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Weeks 4 & 5 Achieve: NBA Power Ratings

Our week 2 2008 NBA power ratings after week one of the 2008 NBA Basketball season.

2008 Weeks 4 and 5 NBA Power Rankings
(Dated: November 24 - Decmber 7, 2008)

1. Los Angeles Lakers (10-1) – The Los Angeles Lakers remain at the top spot, winning ten of their first eleven games on the year. Kobe Bryant is leading the team scoring 24.7 points per game. Pau Gasol has been solid for Los Angeles grabbing 9.5 rebounds per game, and dishing out 3.7 assists per game, and also shooting 52+ % from the field. The Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, before three home games with New Jersey, Dallas and Toronto.

2. Boston Celtics (12-2) – The Boston Celtics, regardless of being the defending champions still remain behind the Lakers at # 2. The Celtics are scoring 95.7 points per, while allowing just 89 a game. The Celtics have won five straight after their 94-85 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. Paul Pierce leads the team in scoring, putting up 19.6 points per game. The Celtics will take on Golden State and Philadelphia at home this week, then travel to Charlotte to finish out the month of September.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (10-3) – The Cleveland Cavaliers have won nine of ten games, and move up from the # 9 spot, all the way up to # 3 in the NBA power rankings. The Cavaliers main man, LeBron James is leading the team in scoring with 29.1 points per game, and also grabbing 7.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. The Cavaliers lead the Central Division by 1.5 over the Detroit Pistons. Cleveland at travel to New York City to take on the Knicks on Tuesday, before a home game with Oklahoma City and Golden State, before traveling to Milwaukee on November 29th.

4. Orlando Magic (9-4) – The Orlando Magic lead the Eastern Conference – Southeast Division by a full game over the Atlanta Hawks. Winning nine of 13 games, the Magic were able to make a seven game jump in the rankings from # 11 to # 4. Dwight Howard is scoring 20.6 points per game, and also averaging 13.5 rebounds a game. Orlando is scoring a little under 100 points per game, while giving up just 94. Orlando is coming off a 100-95 loss to Houston on Saturday night. Orlando will host Milwaukee before two road games to Philadelphia and Washington, before hosting Indiana.

5. Utah Jazz (9-5) – The Utah Jazz despite all their injuries have started 9-5 and lead the NBA Western Conference – Northwest Division. The Jazz dropped two spots from # 3 to # 5 in the power rankings. The Jazz have been without their point guard Deron Williams, with an ankle injury. Williams expects to return for Wednesday’s game. The Jazz are led in scoring by Carlos Boozer who is scoring 20.5 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game. The Jazz will play four straight home games with Chicago, Memphis, Sacramento. New Jersey.

6. Detroit Pistons (8-4) – The Detroit Pistons sit 1.5 games behind the Central Division leading Cleveland Cavaliers with a record of 8-4. Detroit moved down two spots from # 4 to # 6. The Pistons are scoring 97.1 points per game, and allowing 95.8 points per game. The Pistons are being led by Tayshaun Prince, who is shooting 56.5% from the three point led. Richard Hamilton is leading the team in scoring, by putting up 17.0 points per game. Detroit will take on Minnesota, New York, Milwaukee and Portland all at home this week.

7. Denver Nuggets (8-5) – The Denver Nuggets have gotten off to a nice start during the 2008 season, but were not a worthy opponent for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night; falling 104-90. The Nuggets moved up 12 spots from # 19 to # 7 with their strings of wins. The Nuggets lost snapped their four game winning streak. Denver is getting great numbers from Nene Hilario, who is scoring 14.9 points per game, and also grabbing 7.4 rebounds per game. Denver will host the Chicago Bulls, then travel to the Clippers, before a home game with New Orleans, and then back to the road to face the Timberwolves.

8. Houston Rockets (9-5) – The Houston Rockets are the # 8 team in the NBA Power Rankings. They fell two spots from their post at # 6. The Rockets lead the NBA Western Conference – Southwest Division with their 9-5 mark. The Hornets sit one full game back in the division. Houston on the year is scoring 93.1 points per game, and allowing just 90. The Rockets are being led in scoring by Yao Ming, at 19.4 points per game. The Rockets will travel to Miami before home games with Indiana and San Antonio, before heading back out to the road to face the Nuggets.

9. Atlanta Hawks (8-5) – Joe Johnson came into Saturday nights game against the Cavs averaging 25 points per game. On Saturday Johnson scored just four in the 110-96 loss. The loss put Atlanta at 5-5 in their last ten games. The Hawks dropped from # 5 to # 9 in the rankings. Atlanta will take on Milwaukee at home on Wednesday, before road games at Toronto and Washington to finish the month.

10. Phoenix Suns (9-5) – The Suns have won nine of their first 14 games on the year, and in doing that the Suns place themselves at the # 10 spot in the power rankings. Phoenix came into the last power rankings at # 8. The Suns are coming off a 102-92 win over the Portland Trailblazers on Saturday. Before that, the Suns lost two straight at Utah, and home against the Lakers. Phoenix is scoring 100 points per game, and allowing 97.9 on the year. Amare Stoudemire is scoring 22.6 points per game, while fellow big man Shaquille O’Neal is pulling down 8.6 rebounds per game. The Suns will travel to Oklahoma City and Minnesota this week, before home games with the Heat and Nets.

11. Portland Trailblazers (8-6) – With the big man Greg Oden coming back, and looking like he is becoming comfortable in the National Basketball Association, the Trailblazers look to be picking up steam. Portland is 3-3 after winning four straight games during November. The Trailblazers were able to make a seven team jump from # 18 to # 11. Portland’s leading scorer Brandon Roy is putting up 21.2 points per game, while also dishing out 5.1 assists per game. The Trailblazers host the Kings, Heat and Hornets this week before taking the road to take on Detroit to conclude the month.

12. New Orleans Hornets (7-5) – The New Orleans Hornets fall five spots from # 7 to # 12. The Hornets have sort of gotten off to a slow start after such a surprising 2007-2008 season. The Hornets have won just seven of twelve games, trailing the Rockets by one game in the Western Conference – Southwest Division. New Orleans point guard Chris Paul has not been disappointing, scoring 21.1 points per game, dishing out 11.8 assists per game, and also shooting 52.8% on the year. Paul also leads the team with 3.1 steals per game. The Hornets will play three straight games on the road to finish November with trips to the Clippers, Nuggets and Trailblazers.

13. San Antonio Spurs (6-6) – At .500 on the year, the Spurs have not been a huge story thus far in 2008. With a few key injuries, San Antonio feels very fortunate to be at .500. Moving up one spot from # 14, San Antonio is two games behind division leading Houston. The Spurs are scoring just 92.8 points per game, but allowing just 93.2. The Spurs are being led in scoring, rebounds and assists by veteran Tim Duncan. Duncan is scoring 22.4 points per game, grabbing 10.0 rebounds, while passing for 3.4 assists per game. The Spurs take on Memphis on the road, before two home games with the Bulls and Memphis, and then take the road once again heading to Houston – to finish their November.

14. Toronto Raptors (6-7) – The Raptors have lost two straight games; both at home to the Nets and Celtics. Those losses have dropped Toronto from # 10 to # 14 in the power rankings. Toronto is being led in scoring by big man Chris Bosh. Bosh is scoring 26.9 points per game, and 10.8 rebounds per game. Toronto is being led in steals by Anthony Parker, while Jose Calderon is averaging 9.6 assists per game. The Raptors will host Charlotte and Atlanta this week, before heading to the road to take on the Los Angeles Lakers.

15. Dallas Mavericks (6-7) – The Dallas Mavericks moved up one spot in the NBA Power Rankings. Dallas sits at 6-7 on the year and 2.5 games behind the NBA Western Conference – Southwest Division leading Houston Rockets. The Mavericks are scoring 98 points per game, and led by big man Dirk Nowitzki, scoring 24.7 points per game, and grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game. Dallas has won three straight games; Charlotte, Houston and Memphis. The Mavericks will host the Indiana Pacers on November 25th, before traveling to the Lakers and Kings to finish November.

16. Miami Heat (7-6) – The Miami Heat are 7-6 on the year, much better than their 2007-2008 season. Despite that record, Miami is 7th in the Eastern Conference, and third place in the Southeast Division. The Heat were # 12 in the last edition of the power rankings, come in this week at # 16. Dwyane Wade is scoring 28.9 points per game, and also adding 7.9 assists and 2.4 steals. Miami hosts Houston on Monday before heading on the road to Portland, Phoenix and the LA Clippers.

17. New York Knicks (7-6) – The New York Knicks traded their top two scorers Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford in exchange for Cuttino Mobley, Al Harrington and Tim Thomas. Not really bad moves, but the best part for GM Donnie Walsh – free agency money for the 2010 class, which includes LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The Knicks are above .500 on the year and tied in second place in their division. The Knicks will host Cleveland on Tuesday, before a road game at Detroit on Wednesday; and then back home to take on the Golden State Warriors on November 29th.

18. Philadelphia 76ers (6-6) – The 76ers are still looking for a bench. In what seems like a common case, every time the 76ers make substitutions productivity continues to fall. The 76ers did make a seven team jump from # 25 to # 18. Philadelphia is scoring 96.6 points per game, while allowing 94.0. The 76ers are 5.5 games behind Boston in the division. Philadelphia will travel to Charlotte, host Boston, travel to Boston and then host Chicago this week.

19. Chicago Bulls (6-7) – The Chicago Bulls fell six spots from # 13 to # 19. The Bulls are 6-7 on the year, and sit four games back of Cleveland in the division. The Bulls are being led in scoring by Ben Gordon, who is scoring 20.0 points per game. Rookie Derrick Rose is second on the team; with 18.9 points per game. The Bulls are scoring 98.1 points per game, while allowing 100.5 per game. The Bulls will continue their road trip with four more stops – at Denver, Utah, San Antonio and Philadelphia.

20. Golden State Warriors (5-7) – The Golden State Warriors are putting plenty of points up on the board; scoring 105.4 points per game, but they are also allowing 106.1. The Warriors moved up six spots from # 26 to # 20. Golden State is coming off a 115-110 loss at home to the Chicago Bulls. The Warriors are being led in scoring by guard Stephen Jackson, who is scoring 22.8 points per game. Golden State will start a road trip on Tuesday with four stops; at Washington, Boston, Cleveland and New York.

21. Indiana Pacers (5-7) – The Pacers have lost four of five games, with their lone win coming on November 18th vs. Atlanta. Despite that, the Pacers have moved from # 28 to # 21. Indiana is 4.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference – Central Division. The Pacers Danny Granger is scoring 23.9 points per game, while the team is scoring 99.7. Indiana will travel to Dallas and Houston before a one game home stand with Charlotte before heading back out on the road to Orlando.

22. Milwaukee Bucks (7-8) – The Milwaukee Bucks continue to hover around the .500 mark, and in doing so – fall two spots from # 20 to # 22. The Bucks are in third place in the Eastern Conference – Central Division by four full games; behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bucks have won two straight games; over the Knicks and the Bobcats. Milwaukee continues their road trip with stops at Orlando, Atlanta and Detroit, before coming back to take on Cleveland and Chicago.

23. New Jersey Nets (6-6) – The New Jersey Nets move up four spots in the power rankings and move to # 23 from their post at # 27 last week. The Nets have won two straight games, wins over Toronto and the LA Clippers. The Nets are just ½ game behind second place Knicks, but trail the division leading Boston Celtics by 5.5 games. Vince Carter is scoring 24.3 points per game, and the Nets are getting quality time from Yi Jianlian, who is pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game. The Nets start a four game road trip; to the Lakers, Kings, Jazz and Suns.

24. Sacramento Kings (5-9) – The Sacramento Kings have lost four of five games with their lone win coming in that span being a November 19th win at New Orleans. The Kings fell two spots from # 22 to # 24. The Kings are being led in scoring by John Salmons, who is scoring 18.0 points per game. Spencer Hawes is the Kings leading rebounder, grabbing 7.1 per game. The Kings are being outscored on average 104 – 98.3 on the year. The Kings will play two straight road games, against the Lakers and the Trailblazers before a quick trip home to take on the Nets, before taking the road again and heading to Utah.

25. Memphis Grizzles (4-9) – The Memphis Grizzles have lost two straight games, and four of five. In the losing streak, the Grizzles have dropped from # 15 to # 25. The Grizzles are being led in scoring by rookie guard O.J. Mayo, out of University of Southern California. On the year, Memphis is scoring 92.9 points per game, and allowing 97.9. The Grizzles sit at the bottom of the Western Conference – Southwest Division, trailing first place Houston by 4.5 games. The Grizzles will host San Antonio, before trips to Utah and San Antonio, and then come back home to take on the Thunder.

26. Charlotte Bobcats (3-9) – The Bobcats have lost four straight games, and in doing so fell five spots from # 21 to # 26. Milwaukee, Atlanta, Dallas, and Orlando downed Charlotte, after the November 14th win over Utah. The Bobcats are 5.5 games out of the NBA Eastern Conference – Southeast Division. Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin is shooting 90.6% on the year; while Gerald Wallace is putting up 15.8 points per game, and Emeka Okafor is ripping down 10.3 rebounds per game, and shooting above 50% on the year. The Bobcats host Philadelphia before trips to Toronto and Indiana, before hosting the Boston Celtics.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-9) – The Minnesota Timberwolves moved down three spots from # 24 to # 27 after losing 9 of their first 11 games of the year. Minnesota is getting outscored this season 100.7 – 95.6 on the year. Al Jefferson has been a bright spot for the Timberwolves, scoring 22.6 points per game, and ripping down 9.7 rebounds per game. Minnesota will travel to Detroit this week, before hosting Phoenix, traveling to Oklahoma City and then hosting the Denver Nuggets.

28. Washington Wizards (1-10) – The Washington Wizards have been off to a very rough start after losing star Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards are 1-10 on the year and come in ranked # 28 in the NBA Power Rankings. The Wizards are 0-9 in games played against their conference – Eastern. Antawn Jamison is leading the team, scoring 20.3 points per game and pulling down 9.1 rebounds per game. Washington will host Golden State, Orlando and Atlanta this week.

29. Los Angeles Clippers (2-11) – The Los Angeles Clippers, thanks to the Thunder have moved up from # 30 to # 29. On the year, Los Angeles has won just two games, including a 108-88 win over Oklahoma City. The Clippers are being led in scoring by Baron Davis, who is scoring 16.9 points per game, and dishing out 8 assists per game. The Clippers will host the Hornets, Nuggets and Heat this week.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-13) – The Thunder drop seven spots from # 23 to the very bottom of the NFL power rankings at # 30. Oklahoma City fired their head coach P.J. Carlesismo, and interim coach Scott Brooks has taken over at the helm. The Thunder’s lone win came Sunday November 2nd, in a 88-85 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Oklahoma City has lost 11 straight games. The Thunder will host the Suns, travel to Cleveland, host Minnesota, and travel to Memphis during this upcoming week.


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