NBA Power Rankings: Week 6

Tommy Beer
Rotoworld

The Lakers retain the No.1 overall spot, while the Mavericks jump up inside the top-10 in this week's updated NBA Power Rankings.

 

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1. Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 14-2

Despite relatively pedestrian stats from both LeBron James (30/6/4) and Anthony Davis (22/4/3), the Lakers were able to knock off the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday night and run their winning streak to seven straight games. 

2. Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 13-3

The Bucks are buzzing through their competition this month. Milwaukee has won 11 of the 12 games they have played in November, despite the fact that eight of the 12 games have been on the road.

3. Denver Nuggets
Record: 12-3

The Nuggets notched their fifth straight victory on Sunday when they beat the Suns, 116-104. Will Barton scored a season-high 22 points in the win, going 8-of-18 from the field with four 3-pointers, eight rebounds, four assists and one steal. Barton's bounce-back season has been huge for the Nuggets. He's currently averaging 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 made triples per game.

4. LA Clippers
Record: 12-5

Think you only have to worry about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and Lou Williams when matching up against the Clippers? Think again. In Sunday's 134-109 victory over the Pelicans, Montrezl Harrell was dominant. He shot 13-of-18 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe en route to 34 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocks.

5. Boston Celtics
Record: 11-4

The C's dropped two of the three games they played last week, but those losses were excusable: road games to the Clippers and Nuggets, the final two games of a five-game west coast swing. Boston returns home this week to host the Kings and Nets. Coach Brad Stevens said that while Kemba Walker (neck) didn't practice on Sunday and remains doubtful for Monday, but that he's feeling "good."

6. Utah Jazz
Record: 11-5

Rudy Gobert tweaked his left ankle in Friday's win over the Warriors and was ruled out on Saturday against the Pelicans. It was the first game he's missed all season. Donovan Mitchell picked up the slack, exploding for a scored a season-high 37 points in a 128-120 win over the Pelicans on Saturday night, adding seven rebounds, five assists and six 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Rudy is listed as questionable vs. Milwaukee on Monday. 

7. Philadelphia 76ers
Record: 11-5

After losing five of their first 12 games, the Sixers have strung together a four-game winning streak. The most impressive victory of the bunch was Saturday's 113-86 demolition of the visiting Heat. Josh Richardson, who started his career in Miami, scored a season-high 32 points (11-of-15 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs) and knocked down a season-high six 3-pointers in 26 minutes against his former squad. 

8. Dallas Mavericks
Record: 11-5

Led by 20-year old phenom Luka Doncic, the Mavericks offense is en Fuego. Dallas is No. 1 in offensive efficiency by an enormous margin, scoring 117.4 points per 100 possessions via NBA.com. The Mavs have won five consecutive contests and have scored at least 135 points in three straight. They are the first team this decade to accomplish that feat. Furthermore, consider this: The Raptors have played 2,006 games in the history of their franchise and scored more than 135 points in a game just twice. The Mavs scored more than 135 points in a game three times last week.

9. Houston Rockets
Record: 11-6

Last week was a rough one for Houston. They were riding an eight-game winning streak before traveling to Denver last Wednesday. After losing to the Nuggets, the Rockets lost to the Clippers in LA and the Mavs at home.

10. Miami Heat
Record: 11-4

Despite getting little to no production from some high-priced vets, the Heat have exceeded expectations this season. Miami is paying Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Ryan Anderson a combined $32.7 million this season. That trio has combined for 20 points in 57 minutes. On the other hand, Miami is paying Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo $6.3 million. They've combined for 550 points in 1,130 minutes. 

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11. Toronto Raptors
Record: 11-4

The Raps were 3-0 last week and have some reinforcements headed their way. Serge Ibaka (right ankle sprain) is doubtful to play on Monday against the 76ers but could return as soon as Wednesday. Over the weekend, Coach Nick Nurse said Kyle Lowry (thumb) is "about a week away from being game ready," and estimated a December 1 target date.

12. Indiana Pacers
Record: 9-6

Pacers fans got some great news on Sunday when Malcolm Brogdon (back spasms) said he would play in Monday's game against the Grizzlies. Brogdon is reportedly feeling much better and is ready to rock. On the season, he's averaging 19.2 points, 8.2 dimes, 4.8 rebounds, while posting a True Shooting percentage of 57.3%

13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Record: 8-8

As if Karl-Anthony Towns needed to add anything to his incredible repertoire, he'd developed into an elite long-range marksman. KAT has knocked down 57 triple this season, while shooting 45 percent from downtown. The only two players in the NBA with more treys are Devonte' Graham and James Harden.

14. Phoenix Suns
Record: 8-8

With both Deandre Ayton (suspension) and Aron Baynes (hip) out of action, Cheick Diallo logged 36 minutes for the Suns on Sunday and made the most of his opportunity. He tallied a career-high 22 points while shooting 10-of-12 from the floor and tacking on six rebounds, one assist and one block vs. the Nuggets.

15. Brooklyn Nets
Record: 8-8

In the five games since Kyrie Irving (right shoulder) went down, the Nets have gone 4-1. In those five contests, Spencer Dinwiddie has been a beast, averaging 25.0 points, 6.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.8 made triples in 32.6 minutes a night. 

16. Sacramento Kings
Record: 7-8

Richaun Holmes supporters have been arguing that all the kid needed was an opportunity, and he'd prove himself to be a valuable rotation player in the NBA. Well, with Dewayne Dedmon struggling and Marvin Bagley (thumb) sidelined, Holmes has stepped in and stepped up. Over the Kings' last six games, he is averaging 14.2 points, 10.3 boards and 1.8 blocks, while shooting 69.4% from the floor and 85% from the stripe.  

17. Orlando Magic
Record: 6-9

Nikola Vucevic injured his ankle last Wednesday and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the next day that Vucevic would miss at least four weeks. However, the Magic announced Friday that Vooch has been diagnosed with a right lateral ankle sprain and would be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days. Then, on Monday morning, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reported that Vucevic is making good progress and is no longer wearing a walking boot and isn't using crutches.

18. Portland Trail Blazers
Record: 5-12

Hassan Whiteside (right hip tendinosis) has missed each of the Blazers' previous two contests. However, he's listed as probable for Monday's matchup vs. the Bulls and said after shootaround that he plans on playing. Portland has such limited depth up front; they need Whiteside to stay healthy. 

19. Charlotte Hornets
Record: 6-11

The Hornets went 0-4 last week, including dropping a heartbreaker to the Bulls at the buzzer on Saturday, despite leading by five points with less than ten seconds left in the fourth quarter. Things don't get any easier this week, as they travel to Miami on Monday and Milwaukee on Saturday, with a home-and-home against the Pistons sandwiched in between. 

20. New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 6-11

The Pelicans host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. It will be Anthony Davis' first trip back to New Orleans and his first meeting against former mates. It will also be the first time Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball faces off against the Lakers since the blockbuster AD trade was consummated this summer. 

21. San Antonio Spurs
Record: 6-11

The Spurs traveled to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. It was the second night of a back-to-back, and the fifth game a five-game road trip. The Spurs were riding an eight-game losing streak, longest in the league, and the longest of the Coach Pop era. They were also playing without starting PG Dejounte Murray (rest). Yet San Antonio rallied to knock off the Knicks. However, there's no rest for the weary. The Spurs host the Lakers on Monday night. 

22. Oklahoma City Thunder
Record: 5-10

The Thunder had a brutal schedule last week, as they played the Lakers twice and the Clippers once. OKC lost all three contests but hung tight each night. They lost the three games by a combined ten total points. 

23. Memphis Grizzlies
Record: 5-10

Ja Morant is getting most of the national attention, but the Grizzlies' other rookie is playing exceptionally well also. Over Memphis' last eight games, Brandon Clarke is averaging 14.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 66.2% from the floor and 85.7% from the free-throw line.  

24. Washington Wizards
Record: 5-9

The Wiz have won three of their last five, including home victories over the Spurs and Hornets last week. During the stretch, Bradley Beal is averaging 34.2 points, 8.0 assists. 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 made trifectas. 

25. Chicago Bulls
Record: 6-11

It was a wild weekend for Zach LaVine and his Bulls. On Friday, the Bulls were spanked by Miami, and LaVine was yanked from the game early in the first quarter. Afterward, his frustration with coach Jim Boylen became public. Then, on Saturday, LaVine poured in 49 points along with 13 trifectas. His final 3-pointer splashed through the net with less than a second left in regulation to give Chicago a stunning, one-point victory.

26. Detroit Pistons
Record: 5-11

Blake Griffin (hamstring, knee) didn't play in Saturday's game against the Bucks, as it was the second night of a back-to-back for Detroit. Fortunately, Griffin isn't on the Pistons' injury report for Monday, so fully expect BG to return to action vs. Orlando.  

27. Cleveland Cavaliers
Record: 5-11

Kevin Love (back) has been ruled out of two of the Cavs last four games. However, both of those contests were on the second night of a back-to-back. Love is listed as questionable for Monday's matchup vs. Brooklyn.

28. Atlanta Hawks
Record: 4-12

Thanks in part to a difficult stretch of games, the Hawks have lost six in a row, with the four of those losses being 15+ point blowouts. However, the schedule doesn't get any easier for Atlanta this week. After hosting the Wolves on Monday, the Hawks travel to Milwaukee, Indiana and Houston later in the week. 

29. New York Knicks
Record: 4-13

The Knicks have had very few bright spots this season, but the play of rank Ntilikina has been encouraging. Consider this: No player in NBA history has ever averaged more than four assists and two steals, yet fewer than one turnover per game throughout a full season. In the 12 games he's started this season, Frank is averaging 4.3 dimes, 2.1 thefts and 1.0 turnovers.
 
30. Golden State Warriors
Record: 3-14

Imagine hopping in a time machine, traveling back to one year ago today, and sitting down with a Warriors fan. Then try and convince them that one month into the 2019-20 season, Golden State would have the worst record in the NBA, and that Eric Paschall would be leading the team in scoring with Glenn Robinson leading the squad in total minutes played?!? 

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