The 2018-19 season is off to a high-scoring start. Through 39 games, teams are averaging 113.3 points per game, what would be the highest mark in the last 49 years (since they averaged 116.7 in the 1969-70 season). Ten different teams have scored at least 125 points in a night, and there hasn't been a single overtime game this season.
Pace has been a factor. Through 39 games, the league has averaged 103.4 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes, up from 98.1 last season. That's a huge jump, but not as huge if you look at where we were at this point last year. Through six days (40 games) last season, the league was averaging 101.3 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes, and that mark dropped as the year went on.
But efficiency has also been a part of the high scoring. The league has averaged 109.5 points scored per 100 possessions, up from 105 at this point last season. Effective field goal percentage is up, free throw rate is up, and turnovers are down. And though the pace may slow down in the coming weeks and months, efficiency typically goes up as the season goes on. So we may be in for a historically good offensive season.
In regard to offense, the New Orleans Pelicans are leading the way, and are one of six teams that are undefeated entering Week 2.
- Last week From Butler to LeBron and beyond, storylines abound
- This time last year: Injuries already forcing change of plans for several teams -- Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Lin were both lost for the season after suffering injuries in their first game. Bobby Portis sent Nikola Mirotic to the hospital before the Bulls' season even started. The Rockets came back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Warriors on ring night, but lost Chris Paul to a knee injury for the next 14 games. Andrew Wiggins beat the Thunder at the buzzer, Giannis Antetokounmpo destroyed the Blazers in the final minute, and the Suns fired Earl Watson after losing two of their first three games by more than 40 points. Eric Bledsoe didn't wanna be there.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Mr. Plus: Gary Harris (DEN) was a plus-65 in three games last week.
- Mr. Minus: Jordan Clarkson (CLE) was a minus-41 in three games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: New Orleans (2-0) -- The Pels quickly put an 0-5 preseason behind them, thumped the Rockets on Wednesday, and then dropped 149 points (tied for the most points in a game since the Suns scored 152 in March of 2010) on the Kings on Friday.
- Something Just Ain't Right: Cleveland (0-3) -- Sunday's game against the Hawks was a battle for No. 30 in the Power Rankings, and the Cavs earned the spot by allowing Atlanta to drain 22 3-pointers.
East vs. West
- The West was 2-1 against the East in Week 1.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: LA Clippers (+11), New Orleans (+10), Denver (+8)
- Free falls of the week: Oklahoma City (-12), Cleveland (-10), Houston (-8)
Week 2 Team to Watch
- Washington -- It's early, but, as they head West on a five-game trip, the Wizards have something to prove after two home losses against teams playing the second game of a back-to-back. The trip doesn't include any back-to-backs for the Wizards, but starts in Portland on Monday and continues through Golden State, Sacramento, L.A. and Memphis.
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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 103.4 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 109.5 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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