Week 1 of the season can be both exhilarating and confusing. Nothing has been more fun than the Utah Jazz winning their first three games, all against good teams. But wait, how are the Jazz one of the league’s four undefeated teams? And how are they joined by the Portland Trail Blazers, who looked pretty turrible in the preseason?
As has been noted in this space many times, games in Week 1 count just as much as Games in Week 15. Still, there’s a desire to fast forward a month to help us determine what’s real and what isn’t.
But why would we want to miss whatever’s next? None of the four undefeated teams face each other this week (nor are there any meetings between the six teams that are winless), but each will face a serious test or two. And maybe the 0-3 Houston Rockets are just the team (with two tries) to knock the Jazz off their pedestal.
The four undefeated teams are first, second, fifth and 10th in this week’s Power Rankings. Yes, the Jazz are No. 5. Feel the vibes and enjoy whatever comes next.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Right Way: Cedi Osman (CLE) and Kevin Looney (GSW) were each a plus-51 in three games last week.
- Wrong Way: Jabari Smith Jr. (HOU) was a minus-51 in three games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Utah (3-0) — Everybody loves a Week 1 surprise, and the Jazz pulled off three of them. In fact, the three teams they beat — Denver, Minnesota and New Orleans — are otherwise 6-0.
- Something Just Ain’t Right: Philadelphia (0-3) — The Sixers are one of two teams (the Thunder are the other) that rank in the bottom 10 on both ends of the floor.
East vs. West
- The West was 5-3 against the East in Week 1.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Utah (+23), Portland (+11), New Orleans (+7), San Antonio (+7)
- Free falls of the week: Philadelphia (-13), L.A. Lakers (-6), Houston (-5), Orlando (-5)
Week 2 Team to Watch
- Portland — If Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson didn’t suffer injuries on Sunday, this space would be reserved for the Pelicans, who face the Mavs, Suns and Clippers this week. But with the status of those two guys unknown, let’s put a spotlight on the 3-0 Blazers, who have won their three games by a total of 11 points. More nail-biters could certainly be in store as they host the Nuggets (Monday), Heat (Wednesday) and Rockets (Friday).
Previous Power Rankings
- This time last year: Jazz take control of No. 1 spot — Seven teams (including two that would miss the playoffs) were undefeated, while four (including one that would make the playoffs) were without a win after Week 1. The Bucks beat the Nets by 23 and the lost to the Heat by 42. Stephen Curry hit a ridiculous, go-ahead 3 against the Clippers and the Knicks Bing-Bong’ed the Celtics in double-OT.
- The archive: NBA.com Power Rankings
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
The league averaged 111.0 points scored per 100 possessions and 101.1 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes in Week 1.
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.