Contributed By Remy Hammes.

  1. Boston Celtics

Overall Record: 18-3 (.857)

Record this week: 3-1 (.750)

This week’s results: @Mavs (W) 110-102, @Heat (L) 90-104, Magic (W) 118-103, Pacers (W) 108-98

The Celtics’ impressive 16 game winning streak came to an end this week during their head-to-head with the Miami Heat. However, they clearly didn’t let the loss affect their mentality going forward, bouncing right back and winning their next two games. They still hold the NBA’s best record at 18-3, and their defensive play hasn’t skipped a beat, holding their opponents to 95.8 points per game to claim the title of league’s best-ranked defense. After defeating the Warriors last week, their continued stellar performances despite a loss solidifies their position as the best team in the NBA at the moment.

😱 @kyrieirving in transition for the @celtics! 😱

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  1. Golden State Warriors

Overall Record: 15-5 (.750)

Record this week: 2-1 (.667)

This week’s results: @Thunder (L): 91-108, Bulls (W): 143-94, Pelicans (W): 110-95

Do not let their 2nd-place ranking fool you, the Golden State Warriors are still the offensive juggernaut they were last year, currently leading the NBA in scoring (117.8 PPG), assists (30.1 APG), and +/- (11.0). Anyone who questions their legitimacy as the team to beat for the Championship should sit down and stop talking immediately. However, their notable loss to the “Oklahoma City experiment” by more than 10 points, paired with their 19th-ranked defense bumps them down to the 2nd-best team in the NBA at the moment, but slumps are a part of basketball and the Warriors are sure to bounce back soon enough.

@stephencurry30 goes off for 26 in the 2nd quarter as the @warriors pull away!

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  1. Houston Rockets

Overall Record: 15-4 (.789)

Record this week: 2-0 (1.000)

This week’s results: Nuggets (W) 125-95, Knicks (W) 117-102

The Houston Rockets are the real-life version of any NBA 2K game ever played, run the high pick and roll then either finish, hit the roller, or penetrate and dish to an open shooter. The Rockets aren’t only 2nd in scoring (113.5 PPG) but they are 10th in opponent’s points per game (103.4 OPG) which may not seem so impressive until you consider that statistic for last year’s Rockets team at the end of the season, where they ranked 26th in opponent’s points per game, allowing 109.6. The Rockets’ ability to score the basketball has never been questioned, however their significant defensive improvement this season could possibly make them the biggest threat in Golden State’s path to claiming the 2017-2018 championship trophy.

🔥🔥🔥

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  1. San Antonio Spurs

Overall Record: 12-7 (.632)

Record this week: 2-1 (.667)

This week’s results: Hawks (W) 96-85, @Pelicans (L) 90-107, @Hornets 106-86

Once again, you will see no news outlets or analyst television shows bring up the San Antonio Spurs because the fact of the matter is there’s nothing worth talking about. The Spurs are flat out boring, they do the same thing every year, they fly under the radar and come playoff time and they give other teams reality checks, which includes last year’s 25-point lead against the Warriors before Kawhi Leonard’s “unfortunate accident.” The Spurs are 25th in scoring (100.9 PPG) this season, but who needs scoring when you’re also tied for 2nd in the race for league-best defense, allowing 98.1 points per game. Nobody points to the seventeen-point loss to the Pelicans this week because everybody knows it will make no difference in the long run, the Spurs will finish with 60-65 wins and check whoever has the misfortune of seeding opposite them come playoff time.

The @spurs way.. find the open man!

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  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Overall Record: 8-11 (.421)

Record this week: 1-3 (.250)

This week’s results: @Pelicans (L): 107-114, Warriors (W) 108-91, Pistons (L): 98-99, @Mavericks (L) 81-97

You’re either asking yourself, what is a sub-500 team doing 5th on an NBA Power Rankings table? Or, you’re telling yourself okay they’re good but they’re not that good. This Thunder team has a great chance of being the Warriors’ biggest fear post-All Star Break, because unlike the Rockets, who have already established their three-and-D system with great success, the Thunder haven’t even begun to figure out their identity and they’ve already beaten the Warriors this week. With three ball-dominant, expert scorers, the Thunder currently rank 23rd in the NBA in points per game with 102 PPG. That’s a result of timidity and caution, once their big three have acclimated themselves to each other, that potential top-5 offense will look nice next to the overlooked, tied-for-2nd defense they have, with only 98.1 allowed points per game.

NUCLEAR ATHLETICISM by @russwest44!

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  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Overall Record: 12-7 (.632)

Record this week: 3-0 (1.000)

This week’s results: @Pistons (W) 116-88, Nets (W) 119-109, Hornets (W) 100-99

Cleveland won three games this week, pushing their own little win streak to seven games. They are 3rd  in scoring (110.8 PPG), 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings, and 0.5 games behind the 2nd-place Pistons whom they obliterated during a road game this week. LeBron James will be what he has always been, the best player in the world, and the Cavaliers will eventually figure out their defensive issues. Lebron and his team have nothing to prove to anyone during the regular season, and while the Celtics currently seem infinitely more favored to win the East, finishing as the 1st or 2nd seed does not make a world of difference in playoff opponents. Sleeping on the Cavaliers so early in the season would be a grave mistake by anyone.

@kingjames scores 23 in the 4th including 18 straight to secure @cavs W!

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  1. Denver Nuggets

Current Record: 11-8 (.579)

Record this week: 2-1 (.667)

This week’s results: @Kings (W) 114-98, @Rockets (L) 95-125, Grizzlies (W) 104-92

This is where the famous “grey area” starts, those fringe teams who are all sort of question marks to everyone. Denver takes the top spot because of its rather balanced mix of battle-tested players, like Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler and intriguing young talents like Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Balanced is the perfect term to describe the Nuggets, other than a shaky defense ranked 18th in the league that allows 106.5 points per game. Denver ranks 11th in points per game scored (10th with 107.8 PPG), assists per game (6th with 23.6 APG) and rebounds per game (9th with 45.4 RPG). Almost all their players have playoff experience, which will pay off for them in the long run and bring them success against inconsistent, younger teams.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Current Record: 11-8 (.611)

Record this week: 3-1 (.750)

This week’s results: @Hornets (W) 102-118, Magic (W) 124-118, Heat (L) 97-109, Suns (W) 119-108

Minnesota has all the parts they need to be good, similarly to the Nuggets they’ve got their veterans in Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford and their shining young players in Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Unlike the Nuggets though, the Timberwolves have failed to mesh together well, ranking 17th in assists (22.2 APG) and 19th in rebounding (42.8 RPG) among all teams. However, what is probably not only the most surprising stat with Thibodeau as coach, is the Timberwolves’ 25th-ranked defense that allows its opponents to score 108.3 points per game. The Wolves remain in the top 10 because of the potential they have to become a Western Conference threat, but if they haven’t made significant strides in defensive consistency and ball movement come January, there is little chance they remain a top 10 team.

@karltowns throws it down WITH AUTHORITY!

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  1. Washington Wizards

Current Record: 10-9 (.526)

Record this week: 3-1 (.750)

This week’s results: @Bucks (W) 99-88, @Hornets (L) 124-129, @Trailblazers (L) 105-108

Washington’s John Wall is (tied with the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley) the most underrated point guard in the NBA, and the Wizards are, one of its most underrated teams. Make no mistake, the Wizards will not be contending for the NBA Championship this year or in the near future (barring a blockbuster trade), but in a seven-game series, their scrappiness and their experience can cause several issues for teams in the playoffs, including the current Eastern Conference favorite Celtics and the dismissed-too-early Cavaliers. The Wizards are currently 8th in the NBA in scoring (108.3 PPG) and 12th in opponent’s points per game (104.5 OPG), which makes them better than half the NBA in both categories. While stats do not always dictate the outcome of games, the Wizards are not part of the first few teams that come to mind when thinking of the top ten teams, yet they are among the most likely to cause havoc within another team’s game plan through their play.

@timfraz23 ⬆️⬆️⬆️ Tonight’s @verizon Dunk of the Night! #WizBlazers

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  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Current Record: 11-7 (.611)

Record this week: 3-0 (1.000)

This week’s results: Jazz (W): 107-86, Trailblazers (W) 101-81, Magic (W) 130-111

The Sixers claim the last spot on the “grey area rankings,” they play with grit and hunger, and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid seem to be on a mission to prove to us all that we should have listened to them and “trusted the process.” The Sixers are currently 5th in scoring (109.6 PPG), 1st in rebounding (48.8 RPG), and 2nd in assists per game (26.4 APG), which is ridiculous. The Sixers’ lack of experience is what hurt them the most in these rankings, the team’s average age is 24.7 years old. And based solely on their young age, lack of general NBA experience and their favorable, weaker Eastern Conference opponents, they rank 10th on the Power Rankings table until they prove durability and consistency.

@bensimmons on the attack for the @sixers!

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