Monday, November 25, 2013

2013-14 NBA Consensus Power Rankings, Week 5

This morning, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and he will miss the remainder of this season.

After tearing his right ACL in the 2012 playoffs, Rose missed all of last season.

"Sometimes with athletes in sports, luck has a lot to do with it," Luol Deng said (via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. "It’s just bad luck. It’s not going to change anything. He’s still going to be Derrick. He still is going to work hard and come back even better. I really believe that he was better coming back from that ACL. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I have no doubt he’s going to come back and play great."

Based on odds from, the Bulls (20/1) still have the third-lowest odds to win the NBA Championship among teams in the Eastern Conference behind the Heat (2/1) and Pacers (9/2).

With a .500 record one month into the season, the odds of a championship in Chicago seem much longer than that without Rose.

The Bulls are currently the 13th-ranked team in our consensus NBA power rankings for Week 5.

- See our full power rankings here

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lance Stephenson has triple-double vs. Celtics

Before the 2013-14 season, Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson never had double-digit assists in a game.  In addition, he had 10 rebounds only twice in his career.

That said, Stephenson had a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists tonight against the Celtics and added a season-high four steals as well.

With a triple-double in 34 minutes on Nov. 11th against the Grizzlies as well, Stephenson now has two triple-doubles, the first two of his career, in his past five games.

Stephenson is averaging 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists this season.

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013-14 NBA Power Rankings, Week 4

With roughly three weeks of the NBA season complete, there is one player that ia averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and two three-pointers per game.

Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love is averaging 26.8 points per game, 13.6 rebounds and 2.3 three's per game this season.

Love ranks third in scoring behind OKC's Kevin Durant (28.7 PPG) and Miami's LeBron James (27.3 PPG) and second in rebounding behind only Houston's Dwight Howard (14.2 RPG).

In addition, Love is averaging 4.5 assists per game, which ties him for 37th in the league, although only five of the players ahead of him aren't guards.  Plus, four of the five forwards are small forwards with Josh McRoberts (4.7 APG) being the only exception.

With teammate Ricky Rubio (9.6 APG) trailing only Clippers point guard Chris Paul (12.8 APG), Love's high assist total is more impressive.  In other words, it's not as though the team lacks a capable distributor of the basketball at the point yet he's still getting his teammates plenty involved while ranking third in the league in scoring.

Although they are currently seventh in the Western Conference, their .636 winning percentage ranks eighth in the NBA and the T'Wolves are 10th in our latest power rankings.

Provided the duo of Love and Rubio can stay healthy, the T'Wolves should have their best season in roughly a decade.  Their last winning season was in the Kevin Garnett era: 2004-05 (44-38, .537).

See our full Week 4 NBA Consensus Power Rankings.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013-14 NBA Power Rankings, Week 3

The Indiana Pacers have continued their hot start and are now the sole remaining unbeaten team this season.

Therefore, it's shouldn't be much of a surprise that they are the No. 1 team in our Week 3 Consensus NBA Power Rankings.

Just as impressive as winning their first seven games to open the season, the Pacers had to win four of those games during a five-day stretch.

After their run in the postseason last year, the goal is obviously not to "win" the regular season.  One of the things that will certainly help prolong their playoff run in 2014, however, would be to host more home games.

The Pacers won eight of nine of their home playoff games last year and having home-court advantage in each series could potentially help them go deeper in the playoffs this season.

That said, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are still the team to beat as two-time defending champions, but the Pacers are arguably the most complete team in the league.

Pacers small forward Paul George is one of the most complete players in the league.  George is currently averaging 25.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game.  In addition, he's shooting 42.9 percent from behind the arc and 84.8 percent from the line.

With George, Roy Hibbert and David West plus Luis Scola off the bench, the Pacers also have one of the league's best front courts.  Hibbert currently ranks second in the NBA in blocks (4.29 per game).

Although the Pacers rank in the bottom 10 in the league in scoring offense (94.9 points per game), they will soon get back Danny Granger from his strained calf.  With a career average of 18.1 points per game and as much as 25.8 PPG (2008-09), Granger will help the team's offense when he returns.

That said, the Pacers are holding teams to just 85.3 points per game, which leads the NBA by a wide margin.  The Bulls and Spurs rank second at 93.0 PPG allowed.  In addition, their opponents are only shooting 38.9 percent from the field, which is an NBA low as well.

The Pacers will host the Grizzlies and Bucks on Nov. 11 and 15, respectively, as they look to extend their winning streak.

- View our full 2013-14 NBA Consensus Power Rankings heading into Week 3

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Monday, November 4, 2013

2013-14 Consensus NBA Power Rankings, Week 2

Perhaps the biggest surprise in through the first week of the NBA season is the perfect start for the Philadelphia 76ers.

As the nearly unanimous choice as the worst team in the league in our initial Power Rankings going into the season, the Sixers have begun the season 3-0.

And not only have they started the season with a perfect record, but they have knocked off a couple of the elite Eastern Conference teams including the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.

Small forward Evan Turner leads the team in scoring with 23.0 points per game and the team currently ranks fifth in the league in scoring.

In addition, rookie Michael Carter-Williams is off to an incredible start.  MCW is averaging 20.3 points and 9.0 assists per game in addition to leading the NBA in steals with 4.33 per game.

In his first ever regular-season game, he missed a triple-double by just one steal: 22 points, 12 assists and nine steals.

As we head into Week 2 of the NBA season, the Sixers have moved up to No. 11 into our NBA Power Rankings.

In addition to the 76ers moving up, the Heat have dropped out of the top spot after getting off to a 2-2 start although two of our rankers (including me) still have them at the top spot.

See our full Week 2 NBA Power Rankings here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Miles Plumlee now 2-for-2 in double-doubles

In 14 games with the Pacers last season, Suns center Miles Plumlee scored a total of 13 points in just 54 total minutes.

For the second time (in two games), Plumlee has scored at least 13 points for the Suns.

On Friday night, Plumlee scored 13 points and added 13 rebounds to notch his second consecutive double-double of the season. He also added three blocks again.

Through two games, Plumlee is averaging 15.5 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks per game while also shooting 56.0 percent from the field. Not only is he second on the team in scoring behind Eric Bledsoe, but he ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding and is tied for fifth in the league in blocks.