Revved up

Revved up
By Steve Kerr, Yahoo Sports
November 7, 2005

Steve Kerr
Yahoo Sports
Opening week – or "Premiere Week" as the NBA likes to call it – was filled with upsets, injuries, surprises and excitement.

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.

Detroit 1. Detroit Pistons (3-0, Last week: 4) – Richard Hamilton is due for his first All-Star appearance.

Dallas 2. Dallas Mavericks (2-1, Last week: 10) – Wins over the Spurs and Suns vault the Mavs into the second spot.

San Antonio 3. San Antonio Spurs (2-1, Last week: 1) – Tony Parker is off to a blazing start.

Indiana 4. Indiana Pacers (2-1, Last week: 3) – The defense will get even better with the return of Jeff Foster.

Milwaukee 5. Milwaukee Bucks (3-0, Last week: 21) – T.J. Ford has this team storming out of the blocks.

Washington 6. Washington Wizards (3-0, Last week: 22) – Can anyone guard Gilbert Arenas?

L.A. Clippers 7. Los Angeles Clippers (3-0, Last week: 23) – Sam I am! Sam Cassell gives the Clips some swagger.

Miami 8.Miami Heat (1-2, Last week: 2) – Shaquille O'Neal's absence gives the new additions a chance to shine.

New Jersey 9. New Jersey Nets (2-1, Last week: 9) – Richard Jefferson explodes out of the gates.

Phoenix 10. Phoenix Suns (2-2, Last week: 8) – Win or lose, this team is wildly entertaining.

Utah 11. Utah Jazz (2-1, Last week: 15) – Deron Williams isn't starting yet, but it won't be long before he is.

Memphis 12. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1, Last week: 18) – The Czar has his team defending and competing.

Golden State 13. Golden State Warriors (2-1, Last week: 17) – Baron Davis already missed a game. Can he stay healthy?

L.A. Lakers 14. Los Angeles Lakers (2-1, Last week: 13) – Kobe Bryant has led the charge. An early East Coast swing looms.

Houston 15. Houston Rockets (1-1, Last week: 5) – Can Yao Ming hold down the fort until Tracy McGrady gets back?

Cleveland 16. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2, Last week: 7) – LeBron James and his new teammates are still getting to know one another.

New Orleans 17. New Orleans Hornets (2-1, Last week: 29) – Sellout crowds in Oklahoma City have given this club a boost.

Seattle 18. Seattle SuperSonics (1-1, Last week: 19) – Ray Allen is lighting it up already.

Chicago 19. Chicago Bulls (1-1, Last week: 12) – Down 23 points in the fourth quarter, the Bulls rallied to beat Charlotte in their opener.

Charlotte 20. Charlotte Bobcats (2-1, Last week: 30) – It's a great start for this young team, even with the collapse in Chicago.

Minnesota 21. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2, Last week: 20) – Kevin Garnett looks healthy and active.

Denver 22. Denver Nuggets (1-3, Last week: 6) – Not the start George Karl wanted. And Nene is out for the season.

Sacramento 23. Sacramento Kings (1-2, Last week: 11) – The Kings had an embarrassing 0-2 start, but a win in Phoenix eased the pain.

Boston 24. Boston Celtics (1-2, Last week: 24) – Delonte West is playing well in the starting point guard role.

Philadelphia 25. Philadelphia 76ers (1-3, Last week: 14) – Big numbers for Chris Webber and Allen Iverson, but they don't have much to show for it.

Portland 26. Portland Trail Blazers (1-2, Last week: 26) – Zach Randolph is slowly getting his legs back under him.

Orlando 27. Orlando Magic (0-3, Last week: 28) – Hurry back, Grant Hill.

New York 28. New York Knicks (0-3, Last week: 16) – Larry Brown looks for his first win, while the natives get restless.

Atlanta 29. Atlanta Hawks (0-3, Last week: 25) – Can Joe Johnson handle the point guard position?

Toronto 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

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