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NBA power rankings: Raptors, Grizzlies push Warriors at the top

The Warriors are still leading our power rankings, but both the Raptors and Grizzlies are on their heels.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

1. Golden State Warriors (10-2, Last week: 1)

The Warriors' reign continues despite a slow week. Still, a five-game winning streak is nothing to overlook, even if the quality of opponents hasn't been very high. Golden State's schedule isn't getting much harder this week, but the team is hitting the road for four games. These are all games the Dubs should win, but it will be interesting to see how they hold up through their first big trip outside of Oakland this season.

2. Toronto Raptors (11-2, Last week: 4)

Another week of great play from the Raptors. who are now on a four-game winning streak that includes wins over the Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Bucks. The Raptors are behind Memphis for the best winning percentage in the league, but Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies put them over the top.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (12-2, Last week: 3)

The Grizzlies are putting up their best offensive numbers over the last five seasons, suddenly finding the firepower to match their defense:


They're somehow ranked in the top 10 in offensive efficiency, and much of that is due to Courtney Lee. His on-court offensive rating is a team-best 116 and the Grizzlies are outscoring opponents by nearly 18 points when he's in the game. Will it hold up? So far, so good.

4. Washington Wizards (9-3, Last week:7)

Bradley Beal back!


The Wiz laid utter waste to the the Cavaliers and vaulted into the top five for the first time this season. Sure, they lost to the Mavericks last week, but winning over both Cleveland and Milwaukee back-to-back is solid work.

5. San Antonio Spurs (9-4, Last week: 5)

Just another ho-hum 4-0 week for the defending champs. They squeaked by LeBron James and the Cavaliers, but easily handled the 76ers, Nets and Timberwolves. The Spurs look like they're back on track after a slow start, winning seven of their last eight games.

6. Houston Rockets (10-3, Last week: 2)

The Rockets had a strange week. They lost two straight games (one to the LAKERS), then beat the Mavericks on the second half of their back-to-back. Problem: Dwight Howard is out and there's no timetable on his return. The win over Dallas was nice, but until Dwight returns, the Rockets are being put on ice.

7. Portland Trail Blazers (10-3, Last week: 9)

It was a light week for the Blazers, but they're currently on the longest winning streak in the NBA. The Blazers edge out Dallas for the seventh spot for a few reasons. One big one: the 21-point win they served Dallas earlier in the season.

8. Dallas Mavericks (10-4, Last week: 8)

There's the Dallas Mavericks' offense -- and then there's everyone else. Dallas is putting up 5.5 more points per 100 possessions than the second-best offense in the league (Raptors). The Mavericks are on pace to have a historically-good offense.


A) Yes, this will likely go down over time.

B) Still, through the first month of the season the Mavericks' offense has been a juggernaut.

9. Phoenix Suns (9-5, Last week: 15)

Phoenix is starting to separate from the muddled middle of the NBA, winning four-straight games on the road. Sure, the quality of opponents was low, but losing just one game (at Clippers) over a five-game stretch is great. Their big test and final game before returning to Phoenix is in Toronto Monday.

10. New Orleans Pelicans (7-5, Last week: 14)



And now Anthony Davis is blocking teams from playing on national TV:

[Davis] and the Pelicans will be on ESPN for a game against the Mavericks. The original schedule, set last summer well before the season began taking shape, featured the Knicks and Spurs in that spot. That's how good Davis has been: He bumped a game featuring the defending champs and a team from New York.

Yes, Paul Flannery's Sunday Shootaround centered on Davis is fantastic. Spoiler: Media executives are catching a case of Brow fever.

11. Sacramento Kings (8-5, Last week: 11)

The Kings stand pat at 11th in our power rankings, though a rematch between DeMarcus Cousins and Davis Tuesday could change things up. Either way, we're all winners when we get to watch two of the best young big men in the NBA fight it out again.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (7-5. Last week: 12)

The Clippers are still tugging along while under-performing through the start of the season. They did dunk the Heat out of the building in Miami.

13. Miami Heat (8-6, Last week: 13)

The Heat were extinguished a bit without Dwyane Wade, who they desperately need. Unfortunately, NBA teams can no longer get away with playing Shannon Brown heavy minutes. Nice win over Charlotte, though, with an incredible game-winner from Chris Bosh:


From behind the backboard? Suh-weet.

14. Chicago Bulls (8-5, Last week: 10)

Injuries are slaying the Bulls right now. Pau GasolTaj GibsonDerrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich are all missing time and Chicago is in the middle of a seven-game road trip. The regular season has not been kind to this team, so the Bulls take a hit in the power rankings until their roster puts itself back together again.

15. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-7, Last week: 7)

Just when it looked like the Cavaliers were getting ready to storm the league, they stumbled so hard that LeBron James called them a "fragile" team. How do they compare to the first year of the last two superteams?


By point differential, the '10-11 Heat were actually very successful and by far the best team out of the trio through their first 12 games. It's too early to declare the Cavaliers' fate is in line with the '12-13 Lakers, but there's a big difference in their point differentials. When is it time to really start worrying about Cleveland?

16. Atlanta Hawks (6-5, Last week: 16)

The Hawks played just two games this week, giving the Lakers their second win of the season in one of them. As usual, the Hawks are in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. Death, taxes, etc.

17. Milwaukee Bucks (7-7, Last week: 18)

The Bucks beat two bad teams (Knicks, Nets) before losing to two good teams (Raptors, Wizards), which is a good representation of where they are right now. They're winning games they should, but not quite good enough to hang with the big dogs.

18. Orlando Magic (6-9, Last week: 21)

Win, lose, win, lose. The Magic aren't winning consistently, but they're still one of the tougher outings among bad teams. Nikola Vucevic is having a monster year, averaging 19.3 points and 12.1 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field.

19. Utah Jazz (5-9, Last week: 25)

It was a tough week for the Jazz, who allowed a career-high 43 points to Anthony Davis and got beat up by the Warriors. Utah's frontcourt defense has been questionable through the start of the season; this play, no matter the situation, is a poor showing from Derrick Favors:


20. Boston Celtics (4-8, Last week: 20)

Rajon Rondo leads the NBA in assists, dishing out 11 dimes per game. His No. 1 target? A tie between Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley, with 23 assists apiece to each. Sullinger's quietly having a career year, averaging 16 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 70 percent at the rim.

21. Indiana Pacers (5-8, Last week: 23)

What can you say about the Pacers? They're just trying to float along through this season, but here's a "well look at that" stat: They have the best defense at the rim in the league. Opponents are shooting just 52.5 percent at the hoop against Indiana. You do you, Roy Hibbert.

22. Brooklyn Nets (5-8, Last week: 17)

The most exciting thing that happened to Brooklyn last week? Jason Kidd returned, was booed by fans and even was heckled in the middle of the national anthem:

Brooklyn went on to lose to Milwaukee in triple overtime.

23. Denver Nuggets (6-7, Last week: 28)

The Nuggets seem to have found some footing, winning five of their last six games and not allowing themselves to get stuck at the bottom of the NBA. Still, it certainly feels like Denver has taken a step down from the tier of teams in the Western Conference that could make a run at the eighth seed.

24. Charlotte Hornets (4-10, Last week: 19)

The Hornets would be the mystery "what happened?" team of the season if the Cavaliers didn't exist. The Hornets were a good team last year, but are off to a really slow start and don't appear ready to take the next step. It's a shame, too, because the Hornets looked promising on paper, had a great year to build off and added Lance Stephenson to their core. There's still plenty of time, but right now the Hornets have the third-worst record in the East.

25. New York Knicks (4-10, Last week: 27)

Good: The Knicks only lost two of their three games this week. Bad: Their win was against the 76ers. Worse: Their next two games are on the road against the Rockets and Mavericks.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (3-9, Last week: 26)

It's never good for a team's leading scorer to go down, but Kevin Martin's injury opens up the door for Andrew Wiggins to step in and play big minutes. With big minutes comes big highlights, like his career-high 29 point outing against the Kings:

27. Detroit Pistons (3-10, Last week: 22)

Detroit is very bad this year. Josh Smith was kind enough to show us how bad it's been in a single Vine:

28. Los Angeles Lakers (3-11, Last week: 29)

The Lakers have escaped being the 29th team in power rankings, taking a monster leap to 28. Two wins on the road were unexpected for this team after getting off to a franchise-worst start, so kudos and all praise to the Swag:


29. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-12, Last week: 25)

The Thunder weren't expected to be good without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but goodness. Oklahoma City is suddenly the worst team in the Western Conference, and that's not likely to change until the superstar duo returns.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-13, Last week: 30)

The 76ers are 0-13, but really, they're 13-0.

*All statistical data courtesy of