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Week 3 NBA Power Rankings

By Daniel Strickland on November 14, 2012.

You won’t find many surprises in this week’s NBA power rankings.

The New York Knicks, at 4-0 the only undefeated team, are ranked #1. The two winless teams, the 0-5 Washington Wizards and 0-8 Detroit Pistons, are ranked #29 and #30, respectively.

The Spurs, at 6-1 one of two teams with just one loss, are ranked #2.

The other team with a single loss is the 5-1 Memphis Grizzlies. Inexplicably, the Grizzlies are ranked #6 behind the 6-2 Heat, 6-2 Thunder and 5-2 Clippers. One of the Grizzlies’ wins came against the #3 Heat, yet they’re ranked lower. Is it fair to conclude that power rankings are an indicator of respect and reputation as much as “power?” Whatever “power” means?

Anyway, back to the Spurs. At home they’ve beaten the #4 Thunder, #13 Jazz, and #21 Pacers. On the road, they’ve bested the #18 Hornets, #27 Kings, #23 Blazers and #14 Lakers. Their only loss was on the road to the #5 Clippers.

What to make of all this?

1) The Spurs have had a pretty easy schedule so far.

2) The Clippers could shape up to be a much tougher opponent in the Western Conference than they were last year.

3) Despite all of their talent, or perhaps because of it, the Lakers aren’t very good. Yet. Last night’s Spurs win at the Staples Center was closer and uglier than it really should have been.

4) We’ll learn a lot more about the Spurs in the next week, beginning with tomorrow night’s game at home against the #1 Knicks.

(Jerry Lara / San Antonio Express-News)

I like our chances against the Knicks, for a few reasons. (So do the Vegas bookies.)

The Spurs are perfect at home so far. In fact, if you exclude last year’s WCF Game 5 against the Thunder, the Spurs have won 23 of the last 24 games at the AT&T Center. (I’m not the only writer who has noticed that the Spurs are “in the midst of an impressive run of regular-season victories.”)

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green continue to build on the stellar play of their rookie seasons, which makes me more and more hopeful about their potential impact on the team. If you crunch the numbers, behind Duncan, Green, Gary Neal and Leonard have made the most impact on Spurs’ wins this season.

Last, but not least, Tim Duncan appears to have rolled back the clock, averaging 21.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per 36 minutes these past two weeks. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that he’s playing more like he’s 26 than 36.

Am I wrong?

Go Spurs Go.

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