NBA Power Rankings For This Week: Raptors & Warriors Dominate

We're starting to get a good idea of which NBA teams are going to dominate in 2018-19, and which early hot starters are going to start regressing.

Right now, the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Denver Nuggets are in a class of their own. Otherwise, the rest of the top 10 and the bottom feeders have begun switching around a bit.

Here is where all 30 teams stand as we finish up the second week of November.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-10)

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Well, losing LeBron James will at least help them earn a top-three pick in the 2019 draft. It's time for the front office to start trading away the veterans and get as many young assets as they can. What a mess.

29. Washington Wizards (2-9)

If Dwight Howard had known what he was getting himself into, there's no way he would have signed with Washington. It seems like the only solution is for the Wizards to rebuild, so John Wall may be playing out his final year in DC.

28. Phoenix Suns (2-9)

Devin Booker was critical of the team's home loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. They followed that up with a miserable fourth quarter meltdown vs. the Boston Celtics, blowing a 14-point lead with 5:30 left. They lost in overtime and once again showed the fans that it's going to be a painful year.

27. Chicago Bulls (3-9)

The Bulls have lost five of their last six games now, but it's not a surprise given A) the amount of injuries and B) this is strictly a rebuilding year. Zach LaVine has been a bright spot, averaging 27.4 points per game.

26. Atlanta Hawks (3-9)

Trae Young is an early candidate for Rookie of the Year, so the rebuilding Hawks have something to get excited for the long run. Other than that, their secret goal should be to get the most draft lottery balls for 2019.

25. Dallas Mavericks (3-8)

Well, the arrival of rookie Luka Doncic and free agent signing of DeAndre Jordan haven't been enough to help the Mavericks turn it around. Might be a while until the Mavericks start contending again.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9)

Derrick Rose has been like his former All-Star form, which is a nice story. But the Timberwolves are making things worse by dragging out the inevitable Jimmy Butler trade. Better to get it done with and clear the locker room drama/tension. It's been a major letdown in Minny on the court, too.


23. New York Knicks (4-8)

Other than a strong showing from Tim Hardaway Jr. thus far (24.3 points per game), it's been another terrible year for the Knicks. Their offense won't change until Kristaps Porzingis returns, and nobody knows when that'll be.

22. Orlando Magic (5-7)

Because the Eastern Conference is loaded with lottery-hopeful teams, the Magic might sneak into the playoffs. Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon have been as productive as usual, giving Orlando a chance to win on most nights.

21. Brooklyn Nets (6-6)

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Like the Magic, Brooklyn has the chance to get one of the final playoff spots in the East. This rebuilding group is starting to make some progress, thanks to the production of D'Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert.

20. New Orleans Pelicans (5-6)

The Pelicans' 4-0 start has been erased, and the team is giving Anthony Davis little reason to sign a contract extension. The Pelicans have to be considered one of the biggest disappointments of the young season.

19. Houston Rockets (4-6)

The Rockets are slowly turning a corner again after a 1-5 start, picking up victories in three of their last four games. Expect them to start turning a corner, with the core players healthy again.

18. Los Angeles Lakers (5-6)

LeBron is doing everything he can to try and get this group back in the playoff race. Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram have made big impacts, so at least the 33-year-old James hasn't been counted upon as much compared to his final year in Cleveland.

17. Utah Jazz (6-6)

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Keep in mind the Jazz started slow last season, then got red hot in the final two months to land the No. 5 seed in the West. Expect something similar down the stretch; they're too talented to remain this mediocre.

16. Miami Heat (5-6)

The Heat may as well try to meet Minnesota's asking price for Jimmy Butler. This team seriously needs some more help offensively if they're to make the playoffs again.

15. Charlotte Hornets (6-6)

With Kemba Walker leading the way, Charlotte has a great chance to get back into the postseason for the first time in three years. As mentioned above, it helps in that the East is loaded with some very bad teams.


14. Sacramento Kings (7-5)

Can the Kings make the playoffs for the first time since 2013? Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox have been one of the game's top young duos. The tricky part? Keeping this good start going as other quality teams in the West slowly start to turn it on.

13. Los Angeles Clippers (6-5)

The Clippers have been playing above expectations, consider center DeAndre Jordan left in free agency. Remember, they're expected to be heavy front-runners for Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler in the offseason, so this rebuilding project may not last long.

12. Memphis Grizzlies (6-4)

The Grizzlies have been better than anybody expected. But as is the case with the Kings, can they keep it going as other teams in the West start to pick it up?

11. Detroit Pistons (6-5)

Thanks to the weak Eastern Conference, Detroit might manage to earn a top-four seed. But overall, it's been a very up-and-down first three weeks under new head coach Dwane Casey.

10. Indiana Pacers (8-5)

The Pacers had a big fourth quarter comeback and defeated the Heat on Friday. They now sit nicely at 8-5, as Victor Oladipo continues to pace the offense with another All-Star-like season.

9. San Antonio Spurs (6-4)

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The post-Kawhi Leonard hasn't been bad at all. Newcomer DeMar DeRozan is flourishing with 26.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. Right now, the Spurs look poised to continue their playoff streak. DeRozan just needs a little more support from his teammates offensively.

8. Philadelphia 76ers (8-5)

The 76ers are starting to get it going offensively after a sluggish start. Joel Embiid is in the running for the scoring title. Just imagine how great Philly could be if Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz start figuring out their shooting woes.

7. Boston Celtics (7-5)

The C's are struggling big-time on offense right now, but they're piecing together some big wins with the league's top defense. It's only a matter of time until Jaylen Brown, Jayston Tatum and Gordon Hayward start going.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-4)

Remember when Russell Westbrook said he wasn't panicking after the team's 0-4 start? Now you see why. All he's done is led OKC to seven straight wins. The Thunder will once again be contending for a top-four spot in the West this year.

5. Portland Trail Blazers (9-3)

Damian Lillard (26.6 points, five rebounds and 5.3 assists per game), is having an MVP-caliber season so far. The Trail Blazers carry a three-game winning streak into tomorrow's big match vs. the Celtics.

4. Denver Nuggets (9-3)

With wins over the Warriors and Celtics, there's no doubting this team is for real. Jamal Murray turned heads with a 48-point effort against Boston on Monday. This Denver team is to be taken seriously, folks.

3. Milwaukee Bucks (9-2)

The Bucks made a statement by going into Golden State on Thursday night and blowing them out with a 134-111 road victory. So much for the East being between the Raptors, Celtics and 76ers. Milwaukee looks like a legitimate title contender right now.

2. Toronto Raptors (11-1)

You know you're good when the only loss of the season was against an elite Bucks team, in which Kawhi Leonard didn't even play. The Raptors annihilated teams on their Western road trip. Rookie head coach Nick Nurse is making the most out of both his starting five and the league's best bench. What a start for this team.

1. Golden State Warriors (10-2)

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The Warriors were blown out at home by the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, but they remain the class of the NBA. Stephen Curry is playing like somebody who wants a third MVP Award. There are no concerns about this roster whatsoever. They'll run away with the top record by season's end. Nothing to see here.


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