NBA Power Rankings Week 6
After last seasons Western Conference Championship, it’s not surprising that Oklahoma City stands atop our NBA Power Rankings in Week 6 of the season. The Thunder are riding on an eight game win streak, and could possibly extend that to ten games just in time for a showdown with San Antonio on Monday. Kevin Durant leads the team with 27 points per night, and Russell Westbrook gives OKC another 21.5 per night. Many thought that trading James Hardin to Houston would hurt the Thunders offensive capabilities, but Kevin Martin has stepped in right where Hardin left off. The talented guard is third in scoring on the team with 15.8 points per game off of the bench.
2) New York Knicks:
Exit Jeremy Lin and enter Jason Kidd. The Knicks have not missed a beat, and check in at number two in our Power Rankings. Carmelo Anthony looks like the early favorite to be the NBA MVP. Melo is averaging 26.8 points per game, and dropped 45 on their cross town rivals in The Nets. Head coach Mike Woodson has been the biggest factor in the Knicks early season success. His squad is currently 5th in the NBA in points per game with 102 and 9th in points allowed, giving up just 95 Out score your opponents by 7 and you will win every time.
Gregg Popovich must have the secret of eternal youth. His Spurs squad is full of veterans, and they keep on winning. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili average a combined 49 points per game. The most impressive stat for San Antonio is that six players average double digit scoring. It’s business as usual for The Spurs.
The most surprising team in the NBA is proving that the first few weeks of the season were no fluke. Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay are one of the leagues most dynamic one-two punches. The Grizzlies are also defensive juggernauts leading the NBA in points allowed, giving up only 91 points a night.
5) Miami Heat:
LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosch, and Ray Allen can all score. The problem is, they can give up a ton of points as well. The defending NBA Champions rank 22nd in the league allowing 100 points per game. They have also struggled on the glass, only grabbing 39 per night. The Heat will probably play for another title, but they have some work to do.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have picked right up where they left off in 2011. Lob City took down a gritty Bulls team for the second time last night, and the team is building an impressive resume in 2012. The Clippers also have wins over Memphis, The Lakers, San Antonio (twice), Atlanta, and Miami. Watch out Kobe, this is looking more like Blake’s town every night.
7) Atlanta Hawks:
There were plenty of questions about the Atlanta Hawks coming in to the season. So far, they have answered them. Although they were taken down by Miami on Monday, Atlanta has put together a solid start. Josh Smith has The Hawks sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference. The team has wins over The Thunder, Clippers, and Grizzlies.
No, this is not an apparition. Golden State has raced to a 14-7 record, thanks to Stephen Curry. The young superstar is averaging 20 points and 6.5 assists per game. The Warriors have also bee good at grabbing rebounds, currently sitting at 5th in the NBA with 45.5 boards per game.
9) Chicago Bulls:
The Clippers might have gotten the best of Chicago last night, but this team has a lot of fight in them. Even without Derek Rose, The Bulls have managed to stay competitive in the Eastern Conference. Jokim Noah has been the undeniable leader for Chicago, leading the team in points and rebounds per game. Once Rose returns, Chicago will make a legitimate playoff push.
1o) Utah Jazz:
Center Al Jefferson is averaging a double double every night. The talented Jazz Center looks like a great centerpiece to a bright future for Utah. All they need are a few complimentary pieces, and The Jazz could once again be a force in The NBA.