Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings After Week Five

RANKTEAMTHE RUNDOWNLAST
1THUNDER
(15-4)
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
2SPURS
(14-4)
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
3GRIZZLIES
(13-3)
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
4HEAT
(12-4)
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
5KNICKS
(12-4)
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
6CLIPPERS
(11-6)
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
7NETS
(11-6)
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
8HAWKS
(9-5)
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
9CELTICS
(9-8)
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
10SIXERS
(10-8)
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
11WARRIORS
(10-7)
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
12WOLVES
(8-8)
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
13NUGGETS
(9-9)
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
14PACERS
(9-9)
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
15JAZZ
(9-10)
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
16BUCKS
(8-8)
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
17ROCKETS
(9-8)
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
18BULLS
(8-8)
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
19MAVERICKS
(8-9)
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
20LAKERS
(8-10)
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
21BLAZERS
(8-10)
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
22MAGIC
(7-10)
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
23PISTONS
(6-13)
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
24BOBCATS
(7-9)
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
25SUNS
(7-12)
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
26RAPTORS
(4-14)
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
27HORNETS
(5-11)
Rookie race back on (not): Davis, who has missed last eight games, out two more weeks with “stress reaction” in ankle.26
28CAVALIERS
(4-14)
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
29WIZARDS
(2-13)
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
30KINGS
(4-12)
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

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  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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