Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week Five

Fantasy isn’t basketball. But for what it’s worth, Durant’s value is running an amazing 25-50% higher than ‘Bron, Kobe who head rest of pack  across roto formats.2
NBA’s deepest team by far barely feels absence of injured Leonard, Jackson. Of course, when Pop adds Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green to that mix…3
Mike Conley, career 44% shooter, looking like Steve Nash at 50%, 46% on 3-pointers—good news for a team that’s still No. 24 in threes.1
This time Heat fails audition before even getting the appointment: I had them at No. 1 until Tuesday night loss to Wizards with Big Three scoring 70, Little Nine combining for 31.4
Kidd’s absence doesn’t stop Knicks from scoring 102-108-106 in wins over small fries. Now for Thursday’s eagerly awaited TNT rematch with Heat team they beat by 20 – assuming Woodson plays everyone.6
Clips are 4-0 since blowing a tire on East Coast, coming from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit in Utah to become first visitor to beat Jazz.9
Ugly ducklings win 10 of 12, beating Knicks, Clippers and Celtics twice, giving up only 88 a game until Thunder comes in, gets 117 and ends their fun.5
The return of J-Smoove: After slow start, Josh Smith bumps it up to 19-8-4 with 3.2 blocks, 1.8 steals in surprising Hawks’ 4-1 run.7
S as in Soft: Doc rips new guys as Celtics wannabes. S also stands for Stupid as veteran Rondo starts Brooklyn brawl that spills into stands, getting two-game ban that could have been rest of season if one fan had been hurt.8
76ers go 3-0 as Turner looks like long-sought No. 1 option, averaging 21, shooting 55%. Unfortunately, “The Villain” is at 14, 37% in next two, both losses.10
No, I don’t know what they’re doing here: New Jax City grit with what’s left of Nelly’s firepower. Now outrebounding opponents by 4.3 a game, NBA’s No. 5 differential. David Lee told us about it on our new radio show.14
Just went 3-1, learning to play with Love after losing first three with him back. With Rubio back practicing, they can finally learn to play with everyone in a week or two.21
Gallinari was supposed to be a star with his ability to shoot and handle at 6-10, but at 15.7 a game, 39% from the floor in sixth season, hasn’t happened yet.11
Danny Granger still out (cont.): Hunt for No. 1 option continues as Paul George scores 4 in loss in Sacramento, zero in loss in Oakland, 34 in win in Chicago.16
Actually doing OK with 12 of first 18 on road (18 of 29 by Christmas). Would be better still if they didn’t just celebrate return home by blowing 10-point fourth-quarter lead vs. Clippers.12
Equation-changer, as long as it lasts, or Skiles lets him play: Sanders gets 36-25-22 blocks in three games. Of course, in four before that, Skiles played him 6-29-12-14 minutes.13
No I don’t know what they’re doing here, either: At 4-7, Rockets seemed to be fulfilling low expectations. They’re 5-1 since, with unknown Parsons-Patterson forward tandem averaging 22-19.18
Rumble, rumble, rumble: Despite Bulls’ insistence Rose won’t play before All-Star break, Chicago Sun-Times reports teammates think he will be practicing by Christmas.17
With Dirk out 2-3 more weeks – they hope -Carlisle trying everything, with Mayo the lone starter he hasn’t benched and 38-year-old Derek Fisher his new starting point.19
Kobe, Pau’s long-time defender, tells him to “put on his big boy pants” after Magic scores 30 in last 6:00 to stun them in Staples. Mike D makes his own adjustment, keeping him out of win at Houston with “sore knees.” Is Ryan Anderson walking through that door?15
With Lillard at 18, 6.2 assists, 1.4 steals, ever-inventive ESPN Stats says Magic, AI, Damon Stoudamire, Steve Francis were only rookies to average 18-6-1. OK, does that make this a good thing or a bad thing?23
Huh? Dwight’s little leftovers flatten Dwight’s new team in Staples with 40-point fourth quarter, then drop 33 in fourth on Warriors in 102-94 win next night.24
Monroe up to 3.4 assists a game from last season’s 2.3 as Lawrence Frank runs offense through him. Unfortunately, he’s down FG-wise from last season’s 52% to 46%.25
Clock strikes 12: Still looking for that elusive eighth win to top last season’s total after 45-point loss to OKC, late giveaways to 76ers, Hawks, Blazers.20
Pumpkin’s finally rolling to a stop: After years of hanging in despite exits of Amar’e, JJ, Marion, Colangelos, D’Antoni and Nash, 1-5 East Coast trip makes it eight losses in 11.22
Did I say Raps are one of your better 3-12 teams? Make that one of your better 4-14 teams, now 2-7 since Lowry’s return and getting battered up and down West Coast trip.27
Rookie race back on (not): Davis, who has missed last eight games, out two more weeks with “stress reaction” in ankle.26
Varejao at career-best 15-15 … and on his way out? Cavs keener on trading him than paying him, knowing – OK, hoping – Kyrie, Waiters will get max extensions.28
That was the week that was: After 0-12 start, Wizards didn’t just win a game, they took two of three! And one was over Heat! Playoffs, here we come! By 2020, anyway.30
Maybe he’s too chilled (cont.): Keith Smart, given credit for calming down Cousins, now working on his center’s 42% shooting.29

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Most Improved | MVP | Rookies | Power


  1. NBA fan says

    “Nothing required them to rest all three of their “Big Three” plus another starter for a game in November.”

    So six road games (From Boston, to Indiana, to Toronto, to Washington, to Orlando, to Miami) in nine days isn’t a reason to rest starters, especially against a run ‘n gun team like the Heat, especially when the Spurs had a more important division game two nights later?

    Seems like sound strategy to me. Pop is the coach, and can play who he sees fit. David Stern is a micromanager. Would you like copy editors to change up your columns to the point where they’re not recognizable?

    Oh, AND It was still a competitive game, which is the point of watching sports.

    I get it. You need to sell your superstars. But by fining the Spurs, the NBA has shown that’s ALL it cares about, which is alarming.

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