Driscoll’s NBA Power Rankings: Part 2

NBA, Jamal Murray, Thunder, Nuggets, Power Rankings

We are now four weeks into the season and it has been two weeks since the last NBA power rankings. Not much has changed on the front end, but there has been plenty of movement on the back end.

Stats Glossary

  • Offensive Rating: Points Scored Per 100 Possessions
  • Defensive Rating: Points Allowed Per 100 Possessions
  • Net Rating: Point Differential Per 100 Possessions
  • Simple Rating System (SRS): Combination of Strength of Schedule and Net Rating)

Honorable Mentions

Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets

10. Dallas Mavericks (Change: -7)

The Mavs are a better team than everyone expected, but they have not been playing as well lately. They started 4-0 and are now 9-5. One of these losses came against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Saturday night. Kyrie Irving looked fantastic and had a 13 +/- while Luka Doncic put up great numbers but was a -17. The Mavs have surprised plenty of people this season but have also come back down to earth the past couple of weeks.


9. Miami Heat (Not Ranked)

The Heat had as big a turnaround as any team this year. They started 1-4, went on a seven-game winning streak, and lost on Saturday night to the Bulls. They have played in some tight games against some below-average teams, which leads to the advanced stats saying they’re not too great of a team. However, the fact that they went on a big win streak after starting as one of the worst teams in the league leads me to believe they will continue to win.

8. Sacramento Kings (Not Ranked)

After starting 2-4, the Kings are now on a six-game winning streak. Their bench and defense have improved a lot, but most importantly, De’Aaron Fox has been playing like a superstar and has looked like the best player on the court most nights. Many people thought the Kings would fall off big time (and they still might), but they are certainly not trending that way. If they keep this up, the Kings can certainly win a  playoff series.


7. New York Knicks (Not Ranked)

Be honest: did you even realize the Knicks were playing this well? They have won seven of their last 10 and rank fifth in defense, fourth in net rating, and fifth in SRS. Two of their five losses have come against the Celtics which shows how great they have been outside of those games. Jalen Brunson has been playing just as great as he did last season, which has been huge for them. A lot of people predicted the Knicks to fall off after this year, but if they keep this up, they might win another playoff series

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (Not Ranked)

Speaking of teams who have been doing better than I thought, the Thunder have been fantastic. They are currently on a five-game winning streak and are third in Net Rating and SRS. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is looking like an MVP candidate, Chet Holmgren is probably the Rookie of the Year front-runner, and the team has been meshing well. It will take a few weeks for them to get respect from the league as a whole, but they deserve their flowers for now.

5. Denver Nuggets (-3)

After starting 6-1, the defending champs are now 9-4. Losing their second-best player, Jamal Murray, to a hamstring injury has been brutal and will continue to hurt Denver until he returns in mid-December. The good news is that Nikola Jokic continues to play fantastic, averaging 30 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists per game on 65 percent True Shooting. The Nuggets will likely turn things around when Murray comes back, but for now, they need to find ways to survive without him.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves (-4)

I predicted the Wolves to finish as high as the sixth seed in the West this year, and a lot of people thought it was a hot take. As it turns out, even was underestimating them. They are 9-3, laying claim to the third-best defense in the league, the sixth-best net rating, and the fourth-best Simple Rating System. Anthony Edwards is taking the leap everyone expected while Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert have been able to complement each other much better than last year. Can they win a championship? Most likely not, but they have still been a lot of fun.


3. Milwaukee Bucks (+7)

The Bucks have been playing much better lately. They are currently on a four-game winning streak and third in the East. They had a huge win against the Mavericks on Saturday night in which Antetokounmpo looked the best he did all season. Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard have been much better as a duo than they were at the beginning of the season. This team ranked 10th only two weeks ago and now checks in at No. 3. Do not be surprised if you see them inside the top two within two weeks.

2. Philadelphia 76ers (+2)

The Sixers have been fantastic this year. Other than their losses to the Pacers and the Celtics this week, they have not lost a game since opening night against the Bucks. Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey might be the best duo in the league this year, and their role players have been solid as well. Fans might not take the Sixers seriously just yet, but they have the potential to be a scary team.

1. Boston Celtics (No Change)

Any surprises? Not really. Boston went on a two-game losing streak shortly after the two-week mark but now owns a six-game winning streak. Everything is clicking. Jayson Tatum is playing like his superstar self, Jaylen Brown’s handle looks better than ever, and Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday have been the perfect complementary pieces to Tatum and Brown. The Celtics’ depth is looking a lot better, too. When Brown and Porzingis did not play in their most recent game against the Sixers, the bench stepped up big time. The Celtics have had a lot of fun so far.

Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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