Contributed By Remy Hammes.

Top 10 NBA Power Rankings – November 27th to December 3rd

1. Golden State Warriors
Overall Record: 17-6 (.739)
Record this week: 2-1 (.667)
The Warriors are the best team in the NBA, now that the Celtics’ hot streak came to a halt and they’ve
cooled off a bit, the Warriors now occupy the top spot in the rankings. The Warriors are 1 st in scoring
(118.0 PPG), 1 st in assists per game (30.8 APG), 1 st in field goal percentage (51.2 FG%), 1 st in 3-point
percentage (40.1 3FG%), 2 nd in free throw percentage (81.9 FT%), 28 th in turnovers per game (16.7
TOPG), and tied with the Rockets for 5 th best in defensive rating (101.6). There should be no doubt in
anyone’s mind that Warriors are still the best team in the NBA.

Slow-mo of the game 👀

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2. Houston Rockets
Overall Record: 17-4 (.810)
Record this week: 2-0 (1.000)
The Houston Rockets are a force to be reckoned with, and in some people’s minds they deserve to be
atop the power rankings. The Rockets rank 2 nd in points per game (113.9 PPG), but they’re 10 th in field
goal percentage (46.3 FG%). They lead the league in made 3-pointers per game (16.2) which is better
than the 2 nd -place Warriors who are “only” making 12.6 a game, but they’re also 1 st in 3-pointers
attempted per game (44.4) which is a little over thirteen more than the Warriors (31.4). Their defensive
rating, while stellar, is currently identical to the Warriors’ (101.6), so if the Rockets want to beat the
Warriors in a seven-game series Western Conference Finals, they have to shoot better from the floor.

3. Boston Celtics
Overall Record: 20-4 (.833)
Record this week: 2-1 (.667)
The Celtics still own the league’s best record, best defensive rating (98.9), and best opponent’s points
per game average (97.4 OPG). Their offense is rather mediocre, scoring 104.5 points per game, good
enough for 19 th best in the NBA, and converting their shots at a 44.7% clip. Their defense is what carries
them into the top three, because you only need to score more than your opponent and they’re
accomplishing that by a reasonable margin of about seven points (when looking at the average PPG and
OPG). Kyrie Irving continues to prove he can be the leader of his own team, scoring 23.2 PPG, with 5.2
assists and 3.1 rebounds. And while the Celtics do have the advantage of playing in the Eastern
Conference, which gives them a “facilitated route” to the Eastern Conference Finals, the only way they
can beat the Cavaliers is to continue to play defense the way they are, and up their scoring.

That's a solid way to end a quarter.

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4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Overall Record: 16-7 (.696)
Record this week: 4-0 (1.000)
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 3 rd in scoring (111.4 PPG), 3 rd in three-pointers made (11.9) and 4 th in free-
throw percentage (81.4 FT%) all of which are very good signs. However, their defense is still porous, 25 th in opponent points per game (108.9 OPG) and 25 th in defensive rating (108.3). In their defense though,
they seem to be finding their groove, currently riding an 11-game win streak, Lebron James is still doing
Lebron James things, 2 nd in points scored (650), 1 st in made field goals (253), 3 rd in assists (199), and 1 st in
minutes played (853). Those statistics alone may be enough to push through Brad Stevens’ defensive
Celtic juggernaut in the Eastern Conference Finals, but (as it ultimately should) their focus is on whoever
comes out of the west, and whether it be the Warriors or the Rockets (or the Spurs just because) the
Cavaliers are going to have to play defense one way or the other.

@kingjames is clutch, per usual. #AllForOne

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5. San Antonio Spurs
Overall Record: 15-7 (.682)
Record this week: 3-0 (1.000)
There isn’t much to say about them that hasn’t been said for the past seventeen years under Coach
Poppovich’s tenure as head coach. The Spurs are tied for 3 rd in defensive rating (100.7), 2 nd in opponent
points per game (97.5 OPG), tied for 9 th in assists per game (23.1), and 12 th in rebounding (44.9 RPG), all
while scoring a “if-you- weren’t-the- Spurs-it- would-be- a-problem” 25 th -best 101.5 points per game. They
are third in the Western Conference, and doing all of this without their arguably top-three player in
Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are a top team without him and can only get better when he is healthy.


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6. Oklahoma City Thunder
Overall Record: 9-12 (.429)
Record this week: 1-1 (.500)
It’s December, which means it’s still way too early to dismiss Oklahoma City. Their defense is still
ridiculously good, ranking 3 rd in opponent points per game (99.6 OPG) and in defensive rating (100.7)
and 1 st in steals (10 STLPG). As I said last week, the lack of scoring is still attributable to the awkwardness
of three score-first alpha-dogs figuring out who prefers what shots. Come February, if this team still has
not figured out its on-court chemistry then yes, there might be reason for concern, but as of right now,
the stats people should focus on are the defensive statistics. Allen Iverson’s 2001 Finals run was him
scoring all the points, and the rest of his team focusing on the defensive side of the ball, in the Thunder’s
case they have three players who can be the Iverson of their team in a panic situation, and they’ve
proven they can come together to play defense.

Thunder rim is taking a beating tonight.

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7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Current Record: 13-10 (.565)
Record this week: 1-2 (.333)
The first team in the top ten to have a losing record this week. In stated in last week’s rankings that if
the Wolves didn’t make significant strides in defensive consistency and ball movement come January,
that they would likely fall out of the “top teams” conversation. Minnesota have upped their rankings in
assists per game, moving from 17 th with 22.2 APG to 13 th with 22.9 APG, and opponent points per game,
going from 25 th -best allowing 108.3 OPG to 21 st allowing 107.4 OPG. While teams have good weeks and
bad weeks, despite the Wolves two losses to one win this week, they’ve improved two crucial aspects of
their team game and managed to rank 11 th in scoring with 107.7 PPG. The Wolves remain high in the
rankings because its only December and they are on an upwards trajectory with lots of potential.

Teague out here dropping’ dimes. 🧐

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8. Toronto Raptors
Current Record: 14-7 (.667)
Record this week: 2-0 (1.000)
Toronto has been pretty good thus far, they rank 4 th in points per game (110.9 PPG), 2 nd in field goal
percentage (48.8 FG%), a respectable 10 th in defensive rating (103.2) and also 10 th in opponent points per
game (103.7 OPG). However, two things prevent them from being ranked higher than 8 th , the first is
their terrible three-point shooting in a league where long range shooting is a main component of any
successful team. The Raptors are 24 th in three-point percentage this season (35.1%) alongside 6 th in
three-pointers attempted per game (31.7). The second issue is their track record. Their consistent
regular season success over the past few years, a 49-33 record in the 2014-2015 season, 56-26 in 2015-
2016, and 51-31 in 2016-2017 is always followed by early playoff exits, usually to the hands of the
Cleveland Cavaliers.

@normanpowell4 📌📌

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9. Denver Nuggets
Current Record: 13-9 (.591)
Record this week: 2-1 (.667)
The Nuggets can be considered the Toronto Raptors of the Western Conference. A solid team with a
balanced mix of younger and older players, who put together scrappy regular seasons and rarely push
deep into the playoffs. Denver is currently 4 th in the Western Conference, 1 st in the Northwest Division
and is more or less continuing their trend from last week, ranking 13 th in points per game (106.9 PPG),
10 th in rebounds per game (44.9 RPG), 9 th in assists per game (23.1 APG) and 16 th in opponent points per
game (106.3). The Nuggets can beat any team on any given night because of that balanced production,
where they have no real strengths but no real weaknesses either.

This is unreal 😲 #MileHighBasketball

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10. Philadelphia 76ers
Current Record: 13-9 (.591)
Record this week: 2-2 (.500)
Philadelphia is coming, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them. They rank 8 th in points per
game (108.5 PPG), 1 st in rebounds per game (49.5 RPG), 3 rd in assists per game (25.6 APG) and 9 th in
defensive rating (103.1). Probable Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, who is only 21 years old is drawing
Lebron-esque comparisons for his nightly production and style of play (17.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 7.1 APG). Joel
Embiid, 23 years old, is quickly making his presence known around the league averaging 23.1 PPG, 11.3
RPG and 3.1 APG. If it wasn’t for the overall stronger Western Conference and their playoff inexperience
they would be ranked much higher on the list.

This is unreal 😲 #MileHighBasketball

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