NBA Power Rankings for Nov. 20th, 2012

Last week the San Antonio Spurs were sitting atop our NBA power rankings. But things have changed slightly with another week past in the NBA season since a few other teams are shining just as brightly as the Spurs. The Heat, Thunder, Lakers and Grizzlies are all playing some excellent basketball right now, so let’s find out where they rank in our current top 10.

1. New York Knicks (8-1) – The Knicks finally lost a game on the road in Memphis, but they’re still playing better than any team in the league. With victories over the Heat, Spurs, Mavericks and Pacers, New York has survived a very tough early schedule. And remember that Amare Stoudemire is still out with an injury!

2. Miami Heat (8-3) – We, like just about everybody else, think the Heat still have a great chance to repeat as NBA champions – especially now that they’re back from a brutal six-game road trip. Lebron is providing a usual Lebron-like state line of 24.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG and 6.5 APG.

3. L.A. Clippers (8-2) – The Clippers are no longer just a young team with promise – they’re a definite title contender. Jamal Crawford still paces this team in scoring with 19.7 PPG while Chris Paul is averaging an outstanding 10.0 APG and 2.2 SPG.

4. Memphis Grizzlies (8-2) – The Grizzlies opened the year with a road loss to the Clippers,and then went on to rattle off an eight-game win streak. They’re the only team in the league to beat the Knicks, which has to count for something.

5. San Antonio (8-3) – The Spurs have struggled a bit lately after losing two out of three home games to the Knicks and Clippers. Interestingly enough, the Clippers have now won both games against the Spurs this year. Kawhi Leonard continues to provide a youthful spark for San Antonio with 10.6 PPG and 2.0 SPG.

6. L.A. Lakers (6-5) – After starting the year 1-4 and seeing former coach Mike Brown hit the road, Los Angeles has gone 5-1 – but keep in mind that this entire stretch has been at home. Dwight Howard has made a good transition to the West Coast since he’s chipping in 11.7 RPG and 2.8 BPG.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-3) – We’re still not entirely convinced that Oklahoma City can be as good as last year without James Harden. Plus they’ve yet to beat a true championship-caliber team thus far. But with Kevin Durant (24.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG), anything is possible for the Thunder.

8. Brooklyn Nets (6-3) – The Nets’ five-game winning streak finally ended against the Lakers on the road. And things don’t look to get any easier with some tough games on the horizon. But at this point, we have to say that the Nets have been quite impressive.

9. Milwaukee Bucks (6-3) – Will the Bucks be in the top 10 at year’s end? Maybe….maybe not. All we do know is that Monta Ellis (21.4 PPG) and Brandon Jennings (7.7 APG, 3.1 SPG) continue to keep this team towards the top of the East.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (7-4) – Philly makes their first appearance in our top 10 after winning six out of their last nine games. Jrue Holiday (18.6 PPG, 8.9 APG) is really starting to excel in his third season. It’ll be interesting to see how this team does when Andrew Bynum comes back from injury.

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