NBA Power Rankings: Knicks move into first

Marc J. Spears

Let's hear it for New York.

Los Angeles Lakers fans are still trying figure out how Mike D'Antoni ended up becoming their new head coach over 11-time NBA champion, Hall of Famer and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are flourishing since parting with D'Antoni – they're the only unbeaten team in the NBA. The Knicks jumped up two places in this week's Yahoo! Sports' NBA Power Rankings to move past the Miami Heat and into first.

Records are through Monday night.

New York

1. New York Knicks (4-0, previous ranking: third): Knicks are off to a perfect start under Mike D'Antoni's replacement, Mike Woodson. Games against San Antonio and Memphis will provide good tests.

San Antonio

2. San Antonio Spurs (6-1, previous ranking: second): Tough stretch starts Tuesday with games against Lakers, New York, Denver, Clippers and Boston. Tim Duncan is averaging nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds.


3. Miami Heat (6-2, previous ranking: first): The defending champs look mortal after losing by 18 points at Memphis on Sunday and squeaking by Houston on Monday.

Oklahoma City

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (6-2, previous ranking: fifth): The Thunder barely got by the winless Pistons on Monday, but it was their fourth game in five nights.

Los Angeles

5. Los Angeles Clippers (5-2, previous ranking: fourth): Sources say Clippers' recent surge played a role in cross-town rival Lakers recently firing Mike Brown.


6. Memphis Grizzlies (5-1, previous ranking: 10th): The Grizzlies have now won five straight games and earned a big home victory against the Heat.

[Also: Phil Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers VP]


7. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2, previous ranking: 24th): Who needs Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio? Scrappy Wolves have the third-best record in Western Conference.


8. Milwaukee Bucks (4-2, previous ranking: ninth): Point guard Brandon Jennings is playing well-rounded ball. He's not only scoring and dishing, but leading NBA in steals.


9. Boston Celtics (4-3, previous ranking: eighth): The Celtics are playing better ball having won two straight and scored 101 points against Chicago's tough defense.


10. Chicago Bulls (4-3, previous ranking: 14th): If the Bulls can keep up this pace until injured guard Derrick Rose returns, they should end up with decent seed in playoffs.


10. Denver Nuggets (4-4, previous ranking: 23rd): The Nuggets' four-game winning streak came to an end with poor road loss against the Phoenix Suns.


12. Brooklyn Nets (3-2, previous ranking: sixth): Nets point guard Deron Williams will face an interesting challenge on Tuesday against Cavs' young point guard Kyrie Irving.

[Also: Wolves' Chase Budinger out at least three months after knee surgery]


13. Utah Jazz (4-4, previous ranking: 22nd): The Jazz appear to be back on track after winning two straight. Utah's tough road trip continues at Boston and Philadelphia.

Los Angeles

14. Los Angeles Lakers (3-4, previous ranking: seventh): New coach Mike D'Antoni will have more pressure to succeed than Mike Brown after being selected over Phil Jackson.


15. Philadelphia 76ers (4-3, previous ranking: 11th): Sixers now know that they won't get center Andrew Bynum back until probably mid-January because of his ongoing knee issues.


16. Phoenix Suns (4-4, previous ranking: 25th): After win over the Nuggets, it doesn't get easier for the Suns. Their next three games are against Chicago, the Lakers and Miami.


17. Dallas Mavericks (4-4, previous ranking: 12th): The Mavericks' fast start without injured star Dirk Nowitzki has come to an end with three straight losses.

New Orleans

18. New Orleans Hornets (3-2, previous ranking: 19th): Top draft pick Anthony Davis looking more and more polished. He's averaging 17.3 points, eight rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

[Also: Bad news for Andrew Bynum, Sixers]


19. Atlanta Hawks (3-3, previous ranking: 15th): The Hawks have a chance to pick up some victories with games against Golden State, Sacramento, Orlando, Washington and Charlotte up next.


20. Houston Rockets (3-4, previous ranking: 16th): James Harden has cooled off after hot start. He's failed to reach 25 points in each of the past four games.


21. Indiana Pacers (3-4, previous ranking: 20th): Indiana has gone from considering forward Danny Granger as trade bait to desperately wishing the injured star was playing.

Golden State

22. Golden State Warriors (3-4, previous ranking: 18th): With Andrew Bogut sidelined, Warriors blew a big opportunity to get a big road win against the struggling Lakers.


23. Portland Trail Blazers (2-5, previous ranking: 13th): Blazers reeling after losing four straight games, but could end slide against the Kings.


24. Charlotte Bobcats (2-3, previous ranking: 27th): Keep an eye on rookie battle Tuesday between Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Washington's Bradley Beal.


25. Cleveland Cavaliers (2-5, previous ranking: 21st): Irving is worth the price of admission and will soon be viewed as a top 10 NBA player.


26. Orlando Magic (2-4, previous ranking: 17th): The Magic have dropped four straight games after winning first two. No Orlando player is averaging more than 17 points per game.


27. Sacramento Kings (2-5, previous ranking: 28th): Kings have little margin for error. Losing DeMarcus Cousins and rookie Thomas Robinson to suspensions didn't help.


28. Toronto Raptors (1-6, previous ranking: 26th): Raptors hurting with point guard Kyle Lowry out three straight games because of an ankle injury.


29. Washington Wizards (0-5, previous ranking: 29th): The Wizards without John Wall and Nene have yet to win, but have a prime opportunity against Charlotte on Tuesday.


30. Detroit Pistons (0-8, previous ranking: 30th): Still seeking their first win after a two-point loss to Thunder on Monday hurt. They might get a chance against the Magic on Friday.

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