Week 3 NBA Power Rankings – Sat Nov 24th


Nov 23, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) pulls down a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at Fed Ex Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome to Week 3 of the 2012-13 Dunking with Wolves Power   Rankings. JJ Glenn & Ben Beecken break down every NBA team with their   insight throughout the entire NBA season.
This WeekLast WeekTeamNotes
14MemphisJJThe   way the Grizzlies are playing so far this season has easily put them in the   spot light as a possible 1 seed in the west. With both great inside and   outside play, this team really seems to be putting it all together this year.  Memphis is second in Efficiency   Differential in the NBA and are 1st this week in the Power Rankings.
BenMemphis   just keeps on keepin’ on. In beating the Lakers and Knicks in the last week,   the Grizzlies have proven to be able to not only hang with, but beat the   other top teams in the league.
21New York KnicksJJThis   team continues to outscore their opponents by the largest margin in the   league (10.30). The Knicks shooting has cooled off and the team is still   struggling to get out of the ISO game as they are 25th in the league in   assists.
BenIt will be   interesting to see if Carmelo Anthony can maintain his fantastic early season   play, and even more interesting to see how the Knicks will handle Amar’e   Stoudemire’s eventual return.
35L.A. ClippersJJClippers fans   are finally getting to the inside game they’ve been waiting for. They’ve also   get to see the 2nd best shooting team in the league at 48.6% so far this   season. The Clippers also have the 3rd best point differential this season at   7.54.
BenThe   Clippers just finished playing a brutal stretch of games, going 3-2 against   Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, OKC, and Brooklyn, inlcuding an overtime loss on   the road to the Thunder. Of course, Vinny Del Negro is still their coach, so   it isn’t all gravy.
46Oklahoma CityJJThey   are 9-4, and they continue to win games through effort stats. They are 1st in   the NBA in block differential at over 4 a game. They are a +2 in rebounds a   game and are averaging more assists a game this year than last. Those reasons   alone are why they’re still 4th this week.
BenThe Thunder   continue to work through their new look rotation, and have managed in 9-4   record in doing so. Kevin Durant has been mostly fantastic this season, and   is rebounding his position at a much higher rate than in the past.
52San AntonioJJThe   Spurs quietly go to work every game and do it through solid team work. They   lead the NBA with over 24 team assists a game. They are also 10th in the   league in points allowed. Just a typical Pop team, solid defense and great   team work = a lot of wins.
BenThe Spurs are   the only team in the NBA with 10 wins, and have only lost to the Knicks in   New York and the Clippers twice. The Spurs should continue to be the class of   the West and one of the most dangerous teams in the league come playoff time.
63HeatJJThe defending   champs haven’t been the same team we saw win the title last season. They are   22nd in points allowed at 99.67 a game. They do score 104 a game and that   still has the Heat with 9 wins.
BenDwayne Wade’s   health is vital to this team, and their relatively thin bench and rotation   has already been exposed in this young season. The Heat will be fine, and   simply need to make it to the playoffs in a relative state of health to   compete for back-to-back titles.
79BrooklynJJWhile the super   team looked a little shaky to start the season, they seem to be figuring   things out. While they are only averaging 96 a game they only give up 93 a   game giving them a +3 point differential and a 7-4 record.
BenBrooklyn’s lack   of depth will eventually catch up with them, but the starting lineup is   fantastic enough that they will remain in the top tier of the Eastern   Conference.
87MilwaukeeJJIt   has been a tremendous start to the season for the Bucks; people were starting   to wonder if they should actually “fear the dear”? Well they have   lost a couple in a row and are now just narrowly out scoring opponents at 1.8   points a game. While the Bucks are now 2nd in assist per game, they have seen   their 3 point shooting cool off to 25th in league at 31%
BenThe Bucks will   continue to regress and while they might make the playoffs, they will not   finish the year in the top 10 (or even 15) in the Power Rankings. Ersan   Ilyasova has been atrocious after signing his big contract, averaging just   6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
916L.A. LakersJJCall it the   Bickerstaff effect, the team started winning games, but since Mike has   arrived they have lost 2 straight and continue to struggle on the road going   0-4.  When this team is clicking it has   shown it can be among the very best in the league.
BenThe Lakers will   eventually be fine, but it will be fun to watch them try and figure it out.   Mike D’Antoni’s recent comments about Pau Gasol were frightening, showing   that Gasol is still not getting the respect he deserves as one of the premier   frontcourt players in the game.
1017AtlantaJJAtlanta is 7-4   this season and has proven it can with without Joe Johnson, and that   contract. Credit Danny Ferry for putting together a tough squad. The Hawks   have had an easy schedule so far and they are getting out rebounded by over 5   a game. If that continues for the Hawks as the schedule gets tougher this   team could be in for some tough times.
BenAtlanta is   another team that will regress, although they should still challenge for a   playoff spot in the East. If only the fine people of Atlanta would attend   their games….
1111DallasJJThe Mavs still   haven’t gotten their superstar on the court this season, yet they are still   putting W’s in the win column. Dallas is still a plus in PPG, FG%, 3PT%, APG   and BPG. Throw in a better than excepted OJ Mayo and the Mavs are showing   they will be in the hunt for the playoffs come the end of the season.
BenThe Mavericks   could very well sneak into the playoffs, but as the Wolves are finding out   with Kevin Love, it will take some time to re-integrate Dirk Nowitzki into   the offense and learn to play with him again.
138BostonJJWhile Boston   had some struggles in the last week, they showed when they put it together   they can be very good (ask OKC). With so many new faces it will continue to   take some time to play the get to know you game.
BenJason Terry is   playing a little better and Rajon Rondo is healthy again, so that’s good news   for the Celtics. They need Terry to play more evenly off the bench, but the   Celtics should certainly end up with home court advantage in the East come   playoff time.
1415MinnesotaJJThe Wolves have   Kevin Love back and he erupted for a 34 point 14 rebound performance (no big   deal). They clearly had Denver on the ropes but struggled to finish them off   showing Love and the rest of the pieces will need some time to put it all   together. They also got Pek and JJ back after missed time. Things are finally   looking up.
BenThe Wolves are   now in last place in one of the strongest division in basketball as they   re-learn how to play with Kevin Love. The Wolves will always struggle with   dynamic backcourt scorers, but a frontcourt of Kirilenko-Love-Pekovic is   arguably tops in the league and will give any team fits.
1512DenverJJThe   Nuggets are a typical George Karl team; they make great adjustments and play   sound fundamental basketball. There are still great things expected from this   team, but a .500% record so far, but a negative in point differential and   assist per game; the Nuggets will need to get a much better performance from   Ty Lawson if they want to make it to the top half of the Western Conference.
BenDenver needs to   be more consistent. They have been very streaky and uneven so far this year,   and George Karl has been downright confouding with his rotations.
1610ChicagoJJIt’s   a typical Tibs team, top 10 in defense. They score more points than they give   up and are 2nd in the NBA at +3.63 assists per game. They miss Derrick Rose,   but if they can continue to play around .500 in a weak Eastern Conference,   they could still make some noise.
BenThe Bulls are   still biding time until Derrick Rose’s return, and they’re doing a fairly   good job. If they can be in position to challenge for a playoff spot when   Rose returns in 2013, they can make some serious noise in the shallow Eastern   Conference.
1714Golden StateJJThe Warriors   have been better than expected. They are 17th in Efficiency Differential in   the NBA and 17th in this week edition of the Power Rankings. They are still   giving up more points than they score on average, if Mark Jackson can’t get   the defense improved the warriors will be hearing “Hand Down, Man   Down” and not in t a good way.
BenIf Bogut stays   healthy, the Warriors are a very solid team. As I continually repeat in this   space, however, he won’t. And they most likely won’t make the playoffs   because of it.
1813PhiladephiaJJDoug Collins   has to be sick; Andrew Bynum hurt his knee bowling? Nothing like trading for   a big man you can’t use. The 76ers are still over .500 so far this season,   but they have had an easy strength of Schedule and currently are giving up   more points than they score. They are also getting out rebounded, showing   they could really use Bynum. If he doesn’t get healthy soon the 76ers could   be in line for a bottom half playoff seed.
BenMy   pre-season predictions about Philadelphia are coming true. Poor Sixers. Who   would have ever guessed that Louis Williams is better than Nick Young and   Elton Brand is better than Kwame Brown?
1921UtahJJUtah   has struggled to get wins on the road; they are now 2-6 after going 0-4 to   start. Utah has a + in point differential and has been out rebounding their   opponents by over 3 a game. If they can start winning some more games on the   road Utah will be in the hunt for a playoff berth.
BenUtah continues   to be overrated, and will likely trade away someone from their frontcourt   before the February trade deadline.
2020CharlotteJJCan the ‘Cats   be the biggest surprise of the season, after posting the worst record last   season, the ‘Cats are finding a way to win games. These young players are   playing with no fear and it is producing wins.
BenThe Bobcats   have won ugly and lucky so far this season. It’s only a matter of time before   they remember that they’re the Bobcats.
2118HoustonJJHouston   is giving up the 6th most points a game in the NBA, and they are 12th in   scoring offense. With Kevin McHale still on leave for personal matters, the   team is under .500 in their last 10 games.
BenHouston   beat the Knicks convincingly on Friday night. Other than that, they have been   struggling greatly. Chandler Parsons and James Harden need some help.
2122IndianaJJThe Pacers are   still struggling to find an identity without Danny Granger, Hibbert has shown   some signs of life (including a triple double) but they will need a lot more   of him and some other players to step up if they want to move up the   rankings.
BenThe   Pacers continue to be in deep trouble without Danny Granger, and have been   the NBA’s most disappointing and underperforming team thus far.
2223PortlandJJThe   Blazers give up the most points a game in the league. Their bench is   averaging the lowest amount of points in the league. On the plus side, their   starting 5 is scoring the most in the league.
BenDamian Lillard   is fantastic. Batum has been streaky, but a has shown more flashes of   star-level play than in the past. Unfortunately, their bench is non-existent,   and their 6-6 record to this point is an aberration.
2319New OrleansJJThere   was so much hope for this team in the pre-season and so far they have   struggled. This team is young and has shown it, the Hornets have talent but   it seems like it will take a least another year of it to mature.
BenThe   Hornets will need Anthony Davis to stay on the court to stay competetive.   Austin Rivers has been predictably awful, and New Orleans simply does not   have enough scoring to compete night in and night out.
2425PhoenixJJMost   statistical categories’ would show you the Suns shouldn’t have this many   wins. But a look at their schedule will show you they have beaten some bad   teams and won most of the games they should win.
BenMichael Beasley   is slowly losing minutes, and Markieff Morris has already taken over Luis   Scola’s starting spot. Marcin Gortat has spoken out against Alvin Gentry in   the media. There is the potential for some fantastic drama out in the desert   this winter.
2526TorontoJJToronto gives   up over a 100 points a game. They are missing their starting PG who really   would be the glue to hold this team together. Once Lowry comes back the   Raptors should be able to climb up a little on the rankings.
BenA   healthy Lowry will make a big difference, and count me as someone who still   believes in the Dwayne Casey and a young, intriguing internationally-flavored   roster.
2624OrlandoJJOrlando   isn’t very good. We knew this coming into the season. The rebuilding project   is on, and we’ll wait and see what pieces get put on the market to help in   clearing some cap space.
BenWhere   will J.J. Redick be traded? As a more-than-useful rotation player on an   expiring deal, the market will be hot for his services as we get closer to   the February deadline. A Derrick Williams-for-J.J. Redick trade is looking   mighty nice to Wolves fans right about now….
2727ClevelandJJThere   are some really promising young players on the Cleveland roster; the problem   is there isn’t enough of talent. With some nice pieces the Cavs will need   some more time and some more help.
BenKyrie Irving   and Anderson Varejao There isn’t much else there. Varejao will likely be   traded in the coming months, as he is a very valuable big man that would help   any playoff team’s frontcourt rotation immensely.
2829DetroitJJWhat can be   said about the Pistons? They don’t have the worst record in the NBA. They are   also averaging more blocks then their opponents. They have had an above   average SOS. Those are all good signs, right?
BenThe   Pistons have to be most boring team in the NBA. They aren’t good. There isn’t   much drama or disfunction, either, outside of Charlie Villaneuva being awful.   Poor Greg Monroe.
2928SacramentoJJSacramento has   the 2nd worst point differential in the league; they have discipline problems   and the worst record in the Western Conference. The real question is if the   team keeps playing this bad, is there a city that will want them to relocate   there?
BenWill DeMarcus   Cousins ever figure it out? The rest of the team is really, really bad. There   isn’t much else to say.
3030Washington D.CJJIf there is   only one team in the NBA that doesn’t have a win, and they are last in the   Power Rankings that should be about as much as you need to know. For as bad   as this team has looked at times, John Wall and Nene can’t come in time.
BenJohn Wall and   Nene will help this team, but nobody can save them from Randy Wittman.