The rebirth of the old Golden State Warriors never happened. We knew Klay Thompson would miss most of the season. But the five-time defending West champs still had (arguably) the league's most impactful players on each end of the floor, along with an additional All-Star that could give their offense a new element.
Then the season started, and the Warriors lost their first two games by a total of 47 points. And in Game 4, with his team trailing the Phoenix Suns by 29 points, Stephen Curry suffered a broken hand that will have him on the shelf for at least three months.
So yes, after just two weeks, we can count the Warriors (1-5) out. And while we already know the team - the Los Angeles Lakers (5-1) - that will take their playoff spot, there remains a ton of intrigue up and down the West standings, with the Dallas Mavericks (4-2) and Phoenix Suns (4-2) looking like teams that could end their own playoff droughts.
The Eastern Conference is a little more academic, though the Miami Heat are already turning some heads. They rise to No. 5 in this week's rankings, with a very interesting trip out West starting Tuesday.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Mr. Plus: Jimmy Butler (MIA) was a plus-65 in three games last week.
- Mr. Minus: Clint Capela (HOU) and Larry Nance Jr. (CLE) were both a minus-51 in four games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Miami (3-0) -- The Jimmy Butler era is off to an undefeated start and the Heat are one of two teams that ranks in the top 10 on both ends of the floor.
- Something Just Ain't Right: Chicago (1-3) -- The Bulls managed to beat the injury-depleted Pistons (at home, by six), but they dropped games to the Knicks, Cavs and the even-more-depleted Pacers.
East vs. West
- The West is 14-11 (.560) against the East in interconference games after going 6-6 last week.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Indiana (+8), Miami (+8), Three teams (+6)
- Free falls of the week: Golden State (-8), Houston (-7), Denver (-6)
Week 3 Team to Watch
- Miami -- The Heat take their 5-1 record out on a three-game trip, visiting the Nuggets on Tuesday, the Suns on Thursday, and the Lakers on Friday.
- Last week: Sixers on top after week full of surprises
- This time last year: Tough tests await No. 1-ranked Warriors -- The Bucks won a battle of 6-0 teams that were playing without the guys - Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard - that would eventually win the regular season and Finals MVP awards. Derrick Rose dropped 50 on the Jazz, Klay Thompson set a single-game record with 14 3-pointers in Chicago, and Dwight Howard scored 13 points in his first quarter with the Wizards. Spencer Dinwiddie led a comeback against his old team, Victor Oladipo beat the Celtics with a pull-up three, and Robin Lopez won Halloween.
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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 103.0 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 105.8 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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