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My NBA power rankings heading into week 3

My NBA power rankings heading into week 3

This NBA season was hyped up to be one of the best seasons in a while and it has not let up so far. From new, young prospects entering like Victor Wembenyama, Scoot Henderson, and the Thompson twins, to super teams assembling like the Bucks, Suns, and Celtics, here are the rankings of all teams from worst to first as of 11/10/2023.

#30. Detroit Pistons (2-7)-The Detroit Pistons came into this season hoping to start competing in games, however, it looks pretty bad from the first two weeks. They acquired one of the Thompson twins in Ausar, and he has shown a lot of promise, but this team is still very young. Once they grow together and define each person’s role on the court, then they will be a great team in no time.

#29. Washington Wizards (2-5)- The Wizards made a big splash trading Bradley Beal to the Suns for Chris Paul, and then flipping Paul for Jordan Poole. However, they are a young and energetic team, so they are going to take a while to come together and build up. Look out for the Wizards in a few years.

#28. Memphis Grizzlies (1-7)-The Grizzlies took a big blow losing Ja Morant for almost 1/3 of the season due to suspension. This team won more games last year without Ja then they did with him, so most fans brushed it off and thought they would still be competing in the West. The Grizzlies will get better as the season goes on and are still in conversation for being a top 6 team in the West once they get Ja back, but in the meantime they will have to rely on some other guys to bring them within reach of their goals.

#27. Utah Jazz (2-7)- The Jazz were looking like a competing team last year for a while, and even had an up-in-coming star with Lauri Markkanen, who made the all-star game, but they are struggling so far this year. They have the pieces, and they have all different types of players, but they don’t all fit together. They’ve had trouble finding a great rotation that fits them and this could be a long season for Jazz fans.

#26. Charlotte Hornets (2-5)- The Hornets took a big risk drafting Brandon Miller with the 2nd pick in this year’s draft and he has looked very good so far this season. They were set to get Miles Bridges back this year, but he can’t get himself on the court due to off-court issues. This team really doesn’t have any weakness other than their fast break offense, and they could make a push for a play-in spot at the end of the season.

#25. Chicago Bulls (3-6)- Coming into the season the Bulls did not look very promising to do much in a very good eastern conference. After only one game, they had a players only meeting (a meeting where the players gather up without coaches). They may look to blow up this core of Zach Lavine, Demar Derozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball. Zach Lavine is showing that he can be a leading scorer on a good team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they move him at the trade deadline. This is still a very talented team, but if they want to really compete in the near future, then they should blow it up unless Lonzo Ball comes back soon.

#24. San Antonio Spurs (3-5)- The Spurs had some luck in the lottery when they won it and drafted the generational prospect Victor Wembanyama. Other than that, they were pretty quiet in the off season and more focused on improving young guys and getting better for the season. Every NBA fan can admit that they are a fun team to watch. With time, they will be very good in the long run, and a scary team in the future.

#23. Portland Trail Blazers (3-5)- The Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard got traded in August for a haul back.  The Blazers got lots of pieces like Deandre Ayton, Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, Tumani Camara, and many high valued picks. There is a lot of good players on this team, and they drafted what they hope to be their next superstar in Scoot Henderson, but for now they need to build up their young team and get chemistry before they can really be a threat in the West.

#22. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-5)- The Cavaliers are a very good team on paper. Their big 4 of Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen is a team that no one would want to face when healthy, but they haven’t been the team that they are supposed to be. They look good on the court, but they have trouble coming back from big deficits and closing games when they have the lead late. They made an underrated addition with Max Strus being added for more bench depth. The Cavs can still get back into winning form, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they either make a big playoff push, or fall apart and trade one of their big 4.

#21.Los Angeles Lakers (3-5)-The Lakers have two top 20 players in the league with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they are not winning like they should. They don’t have another veteran alongside LeBron, which they need. They had a chance to sign Demar Derozan two years ago, and he would still be a great addition to their team now. Anthony Davis can’t stay healthy, but if he does come playoff time, if they make it, they will be a contender to come out of the West.

#20. Los Angeles Clippers (3-4) – Clippers fans were excited to see Kawhi healthy to start the season. They have a lot of veteran players like Kawhi, Paul George, Westbrook, and Harden. They have yet to win a game with Harden though. They have been unhealthy all year and they need to run better offense for better looks in the paint. Zubac is a great center, but I don’t believe that they use him right. If they come together and really get an offensive presence then they will be fine.

#19. Sacramento Kings (3-4) – The Sacramento Kings took a turn for the worst when De’Aaron Fox got hurt in the third game of the season. They were an exciting young team hoping to compete in the West this season, and I believe that they can still achieve this goal, but they need to fix some things and stay healthy to do this. They might need to make a trade to get them over the top and competing with the toughest in the West.

#18. Miami Heat (4-4) – The Miami Heat’s front office failed to get another star around Jimmy Butler, which they are really regretting now. The East got a lot better and the Heat only lost guys. They are not real contenders and can’t keep up with the power houses of the East and the young teams who are performing¬† very well. Jimmy Butler looks like he has regressed and they might try to go get some younger guys who fit the timeline of Tyler Herro and Bam Adebyo better.

#17. Orlando Magic (4-4) – The Magic have shocked fans as they have had a very good start to the season. In past years they have not been competitive, but this year they have showed the NBA that they won’t just let teams roll past them. This is a good team that could make the play-in. Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero have really impressed.

#16. New Orleans Pelicans (4-4)- With Zion Williamson finally healthy, the Pelicans were looking to compete after a long few years. Steven Adams went down first getting a season-ending knee surgery in the preseason. Zion has been out for the past two games, but it isn’t for an injury. He is having a child. However, their starting veteran point guard C.J McCollum did go down with an injury. This team will be good if they stay healthy, and Zion looks better than ever in the games that he did play.

#15. Toronto Raptors (4-4)- The Raptors had an eventful off-season with the drafting of Gradey Dick and firing their championship winning head coach Nick Nurse. Now eight games into the season there are a lot of questions. With Scottie Barnes having a breakout year three, there are questions about what Toronto will do with Pascal Siakam. He and Barnes are practically the same player, but Barnes is seven years younger and playing better. Either way they are a good team and can compete in the playoffs this year.

#14. New York Knicks (4-4)-The Knicks were in conversation to make a big splash for Donovan Mitchell, but they decided to make little moves in the off-season. With Jalen Brunson breaking out last season after leaving the Mavericks, and the addition of Josh Hart, this team looks very good, and could make a big run in the playoffs.

#13. Houston Rockets (4-3)-The Rockets had a great off-season signing Fred Vanvleet and Dillion Brooks. They also aquired the 4th pick in the 2023 draft and got the 2nd of the Thompson twins in Amen. Dillion Brooks has been shooting very well and Alperen Sengun has been a phenom. All of their young players are doing things that were not expected, and this team could make the playoffs this season.

#12. Brooklyn Nets (4-4)-The Nets have been an impressive team so far this season. After Claxton going down, they have won four out of seven games without him. Cam Thomas has been something special averaging around 28 points and even has had a 44 point game against the Bucks earlier in the season. Mikal Bridges and Ben Simmons have been great on defense. Simmons also is averaging an impressive 10.8 rebounds per game. If this team gets hot, then it looks really good. They have been executing in late games where it is close.

#11. Phoenix Suns (4-4)- The Suns made a huge trade getting Bradley Beal for Chris Paul and picks. There were some questions on how Booker, Durant, and Beal would fit on the court together. They also traded former first overall pick to the Blazers for Jusif Nurkic and Nassir Little. They have had ups and downs but they have not been performing at their highest level yet. Bradley Beal just played his first game in a win against the Bulls by one point. Beal played limited minutes, but when this big three gets rolling they will be scary.

#10. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-3) -The Thunder got Chet Holmgren healthy for the beginning of the season after losing him last year for the whole year. They didn’t make much moves in the off-season, but you can tell that the young guys they have have gotten a lot better. This team looks like a good playoff team so far, and if they keep playing the way they do, we will see them in April for the playoffs.

#9. Atlanta Hawks (5-4) -The Hawks traded John Collins for a 2nd round pick a while ago. They didn’t make many moves, but they are playing well. Yes, Trae Young may not be good on defense, but Dejounte Murray is the perfect fit alongside Young. Capela is playing great on defense, and also averaging a double double with 10.1 points and 10.5 rebounds. The Hawks look like they can compete with all of the teams in the East.

#8. Milwaukee Bucks (5-3) -The Bucks helped improve around Giannis Antetokounmpo trading Jrue Holiday and two first for Damian Lillard. Lillard has been great in the clutch like always, but he might have taken a step down. The Bucks role players need to step up as Giannis had 54 points and the Bucks still lost. Damian Lillard was out that game. With Lillard instead of Holiday, there is a clear drop off from their defense as they are just above average now. Once they start gaining more chemistry they will be a great team.

#7. Indiana Pacers (6-3) -The Pacers had an underrated free agency as they secured Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown. Haliburton has been playing very well with Buddy Hield. They have not just been beating teams but dominating teams. They could try to make a trade to push this team even more and be a real contender in the east.

#6. Golden State Warriors (6-3) – The Warriors traded their young star Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards for Chris Paul before the season. Paul has been a great addition off the bench for them. The core of the dynasty is getting old, but they are all still great. However, Klay Thompson has clearly taken another step back this season. One scary thing is that most of their wins have been pretty close. I could see them taking the 1st or 2nd seed in the West this year, but I could also see them falling out of the playoffs. It is likely that we will see them in April for the 2024 playoffs.

#5. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2) – The Timberwolves have been a shocking team so far this season. They are one of only two teams to take down the Celtics, and the only team who has beat the Nuggets so far. Anthony Edwards is having an MVP type season 28 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while shooting 51% from the field and 43.2% from three. Rudy Gobert is also playing well, averaging 12 points and 13 rebounds. This is a very good, young, and deep team, and could really be a contender to come out of the West this year.

#4. Dallas Mavericks (6-2) – The Dallas Mavericks had some questions whether or not they would be able to bring back Kyrie. They did bring him back and he is playing very well. They also signed Grant Williams who has had the best season of his career so far, shooting very good marks from the three. If this team makes a big trade at some point in this season, then they can be championship contenders or even favorites.

#3. Boston Celtics (5-2) -The Boston Celtics made two big trades getting Kristaps Porzingis and also getting Jrue Holiday. They have been no let down, and have dominated most teams they have played so far. This is one of the scariest teams that you can play this year. They are the definition of a super team, with four all stars or former all stars. They have a very good chance of winning the East, but it will be hard getting past the 76ers, Bucks, and other great teams in the East.

#2.Philadelphia 76ers (6-1)- The 76ers recently traded James Harden to the Clippers for Robert Covington, Nicholas Batum, and picks. They were projected by many to have a huge drop off, but so far, they look better than ever. Maxey is having a great season averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists, shooting 48.1% from the field. Last years MVP Joel Embiid is having yet another great season, and they are on a role just winning six games in a row. They are a championship contender right now, and a team nobody wants to see on their schedule.

#1. Denver Nuggets (8-1) – The Denver Nuggets look like they should have no problem getting back to where they were last year. They lost a key player to that championship in Bruce Brown, but they still look great. Nikola Jokic is the best player in the league, and Jamaal Murray is one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA. They have a good defense with Caldwell Pope and Aaron Gordon. They also have a dynamic offense with Jamaal Murray being a quick and shifty guard, Michael Porter, Jr. being a spot up shooter, Aaron Gordon being a lob catcher and high flyer, and Jokic dishing dimes and scoring in the post against the best centers with ease. This team may be able to win back to back, but they will have to compete in one of the best group of teams that the NBA has seen.

 

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About the Contributor
Arthur Cassidy, Reporter
Arthur Cassidy is a freshman in high school who elected to take the newspaper class. He is a student athlete with his main sport being basketball. However, when he is not playing basketball or sitting through school he tends to like hanging out with his friends, playing video games, or eating.