By Steve Kerr, Yahoo Sports
November 7, 2005
Shaquille O'Neal's sprained ankle put a hold on all the championship talk in Miami, while Dallas' bludgeoning of the Spurs silenced the dynasty chatter in San Antonio for the time being. Larry Brown's honeymoon in New York is officially over, as is Maurice Cheeks' in Philadelphia. Meanwhile in Milwaukee, T.J. Ford may have already secured his place as the Comeback Player of the Year for his scintillating play in leading the Bucks to a 3-0 start.
But the feel-good story of the week happened in New Orleans – I mean, Oklahoma City – where the much-maligned Hornets routed Sacramento in front of a raucous crowd and served notice that they won't be the league's laughingstock this season.
The result of an entertaining first week is a radically altered league rankings. The team at the top shouldn't surprise anyone – it is perhaps the NBA's most consistent team the past two seasons.
Records are through Nov. 6.
2. Dallas Mavericks (2-1, Last week: 10) – Wins over the Spurs and Suns vault the Mavs into the second spot.
5. Milwaukee Bucks (3-0, Last week: 21) – T.J. Ford has this team storming out of the blocks.
8.Miami Heat (1-2, Last week: 2) – Shaquille O'Neal's absence gives the new additions a chance to shine.
10. Phoenix Suns (2-2, Last week: 8) – Win or lose, this team is wildly entertaining.
12. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1, Last week: 18) – The Czar has his team defending and competing.
17. New Orleans Hornets (2-1, Last week: 29) – Sellout crowds in Oklahoma City have given this club a boost.
19. Chicago Bulls (1-1, Last week: 12) – Down 23 points in the fourth quarter, the Bulls rallied to beat Charlotte in their opener.
20. Charlotte Bobcats (2-1, Last week: 30) – It's a great start for this young team, even with the collapse in Chicago.
22. Denver Nuggets (1-3, Last week: 6) – Not the start George Karl wanted. And Nene is out for the season.
23. Sacramento Kings (1-2, Last week: 11) – The Kings had an embarrassing 0-2 start, but a win in Phoenix eased the pain.
28. New York Knicks (0-3, Last week: 16) – Larry Brown looks for his first win, while the natives get restless.
30. Toronto Raptors (0-3, Last week: 27) – They're the best team in Canada.
Steve Kerr is Yahoo! Sports' NBA analyst. Send Steve a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2005 4:11 pm, EST