Thursday’s game in Boston was the second time this season (opening night vs. Houston being the first) that the Golden State Warriors lost after leading by at least 15 points. They’re 11-2 after leading by 15-plus (and almost blew a 28-point lead in Brooklyn on Sunday), having gone 184-2 in those situations over the previous three seasons.
Last Monday, the New York Knicks lost a game (to Cleveland) they led by 23. On Friday, the Oklahoma City Thunder also lost a game (in San Antonio) they led by 23, while the Detroit Pistons lost a game (in Indiana) they led by 22. That same night, three more teams – the Clippers, Hornets and Mavs – lost games they led by double-digits and the Miami Heat almost blew a 25-point lead in Washington. On Saturday, the Warriors came from 24 points down to beat the Sixers.
With more 3-pointers being attempted every year, scores – from game to game and quarter to quarter – could be more volatile. If one team catches fire while the other goes cold, things can change more rapidly than when three of every four shots came from inside the arc.
Teams have still won 77 percent of the games they led by 10 or more points this season. That’s the same winning percentage for teams up 10-plus five seasons ago and only down slightly from 10 seasons ago (79 percent).
There’s more of an uptick in comebacks from 20 or more points down. Teams have already won seven games that they’ve trailed by 20-plus (seven different teams have done it), on pace to win 35 or 36 over a full season. Five years ago, there were only 16 wins from teams that trailed by 20 or more points. Ten years ago, there were 19.
So don’t turn that dial when a team goes up big. Things can swing in the other direction pretty quickly.
That Celtics comeback against the champs has them at No. 1 in this week’s rankings, with their remarkable winning streak at 15 games.
- Hero team of the week: Toronto (4-0) — The Raptors’ perfect week included back-to-back wins in Houston and New Orleans and important wins over two East teams (New York and Washington) with winning records.
- Zero team of the week: Sacramento (1-3) — The Kings lost to the Hawks … by 46 points.
- East vs. West: The East is 54-48 (.529) against the West in interconference games after going 14-9 last week.
- Toughest schedules so far: 1. Philadelphia, 2. Charlotte, 3. Sacramento
- Easiest schedules so far: 1. Boston, 2. Portland, 3. Minnesota
- 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: Indiana (+10), Cleveland (+8), Philadelphia (+7)
- Free falls of the week: Memphis (-12), Orlando (-7), Charlotte (-4), New Orleans (-4)
- Team to watch in Week 6: Oklahoma City — The 7-8 Thunder will have to earn their way to the right side of .500. They visit New Orleans on Monday, and then host the Warriors (Wednesday) and Pistons (Friday). Saturday’s visit to Dallas is the second game of a back-to-back.
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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 100.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 104.4 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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Pace: 98.9 (20) OffRtg: 103.2 (21) DefRtg: 95.9 (1) NetRtg: +7.3 (3)
The Celtics keep putting themselves in positions to lose and keep refusing to do so. Ten of their last 15 games have been within five points in the last five minutes, and they've trailed three of the last five by at least 16. They've won them all and nothing legitimizes a team's No. 1 defensive ranking (and its improved switching scheme) than holding the Warriors to far less than a point per possession. The Boston offense has remained inconsistent, but Jaylen Brown's breakout last week (in the wake of his friend's death) was both encouraging and inspiring. He has an effective field goal percentage of 60.4 percent from outside the paint, up from 45.5 percent last season.
Week 6: @ DAL, @ MIA, vs. ORL, @ IND
Pace: 104.5 (5) OffRtg: 114.5 (1) DefRtg: 101.4 (5) NetRtg: +13.1 (1)
As they were getting outscored 117-74 by the Celtics and Sixers over a 41-minute stretch spanning games on Thursday and Saturday, the Warriors shot 41 percent, with 48 (65 percent) of their 74 shots coming from outside the paint and with a free throw rate (15 FTA / 74 FGA) that would rank 29th in the league. They're the league's best jump-shooting team, but they've been a little more dependent on their jump shots than they were last season. Only Dallas has taken a greater percentage of its shots from outside the paint. Stephen Curry's free throw rate is up from last season, but Kevin Durant's is down, and Klay Thompson has the third lowest rate (five free throw attempts for every 100 shots from the field) among 170 players with at least 100 field goal attempts.
Week 6: @ OKC, vs. CHI, vs. NOP
Pace: 101.3 (11) OffRtg: 111.3 (2) DefRtg: 102.6 (8) NetRtg: +8.8 (2)
The Rockets' top 10 defense got blasted by the Raptors on Tuesday, but James Harden celebrated Chris Paul's return with 48 points in Phoenix on Thursday. The two stars were a minus-4 in their 27 minutes together last week and time will tell if Paul taking some of the playmaking load off of Harden's shoulders makes Harden a better shooter in the fourth quarter. So far, Harden has shot 26 percent in the fourth (worst among 42 players who have taken at least 50 fourth-quarter shots), with the Rockets ranking 29th in fourth-quarter offense (94.4 points scored per 100 possessions). They're 9-1 on the road (having won each their last five road games by 15 points or more) and play 11 of their next 14 at home, with four rest-advantage games in that stretch.
Week 6: vs. DEN, vs. NYK
Pace: 100.1 (15) OffRtg: 110.4 (3) DefRtg: 103.2 (11) NetRtg: +7.1 (4)
There have been moments of stagnation, but in general, the Raptors have adjusted pretty well and pretty quickly to their new offense. Kyle Lowry (who averaged 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists in their four wins last week) is figuring things out and the Raps have scored 115 points per 100 possessions as they've won six of their last seven games. DeMar DeRozan has found another way to make his anti-analytics game more efficient. He leads the league in mid-range shots for the second straight season, but has shot 50 percent on those mid-range shots, up from 39 percent over last three years. They're on the road for much of the next seven weeks, but after visiting the Knicks and Pacers this week, 10 of their next 11 games are against teams that currently have losing records.
Week 6: @ NYK, @ IND, @ ATL
Pace: 98.6 (21) OffRtg: 106.2 (9) DefRtg: 103.0 (10) NetRtg: +3.2 (8)
After scoring less than a point per possession over the first 2 3/4 games of their road trip, the Pistons showed some grit in coming back from 11 down in the fourth quarter in Minnesota on Sunday. They shot 5-for-5 on clutch shots, with Reggie Jackson making three and assisting Andre Drummond on the other two. Jackson and Drummond have been much better than last season and Tobias Harris is a potential All-Star, but the Pistons' starting lineup has been pretty terrible, getting outscored by almost 12 points per 100 possessions in its 209 minutes together. Among lineups that have played at least 100 minutes, only a Kings lineup has been worse. Dave Joerger has abandoned that one and you wonder if Stan Van Gundy will soon make a lineup change of his own. The only time in its last seven games that the Pistons' starting lineup hasn't had a negative plus-minus was when they played ... the Kings.
Week 6: vs. CLE, @ OKC
Pace: 99.9 (16) OffRtg: 107.0 (7) DefRtg: 106.4 (21) NetRtg: +0.6 (12)
The Wolves are starting to put it together. After ranking 30th defensively in October, they rank fourth in November, having allowed 100.9 points per 100 possessions over their nine games this month. They've seen a big improvement in preventing shots at the rim, with only 29 percent of their opponents' shots coming in the restricted area in November, down from 36 percent in October. Of course, the offense seemed to take a step backward as they blew an 11-point, fourth quarter lead against Detroit on Sunday. They should continue their climb out of the top 10 on defense with four games against not-so-great offenses this week.
Week 6: @ CHA, vs. ORL, vs. MIA, vs. PHX
Pace: 97.3 (30) OffRtg: 104.7 (15) DefRtg: 101.6 (6) NetRtg: +3.1 (9)
The Spurs' bench has an aggregate NetRtg (per-possession plus-minus, weighted by minutes played) of just plus-1.3. That ranks 12th in the league, is down from a league-best plus-8.9 last season, and is the worst mark for a San Antonio bench since Tim Duncan's rookie year. Manu Ginobili's effective field goal percentage is a career-low 44 percent and he has the first negative plus-minus of his career. But the Spurs' starting lineup has been strong and LaMarcus Aldridge has continued to carry the load offensively. His effective field goal percentage (57.2 percent) is a career high, with the percentage of his shots coming from the restricted area or 3-point range also a career-high 41 percent. The Spurs are 6-1 when he's scored 25 points or more and Friday's comeback win over the Thunder began a stretch of eight straight games against teams currently .500 or worse.
Week 6: vs. ATL, @ NOP, @ CHA
Pace: 100.6 (14) OffRtg: 106.4 (8) DefRtg: 102.8 (9) NetRtg: +3.6 (7)
Sunday's game in Toronto was the first game of an important back-to-back, as well as the beginning of a stretch where the Wizards are playing seven of nine games against teams with winning records (with most of those games on the road). So it's not a great time for John Wall to be dealing with a sore knee. They've scored less than a point per possession in each of their last two games (with Wall playing through pain in Friday's loss to the Heat before sitting Sunday's loss in Toronto) and they've scored less than a point per possession in 295 minutes with Wall off the floor, though a lot of that has been with Bradley Beal on the bench as well.
Week 6: @ MIL, @ CHA, vs. POR
Pace: 98.5 (24) OffRtg: 103.7 (18) DefRtg: 98.5 (2) NetRtg: +5.1 (6)
The Blazers were a minus-9 in less than five minutes with neither Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum on the floor in Friday's four-point loss in Sacramento. Otherwise, their bench has been a positive, and Terry Stotts went back to having one of Lillard and McCollum always on the floor as they got their win back on Saturday. Shabazz Napier seems to have a permanent spot in the rotation, has shot 58 percent, and was on the floor (with Lillard and McCollum) down the stretch of both of the Blazers' close games last week, hitting a big three in Wednesday's win over Orlando. They played 11 of their last 13 games at the Moda Center, but ranked 24th offensively over that stretch and will now play 18 of their next 27 on the road.
Week 6: @ MEM, @ PHI, @ BKN, @ WAS
Pace: 98.9 (19) OffRtg: 104.1 (16) DefRtg: 98.6 (3) NetRtg: +5.4 (5)
Late-game issues are why the Thunder are 7-8 with a plus-81 point differential (that of a team that's 11-4). But before they get to the last five minutes, their offense needs to be better. They rank 20th offensively (102.7 points scored per 100 possessions) through the first three quarters of games and 22nd in November (102.3), with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony combining to shoot 36 percent this month. Paul George also cooled off (9-for-31 in two games last week) after his two big games against the Clippers and Mavs, and their third-ranked defense couldn't get stops as they blew a 23-point lead in San Antonio on Friday.
Week 6: @ NOP, vs. GSW, vs. DET, @ DAL
Pace: 105.4 (4) OffRtg: 103.6 (19) DefRtg: 104.5 (15) NetRtg: -0.9 (18)
The Sixers' evolution from bad team to fun team, and eventually to good team and then to great team, is fascinating to watch. As they were running up a 22-point, halftime lead on the Warriors on Saturday (and before they lost the 3rd quarter by 32 points), the elements of a top-10 team on both ends of the floor could be seen pretty clearly. On offense, they have two serious matchup problems and complementary shooting. On defense, they have size, switchability and rim protection, with J.J. Redick being the only guy in the starting lineup (the league's best lineup among those that have played 75 minutes) under 6-foot-9. Before Saturday's roller-coaster game, last week saw career highs for Joel Embiid in playing time and rebounds (35:48 and 16 against the Clippers), points, assists and blocks (46, seven and seven against the Lakers), all at Staples Center. The Golden State loss began a stretch where they're playing nine of 10 games at home.
Week 6: vs. UTA, vs. POR, vs. ORL
Pace: 101.0 (13) OffRtg: 107.3 (6) DefRtg: 105.8 (17) NetRtg: +1.5 (11)
The Nuggets are 6-1 at home in November, with the only loss coming at the hands of the Warriors. But, spending most of the next five weeks away from the Pepsi Center, they need to figure out how to win on the road. They figured out how to lose on the road a couple of times last week, scoring just 33 second-half points in Portland on Monday and allowing 70 first-half points in L.A. on Sunday. That game included ejections for Mike Malone and Nikola Jokic, a return to earth for Jamal Murray (after scoring 30-plus points in two of his previous three games), and most importantly, a wrist injury to Paul Millsap.
Week 6: @ SAC, @ HOU, vs. MEM
Pace: 101.3 (9) OffRtg: 108.4 (4) DefRtg: 110.0 (30) NetRtg: -1.6 (20)
Tristan Thompson's absence has allowed the Cavs to rediscover the floor spacing and unblockable release of Channing Frye. He gave them a big lift (three 3-pointers and a pair of blocks) in Monday's comeback from 23 points down at Madison Square Garden, and the Cavs were a plus-33 in 42 minutes with Frye and Kyle Korver on the floor together on Monday and Wednesday (in Charlotte). With Dwyane Wade having a big game (19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists) in Friday's overtime win over the Clippers, it was a good week for the Cleveland bench. More important is that the Cavs have allowed just 101 points per 100 possessions over their four-game winning streak, looking ready to shed the "worst defense in the league" title.
Week 6: @ DET, vs. BKN, vs. CHA
Pace: 101.1 (12) OffRtg: 108.3 (5) DefRtg: 106.4 (20) NetRtg: +1.9 (10)
The Pacers have rebounded from a slide to win three straight games, scoring 118 points per 100 possessions (and shooting better than 50 percent from 3-point range) against three better-than-average defenses. Darren Collison, Bojan Bogdanovic and Myles Turner all had big games last week and Lance Stephenson had a big fourth quarter (13 points, two big threes) as they came back from 22 down against Detroit on Friday. They've overwhelmed some teams (like Memphis on Wednesday) with their pace, though they've slowed down a bit, ranking 20th in pace over their last eight games. After Monday's game in Orlando, they'll play nine of their next 11 games at home
Week 6: @ ORL, vs. TOR, vs. BOS
Pace: 98.1 (27) OffRtg: 104.8 (14) DefRtg: 106.4 (19) NetRtg: -1.6 (21)
The Bucks' defensive numbers are still much better over their five games with Eric Bledsoe (100 points allowed per 100 possessions) than they were without him (109). But their offensive numbers are down and Saturday's loss in Dallas was another example of how the defense can be picked apart when they're a step slow collectively. Malcolm Brogdon has more turnovers (10) than assists (9) in his five games off the bench and his minutes have generally been a negative for the Bucks, who rank 26th in aggregate bench NetRtg for the season.
Week 6: vs. WAS, @ PHX, @ UTA
Pace: 98.5 (23) OffRtg: 105.4 (12) DefRtg: 107.1 (25) NetRtg: -1.6 (22)
Each of the last five games at Madison Square Garden have featured a team coming back from a double-digit deficit to win. The Knicks have been on the right side of those comebacks in four of the five games, but let one get away against the Cavs on Monday. That began a three-game stretch in which Kristaps Porzingis has shot 18-for-53 (34 percent), increasing concerns about the swollen elbow that kept him out of a game in Orlando 12 days ago. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee picked up the slack in Wednesday's comeback win over Utah, but New York is 1-6 when Porzingis hasn't played or hasn't shot at least 45 percent, and now Hardaway is dealing with a sore foot. Joakim Noah, getting paid more than $55 million, was inactive for the first three games he was eligible to play (after completing his suspension).
Week 6: vs. LAC, vs. TOR, @ ATL, @ HOU
Pace: 97.6 (28) OffRtg: 103.7 (17) DefRtg: 103.4 (12) NetRtg: +0.3 (13)
The Grizzlies have joined the Jazz in crisis-management mode. Mike Conley is out with an Achilles injury and the Grizzlies are five games into a stretch where they're playing 12 of 15 against teams that currently have winning records, with many of those being important games within the Western Conference. They've already lost four straight, with their defense (114 points allowed per 100 possessions) not holding up against some good offenses. With Conley out, they need Tyreke Evans and the bench to keep playing as well as it did over the first month, but (with Chandler Parsons getting his first start of the season) they were a minus-24 in about 31 minutes with at least one reserve on the floor against Houston on Saturday.
Week 6: vs. POR, vs. DAL, @ DEN, vs. BKN
Pace: 102.8 (6) OffRtg: 105.0 (13) DefRtg: 104.8 (16) NetRtg: +0.3 (14)
The 6-2 Magic have become the 8-8 Magic and the slide has been about equal on both offense (where they've been 9.9 points per 100 possessions worse over the last eight games than they were in their first eight) and defense (9.3 points per 100 possessions worse). Point guard injuries are no longer an excuse, because they had both Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin for Saturday's blowout loss at the hands of the Jazz, and their starting lineup (with Payton) was outscored by 36 points in its 55 total minutes last week. They didn't take advantage of a rest-advantage game (Utah was playing the second game of a back-to-back, while the Magic had Friday off) on Saturday, but they'll have another (against Indiana) on Monday to help them try to stop the bleeding before heading out on a four-game trip.
Week 6: vs. IND, @ MIN, @ BOS, @ PHI
Pace: 102.1 (7) OffRtg: 105.8 (11) DefRtg: 107.2 (26) NetRtg: -1.5 (19)
A six-game stretch where they played five top-10 offenses and allowed 117 points per 100 possessions has dropped the Pelicans from ninth to 26th in defensive efficiency, and the schedule isn't getting easier. After they host the Thunder on Monday, 11 of their next 14 games are against teams that currently have winning records. The good news is that Anthony Davis is probable for Monday after butting heads with Nikola Jokic in Friday's loss in Denver. The Pels have been outscored by 10.4 points per 100 possessions in 193 minutes with DeMarcus Cousins on the floor without Davis and the bench has been mostly bad, though Darius Miller hit a couple of big threes late in Monday's win over Atlanta.
Week 6: vs. OKC, vs. SAS, @ PHX, @ GSW
Pace: 101.5 (8) OffRtg: 103.5 (20) DefRtg: 103.6 (13) NetRtg: -0.0 (15)
The Hornets had the league's worst November defense through Friday, when they managed to lose a game to the league's worst offense (at the time) with Kemba Walker scoring 47 points. They finally got some stops in ending their six-game losing streak with a win over the Clippers on Saturday, but face four more top-10 offenses in their next five games, as what has been the league's second toughest schedule so far remains tough through the end of the month. They got Nicolas Batum back (and he was a team-best plus-26 in his first week), but Jeremy Lamb suffered a strained hamstring on Saturday.
Week 6: vs. MIN, vs. WAS, @ CLE, vs. SAS
Pace: 106.2 (3) OffRtg: 98.9 (28) DefRtg: 100.6 (4) NetRtg: -1.7 (23)
They couldn't match the tandem of Embiid and Ben Simmons on Wednesday, but Kyle Kuzma (30 points and 10 boards against Phoenix on Friday) and Lonzo Ball (triple-double against Denver on Sunday) rebounded later in the week. Meanwhile, the Julius Randle conundrum (keep him or free up cap space?) remains fascinating. Randle has played mostly at the five, but after playing just nine total minutes together through the team's first 16 games, Randle and Brook Lopez were a plus-15 in a little more than eight minutes on Sunday. Lopez's floor spacing allowed Randle to still get most of his baskets at the rim as he scored a season-high 24 points.
Week 6: vs. CHI, @ SAC
Pace: 99.1 (18) OffRtg: 100.1 (26) DefRtg: 103.9 (14) NetRtg: -3.8 (24)
Though they almost blew a 25-point lead on Friday, the Heat got a good road win by outworking the Wizards in the first half. Then they came home and couldn't slow down the Pacers on Sunday, seeing their defense fall from eighth in the league to 14th. Only five teams have taken a greater percentage of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, but offense continues to be a struggle. The Heat rank near the bottom of the league in free throw rate (27th), turnover percentage (29th) and offensive rebounding percentage (26th), the only team that ranks in the bottom five in even two of the three. The Indy game their fifth loss in their last six home games, with the Celtics coming to town on Wednesday and nine of 14 games on the road after that.
Week 6: vs. BOS, @ MIN, @ CHI
Pace: 98.2 (26) OffRtg: 101.6 (24) DefRtg: 102.1 (7) NetRtg: -0.5 (17)
The Jazz have scored 112.2 points per 100 possessions in their five games without Rudy Gobert, the league's sixth best mark over that stretch. Donovan Mitchell has shot better (particularly in the paint), Rodney Hood had a couple of big games (30-plus points) in New York and Orlando, and dusting off Raul Neto (22 points in Brooklyn, seven assists in Orlando) has taken some of the playmaking pressure off Mitchell. As expected, the defense has suffered without Gobert, but the Jazz took advantage of the reeling Magic on Saturday to get their first road win of the season.
Week 6: @ PHI, vs. CHI, vs. MIL
Pace: 99.7 (17) OffRtg: 105.9 (10) DefRtg: 106.2 (18) NetRtg: -0.3 (16)
Defense has been a bigger issue as the Clippers have lost eight straight games, but the offense was ugly (Blake Griffin missed all 10 of his shots with the games within five points in the last five minutes) as they blew chances to end the losing streak against Philadelphia and in Cleveland on Monday and Friday. Griffin has now shot no better than 40 percent in six straight games and is a brutal 1-for-21 from mid-range over the last five. Relief is coming. Patrick Beverley is set to return from a five-game absence on Monday, and after the Clippers visit New York, they'll play five games against teams with a cumulative record of 24-59.
Week 6: @ NYK, @ ATL, @ SAC
Pace: 107.0 (1) OffRtg: 102.8 (23) DefRtg: 107.1 (24) NetRtg: -4.2 (26)
The Nets went down to the final minutes against both the Celtics and Warriors last week, showing some moxie in almost erasing a 28-point deficit against the champs. Spencer Dinwiddie has been the reason they've been able to withstand the losses of Jeremy Lin and D'Angelo Russell better than they were able to withstand the loss of Lin last season. The Nets have been 15.5 points per 100 possessions better with Dinwiddie on the floor than with him off the floor, his assist-turnover ratio of 5.38 ranks second among 266 players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in five or more games, and it's 7.00 (35/5) in his five games as a starter. Allen Crabbe (14-for-27 from 3-point range last week) is heating up, maybe because Dinwiddie has joined him in the starting lineup. Crabbe has shot 25-for-49 (51 percent) on threes with Dinwiddie on the floor and 11-for-20 (55 percent) off Dinwiddie passes.
Week 6: @ CLE, vs. POR, @ MEM
Pace: 106.6 (2) OffRtg: 101.4 (25) DefRtg: 108.7 (29) NetRtg: -7.3 (27)
Don't look now, but the Suns are moving the ball. They have as many games of 28 or more assists in the last four days (three) as they had all of last season (and through their first 15 games this season). That allowed them to win the game (Sunday vs. Chicago) in which Devin Booker shot 5-for-15, but not the one (Thursday vs. Houston) in which they allowed 90 points by halftime. Troy Daniels has benefited from the ball movement, shooting 13-for-25 from 3-point range over the three games.
Week 6: vs. MIL, vs. NOP, @ MIN
Pace: 98.6 (22) OffRtg: 99.6 (27) DefRtg: 108.0 (27) NetRtg: -8.4 (28)
Every 12 days or so, the Mavs awake from their slumber to beat a pretty good team. Only Houston takes a greater percentage of its shots from 3-point range, so when the Mavs catch fire, they can be dangerous. J.J. Barea and Wesley Matthews were a combined 10-for-15 from beyond the arc in Saturday's win over Milwaukee (this one from Matthews and this one from Barea were particularly ridiculous) and are 22-for-34 in the team's three wins. Add undrafted rookie Maxi Kleber (who started the last two games) to the list of big men ahead of Nerlens Noel on the depth chart.
Week 6: vs. BOS, @ MEM, vs. OKC
Pace: 101.3 (10) OffRtg: 102.9 (22) DefRtg: 106.8 (22) NetRtg: -3.9 (25)
The Hawks led all three of last week's games by at least 14 points. They're now a plus-18 in the first quarter, with the league's fourth best defense in the opening 12 minutes. But things have gone downhill from there more often than not. Their 40 assists in Wednesday's thumping of the Kings were the most in the league this season, but they lost the other two double-digit leads last week. After struggling for most of the first few weeks of the season, Kent Bazemore has shot 51 percent, with a 21/9 assist-turnover ratio over his last five games. With the starting lineup having scored an efficient 112 points per 100 possessions in its 66 minutes together, the Atlanta offense hasn't been so ugly of late.
Week 6: @ SAS, vs. LAC, vs. NYK, vs. TOR
Pace: 98.5 (25) OffRtg: 95.1 (29) DefRtg: 106.9 (23) NetRtg: -11.8 (29)
The Bulls have seen the league's biggest increase in the percentage of shots that come from 3-point range, from 26 percent (28th) last season to 36 percent (10th) this season. So there's more potential for a surprise offensive game against a decent defensive team, like when they shot 17-for-34 from beyond the arc to beat the Hornets on Friday. Of course, that game was ultimately won with a defensive play: Lauri Markannen going vertical and avoiding the foul on Kemba Walker's drive for the lead. Markannen followed that up with career highs in points (26) and rebounds (13) in Phoenix on Sunday.
Week 6: @ LAL, @ UTA, @ GSW, vs. MIA
Pace: 97.5 (29) OffRtg: 94.8 (30) DefRtg: 108.5 (28) NetRtg: -13.6 (30)
There's a clear bottom five in the league, and when one of those teams (the Kings) loses to another (the Hawks) by 46 points, it moves to the bottom of the Power Rankings and stays there, despite an ugly win two nights later. The blowout sparked another lineup change, with De'Aaron Fox and George Hill playing together and Zach Randolph starting at center. Friday's win was more about the bench, with Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos combining for 32 points and 17 rebounds and Portland shooting 34 percent in their 30 minutes on the floor together. The mix remains weird with this team and the only consistent element has been bad shooting, both inside and out. The Kings rank 28th in both field goal percentage in the paint (49.0 percent) and effective field goal percentage on shots from outside the paint (44.9 percent).
Week 6: vs. DEN, vs. LAL, vs. LAC