The San Antonio Spurs' reign at the top lasted just two weeks, with the Indiana Pacers grabbing ahold of the No. 1 spot. The other three teams in the top five remained the same, although there was a little flip-flop at No. 4 and No. 5.
1. Indiana Pacers (16-1, Last week: 2)
The Pacers are back on top after an impressive 4-0 week. The schedule is about to stiffen up for Indiana, but they passed a big test Sunday by beating the Clippers at the Staples Center.
More on the Pacers: Indy Cornrows
2. San Antonio Spurs (14-3, Last week: 1)
Two losses in one week?! The sky is falling! But in all seriousness, the Spurs were bound to lose a few games sometime, and they were to two of the best teams in the league in the Thunder and Rockets. Nothing to be ashamed of.
More on the Spurs: Pounding The Rock
3. Miami Heat (14-3, Last week: 3)
Chris Bosh preserved the Heat's winning streak, scoring 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to help beat the Bobcats 99-98 on Sunday. That run included three three-pointers, and Miami now has a league-best 10-game winning streak.
More on the Heat: Hot Hot Hoops
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (12-3, Last week: 5)
If you haven't heard, Kevin Durant is kind of good at basketball. Durant put up some ridiculous numbers in a win over the Wolves on Sunday, moving the Thunder's winning streak to seven games. How ridiculous? :
Via @EliasSports, Durant and Michael Jordan are the only players with a 30-10-10-4-4 game since blocks and steals became official in '73-74.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 2, 2013
Oh, Russell Westbrook also did something awesome this week.
More on the Thunder: Welcome to Loud City
5. Portland Trail Blazers (14-3, Last week: 4)
As long as the Blazers don't play the Suns, everything is fine. Portland has lost just three games all year, with two of those losses coming against Phoenix. The latest defeat snapped an 11-game winning streak.
More on the Blazers: Blazer's Edge
6. Houston Rockets (13-5, Last week: 8)
The Rockets really have things rolling, with five straight wins under their belt. The latest was an impressive road win in San Antonio, where Houston dropped 112 points on a Spurs defense that has been one of the best in the league in the early going.
More on the Rockets: The Dream Shake
7. Los Angeles Clippers (12-6, Last week: 6)
The Clippers suffered a tough break when it was announced that J.J. Redick would be out six to eight weeks with a fractured right hand and torn right UCL. Redick's presence has been huge for the high-powered Clippers offense, as they have an offensive rating of 112.5 when he's on the court, per NBA.com's stats page.
More on the Clippers: Clips Nation
8. Denver Nuggets (10-6, Last week: 15)
So perhaps we shouldn't have doubted Brian Shaw after the Nuggets' rough start. Denver continued their resurgence with a perfect 4-0 week to run their winning streak to six games. That streak includes wins back-to-back wins over Dallas and an earth-shattering stuff of Rudy Gay by Timofey Mozgov:
Speaking of the Mavs ...
More on the Nuggets: Denver Stiffs
9. Dallas Mavericks (10-8, Last week: 7)
The Mavs had a bit of a setback this past week, going just 1-3 and losing a tough one to the Hawks after scoring just 12 points in the fourth quarter. Jose Calderon suffered a bone bruise in his right ankle in the loss, but he's not expected to miss much time.
More on the Mavs: Mavs Moneyball
10. Golden State Warriors (10-8, Last week: 10)
After Russell Westbrook's last-second three stunned the Warriors on Friday, Golden State narrowly avoided a second straight heartbreaking loss against the Kings on Sunday. The Splash Bros combined for 64 points and shot lights out from three, but a poor defensive effort almost ruined it.
More on the Warriors: Golden State Of Mind
11. Minnesota Timberwolves (9-10, Last week: 9)
The Wolves had a really difficult schedule to navigate last week, and they came out of it just 1-3. The defense has been a major problem for Minnesota, as they gave up 108.5 points per game in the four games.
More on the Wolves: Canis Hoopus
12. Phoenix Suns (9-8, Last week: 13)
The Suns had themselves quite an interesting little week. First, a blowout loss at the hands of Miami. Then a huge win over Portland followed up by an easy win over Utah. But then the Jazz went into US Airways Center and picked up their first road win of the year. So yeah, all over the map.
More on the Suns: Bright Side Of The Sun
13. Washington Wizards (8-9, Last week: 21)
One could make the argument that the Wizards are the third-best team in the Eastern Conference right now, and based on this ranking, I would clearly buy that argument. That may not hold up over the long run, especially if Bradley Beal's injury keeps him out a long time. But with John Wall playing at a high level, Washington is dangerous. Wall certainly isn't lacking for confidence:
"I'm the best point guard in the league. That's my statement." - @John_Wall— FOX Sports: Hoops (@HoopsonFOX) November 27, 2013
More on the Wizards: Bullets Forever
14. Los Angeles Lakers (9-9, Last week: 18)
The Lakers continue to overachieve with a roster that really has no business being .500 at this point. Mike D'Antoni deserves a lot of credit for coaching up this rag tag group, which includes guys like Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson making big plays:
More on the Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll
15. Atlanta Hawks (9-9, Last week: 11)
The Hawks looked like the clear cut third-best team in the East just one week ago, but things didn't go so well this past week. Atlanta has lost four of five and didn't really compete in two of the losses. Kyle Korver's rib injury hasn't helped matters.
More on the Hawks: Peachtree Hoops
16. Memphis Grizzlies (8-8, Last week: 16)
As expected, the Grizzlies have looked pretty bad in the absence of Marc Gasol. Memphis did win one game last week, but it was only against Boston. And after that win, the Grizzlies played poorly in a loss to Brooklyn.
More on the Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues
17. New Orleans Pelicans (8-8, Last week: 12)
Here's another team with a key player sidelined due to injury. Anthony Davis suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand in a win over the Knicks on Sunday, which could derail what was shaping up to be an incredible season for the second-year player. Injuries stink.
More on the Pelicans: The Bird Writes
18. Chicago Bulls (7-8, Last week: 17)
The Derrick Rose-less Bulls have been a rough watch. Losses to the Jazz and Cavs may be a sign of some real ugly play to come, and Nate Robinson isn't around to make things exciting anymore. Luol Deng has played well in Rose's absence, which could boost his trade value around the league.
More on the Bulls: Blog a Bull
19. Detroit Pistons (7-10, Last week: 20)
The Pistons continue to oscillate between possibly decent and exceptionally terrible. Detroit was embarrassed at home by Chicago and also lost at home to the Lakers, but they capped off the week with a dominating win over Philadelphia. Andre Drummond starred against the Sixers, racking up 31 points and 19 rebounds.
More on the Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys
20. Charlotte Bobcats (8-10, Last week: 19)
The Bobcats nearly salvaged what was mostly a blah week, but they blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against Miami. However, Charlotte remains the No. 7 seed in the East because the East is the East.
More on the Bobcats: Rufus On Fire
21. Toronto Raptors (6-10, Last week: 14)
The Raptors are 6-10 and have lost three games in a row. The Raptors are 6-10, have lost three games in a row and remain on top of the East's Atlantic Division. Incredible.
More on the Raptors: Raptors HQ
22. Orlando Magic (6-10, Last week: 22)
The Magic actually put together a two-game winning streak, but then the Spurs Spur'd all over them and the fun was over. On a positive note, Nikola Vucevic is averaging a double-double and Arron Afflalo is shooting 48.1 percent from three.
More on the Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post
23. Boston Celtics (7-12, Last week: 25)
The Celtics did win two games last week, which was enough to move them up two spots in the rankings. On the other hand, they also just lost to Milwaukee, so....
More on the Celtics: CelticsBlog
24. Brooklyn Nets (5-12, Last week: 28)
We actually have some signs of life from the $190 million Nets, who racked up a whopping two wins this week! Jason Kidd also finally did a bit of "coaching," if you could call it that:
More on the Nets: NetsDaily
25. Sacramento Kings (4-11, Last week: 23)
The Kings ALMOST beat the Clippers and Warriors, but you don't get brownie points for almost winning games. DeMarcus Cousins picked up his fifth technical foul of the year on Sunday which ties him for Dwight Howard for most in the NBA. Cousins also has the most fouls per game in the league.
More on the Kings: Sactown Royalty
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-12, Last week: 27)
The Cavs appeared to hit rock bottom after suffering a beat down at the hands of the Celtics on Fridiay night. But the Rose-less Bulls provided a nice remedy the next night, so the week wasn't a total loss, especially considering Andrew Bynum looked like his old dominant self in the win:
More on the Cavs: Fear The Sword
27. Philadelphia 76ers (6-12, Last week: 24)
The Sixers now almost fully resemble the team that many expected to see right from the outset of the season. Philadelphia doesn't play a lick of defense, as they're giving up over 110 points per game on the year.
More on the Sixers: Liberty Ballers
28. New York Knicks (3-13, Last week: 26)
It was really tempting to put the Knicks last, but they're still better than the Bucks and Jazz, right? Right?! New York has lost nine games in a row and couldn't even beat the Pelicans at Madison Square Garden despite Anthony Davis missing three quarters of the game. Mike Woodson's days could be numbered.
More on the Knicks: Posting and Toasting
29. Milwaukee Bucks (3-13, Last week: 29)
The Bucks finally got off the schneid and ended an 11-game losing streak by defeating Boston. The Celtics are the next opponent as well, so maybe a two-game winning streak is in order? Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo is starting to make things happen:
More on the Bucks: Brew Hoop
30. Utah Jazz (3-15, Last week: 30)
The Jazz finally resembled an NBA team last week, winning two games after winning just one total the first three-plus weeks of the season. Unfortunately, the Rockets, Pacers and Blazers are the next three games on the docket.
More on the Jazz: SLC Dunk
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