Power Rankings: Spurs thump Warriors and don't stop there
It didn’t take long for the Golden State Warriors to get their first taste of humble pie. In fact, the Warriors were down double-digits just 12 minutes into their season and the inevetible comeback never came. With a 29-point drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, there would be no winning streak to start the season this year.
It was just one game, and it took place six months before the Warriors really need to put things together. But that one game, as well as the two underwhelming wins that followed, showed us why the Warriors aren’t a perfect basketball machine.
Defense has been an issue, and it could continue to be an issue all season long. Andrew Bogut is gone, Andre Iguodala is older, and when you have the three best shooters in the world, you don’t need be as sharp defensively every time down the floor as you would if you weren’t so talented.
The Warriors had some defensive slippage last season as they shot their way to 73 wins. If they can treat every defensive possession like they did two years ago (when they ranked No. 1 on that end), it could pay off in the long run.
Despite that first game in Oakland, there was some semblance of order in the first six days. Last week’s top 10 went 12-0 against last week’s bottom 10 and the champs came out strong. They’ll have to stay at No. 2 in the rankings, though, because you can’t put the 4-0 Spurs (with three road wins) any lower than No. 1.
Last week: Warriors, Cavs poised for third straight Finals meeting
This time last year: Warriors just keep on setting the pace — As a whole, the league was playing a lot faster than it did the previous season. Six teams were undefeated and nine (including three eventual playoff teams) were without a win. One of those three was the Rockets, who became the first team in NBA history to lose its first three games by 20 points or more.
Plus-minus stud: Patty Mills (SAS) was a plus-74 in four games last week.
Plus-minus dud: Serge Ibaka (ORL) was a minus-47 in three games last week.
Hero team of the week: San Antonio (4-0) — It doesn’t get any better than beating the SuperWarriors by 29 on opening night, but the Spurs followed up that win with three more, including one on the opposite coast.
Zero team of the week: Orlando (0-3) — The Magic salvaged some pride by making Sunday’s game in Cleveland close, but two double-digit losses to shorthanded teams — Miami and Detroit — in their conference is not a good way to start the season.
East vs. West: The West went 3-2 against the East in interconference games last week.
High jumps of the week: Chicago (+9), Memphis (+7), Sacramento (+7)
Free falls of the week: Indiana (-8), Dallas (-7), Orlando (-7), Utah (-7)
Team to watch this week: Oklahoma City — The Thunder are 3-0, but haven’t beat anybody good. This week brings three tougher challenges, including Russ vs. KD, Part I on Thursday in Oakland.
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 is averaging 100.2 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 101.8 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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.