December 3, 2007 -- Things are starting to settle down with the Power Rankings now that we're five weeks into the season. The good teams are winning the games they're supposed to, and for the first time, the same five teams occupy the Top Five as did last week, with some minor reshuffling.
And the bad teams are consistently bad as well. It's hard to imagine the bottom five or six teams getting much higher than they are now during the course of the season.
Of course, we also have the group of teams in the middle, who look like world beaters one night and like crud the next. They go on winning streaks and losing streaks, never establishing themselves as real contenders.
The Bucks are clearly this week's "We were just kidding" team. The Warriors might come down to earth at some point, but they're on quite a run right now, setting up what should be a fun game tonight against the Magic.
As always, if you've got beef with the rankings, feel free to comment in the blog, or drop us a line.
High jumps of the week: Golden State (+7), Chicago (+5), Memphis (+5), Sacramento (+5) Free falls of the week: Milwaukee (-11), Charlotte (-7), L.A. Clippers (-5), New Jersey (-5), Portland (-5)
Off: Points scored per 100 possessions Def: Points allowed per 100 possessions The league averages 92.6 possessions (per team) per game and 106.6 points per 100 possessions.
TEAM (LAST WK)
San Antonio (3)
Off: 115.8 (1), Def: 104.9 (10) -- Obviously, Tim Duncan's knee injury overshadows the Spurs' No. 1 ranking, but the early word is that he won't be out long.
Off: 109.8 (8), Def: 95.2 (1) -- What's the secret to the Celtics' No. 1 defense? There's more than one. They're 9-0 at home and they've got six of the next nine there.
Off: 111.3 (5), Def: 105.5 (13) -- Grant Hill had a LeBron-esque line with 28 points (on 13-of-17), eight boards, seven assists and three steals in Sunday's win over the Knicks.
Off: 109.6 (11), Def: 102.2 (3) -- The most amazing thing about Dwight Howard's MVP-ish numbers and paint dominance is that he turns just 22 on Saturday. Scary.
Off: 113.2 (4), Def: 103.9 (6) -- Thanks to an incredible game from AK-47 and 35 from Deron Williams, the Jazz beat the Lakers by 24 without Boozer and Okur.
TEAM (LAST WK)
Off: 114.2 (2), Def: 105.1 (11) -- With their offense running like a well-oiled machine, the Pistons won their three games by an average of 28.0 points this week. After a couple of early speed bumps, it's fair to say that they are hitting their stride.
New Orleans (8)
Off: 107.6 (13), Def: 103.7 (5) -- The Hornets had a few days to digest an embarrassing loss to Minnesota and responded with back-to-back wins over the Hawks and Mavs, the latter ending a monumental streak.
Off: 113.7 (3), Def: 108.8 (20) -- The Mavs have lost four of their last six, defense being the issue in all four. Yet they'd be on a three-game winning streak if they could have just denied Peja the ball.
Golden State (16)
Off: 111.3 (6), Def: 109.7 (25) -- The Warriors are the hottest team in the league, having won 9 of their last 10 and are 8-1 with Stephen Jackson. The Magic come to town Monday night.
Off: 106.6 (16), Def: 101.6 (2) -- Along with a blowout of the Heat came Kenyon Martin's best game of the season so far: 20 points on 9-of-13, eight boards, two steals and a block.
Off: 109.7 (10), Def: 105.4 (12) -- With a strained groin, Chris Bosh is listed as day-to-day. The Raptors' defense is listed as the same.
Off: 105.5 (17), Def: 104.0 (7) -- Wednesday's win in Phoenix was about as good as it gets. But Saturday's loss in Sacramento was tough to take. Right now, they're the only Western Conference playoff team from last year who isn't in position to get back.
Off: 104.3 (20), Def: 105.7 (14) -- Just when people were saying that Jermaine O'Neal was no longer needed in Indiana, he goes for 20 and 15 against the Clippers. Of course, it was Jamaal Tinsley's personal 8-0 run that decided the game.
L.A. Lakers (15)
Off: 109.9 (9), Def: 106.2 (15) -- The Lakers looked unbeatable in the first quarter against the Magic on Sunday. Then they got beat for the fifth time in seven games.
Off: 105.2 (18), Def: 109.1 (22) -- The knocked off the Celtics, but three straight losses without LeBron (and without any offense as a result) have the Cavs back at .500.
Off: 109.2 (12), Def: 109.5 (24) -- After dropping three of four on their trip, the Wiz came home to beat the Bosh-less Raps. They've got seven of their next eight at the Verizon Center.
Off: 110.2 (7), Def: 111.3 (28) -- One of the reasons we predicted the Grizz would win 40 was the addition of Juan Carlos Navarro. Well, he's making us feel better about that call, although a little more D would help too.
Off: 107.1 (14), Def: 111.9 (29) -- The dropped four straight, and now they've got five on the road, where they're 1-6. How quickly things change in the middle of the Eastern Conference pack.
New Jersey (14)
Off: 98.8 (29), Def: 106.7 (16) -- After showing a bit of promise with three straight wins out West, the Nets are back to mediocrity, barely beating the Sixers at home for their only W this week.
Off: 107.0 (15), Def: 111.2 (26) -- Off-the-court news put a damper on what was the best week on the court so far for the Kings, with wins over the Spurs and Rockets.
Off: 105.0 (19), Def: 107.4 (18) -- The Hawks had a team meeting on Saturday to try to straighten some things out, but has their first 15 games been all that bad?
New York (26)
Off: 102.0 (24), Def: 111.3 (27) -- Sandwiching the thorough spanking at the hands of the Celtics were two nice wins against the Jazz and Bucks. That's the Knicks for you.
Off: 95.6 (30), Def: 102.8 (4) -- Wins over the Hawks and Bobcats aren't all that convincing, but the potential is there for a turnaround if the shots start to fall.
Off: 99.2 (28), Def: 104.8 (8) -- The Heat's six-game trip out West got off to an ugly start and the Heat are just 3-6 since Dwyane Wade returned. Other solutions are needed.
L.A. Clippers (20)
Off: 101.3 (26), Def: 106.9 (17) -- The Clips have dropped five straight and nine-of-11 since starting out 4-0. And the injuries keep on coming.
Off: 102.8 (22), Def: 108.2 (19) -- After five straight losses, the Bobcats are sliding away from the playoff picture and may be getting desperate for some frontline help.
Off: 102.2 (23), Def: 109.3 (23) -- One of my other predictions here at the office was that the Blazers would win as many games as they won last year (32). I'm feeling much better about the Grizz right now, and the two teams meet tonight in Memphis.
Off: 100.0 (27), Def: 109.0 (21) -- After a good win over the Pacers on Friday, the Sonics had their "worst effort of the season" on Sunday against Golden State. Perhaps they were distracted by the fire.