot less than 40% from the floor, and average more than three turnovers per match. MacMahon

    This week: @MEM, @OKC, @NY

    30. New Orleans Pelicans
    2021-22 record: 1-9
    Previous ranking: 30

    New Orleans’ bright spot through 14 games is Jonas Valanciunas, who is shooting 15-of-25 from 3-point range. This is a staggering 57.7%, good enough to lead the league at this stage of the season for players who make at most one 3 per game. Valanciunas has not hit at least one 3 per week for an entire season and is now shooting close to two per match. Lopez

    This week: @WAS, @MIA, LAC, @IND


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