NBA Power Rankings: 2020-2021 Week 2

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NBA Power Rankings Week two! Let’s see where every team stands after two weeks.

*Stats and scores from 1/5/21 are not included in this weeks NBA power rankings.

1. Los Angeles Lakers Record: 5-2 Previous: 1

After a 2-2 start to the year, the Lakers strung together three consecutive wins to retain the top spot in my NBA Power Rankings. With games against Memphis, San Antonio, Chicago, and Houston next week, the Lakers should continue to roll. 

2. Los Angeles Clippers Record: 5-2 Previous: 4

Following his abysmal performance in the playoffs last season, Paul George has temporarily silenced the critics. He leads the team in scoring through seven games, putting up 25.1 ppg on 50.8% from the field and 49.2% from deep.  

3. Philadelphia 76ers Record: 6-1 Previous: 7

While they’ve had the fortune of facing easy opponents, the 76ers are on a roll to start the year, possessing the best record in the NBA. Seth Curry has proven to be a massive pickup, while Tobias Harris earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. 

4. Phoenix Suns Record: 5-2 Previous: 10

The addition of Chris Paul has proven to change the Suns’ trajectory through seven games. Phoenix looks like a legitimate contender for the first time in years after going 3-1 last week.  

5. Milwaukee Bucks Record: 4-3 Previous: 6

The Milwaukee Bucks rebounded from a 1-2 start by going 3-1 last week with wins over Miami, Chicago and Detroit. Donte DiVincenzo has continued to improve in year three as he’s shooting a ridiculous 55.6% from deep on 36 attempts.  

6. Indiana Pacers Record: 5-2 Previous: 5

After a 3-0 start to the season, the Pacers cooled down a bit, going 2-2 last week. While he doesn’t get enough attention from the national media, Domantas Sabonis has been incredible, garnering 20.6 ppg and 11.3 rpg this season. 

7. Brooklyn Nets Record: 3-4 Previous: 2

After a great start, the Nets stumbled last week, hurt by a Spencer Dinwiddie injury and Kevin Durant’s COVID-related issue. The Nets still have one of the most talented NBA rosters, but they may struggle this week without KD. 

8. Boston Celtics Record: 5-3 Previous: 8

Jaylen Brown carries the Celtics into the eight spot of this week two NBA power rankings.
DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 5: Jaylen Brown (7) of the Boston Celtics drives on Paul Millsap (4) of the Denver Nuggets during the first half. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Boston Celtics at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Celtics are a tough team to gauge so far in that they almost lost back-to-back games to the Detroit Pistons. However, Jaylen Brown looks like a bonafide stud, averaging 26.9 ppg and establishing himself as the front-runner to win MIP.  

9. Utah Jazz Record: 4-2 Previous: 9

For the second consecutive week, the Utah Jazz went 2-1, with wins over the Clippers and Spurs. Jordan Clarkson is one of the early front-runners to win Sixth Man of the Year as he’s posted 15.5 ppg off the bench. 

10. Miami Heat Record: 3-3 Previous: 3

The Miami Heat have yet to find their stride early on this season, headlined by a 47-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. While Bam Adebayo looks like an all-star, Jimmy Butler has struggled with an ankle injury and is only averaging 10.8 ppg this season. 

11. Orlando Magic Record: 5-2 Previous: 13

After a 4-0 start to the year, the Orlando Magic dropped a pair of games last week to the 76ers and Thunder. While he gets little to no attention, Nikola Vucevic is off to an all-star caliber year, averaging 21.7 ppg and 11.0 rpg. 

12. New Orleans Pelicans Record: 4-3 Previous: 11

The Pelicans are among the youngest teams in the NBA and still need to learn how to finish late in games. However. Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are arguably the best young duo in the league, while Lonzo Ball continues to improve.  

13. Golden State Warriors Record: 4-3 Previous: 23

Steph Curry is back, ladies and gentlemen! Curry has put the team on his back with his team off to a slow start, headlined by his 62 point performance against the Trail Blazers on Sunday. 

14. Atlanta Hawks Record: 4-3 Previous: 12

After a 3-0 start, the Hawks dropped three of four games, including matches against the Cavaliers and Knicks. Losing Danilo Gallinari has hurt the team, but John Collins needs to step up and play better next to Trae Young. 

15. Portland Trail Blazers Record: 3-3 Previous: 14

The Portland Trail Blazers drop a spot in this week’s NBA power rankings in week two after going 1-2 last week, including losses to the Clippers and Warriors. Jusuf Nurkic has struggled mightily, putting up 9.0 ppg and 7.3 RPG so far; Portland needs him to play better. 

16. Dallas Mavericks Record: 3-4 Previous: 16

With Kristaps Porzingis still injured, the Dallas Mavericks’ slow start continued as the team went 2-2 last week. Trading away Seth Curry seems like a head-scratching move for a team that has been held back by its lack of shooting.  

17. Cleveland Cavaliers Record: 4-3 Previous: 17

After their 3-0 start, the Cavaliers finally come back down to earth, losing three of four games last week. The combination of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland looks great, but Cleveland is likely still a few years off from being a playoff contender. 

18. Denver Nuggets Record: 2-4 Previous: 15

While Nikola Jokic looks like an MVP candidate, the Nuggets have struggled to close out games, resulting in their 2-4 start. One main reason for their slump is the lack of bench play as Denver misses having Jerami Grant.  

19. Sacramento Kings Record: 3-4 Previous: 19

The Kings struggled without their rookie point guard Tyrese Haliburton last week, losing three of four games. With games against Chicago, Toronto, Portland and Indiana, the Kings will look to get back on track this week. 

20. New York Knicks Record: 4-3 Previous: 27

Believe it or not, the New York Knicks are off to a 4-3 start under the new President of Basketball Operations, Leon Rose. Having a veteran coach in Tom Thibodeau seems like a great hire as this young team is fitting together nicely.  

21. Houston Rockets Record: 2-3 Previous: 25

The Rockets rebounded from their 0-2 start by winning two of three games last week, with a pair of wins against Sacramento. While trade rumors continue to simmer, James Harden continues to play at an elite level, averaging 33.0 ppg.  

22. Toronto Raptors Record: 1-5 Previous: 20

Easily the biggest surprise of the season so far is the slow start by the Toronto Raptors, who went 1-3 last week. Pascal Siakam looks completely lost out there, shooting 40.7% from the field, well down from last season and one of the main reasons the Raptors have dropped in my NBA power rankings. 

23. Chicago Bulls Record: 3-4 Previous: 29

Despite losing Lauri Markkanen, among others, due to COVID protocols, the Bulls went 3-1 last week. Zach LaVine is the biggest reason for the Bulls’ success, and he’s even improved as a defender, averaging 1.7 spg this season.  

24. Washington Wizards Record: 2-5 Previous: 28

After an 0-5 start to the year, the Wizards won back-to-back games against Minnesota and Brooklyn. While Russell Westbrook has struggled to shoot the ball, Bradley Beal has been on a tear, averaging 30.6 ppg. 

25. Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 2-4 Previous: 18

With Karl-Anthony Towns out, the Timberwolves have struggled to keep pace in the West and are losers of four straight. Towns, who has dealt with a wrist injury, will be re-evaluated at some point this week.  

26. San Antonio Spurs Record: 2-4 Previous: 21

Lamarcus Aldridge’s age is showing as the Spurs have gotten off to a slow start at 2-4, and are losers of four straight games. Now with Derrick White out with a toe injury, the Spurs are in a difficult position. 

27. Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 2-4 Previous: 26

While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort look promising, the young Oklahoma City Thunder are off to a slow start, as expected. Rookie Aleksej Pokusevski is off to an abysmal start, shooting 9.5% from the field and 6.3% from three on the year.  

28. Memphis Grizzlies Record: 2-4 Previous: 22

With Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant out, the Memphis Grizzlies are effectively one of the worst teams in the NBA at the moment. Quietly, rookie Desmond Bane has gotten off to a great start, leading all rookies by shooting 50.0% from three on 28 attempts. 

29. Charlotte Hornets Record: 2-5 Previous: 24

While LaMelo Ball looks promising, a team led by Terry Rozier in Charlotte isn’t going to succeed. With Cody Zeller out, Bismack Biyombo has seen increased minutes and did a solid job guarding Joel Embiid.  

30. Detroit Pistons Record: 1-6 Previous: 30

For the second straight week, Detroit finishes last on the power ranking, despite almost beating the Celtics twice. Rookies Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey have shown some promise, while Jerami Grant is putting up 23.0 ppg.

Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny and stay tuned for next week NBA power rankings!

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