Weekly NBA Rankings Vol. 2

The 2nd week of the NBA season is in the books, and TSX is at it again with the NBA rankings. Did the Boston Celtics fall from the top spot? Who was the biggest movers, and who fell? What teams have a long season ahead of them?

Enjoy the Rankings. (sidenote: the records are retroactive to Monday afternoon)

1. Phoenix Suns (6-1) (previous ranking: 5) The Suns beat the Celtics, and for the most part of the game, beat them soundly. If people thought that the sun has set on this team, it has not just yet. Don’t make no trades regarding Amare just yet, Steve Kerr.

2. Boston Celtics (7-1) (previous ranking: 1) Losing to the Suns at home set them back a bit, but for the time being they are #2. This team is still healthy, and still compete, and they should be at the top for a while after this week.

3. Los Angeles Lakers (6-1) [previous ranking: 8] The Lake Show has bounced back from the Dallas loss with four straight wins this week. Maybe Reggie Miller’s 20-1 prediction isn’t far off. 14 more wins to go.

4. Miami Heat (5-1) (previous ranking: 4) The Heat have stayed consistent all week long, so this week, they stay right where they are. They lost to Phoenix, who in turn beat Boston, but bounced back nicely.

5. Atlanta Hawks (5-2) (previous ranking: 10) The Hawks lost to Charlotte pretty bad, after being fatigued on the West Coast road trip, but they turned things around and soundly beat the Northwest Division leading Denver Nuggets, prompting their rise to the top 5.

6. Denver Nuggets (5-2) (previous ranking: 3) The Nuggets got off to a 5-0 start, the best in team history, but ran into problems in the Southeast by losing to Miami and Atlanta. All Denver has to do is maintain its energy and they should be fine.

7. Orlando Magic (5-2) (previous ranking: 2) The Magic took a tumble, largely due to their blowout loss in Oklahoma City to the Thunder and capped off a 2-2 week. They have had success against the Charlotte Bobcats, but the ‘Cats are 3-0 at home this season.

8. Houston Rockets (4-2) (previous ranking: 12) The Rockets received good news: T-Mac is planning to return on Nov. 18th. If they can have one more good week when he returns, this team should be in good shape, if McGrady stays healthy.

9. Dallas Mavericks (4-2) (previous ranking: 7) The Mavericks are in a tie for first place going into a early season showdown at home against Houston, but the good thing going for them is that Josh Howard is back, and it appears he his back with a vengeance.

10. Chicago Bulls (4-2) (previous ranking: 19) One of the bigger moves up the rankings this week, the Bulls are playing some good basketball, beating division rival Milwaukee, surprising the Cavaliers on the road, and coming back from behind to beat the Charlotte Bobcats. A win over Denver could move them further up.

11. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3) (previous ranking: 9) The Cavaliers have to be under the Bulls right now, but they have won 4 of the past 5 since starting 0-2. It’s a matter of time before they are in the top 5 and get the ball rolling.

12. Portland Trail Blazers (4-3) (previous ranking: 13) The Blazers are ahead of Milawukee due to the tougher opponents they have faced. Andre Miller is really catching on in the Blazers rotation. With the money that was spent on him in the offseason, he will be the starter eventually.

13. Milwaukee Bucks (3-2) (previous ranking: 17) The Bucks have done well without Michael Redd, as young Brandon Jennings is really showing that going to Italy matured him very quickly. He was NBA-ready out of high school, but going to Italy for one year has really made him better. The Bucks may be a dark horse out the East.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-3) (previous ranking: 16) The Thunder have had a rough week, losing two of three, but they took the Lakers to overtime, and they soundly beat Orlando at home. This team is looking impressive by each game. It will be interesting to see if they will be contend when March and April come around.

15. Charlotte Bobcats (3-3) (previous ranking: 24) The ‘Cats have found an offense, and they soundly beat the Hawks at home, and took Chicago to the limit before losing on the road. If Charlotte can start winning on the road, they can be in great shape. The players are buying into Larry Brown’s coaching, which is good.

16. Toronto Raptors (3-3) (previous ranking: 22) The Raptors played well as of late, with impressive wins against New Orleans and Detroit, but losing to Dallas. The question is with them: Will they be that team that comes from under the radar, or will they ultimately disappoint?

17. Philadelphia 76ers (3-3) (previous ranking: 15) Losing two of three is not good, but the Sixers need to know that they only play the New Jersey Nets four times out the year. They have to beat other teams, and beat them consistenly. Can Eddie Jordan give that to this team?

18. San Antonio Spurs (2-3) (previous ranking: 6) Two losses to Utah and Portland are big, and they way they lost just really posed the question: Are these the same Spurs? They really looked lethargic in those two games.

19. Detroit Pistons (3-4) (previous ranking: 20) The Pistons split two with the Magic, but they split Toronto (L) and Philadelphia (W) as well. This team is still a tough one to figure out.

20. Sacramento Kings (3-4) (previous ranking: 28) The Kings have won 3 of 4, and Tyreke Evans has done a great job being the facilitator of the offense. The players are buying into Paul Westphal’s system. The bad news is the loss of Kevin Martin for six-eight weeks.

21. Los Angeles Clippers (3-4) (previous ranking: 30) The Clippers have won three straight. The salvaging of wins before Blake Griffin returns looks more promising. Taking advantage of the winnable games like Minnesota, Golden State, and Memphis is what this team needs.

22. Utah Jazz (2-4) (previous ranking: 14) The Jazz beat the Spurs, then lose to the Kings, both at home. With the Jazz inconsistency on the road in the past couple of seasons, losing to the Kings at home is not a good thing. That allows Sacramento AND the streaking Clippers (yes, three is a streak for the Clippers) to leap frog them.

23. Indiana Pacers (2-3) (previous ranking: 26) Indiana is playing well, and Tyler Hansbrough had a decent debut with his team coming off the bench. This team, however, needs more quality wins to have any chance to move up in the rankings.

24. New Orleans Hornets (2-5) (previous ranking: 18) Between the Hornets and Wizards for 24, it came down to New Orleans’ win over Dallas, giving them a 1-3 record for the week. Had the Wizards just won a single game, they would be ahead due to the fact the Hornets lost to the New York Knicks.

25. Washington Wizards (2-5) (previous ranking: 11) The Wizards had a rough week, going 0-4, and had the biggest freefall of the week, into the Southeast Division cellar. It appears the injury bug has returned to Washington with the loss of Mike James, Mike Miller, along with Antawn Jamison. Agent Zero has to get this team going again and in the right direction.

26. Golden State Warriors (1-4) (previous ranking: 25) Losses to the Clippers and the Kings in blowout fashion puts this team in even more shambles than they were before. At least they go out on the court and play. The culture needs to be changed in Oakland quickly, one step would be getting rid of Stephen Jackson.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-6) (previous ranking: 23) Six straight losses after the dramatic win against New Jersey has this team near the bottom of the rankings. At least in these losses, this team played the Boston Celtics to the end, losing by only two points.

28. Memphis Grizzlies (1-6) (previous ranking: 21) The Grizz went 0-4 with Allen Iverson playing. Then Iverson quits on the team and requests a leave of absence. The player who was going to put fans in the seats has not only turned his back on his teammates, but owner Michael Heisley, Memphis fans, and has ruined any possible chance of getting a ring for ANY team. The sad thing is, he would’ve been in the starting lineup since he was playing so well.

29. New York Knicks (1-6) (previous ranking: 27) The Knicks are the Knicks. they won over New Orleans, which was impressive, but has lost to the Pacers, Cavs, and Bucks. Danilo Gallinari has stayed hot from three point land, and that has been the only bright spot for this team.

30. New Jersey Nets (0-7) (previous ranking: 29) From bad to worse. 68 points only scored against the Charlotte Bobcats, who were the most offensively anemic team at the time. Blowout loss vs. Denver and a blown lead against Philadelphia, followed by another bad performance against Boston just puts the Nets in a very bad way. Lawrence Frank may be the first coach to go this season.

We have already seen drastic changes. It will be fun to watch how these teams fare next week.

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