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Betting On Hoops? Cappers Picks NBA Power Rankings Week 6

2014-15 NBA Handicapping

One month into the 2014-15 NBA season, we’re starting to get a better idea of who are the pretenders and who are the contenders. There’s still plenty of ball to be played, but the top 10 teams in the league are becoming more clear at this point in the process.

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Here are the power rankings for the second week of the NBA schedule.

1. Golden State Warriors (13-2)

At the time of writing this sentence, the Golden State Warriors own the NBA’s longest winning streak at eight straight victories. They are also ahead 74-60 against the Detroit Pistons, with just about 15 minutes of basketball left to be played.

Assuming the Warriors go on to defeat the lowly Pistons, that makes the winning streak nine straight. Credit both the offense and defense for this streak, as the team is third in points per game (107.3) and eighth in points allowed (96.7).

Above all else, Steph Curry is playing out of his mind. He’s fifth in points per game (24.3), fifth in assists (7.6), first in three-pointers made (50) and a legitimate MVP candidate.

2. Memphis Grizzlies (14-2)

If it weren’t for Golden State owning the league’s longest winning streak, the No. 1 spot on this list would belong to the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ve won four straight, they own the NBA’s best record and they just knocked off the Portland Trail Blazers, who owned the league’s longest winning streak entering the matchup.

It’s never been clearer that this team rides the success of Marc Gasol. The team struggled big time last year when he fell to injury, but since he’s returned (including this season), the team has looked like a true contender.

3. San Antonio Spurs (12-4)

You weren’t nervous when the San Antonio Spurs got off to a shaky start, were you?

Needless to say, the defending NBA champions have turned things around. After starting 5-4, they’ve won seven straight. Those seven wins create for the league’s second-longest streak behind the Warriors.

The consensus over the past few years has been that the Spurs don’t care about regular season games, and to an extent, that’s an accurate recap. However, the Western Conference is brutal once again this season, and racking up wins now will help preserve some sort of home-court advantage come playoff time.

4. Toronto Raptors (13-3)

The Toronto Raptors should probably be higher on this list with their 13-3 record, but we have to keep them out of the top three for one reason. They just lost DeMar DeRozan indefinitely.

With a torn groin, DeRozan is expected to miss substantial time. This is a huge blow to a team that is currently leading the Eastern Conference with an impressive record of 13-3.

If this Raptors club can prove us wrong and utilize their depth and youth to make up the difference, they’ll be closer to the top at the next ranking. But we have to see it before we can believe it.

5. Portland Trail Blazers (12-4)

The Portland Trail Blazers no longer own the NBA’s longest winning streak, but who did they lose it to? The team with the NBA’s best record: The Memphis Grizzlies.

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Entering this season, it was easy to see how Portland might have a bit of a hangover effect following their two-round playoff run from a year ago. But that hasn’t been the case, as this group has improved its bench (albeit slightly), maintained its offense and vastly improved its defense.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (11-5)

After starting the season an unimposing 5-4, the Los Angeles Clippers have gone 6-1, losing only to the NBA’s best record holder: The Memphis Grizzlies. Now, the team is in the midst of a four-game winning streak.

This team might be a bit higher on this list if those wins had come against a more impressive group of opponents. The four wins did feature a victory against the Houston Rockets, but the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz are the other three.

7. Houston Rockets (13-4)

Following an incredibly disappointing run in the 2014 postseason (as well as an equally disappointing showing in the offseason), the Houston Rockets have proven doubters wrong, starting 13-4 — three of those losses have come from teams higher than them on this list. This team is even winning with Dwight Howard sidelined, which is huge considering his impact on both ends of the floor.

8.Dallas Mavericks (13-5)

The Dallas Mavericks have been a bit up and down lately. Right now, however, they’re back up.

After losing two straight to the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers, the team has found victories over the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. Only the win over the Raptors is noteworthy at this point in the year, but two of the three came on the road in the midst of a four-game trip away from home.

9. Washington Wizards (10-5)

The Washington Wizards have played some great basketball this season. Unfortunately, they haven’t always been consistent, and they’re currently in a situation where they’ve lost two out of their last three and hoping for a win against the Miami Heat on Monday.

10. Chicago Bulls (10-6)

The Chicago Bulls own the third-best record out East, but they just don’t look like a team that would be able to compete in a Finals series against the powers out West. That could change if Derrick Rose can stay on the floor — or if the team can get used to him being out on a regular basis.

The Rest

  • 11. Phoenix Suns (10-7)
  • 12.  Cleveland Cavaliers (8-7)
  • 13. Atlanta Hawks (9-6)
  • 14. Milwaukee Bucks (10-8)
  • 15. Miami Heat (8-7)
  • 16. Denver Nuggets (8-8)
  • 17. Sacramento Kings (9-7)
  • 18. Brooklyn Nets (6-8)
  • 19. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-12)
  • 20. New Orleans Pelicans (7-8)
  • 21. Indiana Pacers (7-10)
  • 22. Orlando Magic (6-12)
  • 23. Boston Celtics (4-10)
  • 24. Utah Jazz (5-12)
  • 25. New York Knicks (4-13)
  • 26. Charlotte Hornets (4-14)
  • 27. Detroit Pistons (3-13)
  • 28. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-10)
  • 29. Los Angeles Lakers (3-13)
  • 30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-16)

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