ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wild’s Weekly NBA Power Rankings and Tiers – Week 3

Updated on January 4, 2021

Tier 1 – Championship Contenders

1. Los Angeles Lakers. 5-2 (3-1 this week) (-)

The Los Angeles Lakers lost a close game to a hot Portland Trail Blazers team before railing off three straight wins, with two against the San Antonio Spurs and one over the Memphis Grizzlies. LeBron James is averaging the lowest minutes per game of his career, exemplifying the depth of this dominant team. When the playoffs come, and LeBron is playing possibly an extra 10 minute per game this team will be even greater.


2. Los Angeles Clippers. 5-2 (3-1 this week) (-)

The Los Angeles Clippers pulled out three wins this week against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, with their lone loss coming against the Utah Jazz. Paul George is averaging 4 more point per game than last season and is doing so on a 50-40-90 shooting split: a key reason for this team’s early success. This team tends to win whenever George plays well as Kawhi is extremely consistent. This team is still very underrated and will be able to hold its own come playoff time.


3. Milwaukee Bucks. 3-3 (2-1 this week) (+1)

The Milwaukee Bucks split two games with the Miami Heat and followed that with a win against a young Chicago Bulls team. The Bucks seem to have an issue where Giannis will consistently play well, but Middleton and Holiday will not. Whenever Holiday and Middleton each score more than 10 points, the Bucks are 3-1, while they are 0-2 when they do not. This could be a result of the team needing some time to gel with the addition of former all-star Jrue Holiday.


4. Brooklyn Nets. 3-4 (1-3 this week) (-1)

The Brooklyn Nets began their season with big wins over the Warriors and Celtics, but ever since, they have been 1-4. This past week they went 1-3, with their one win coming against the Atlanta Hawks, who they split two games with. Their other two losses came against the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies, two teams that should have been beat badly by a Nets team overfilled with talent. While the Wizards loss could have easily been a win with either KD or Kyrie making a last-minute shot, the fact the game was so close says a lot more about the poor defense of the Nets. Lastly, coach Nash, Bruce Brown needs some minutes.


Tier 2 – Guaranteed Playoff Teams

5. Phoenix Suns. 5-2 (3-1 this week) (+2)

The Phoenix Suns continue to improve as they beat some viable western conference playoff teams this week in the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, and New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns only loss came in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers where Paul George could make any shot he wanted to. This is amazing for a team who added a marquee player in Chris Paul. Devin Booker is averaging his lowest points per game since his rookie season, but I would not expect this trend to continue, leading to more scoring for the Suns.


6. Boston Celtics 4-3 (3-1 this week) (-)

The Boston Celtics won three games this week, but did not move up because of the caliber of their opponents. The Celtics beat the Pacers, Grizzlies, and Pistons, however they also lost a game to this Pistons. While the Celtics have shown to be a strong team, they are missing offensive firepower outside of Brown and Tatum. The Celtics have three players who average more than 10 points per game, with Brown and Tatum averaging 28.0 and 24.3 respectively while Marcus Smart averages 12.6. As you can tell, there is a strong need for another shot creator and maker.


7. Philadelphia 76ers 5-1 (3-0 this week) (+5)

The 76ers pulled out three wins this week against the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, and Orlando Magic. It is interesting, as the 76ers added more shooting this offseason, yet so far are still hitting the same 11.7 three-point shots that they made last year (11.6) and with a slightly lower three-point percentage. Two key areas that have improved since last season are blocks per game (first in the league) and defensive rebounds per game (second in the league now). Both of these metrics show me that while we expected this team would be smoother on offense, surprisingly, their defense is what has led them to the top record in the league so far.


8. Miami Heat 2-3 (1-2 this week) (-3)

Miami had a rough week this past week after beginning the season 2-1. The Heat split two games with the Bucks before losing a game to the Mavericks that saw them score just 83 points on a defense that was in the bottom half of the league last year. While their one loss to the Bucks did come on a night where the Bucks hit an NBA-record 29 three-point shots, the Miami Defense that allowed that was poor. I still believe the Jae Crowder loss for this team is bigger than believed to be, as they now will have to either play with 2 non-shooters on the court in crunch time, or an extra small lineup that features either Iguodala or Butler at the 4. An extra small lineup was used in Golden State with Iguodala or Barnes at the 4 in 2015, but all 5 players on the court could shoot (Draymond shot 34%).


9. Denver Nuggets 2-4 (2-2 this week) (-)

Denver went 2-1 this week with victories over the Rockets and Timberwolves, and losses to the Kings and Suns. So far this season it seems as though Nikola Jokic has to have a triple-double every night to keep this team in games. While Jamal Murray has come along lately, this team lacks wing defense. Even with a guy like Gary Harris, while the defense is there, the shooting is not as Harris has shot 12.5% from deep to start this season. Denver needs some help on the wings, and they need it soon. Who knows, maybe a push for Harden could be in the works for a team that is under-achieving after their western conference finals appearance last season.


10. Utah Jazz 4-2 (3-1 this week) (+1)

Utah went 3-1 this week with their three wins coming against the Jazz, Clippers and Spurs, while the lone loss came against the Suns. The main issue for the Utah Jazz so far is that Mike Conley is the leading scorer for the team. This says a lot about Donovan Mitchell’s lack of production. Mitchell is shooting just 37% from the field after his coming out party in the bubble where he averaged 36 points per game on 53% shooting from the field. While this could be do to shifting back to the arena, it sure leaves a lot to be desired both by NBA fans and the Utah Jazz franchise for a thought-to-be upcoming star.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)