NBA Power Rankings: Spurs, Hornets Catch Fire; Wizards In Free Fall


With another week of NBA action in the books, two questions still remain: Will the Golden State Warriors ever lose? And will the Philadelphia 76ers ever win?

While we ponder the fates of the league’s best and worst clubs, there was plenty of movement between the two in an eventful seven days of action. Check out where each team stands in our Week 5 Power Rankings, updated through every game played through Sunday, Nov. 29.

1. Golden State Warriors (18-0): The Warriors need three more wins to pass the 1884 St. Louis Maroons for the most consecutive wins to start a season in pro sports (20). Last week: 1

2. San Antonio Spurs (14-3): The toast of the NBA outside Golden State, San Antonio has won 11 of its last 12 games and hasn’t allowed more than 88 points in five straight contests. Last week: 3

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-4): LeBron James rescued the Cavs from disaster against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday to help Cleveland maintain its spot atop the Eastern Conference. Last week: 2

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (11-6): Welcome back, Kevin Durant. The Thunder are 3-0 since KD’s return from injury and are averaging 109.4 points per game, second-best in the NBA. Last week: 7

5. Indiana Pacers (11-5): The Pacers have lost once over the last three weeks thanks in part to Paul George, who’s scored 30-plus points in three consecutive contests. Last week: 8

6. Chicago Bulls (9-5): Chicago fell to the Warriors and Pacers this week and has to play the red-hot Spurs on Monday. We’re not envious. Last week: 4

7. Miami Heat (10-5): The Heat beat the Knicks twice this week, which isn’t saying much. They still boast the NBA’s second-best defense, though, allowing just 91.7 points per game. Last week: 6

8. Dallas Mavericks (10-7): Dallas cooled off with three consecutive losses to the Thunder, Grizzlies and Warriors but still sits in fourth place in the West. Last week: 5

9. Toronto Raptors (11-7): Toronto rode impressive defensive efforts to four straight wins before falling to the Suns on Sunday (of all days). Last week: 10

10. Atlanta Hawks (11-8): The Hawks have been inconsistent of late, blowing out the Celtics and Grizzlies but falling to the Timberwolves and Spurs. Last week: 9

11. Memphis Grizzlies (10-8): The Grizzlies are back on track, winning seven of their last nine games to get back in the thick of things in the West. Last week: 15

12. Charlotte Hornets (10-7): How ’bout those Hornets?! Kemba Walker has led Charlotte to wins in five of its last six games. Last week: 18

13. Orlando Magic (9-8): Orlando has won three straight to move above .500 for the first time this season. Last week: 20

14. Boston Celtics (9-8): Losing Marcus Smart for at least two weeks is a big blow for a Celtics team that prides itself on defenseLast week: 13

15. Utah Jazz (8-7): The Jazz have lost just one game this season in which they’ve scored 100 or more points. Last week: 17

16. Los Angeles Clippers (9-8): The Clippers somewhat righted an unstable ship by winning three of their last four. Last week: 19

17: Detroit Pistons (8-9): Detroit earned the dubious distinction of losing to the Nets on Sunday and has just one win in the last 10 days. Last week: 14

18. Phoenix Suns (8-9): The Suns are feeling the heat of a difficult stretch in their schedule but didn’t do themselves any favors by losing twice to the Pelicans. Last week: 12

19. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-9): Andrew Wiggins is off to a strong start offensively, leading the team with 21.8 points per game. Last week: 25

20. New York Knicks (8-10): The poor Knicks haven’t won since last Saturday and had to watch Dwight Howard absolutely humiliate Kristaps Porzingis on Sunday night. Last week: 16

21. Washington Wizards (6-8): The Wizards have lost four straight, three of which were blowouts, and look disinterested in Randy Wittman’s coaching. Is he the next NBA head coach to go? Last week: 11

22. Houston Rockets (7-10): The Rockets beat the Sixers and Knicks by a combined seven points this week. Congrats, you guys. Last week: 24

23. Portland Trail Blazers (7-10): Damian Lillard continues to pour it on, with 27-plus points in three of his last four games. Last week: 22

24. Denver Nuggets (6-11): The Nuggets were devoured by the Clippers, Spurs and Mavs this week, extending their losing streak to six games. Last week: 21

25. Milwaukee Bucks (6-11): Losses to the Kings, Magic and Lakers didn’t help Milwaukee’s cause in this week’s rankings. Last week: 23

26. Sacramento Kings (6-12): Rajon Rondo is playing out of his mind, but the Kings still are a bad basketball team. Last week: 26

27. Brooklyn Nets (4-13): Watch out, everyone, the Nets are movin’ on up! (OK, not really. But they did win a game this week.) Last week: 28

28. New Orleans Pelicans (4-13): New Orleans reverted back to its losing ways this week with defeats to the Clippers and Jazz. Last week: 27

29. Los Angeles Lakers (2-14): Kobe Bryant announced his plans to retire Sunday, then went 4 for 20 in another Lakers loss. Sounds about right. Last week: 29

30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-18): The Sixers have entered the fourth quarter with a lead in four consecutive games. Poor kids. Last week: 30

Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks power forward Mike Scott (left) looks on during the second half at AT&T Center.

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