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NBA Power Rankings: Celtics make move in time for Reunion Week

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports

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The Celtics lead the Atlantic Division after winning three straight games. (USA Today)

1. Indiana Pacers (18-3; last week's ranking: 1): The first meeting of the season between the Pacers and the Heat takes place Tuesday in Indianapolis. This is the NBA's next big rivalry.

2. Portland Trail Blazers (17-4; last week's ranking: 3): Portland is off to its best start since winning 27 of 30 to open the 1990-91 season. A home loss to Dallas kept Blazers from moving to No. 1.

3. Miami Heat (16-5; last week's ranking: 2): After Tuesday's meeting with the Pacers, the Heat will face them again on Dec. 18. Luckily for them and Dwyane Wade, neither game will be a back-to-back.

Oklahoma City
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (15-4; last week's ranking: 5): Lakers star Kobe Bryant will play on the road for the first time and face a big test against the Thunder on Friday.

San Antonio
5. San Antonio Spurs (15-4; last week's ranking: 4): Toronto will play at home for the first time after trading Rudy Gay when they face the Spurs on Tuesday. The Spurs won't be sympathetic after coming off a loss.

6. Houston Rockets (15-7; last week's ranking: 6): The Rockets have a tough upcoming three-game road trip with Portland and Golden State on back-to-back nights and then Sacramento.

Golden State
7. Golden State Warriors (12-9; last week's ranking: 9): Stephen Curry returns to his hometown to face Charlotte on Monday. He had a career-tying 15 assists at Memphis on Saturday.

8. Denver Nuggets (12-8; last week's ranking: 8): The Nuggets have a light week and a good chance to heal with only two games this week at Washington and against Utah on Friday.

Los Angeles
9. Los Angeles Clippers (13-8; last week's ranking: 7): Coach Doc Rivers makes his return to Boston to coach against the Celtics on Wednesday. How will Celtics fans react to him?

10. Dallas Mavericks (13-8; last week's ranking: 10): Rudy Gay's trade isn't expected to be completed in time for him to make his Kings debut against the Mavericks on Monday.

Los Angeles
11. Los Angeles Lakers (10-10; last week's ranking: 18): Kobe Bryant will face his first back-to-back test of the season when the Lakers play at Oklahoma City on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.

12. Phoenix Suns (11-9; last week's ranking: 14): Kobe Bryant's second game will be against Phoenix Tuesday. Combo guard Goran Dragic could get the defensive assignment against him.

13. Memphis Grizzlies (9-10; last week's ranking: 11): A source said first-year coach Dave Joerger is safe, although Grizzlies brass is starting to wonder if they made the right hire.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (9-11; last week's ranking: 13): Smoke canceled the T'wolves' game in Mexico City last week against the Spurs. The Wolves visit San Antonio on Friday.

15. Atlanta Hawks (11-10; last week's ranking: 16): Kyle Korver has hit a 3-pointer in an NBA-record 90 consecutive games. Can he stretch it to 100?

16. Detroit Pistons (10-11; last week's ranking: 20): Detroit had a four-game winning streak snapped by Miami on Sunday. Guard Brandon Jennings has averaged 20.8 points the past five games.

17. Boston Celtics (10-12; last week's ranking: 23): The Celtics have an interesting week facing Kevin Garnett and the Nets Tuesday in Brooklyn and Doc Rivers and the Clippers Wednesday in Boston.

New Orleans
18. New Orleans Pelicans (9-10; last week's ranking: 17): Prior to injury, Anthony Davis worked hard with strength coach Carlos Daniel to gain weight. He also hired a personal chef.

19. Chicago Bulls (8-10; last week's ranking: 17): The Bulls are 2-5 since losing Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury. Starting forward Luol Deng also is out with left calf tightness.

20. Washington Wizards (9-10; last week's ranking: 18): Rookie Otto Porter went scoreless in his debut in a loss to Milwaukee last Friday. He missed the first 18 games with a hip injury.

21. Charlotte Bobcats (9-11; last week's ranking: 19): The Bobcats have lost 14 straight games against Western Conference teams. Charlotte hosts the Warriors and Lakers this week.

22. Toronto Raptors (7-12; last week's ranking: 24): The Raptors get a much-needed point guard after dealing Rudy Gay for Greivis Vasquez, who will be a restricted free agent next summer.

23. Sacramento Kings (5-13; last week's ranking: 21): The Kings plan on using Rudy Gay as a stretch power forward. His debut could come Wednesday against Utah.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-13; last week's ranking: 26): Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, is averaging 2.1 points. Undrafted rookie Matthew Dellavedova is averaging 3.5 points.

25. Philadelphia 76ers (7-14, last week's ranking: 22): Add Tony Wroten to the list of Most Improved Player candidates. He's averaging 13.1 points after averaging 2.6 with Memphis last season.

26. Brooklyn Nets (6-14; last week's ranking: 27): Kevin Garnett will face the Celtics on Tuesday for the first time in the regular season since his offseason trade. Paul Pierce will miss the game with a broken hand. Their first game in Boston is Jan. 26.

New York
27. New York Knicks (5-14; last week's ranking: 30): Coach Mike Woodson's hot seat cooled after winning two straight – at least until Sunday's 114-73 loss at home to Boston.

28. Orlando Magic (6-14; last week's ranking: 25): The Magic have dropped five straight games and play at Memphis on Monday. Three of the Magic's next four games are on the road.

29. Utah Jazz (4-18; last week's ranking: 29): The Jazz play host to the West's hottest team – the Blazers – on Monday. Damian Lillard presents a good test for Utah rookie point guard Trey Burke.

30. Milwaukee Bucks (4-16; last week's ranking: 28): Gary Neal will face his old team, the San Antonio Spurs, on Wednesday for the first time since he signed with the Bucks in the offseason.

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