When the schedule was released in early August, you probably didn't circle Toronto-Milwaukee on Oct. 29 as one your most anticipated games. But here we are, two weeks into the season with two undefeated teams remaining: the 6-0 Toronto Raptors and the 6-0 Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks have the better point differential and have played a slightly tougher schedule. The Raptors have better depth and a signature win over Boston in Week 1. The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo and two guys -- Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez -- in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage. The Raptors have Kawhi Leonard and the guy -- Kyle Lowry -- who has been the league's third most effective shooter (71 percent) through the first two weeks.
While several teams are struggling one one end of the floor or the other, both of these teams have started strong under new coaches. But only one will remain undefeated after Monday's game in Milwaukee (8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass).
- Last week Raptors claim No. 1 spot, while Pelicans lead an offensive surge
- This time last year: Grizzlies rise above early-season parity -- With every team having at least one win and one loss, the 5-1 Grizzlies were No. 1 in the rankings, though their only loss was the 1-6 Mavs' only win. After playing the first four games of the season, Markelle Fultz was shut down for what would end up being a five-month absence. Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin both hit buzzer-beating, game-winning threes on the road. The Celtics were four games into a 16-game winning streak, Dwyane Wade gave up his starting job in Cleveland, and Donovan Mitchell threw down a monster tip dunk on a pair of fellow rookies.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Mr. Plus: Brook Lopez (MIL) was a plus-67 in four games last week.
- Mr. Minus: Tim Hardaway Jr. (NYK) was a minus-61 in three games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Milwaukee (4-0) -- The Bucks certainly haven't had the toughest schedule through two weeks, but they did beat the Sixers pretty comfortably on Wednesday.
- Something Just Ain't Right: Phoenix (0-4) -- Poor shooting from their imported veterans, another Devin Booker injury, and bad defense are ruining the Suns' plans on being competitive this season.
East vs. West
- The West is 11-9 (.550) against the East in interconference games after going 9-8 last week.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Sacramento (+8), Chicago (+6), Memphis (+5), Miami (+5)
- Free falls of the week: Washington (-7), Houston (-6), New York (-6), Phoenix (-6)
Week 3 Team to Watch
- Milwaukee -- If Anthony Davis were healthy (he's questionable for Monday's game in Denver), the Pelicans would reside in this space, with a five-game trip that also continues through Golden State, Portland, San Antonio and Oklahoma City (next Monday). The Bucks have just two feature games, but they're as good as it gets. After hosting the Raptors on Monday, they'll visit Boston for the first game of TNT's double-header on Thursday, finishing up the week with a Sunday matinee against the Kings.
* * *
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 102.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 108.8 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
Any stats marked with an * below are based on an estimate for possessions. All other stats are based on true possession counts.
* * *
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.
* * *