Pickswise Week 3 NBA Power Rankings

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Another week down as we slowly get a feel for each team. This much I know so far, there has been a surplus of scoring. A lot of basketball left, but see where your team currently ranks as its time for Week 3 of Pickswise’s NBA Power Rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors     Record: 7-1  Previous: 1

These Warriors can turn it on at any moment and turn a 3-point deficit into a 10 point lead like that thanks to three of the best shooters in the league. Also, keep an eye on DeMarcus Cousin’s status after being cleared to practice.

2. Toronto Raptors Record: 6-1  Previous: 2

The Raptors only took their first loss of the season to the surging Bucks, but neither Kawhi Leonard or Giannis Antetounmpo played in that contest. This is one of the most balanced teams in the league thus far ranking 3rd in Efficiency Differential.

3. Milwaukee Bucks   Record: 7-0   Previous: 10

Never mind the Bucks 9th ranked offense right now, their defense ranked 5th in defensive efficiency a week ago, now they rank 2nd overall.

4. Denver Nuggets Record: 5-1   Previous: 3

Sporting a top-3 defense and a top-10 offense, these Nuggets have currently found themselves a top the Northwest Division. Sure their 21st ranked SOS isn’t great, but they are beating the teams they should be beating while they’ve also been the only team to take down the Warriors.

5. Utah Jazz Record: 4-2   Previous: 7

Rudy Gobert is averaging 17.7 PPG, 13.5 RPG, and 2.67 BPG, and he’s been as efficient as they come shooting .750 FG% from the field. They’ve also been able to improve their defensive efficiency from last week as they sit at 6th overall.

6. Boston Celtics Record: 4-2   Previous: 4

Boston has been as stout as they come on the defensive side ranking 1st in PPG, 3rd in FG%, and 1st in 3PT%. Their talented offense though is still trying to figure out everyones roles ranking 28th in offensive efficiency, luckily for them is that there is still a lot of basketball left.

7. New Orleans Pelicans Record: 4-2    Previous: 5

The former #1 ranked offense has been hit with the injury bug as Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, and Elfrid Payton are all dealing with nagging injuries. However, this team runs through Davis and when he isn’t playing the Pelicans are a plus/minus of -16.8.

8. Philadelphia 76ers   Record: 4-3   Previous: 9

The 76ers have been perfect at home posting a 4-0 record, but they’ve been a different team on the road where they are 0-3 SU and 0-3 ATS, while their defense is giving up 120 PPG, which ranks 26th overall.

9. Los Angeles Clippers Record: 4-2   Previous: 17

The Clippers have caught the league by surprise ranking both 11th in offensive and defensive efficiency. There isn’t a superstar on this team, but Tobias Harris is making a case for why he should be considered one, averaging 21.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG while he is shooting nearly 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc.

10. Indiana Pacers   Record: 4-3    Previous: 8

This team has been shooting lights out with a 58.0% EFG%, which is slightly less than Golden State’s 58.7%. They even play good defense ranking 7th in efficiency.

11. Portland Trailblazers Record: 4-2   Previous: 11

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are combining for nearly 50 PPG, but at least one of them needs to be on the court at all times as their third leading scorer is center Jusuf Nurkic who is averaging 13 PPG.

12. San Antonio Spurs Record 4-2    Previous: 13

The Spurs could certainly use Kawhi’s defense right about now ranking 29th in defensive efficiency.

13. Detroit Pistons Record: 4-1    Previous: 15

The Piston’s finally played some competition and was brought back down to Earth by the Boston Celtics losing 89-109. That’s just the beginning because they have the 5th hardest remaining schedule. 

14. Houston Rockets Record: 1-4   Previous: 6

It’s been a rough start to the season for these Rockets, and with James Harden missing games, this team should still be alright. There is a lot of basketball left for this talented team to right the ship.

15. Los Angeles Lakers     Record: 2-5   Previous: 12

The Lakers will have back Brandon Ingram (17 PPG & 4 RPG) and Rajon Rondo (12.8 PPG & 8.5 APG) back on the 8th ranked offense after serving their suspensions. Once the chemistry starts to flow, expect this offense to flourish. 

16. Miami Heat Record: 3-3    Previous: 20

After 15 seasons in the NBA, Dwayne Wade (12.2 PPG & 5.0 RPG) still has some left in the tank, and would do anything for one last championship run.

17. Charlotte Hornets Record: 3-4   Previous: 14

Kemba Walker and…Tony Parker? Maybe. In his last three games he averaged 13.6 PPG and 4.6 APG. Not too shabby for the vet. 

18. Memphis Grizzlies Record: 3-2    Previous 23

As expected, Memphis’ offense ranks in the bottom quartile, there just isn’t enough offense outside of Conley and Gasol. However, they counter that with superb defense ranking 4th in efficiency. 

19. Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 3-4    Previous: 16

Butler dropped 6 threes and 32 points to carry the Timberwolves past LeBron and the Lakers (and maybe his future team).

20. Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 1-4   Previous: 18

This has been an ugly and unforeseen start for the Thunder, they just aren’t clicking right now ranking dead last in offensive efficiency. It’s still early but geeze. 

21. Sacramento Kings Record: 4-3    Previous: 29

Sac-Town is moving on up the ladders winning three in a row and they are shooting the ball very effectively with a 55.3% EFG%. Fox, Heild, Cauley-Stein, Bagley III, and Bjelica, this is a team you want to play with on a video game.

22. Dallas Mavericks Record: 2-5    Previous: 22

This is a talented Mavericks squad that has the 12th ranked offense, but ranks 22nd in Efficiency Differential. Even so, don’t count them out just yet.

23. Washington Wizards Record: 1-5    Previous: 21

Washington’s 22nd ranked defense needs Dwight Howard, but what in the world is going on with that gluteus?

24. Brooklyn Nets Record: 2-5    Previous: 26

The Nets have been competitive to start the season going 4-3 ATS, while two of those covers have been against Golden State and New Orleans. We’ll see what they are made out of when they face off against three playoff quality teams (Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia) this week.

25. Atlanta Hawks   Record: 2-4    Previous: 30

Despite giving up 113 PPG, this young Hawks squad is sporting the 10th most efficient defense. Now if they could just improve their 27th ranked offense then they could become a middle of the pack team.

26. Orlando Magic Record: 2-4    Previous: 27

The Magic have gotten off to a rough start ranking 29th in offense efficiency and 17th in defensive efficiency, but in their defense they have played the 2nd toughest schedule. Even so, at some point, some of their studs may be auditioning for a mid-season trade.

27. Chicago Bulls Record: 2-5    Previous: 28

The Bulls depth continues to diminish with the loss of Bobby Portis who joins teammate Kris Dunn on the sideline with an MCL sprain. Zach LaVine’s 28.1 PPG has been stellar, but it is hard to envision that the Bulls will be able to keep up with opposing teams when they are giving up 120 PPG.

28. New York Knicks Record: 2-5   Previous: 24

The Knicks have been a feisty bunch going 4-2-1 ATS so far, but they only have a 2-5 record to show for it. It’s hard to see this under-talented squad turn things around as they rank 18th in offensive efficiency and 26th in defensive efficiency.

29. Phoenix Suns Record: 1-5    Previous: 19

A team that had some hype around them a week ago finds themselves dead-last in the Pacific Division, while their star player Devin Booker (27.8 PPG) is having a hard time getting back on the court since he’s been dealing with a hamstring injury.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers Record: 0-6    Previous: 25

The Cavaliers have already parted ways with head coach Tyronn Lue after not being able to win a single game. They own the 23rd ranked offense, while their defense has been the worst in the NBA thus far. This certainly seems like all cards are on the table at this point.

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