Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week Four

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RANK TEAM THE RUNDOWN LAST
1 GRIZZLIES
(10-2)
Like Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, Lionel Hollins disarmed all their gunners. Rudy Gay: “There were times when a lot of things I did were spiteful.” 1
2 THUNDER
(11-4)
In scary part, Kevin Durant still tracking up: Averaging usual 26 with career-best rebounds, assists, shooting, 3-point shooting, steals and blocks. 5
3 SPURS
(12-3)
Responding to Pop’s meltdown, the embarrassments, er, Spurs bounce back from Knicks, Clippers losses and go 4-0 on the road. 6
4 HEAT
(10-3)
Just went 5-1 the hard way with last season’s No. 4 defense allowing 102 a game, a pace that would put them 29th. 4
5 NETS
(9-4)
D-Will wills them to victory: Difference in New York teams is Melo – who used Nets to get to Knicks – but Williams, a sub-40 percent shooter as a Net, leads gritty upset despite going 6-of-17. 8
6 KNICKS
(9-4)
Nostalgic for old days? With Kidd out vs. Nets, Melo tires of seeing Felton shoot, launches contested 25-footer with 12 seconds on clock in crunch time, grazes rim. 2
7 HAWKS
(8-4)
What a leap! Or maybe No. 19 was way low. Just went 5-0, even if they’re boarding up the old Highlight Factory with No. 20 offense, No. 3 defense. 19
8 CELTICS
(8-6)
Heat went small, why not us? Hint: They’re younger. Once biggest and baddest with Shaq, Perk, Big Baby, C’s start sawed-off Bass, Sullinger at center. 11
9 CLIPPERS
(8-6)
Got used to burying people with bench’s firepower, forgot to defend. Unfortunately, teams start taking away their No. 1 option — Jamal Crawford — and they go 0-4. 1
10 SIXERS
(9-6)
Sixers worry Bynum won’t play this season – the last on his contract. That could make him the first 7-foot, 25-year-old All-Star starter to get the veteran’s exception. 9
11 NUGGETS
(8-7)
Not bad, considering their 0-3 start. Lawson, who got a four-year, $48 million deal, then shot 35 percent in his first 11 games, is at 64 percent in last four. 16
12 JAZZ
(8-7)
Did I mention they’re at a major crossroads with six rotation guys – including Jefferson, Millsap – approaching free agency? Well, I should have. 13
13 BUCKS
(7-5)
Gooden on block after tweeting pic of Bulls jersey in toilet. Bucks lose at home, then rally from 27 down to win in Chicago after Scott Skiles benches starters. 10
14 WARRIORS
(8-6)
Stealth move, going 5-2 to move into a tie for fourth in West. Klay Thompson, who shot 33 percent in first 11, makes 50 percent, averages 21 ppg in last three. 14
15 LAKERS
(7-8)
This just in: Still big, slow under D’Antoni, now 2-3 on the bench. Kobe says his guy Pau must run floor. The question is where, amid trade speculation. 7
16 PACERS
(7-8)
Granger, out until Feb. 1, already had slipped (26 ppg, 45% in 2008-09 to 18 ppg, 39% last season) but Pacers still miss him. 20
17 BULLS
(6-7)
There’s never an MVP around when you need one: With Rose still months away, Bulls blow 27-point lead in home loss to Bucks. 17
18 ROCKETS
(7-7)
Just went 3-0, including celebrated matchup with Knicks who say they barely remember Jeremy Lin, who provides reminder with 13 with seven assists in 131-103 rout. 22
19 MAVERICKS
(7-8)
Fun while it lasted: Owner Mark Cuban, who said “I hope they suck” before his team upset Lakers in season opener, sees them arrive in Big D at 6-7 – and bury Mavs by 26. 18
20 BOBCATS
(7-6)
Not there yet: After equaling 2011-12 win total when they went 7-59, Bobcats go to OKC and fall behind 64-24 at halftime. 15
21 WOLVES
(6-7)
Love hurts: Kevin averages 24-14 in first three after his surprise return. Unfortunately, they lose them all. 12
22 SUNS
(7-8)
Coach Alvin Gentry in trouble if they don’t make playoff run. On bright side, he’ll be in running for Coach of the Year if they just make playoffs. 24
23 BLAZERS
(6-8)
Aldridge’s has bad back, and head: Says he and Roy “didn’t click.” Tangles with Love, OR native who took his 2011 All-Star slot. Looks so restless with program, GM Neil Olshey sits down with him. 21
24 MAGIC
(5-8)
Put together consecutive wins for first time since 2-0 start. Who cares if they were against Detroit and Cleveland? 26
25 PISTONS
(4-11)
Rookie Kyle Singler, shooting 53 percent, moves into starting backcourt, providing refreshing change from Knight (43 pct.), Stuckey (34 pct.). 27
26 HORNETS
(4-9)
Rookie race back on: Davis, who has missed seven of 13, out two more weeks with “stress reaction” in ankle. 23
27 RAPTORS
(3-12)
Oops: Kyle Lowry back, rookie Jonas Valanciunas starts to happen with 15-8 over five games – and Raptors lose them all. 25
28 CAVALIERS
(3-12)
Just lost Kyrie Irving for a month and they were having enough trouble with him. 28
29 KINGS
(4-10)
Chance from Isaiah Thomas to Aaron Brooks at starting point sparks 2-2 week. In bad news, DeMarcus Cousins tied with Melo with five technical fouls. 29
30 WIZARDS
(0-12)
Imagine if he had been in shape: Nene scores 12 and 19 in first two games after foot injury, then goes out again with “conditioning issues.” 30

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