Nov 18, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives past Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Power Rankings Week 4


We are back with our weekly regular season power rankings and after an exciting week of NBA action, there has been a lot of movement, especially involving the teams ranked in the middle.

Let’s not waste any time and get right into this week’s power rankings.

Nov 18, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers defeated the Cavaliers 86-79. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

30. Washington Wizards (0-9): Jordan Crawford leads the woeful Wizards in scoring with 12.2 points per game. Enough said. Last Week’s Ranking-29

29. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-8): Six straight losses and now Kyrie Irving is out four weeks. It’s going to be another long year in Cleveland. Last Week’s Ranking-25

28. Sacramento Kings (2-8): The Kings have lost five straight, can’t shoot the basketball, and have as many suspensions as wins (two each). Last Week’s Ranking-24

27. Detroit Pistons (2-9): After an 0-8 start, they have won 2-of 3, including wins against the Sixers and Celtics. Last Week’s Ranking-30

26. Orlando Magic (3-7): Do you think the Magic are happy they didn’t deal Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum? A string of five straight losses was halted with against the Pistons, but things could have turned out worse. Last Week’s Ranking-27

25. Toronto Raptors (3-7): DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon are playing his best basketball of their career, but this team needs Kyle Lowry healthy and Andrea Bargnani playing at a higher level. Last Week’s Ranking-28

24. Houston Rockets (4-7): Despite James Harden and Omer Asik off to good starts with their new team, the Rockets have won only two of their past nine games. Last Week’s Ranking-17

23. Phoenix Suns (4-7): The Suns had a brutal schedule over the course of the past week with games against Denver, Chicago, Miami and the Lakers. Give them credit for getting one win. Last Week’s Ranking-23

22. New Orleans Hornets (3-5): Anthony Davis has been everything he was advertised and more. But New Orleans has lost three straight and aren’t playing good team defense, allowing 109 points per game in the losing streak. Last Week’s Ranking-16

21. Indiana Pacers (5-7): The Pacers lead the NBA in defensive efficiency, but their offense is brutal. Danny Granger is out for three months and even though he had a good game Monday night, Roy Hibbert hasn’t been himself after signing his big contract, I just don’t know where the points will come from on a consistent basis. Last Week’s Ranking-20

November 16, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith (5) drives in against Sacramento Kings small forward John Salmons (5) during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

20. Atlanta Hawks (5-4): Josh Smith isn’t quite playing like the J-Smoove we have seen over the past couple of seasons. Too many missed jumpers and free-throws so far. Al Horford and Lou Williams have been pretty good though. Last Week’s Ranking-15

19. Charlotte Bobcats (5-4): The Cats are competing and have two excellent building blocks in Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who are both off to great starts. Don’t look now, but Charlotte has won four of its last five, including a nice win Monday against the Bucks. Last Week’s Ranking-26

18. Portland Trail Blazers (5-5): The Blazers have some nice pieces with Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum just to name a few and have put together a nice three game win streak. Last Week’s Ranking-22

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-4): Their promising start to the season could be derailed by injuries already as Chase Budinger, J.J. Barea and Brandon Roy have joined Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio as Wolves that are out of the lineup. Last Week’s Ranking-10

16. Dallas Mavericks (6-6): O.J. Mayo is playing his best basketball of his career, which helps lessen the blow that Dirk Nowitzki’s rehab isn’t going as well as Dallas may have hoped. Considering the Mavs have lost 5-of-7, they need every bit of Mayo as they can get right now. Last Week’s Ranking-11

November 15, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) dunks the ball during the second half against the Miami Heat at the Pepsi Center. The Heat won 98-93. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

15. Golden State Warriors (6-5): A few other rookies are getting all of the attention, but don’t overlook Harrison Barnes, who is getting better by the game. Despite losing Brandon Rush for the year and still seeing Andrew Bogut banged up, the Warriors won three of four during the week, including an overtime victory against Dallas on Monday in which Steph Curry was tremendous. Last Week’s Ranking-21

14. Denver Nuggets (5-6): Kenneth Faried is a beast, but Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari have all been disappointments on the NBA’s most disappointing team early on. Monday’s win against the Grizzlies was big and could possibly get George Karl’s team on a roll. This is the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA which is a strength. It has to be considering how poor Denver has shot the ball so far. Last Week’s Ranking-7

13. Philadelphia 76ers (6-4): Bowling? Really? Do you think the Sixers would rather have Andre Iguodala back right now? Last Week’s Ranking-9

12. Chicago Bulls (5-5): After a very nice start, the Bulls are not playing Tom Thibodeau basketball, allowing four consecutive opponents to score over 100 points. Last Week’s Ranking-8

11. Utah Jazz (6-6): Al Jefferson is starting to come alive and the Jefferson-Paul Millsap-Derrick Favors frontcourt is something to be feared. Last Week’s Ranking 18

10. Boston Celtics (6-5): Rajon Rondo is on some kind of pace when it comes to dishing the ball, but is there anything else going on in Beantown right now to get excited about? Last Week’s Ranking-13

9. Brooklyn Nets (6-2): The Nets have been on a five-game tear, but those wins have come against Boston without Rajon Rondo, Orlando (twice), Cleveland and Sacramento. Brook Lopez is improving and the Nets are playing well, but we have to see them beat some better teams before we say they are for real.  Last Week’s Ranking-12

8. Los Angeles Lakers (5-5): The Lakers have rebounded to get to .500, but none of those wins have come against good teams. But Mike D’Antoni is ready to take over and Steve Nash should be back in a week or so. Then we will see this team likely start rolling. Last Week’s Ranking-19

7. Milwaukee Bucks (6-3): Milwaukee is off to their best start in over 10 years and are riding a three-game win streak. Two of those wins came against a couple decent teams in Philadelphia and Indiana. The Brandon Jennings-Monta Ellis backcourt has been great, winning despite a not-so-stellar frontcourt.  Last Week’s Ranking-14

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-3): Kevin Durant’s first career triple-double is a sign that the Thunder are moving the ball better as a team. They won three of four games during the week but lost to the only good team they played in Memphis. Last Week’s Ranking-6

5. San Antonio Spurs (8-3): After their rare collapse against the Knicks, the Spurs bounced back nicely against Denver, but ended up falling Monday night to the Clippers. Manu Ginobili is starting to play well, which they need with Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup for a couple of weeks. Last Week’s Ranking-3

Nov 19, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) brings the ball up court against during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT

4. Miami Heat (8-3): They lost to Memphis but won 3-of-4 during the week, rebounding from that to beat Denver and Phoenix. Their size is an issue against some of the bigger Western Conference teams, but it’s the same talented Miami team with LeBron James and Chris Bosh off to fantastic starts. Last Week’s Ranking-4

3. Los Angeles Clippers (8-2): The Clippers are No. 4 in offensive efficiency and No. 2 in defensive efficiency. Jamal Crawford was somehow snubbed off the All-Star ballot, but he has proven to be the missing piece in Vinny Del Negro’s offense. They have beaten the Grizzlies, the Spurs (twice), the Lakers, Heat and Bulls. Chris Paul is playing at a MVP-level again and there are very few better in the league at closing out games.  Last Week’s Ranking-5

2. New York Knicks (7-1): New York is doing it with defense, good shooting and efficiency. They are taking care of the basketball and making teams pay at both ends of the floor. They are the first team in history to win their first six games and get outrebounded in each one. However it is hard to find anything else negative about a 7-1 start.  Last Week’s Ranking-1

1. Memphis Grizzlies (8-2): This is the best start Memphis has got off to, even though they gave away one to Denver on Monday, snapping their eight game win streak and 15 game home win streak (dating back to last season). Even when they’ve made the playoffs the past three years, it hasn’t been because they have gotten off to hot starts, which is something new to this franchise. They already have wins over the Knicks, Thunder and Heat and if anyone thinks Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and company aren’t for real, think again. Last Week’s Ranking-2

Biggest Climber- Lakers (+11)

Biggest Fallers- Nuggets, Timberwolves, Rockets (-7)

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