NBA Power Rankings: Warriors Still On Top; Pistons Roar Out Of Gate

by abournenesn

November 2, 2015

We’re less than one week into the 2015-16 NBA season, but the Golden State Warriors still are looking like the team to beat.

The reigning NBA champions are picking up right where they left off, surging to a 3-0 start while averaging 119 points per game.

But they’re not the only team that’s making noise this season. The Oklahoma City Thunder look rejuvenated with both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the floor, while the surprising Detroit Pistons have yet to lose a game.

Most teams have played just three games, so it’s way too early to make any meaningful predictions. But we’re going to do just that.

Here are our NBA Power Rankings through Week 1 of the new season:

1. Golden State Warriors (3-0): Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is averaging 39.3 points per game, and the Warriors are firing on all cylinders. This one’s easy.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1): The Cavs dropped a close one to the Chicago Bulls on opening night but responded by obliterating the Memphis Grizzlies and downing LeBron James’ old friends, the Miami Heat.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0): The Thunder are averaging 122.7 points per game through three contests. Is that good?

4. Los Angeles Clippers (3-0): The Clippers have won 17 of their last 18 regular-season games dating to March. Circle your calendars for this Wednesday, when L.A. takes on the team that handed them that one loss: The Warriors.

5. San Antonio Spurs (2-1): Newcomer LaMarcus Aldridge has started to hit his stride, putting up 24 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday’s win over the Boston Celtics.

6. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1): Memphis has looked solid aside from its complete clunker against the Cavs. The Grizzlies should be right in the thick of things in a competitive Western Conference.

7. Chicago Bulls (3-1): Derrick Rose is on the court, which means the Bulls are good. An opening night win over Cleveland should inspire confidence in the Windy City.

8. Detroit Pistons (3-0): Double-double machine Andre Drummond, point guard Reggie Jackson and newcomer Marcus Morris have injected a turbo shot into the Pistons’ rebuilding process.

9. Atlanta Hawks (3-1): Those new alternate uniforms are hideous, but they haven’t stopped Atlanta from enjoying another strong start this season.

10. Toronto Raptors (3-0): Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have a new sidekick in DeMarre Carroll, and they’re getting along just fine so far.

11. Miami Heat (2-1): The Heat trailed the Houston Rockets by 21 points in the first half Sunday and ended up winning by 20. That’s a good sign for any team.

12. Washington Wizards (2-1): The John Wall and Bradley Beal Show has enjoyed a successful opening act. The duo has combined to score 47.3 of Washington’s 105.3 points per game.

13. Utah Jazz (2-1): Derrick Favors is averaging 21.3 points per game, while Rudy “The Stifle Tower” Gobert already has 11 blocks in three games.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-0): The Timberwolves haven’t lost yet, so we’re obligated to put them here. Karl-Anthony Towns has been a beast so far, recording double-doubles in his first two NBA games.

15. Phoenix Suns (2-1): Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight have carried the load offensively for Phoenix, averaging 22.7 points and 20 points per game, respectively.

16. Dallas Mavericks (2-1): Nobody has gotten hurt yet in Dallas, which is a good sign.

17. New York Knicks (2-1): Kristaps Porzingis has 34 points in his first three games, and all is right in New York. For now.

18. Houston Rockets (0-3): The Rockets have lost each of their first three games by exactly 20 points. At least they’re consistent.

19. Sacramento Kings (1-2): The Kings appear to have dodged a bullet with DeMarcus Cousins, who is day to day with an Achilles strain and hopefully won’t miss too much action.

20. Boston Celtics (1-2): The Celtics have struggled to knock down shots so far this season, but losses to the Raptors and Spurs shouldn’t be too much cause for concern.

21. Portland Trail Blazers (1-2): C.J. McCollum scored 22 points in the first quarter of Portland’s opener, but not much else has gone right for the Trail Blazers of late.

22. Denver Nuggets (1-2): Danilo Gallinari has a legitimate chance to be Denver’s leading scorer this season.

23. New Orleans Pelicans (0-3): Things should get better for the Pelicans once they stop playing the Warriors, who have been New Orleans’ opponents in six of its last seven games dating to last season’s playoffs.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (0-3): Losing by 25 to the New York Knicks on opening night is not how you want to start the Greg Monroe era.

25. Indiana Pacers (0-3): The Pacers’ new-look offense isn’t exactly off to a flying start, averaging just 92.7 points per game, good for 26th in the NBA.

26. Orlando Magic (0-3): The Magic have lost their first three games by a combined nine points, if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person.

27. Charlotte Hornets (0-3): The Hornets haven’t won a regular-season game since April 4.

28. Los Angeles Lakers (0-3): Dropping his first three games to the Timberwolves, Kings and Mavericks isn’t quite how Kobe Bryant imagined his comeback.

29. Philadelphia 76ers (0-2): Jahlil Okafor had a huge NBA debut (26 points, seven rebounds), but he’s pretty much the only bright spot in Philly.

30. Brooklyn Nets (0-3): At least the Sixers have Okafor.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts after scoring against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of a game at Smoothie King Center. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 134-120.
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