|Welcome to Week 5 of the 2012-13 Dunking with Wolves Power Rankings. JJ Glenn flies solo this week and breaks down every NBA team with his insight so far this season NBA season.
||Memphis still has the number 1 defense in the league & the 11th best offense, netting them a +8 in score differential, also top in the NBA. The Grizzlies are proving they are a consistent force which continues to steam roll teams and dominate their opponents.
||The Thunder have won 7 straight games and are now the #1 scoring team in the NBA. The Thunder also have the biggest scoring margin at +9.45. Any effects of the off season trade are all but gone. The Thunder look as if they are the same team that won the Western Conference last season.
||New York Knicks
||The Knicks have the best record in the Eastern Conference and are doing this without Amare Stoudamire. It’s not only one of the best 3 point shooting percentages in the NBA, it is also the 2nd best point differential at +8.5 and 8th best defense which is keeping the Knicks a top the Eastern Conference rankings.
||The old man Spurs continue to play solid ball, just as expected. The Spurs are the 10th best defensive team, and 4th best offense equaling +7.60 point differential. With all of the fines and headlines out of the way, it means the Spurs can get back to doing what they do best, play good solid basketball.
||The Heat have lost 2 straight games, and 1 of those losses were more of a butt-kicking. The Heat have shown some major flaws. Miami is still the defending champions, and also has the reigning MVP, both of those factors are worth their weight in gold. There is still a lot of new pieces that need to learn to play with each other and that will still take some time.
||After a little rough patch the Clippers are back to their winning ways and have won 4 straight games. The Clippers are back to shoring up the defense and are only allowing 95 points a game. While the Clippers have seen some streaks go both ways, their eFG% has remained steady at a NBA 5th best .523. The Effectiveness of their shooting has remained solid, which has lead them to the 4th best record in the West.
||The Hawks were supposed to be in a bit of a rebuilding process when they traded out Joe Johnson, right? Quite the contrary, the Hawks without ISO Joe, have the 6th best defense in the league and are currently the 7th best eFG% team in the NBA. All of this equals the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference.
||The Nets have stumbled as of late and consequently have lost 3 straight. The Nets have shown flashes of great basketball, and with the roster they have they should be able to play big boy basketball. The only thing the Nets seem to need is a little more time as they are still getting all of the pieces acclimated.
||The Golden State Warriors are proving they are still an offensive powerhouse, averaging 100 points a game; it’s the defense of the Warriors that has allowed them the ability to improve to a 12 win season.
||The 76ers have played to an 11-8 record so far this season. They’ve also done it without a #1 option. The Sixers are terrific in transition; they lack a half-court offense, which is where Andrew Bynum would be extremely useful to this team. The Sixers have the 7th best defense in the league, problem is they are -1.58 point differential per game.
||Everyone knew the Bulls would be good, but that was supposed to be with Derrick Rose on the roster. Without D-rose on the team so far this season, the Bulls are the 3rd best defensive team in the NBA, and surprisingly out scoring their opponents by an average of +2.56 points a game.
||This Celtics team hasn’t been the defensive juggernaut we’ve become accustomed to seeing season after season. When the C’s have had the chance to get into their half-court defense, they have been terrific; the problem is their transition D. The Celtics are scoring just as many points as they are giving up so far this season. The team is just above .500 and that is where they’ve been over the last 10 games. This team is playing pedestrian, until they Doc gets this team playing to his caliber, they seem to be a .500 team.
||The Jazz were supposed to possibly contend for a play-off spot, so far this season, they are 6th in the West and 2nd in the Northwest division. Utah is still solid on at home at 8-1, the problem is they are 3-9 on the road. Should the Jazz get the road problems solved, this Jazz team will prove to be better than preseason expectations.
||While the Nuggets had extremely high expectations coming into this season, they haven’t exactly lived up to them this season. Denver has been scoring points, that is typical of the Nuggets, problem is they are giving up an average .05 more than they are scoring.
||The Bucks start to the season was too good to be true, not so fast. This team is still 8th in the East. It is the Bucks defense which is the biggest problem so far this season. They are -1.45 in point differential, negative in FG%, 3PT%, FT% and RPG. They are also a negative in EDIFF, translation, more jumpers not enough inside game.
||The Timberwolves are clearly able to dominate teams inside; they have the 4th best rebound difference at +4.61. They are also the 4th best defensive team in the NBA. The Wolves have suffered on the offensive end, with Ricky back very soon, that should allow teammates to get open looks and will improve the scoring.
||The Pacers seem to be finding some of their own identity since Danny Granger went down due to injury. Over the last 10 games the Pacers have gone 6-4, over this stretch they’ve started to move the ball and post the 2nd best assist differential per game.
||Houston is .500 over their last 10 games, one of the most noticeable problems is the fact the Rockets are giving up 108.8 points per game. While their defensive rating (Drtg) isn’t the worst in the NBA, it will have to get better if they are to make some noise as the season goes on.
||It can’t be stressed enough that as teams get tape on opponents, it becomes difficult to score or win games. Without Dirk, teams have seen the Mavs and OJ Mayo, and until Dirk comes back it is going to become more difficult for the Mavs to win games until Dirk comes back.
||If you were to look at just the players on this roster, they “should” be a top tier team. However, a 4-6 record over the last 10 games, blowing leads late in games and now dealing with the Pau dilemma is putting this team at 9-11 and 11th in the Western conference.
||Over their last 10 games Portland has been outscored by an average of -5.10. That is the 8th worst point margin in the NBA. The Blazers bench has also been almost nonexistent. The Blazer needs to start scoring more efficiently, and stop teams on defense, basically change everything on the team if they are going to change the direction of the team this season.
||Well it was kind of fun while it lasted seeing these ‘Cats fight and win games. Over the last 10 games though the Bobcats have been outscored by an average of 8 points a game and posted a 3-7 record. Safe to say this is closer to the Bobcats team we thought we’d see.
||There were plenty of questions this offseason about what the Suns were doing with their roster, now there are questions about what to do with this roster to try and get through the season. Only 4 players with more than 2 games have a positive +/-. Michael Beasley is a -141, Marcin Gortat is a -117, Goran Dragic is a -98. That is 3 starters right there.
||The Magic are clearly in a rebuilding phase, and just like many teams before them know, the most exciting time for these types of teams, are the offseason. Be it free agency, or the draft. This team needs to make it through the regular season, so they can get to the next phase of this project.
||The Pistons are 4-6 in the last 10 games; it’s a nice turn around after it took them forever to pick up their first win. Rodney Stuckey continues to struggle, but Kyle Singler has been a nice surprise.
||Sacramento has won 2 straight games, how about that? Defensively this team still struggles to stop anyone. If defense wins championships, this team is a galaxy away from winning one of those with their current situation.
||The Cavs are a remarkably different team without Kyrie Irving on the floor. Dion Waiters and Irving together make a nice back court. Without them they will struggle to win games.
||Entering this season, there was lofty expectations for the Hornets, or Pelicans, or maybe the team formerly known as the Hornets with Rivers and Davis. Since both have been injured so much this team has struggled. Should both get healthy we may get a chance to see what this team is truly capable of.
||Toronto has allowed more points over the last 10 games than any team in the NBA and also have the largest point differential with a -9. The Raptors only have 2 players that have a positive +/-. That combination won’t be winning any games with those stats.
||What a great week for the Wizards, they won another game, against Miami no less. Nene is back and that makes a difference, once John Wall is healthy this team should post a few more wins.