Power Rankings: Week 4
POSTED: Nov 23, 2015 10:46 AM ET
UPDATED: Nov 23, 2015 11:04 AM ET
It hasn't been the type of encore from last year's breakout season that the Bucks had hoped for.
This season is not last season.
The Golden State Warriors are just as dominant (maybe more) as they were last year, and the Philadelphia 76ers are just as bad (maybe) worse. But the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks have provided the latest evidence that success doesn't necessarily carry over from one season to the next.
The Clippers have lost seven of their last nine games to fall below .500 (beyond the first three games of a season) since they traded for Chris Paul in 2011. And an ugly, three-game stretch resulted another case of locker room strife, a malady that seems to be making its way around the Western Conference.
The Bucks, meanwhile, have lost five of their last six games to fall into 13th place in the East. Milwaukee didn't have championship aspirations like the Clippers, but they certainly weren't expected to fall from second to 30th in defensive efficiency. After a surprise season in which they finished sixth in the East, the Bucks may be a victim of their own success in what has become a tougher conference.
Those teams join the Rockets and Grizzlies as squads that haven't been able to replicate last season's success and may need to reinvent themselves before they fall too far behind teams that have passed them by.
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• Last week: Little separation in the pack
• This time last year: West continues to dominate lackluster East -- The West was 45-19 against the East, the Blazers were seven games into a nine-game winning streak, and Lou Williams had three buzzer-beaters in two games. The Cavs were 5-7 and the Sixers were 0-13.
• Hero team of the week: Golden State (4-0) -- Thanks to three wins over teams that were in last week's top 10, the champs only need to beat the Lakers to break the record for most consecutive wins to start the season.
• Zero team of the week: Milwaukee (0-3) -- The Bucks had three tough road games, but lost them by an average of 27 points.
• East vs. West: The East is 37-32 (0.536) against the West in interconference games and was 10-7 last week.
• Toughest schedules through Sunday: 1. Philadelphia, 2. New Orleans, 3. Brooklyn
• Easiest schedules through Sunday: 1. Dallas, 2. Golden State, 3. San Antonio
Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
• High jumps of the week: Dallas (+7), New York (+7), Chicago (+6)
• Free falls of the week: L.A. Clippers (-12), Boston (-5), Denver (-4)
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 99.0 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 101.5 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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