This week's Power Rankings are saddened by the news that the Golden State Warriors have descended to the very depths of the NBA universe – the foot of the Inside Sports NBA Power Rankings.
Let us bow our heads, and take a moment to reflect......on the fact that this means there is a team that actually ranks below the Knicks!
There's a change at the top end of town, too.
Throughout the season, Inside Sport will be bringing you our NBA Power Rankings. These are not necessarily ranking based on records. This is a purely subjective assessment of how a team is progressing, projected and playing.
All records are as of Thursday night Australian time.
30. Golden State (Down 1)
(3-13 Record) Last week: 1-3
What goes up, must come down. For the best part of a decade, the Warriors have either been top of the pile, or an ascending media darling. Now, there here: 30th in our rankings. While all good things must come to an end, not a soul expected this sort of perfect storm. Golden State will be a good side again once Curry, Green and Russell return, but the playoffs are out of the picture.
29. New York Knicks (Up 1)
(4-11) Last week: 2-2
Ladies and Gentlemen.....the NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS!
Future Former Knicks coach David Fizdale continues to tinker with his lineups. The recent move of energetic big Mitchell Robinson to the 2nd unit seems to have revitalised the bench.
If only they could play Dallas every game. The Garden was rocking like the days of Pat Riley's 90's teams for the Mavs visit last week.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (Down 5)
(4-10) Last week: 0-4
A rough week for the Cavs, as they move into the sort of territory that most expected them to inhabit preseason. Record aside, the Cavs are doing a lot of things right. Their porous defense from the previous season (last in the NBA) is squarely mid table. The Cavs are denying the 3 point shot (7th in attempted 3's allowed), free throws (13.7 opponent attempts is league leading) and are controlling their defensive glass behind the veteran Love/Thompson pairing.
27. Chicago Bulls (Down 1)
(5-10) Last week: 1-3
Lauri Markkanen's shooting struggles are concerning. Currently shooting 29.1% from deep, if the Finn isn't raining fire from beyond the arc, what's his role? He's the prototypical stretch big, but doesn't have much of a post game, isn't a great play maker and struggles defensively. The recent news that he's battling a sore oblique explains some of that away, but if he were that bad would the team be better to rest him rather than play hurt? A 5-10, it's not like a playoff berth is at stake.
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26. Memphis Grizzlies (Up 2)
(5-9) Last week: 1-2
The Grizz continue to struggle, but they're a young team taking their punches. Their young core of Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr and Brandon Clarke are no older than 23. Even the veterans like Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Anderson are relatively young at 27 and 26 respectively. And they're talented! Have you ever seen a finish at the rim like this?
Ja Morant goes behind the back and lays it up pic.twitter.com/yZteKmBIbU— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) November 16, 2019
25. Detroit Pistons (Down 4)
(5-10) Last week: 1-2
Blake Griffin has looked decent, if rusty, since returning from injury. Once the jumper finds rhythm, he'll be back to normal. Andre Drummond continues to post impressive counting stats. None of that matters. Why? The Pistons can't stop anyone. Currently 25th in Defensive Rating (per Basketball Reference), it's only a slow game pace keeping scores close.
24. Atlanta Hawks (Down 5)
(4-10) Last week: 0-4
A tough stretch for Atlanta. There's no shame is losing to quality sides in Milwaukee and Phoenix, but getting blown out by the Lakers and Clippers (to the tune of 49 points) is disheartening. This team is all Trae Young, all the time. The Hawks have built a reasonable amount of wing and big man depth, but they have noting behind their your star. Adding a veteran backup should be a priority.
23. Washington Wizards (Up 2)
(4-9) Last week: 2-2
Like a skipping record: the Wiz are fantastic to watch, but are horrible defensively.
Their most common line up of Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Troy Brown, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant are have a defensive rating of 121.9. That's atrocious. Swap Brown for Davis Bertans, their best offensive 5 by some way, and that defensive rating balloon's to 145.5, per NBA.com.
22. Charlotte Hornets (Up 2)
(6-9) Last week: 2-2
Charlotte keep hanging around, currently a half game out of the final playoff spot in the East.
The team's move towards young talent and away from the overpriced vets is paying off, both in improved performance, but also giving some long overdue hope to the loyal Charlotte fans that have put up with some turgid basketball in recent years.
21. New Orleans Pelicans (Up 6)
(5-9) Last week: 3-1
Is it possible to draft #1, then draft his insurance at #8 in the same draft? The Pels may just have done that in Jaxson Hayes. He's only playing 17 minutes a night, but his per 36 numbers are strong: 16.5 pts, 8.6 boards, 1.7 steals and 2.3 blocks. It's unclear how the uber athletic big big fit with Zion Williamson, but the Pels might just have another starting centre in the making.