NBA Power Rankings Week 4: Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs Improve, Cleveland Cavaliers Drop
Week 4 of the 2014-15 NBA power rankings see a dominant overhaul of Western Conference teams.
The defending champion San Antonio Spurs appear to be back on track despite numerous injuries. Outside of the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards, the Eastern Conference hasn't given basketball fans much to watch.
Here are the Top 5 teams in the NBA after four weeks of play:
1. Memphis Grizzlies
Maybe it's time we start considering Marc Gasol for the Most Valuable Award.
Gasol, once again, leads the best defensive team in the NBA along with Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies are 12-2, on top of the toughest division in basketball, the Southwest Division. Every team in the Southwest Division has a winning record. Randolph and Gasol are doing their jobs on a nightly basis, but Mike Conley and Courtney Lee are getting the job done on the offensive side of the ball, as well. Even 38-year-old Vince Carter is providing valuable minutes off the bench for Memphis. The Grizzlies are a perfect 8-0 at home so far this season.
2. Toronto Raptors
Say hello to the only 10-win team in the Eastern Conference. Not only do the Raptors have the best record in the entire Eastern Conference, but they are the only team with a winning record in the Atlantic Division. The Raptors have the sixth-best defense and the second-best scoring offense so far this season, creating a terrifically balanced squad. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been leading the offense, and Jonas Valanciunas is becoming one of the most underrated centers in the league. The Raptors have only made the playoffs once in the last six seasons, but they may have home court advantage throughout the playoffs this year.
3. Golden State Warriors
At 10-2, the Golden State Warriors lead the Pacific Division by two victories. Not only are the Warriors 5-1 at home, but they have the best road record in the NBA at 5-1. The Warriors rank third in offense and ninth in defense this season. Thanks to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors have been one of the best perimeter shooting teams in the league. So far, Steve Kerr has done a good job in his first year as a head coach in the NBA.
4. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are in second place in the Southwest Division behind the Memphis Grizzlies. Most importantly, they have wins over the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks. With Kevin Durant out, and Carmelo Anthony struggling, you could make the case that James Harden is the best pure scorer in today's game. Harden is averaging 25.2 points per game this season. Dwight Howard is battling a back injury, but it isn't expected to be serious. Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry are providing pivotal three-point shots for the Rockets this season. The Rockets lead the NBA in three-point shots made this season.
5. San Antonio Spurs
It took a while, but Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs appear to have found their rhythm. The Spurs have won seven of their last 10 games, including a current four-game win streak. A late-game victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers was critical for a team that still doesn't have Brazilian center Tiago Splitter or Patty Mills on the floor. The Spurs have the No. 1 scoring defense in the NBA, allowing just 91.3 points per game. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard have been getting the ball in the basket, and Tim Duncan leads the Spurs in rebounds and free throws made. Danny Green continues to show he's one of the best perimeter shooters in the game today.
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