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HomeBasketballNBANBA Power Rankings, Week 4: Is Philly the real deal?

NBA Power Rankings, Week 4: Is Philly the real deal?

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Life has to be tough for James Harden right now.

Harden’s Clippers are 0-4 with him in the lineup, while his previous team (Philadelphia) rides an eight-game win streak. Harden with the Clippers has already lost to another of his former teams (Brooklyn), while the team that made him a star (Houston) looks to have turned a corner.

Guess which of those four is ranked the lowest in this week’s Power Rankings?

The previous week’s ranking is in parenthesis.

  1. Philadelphia (3): Joel Embiid joined Tyrese Maxey as early winners of Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors.
  2. Denver (2): Nuggets coach Mike Malone on Monday was rewarded with a contract extension that will put him among the highest-paid coaches.
  3. Boston (1): Boston’s two losses are to Philadelphia by 3 points and to Minnesota in OT — two teams with a combined record of 15-3.
  4. Minnesota (9): The Wolves have won six straight and are playing elite defense early in the season.
  5. Houston (23): The Rockets have won six straight and are over .500 for the first time since Harden left in early 2021.
  6. Dallas (7): The Mavericks so far have only beaten two teams with records of .500 or better.
  7. Miami (21): The Heat have won five straight after a 1-4 start.
  8. Milwaukee (8): Damian Lillard so far is averaging career lows in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
  9. Oklahoma City (12): next for the Thunder: Chet Holgrem/Victor Wembanyama Part 1.
  10. Golden State (4): The Warriors have dropped three straight after a 6-2 start. Golden State so far this season has gotten MVP play from Steph Curry, and not much from anyone else.
  11. LA Lakers (10): is Cam Reddish finding his place after an underwhelming start to his career? Reddish is averaging 17.5 points per game as a starter over LA’s last two.
  12. New York (22): It seems odd to say with team’s putting up video game numbers, but the Knicks have been grinding out wins. New York’s 104.3 points per game allowed is second to only Minnesota.
  13. Atlanta (6): Is it too soon to worry about Trae Young? Young through nine games is shooting 35.7% from the floor and 29.4% from 3.
  14. Indiana (15): The Pacers continue to put up video game numbers. Indiana over its last five games is averaging 132.4 points per game.
  15. Sacramento (20): Second-year forward Keegan Murray is having a bad start to the year. Murray from the field is shooting under 36%, and is under 26% from 3.
  16. Toronto (14): The Raptors currently have six players averaging double figures in scoring.
  17. Orlando (11): Jalen Suggs may finally be developing into the lead guard Orlando has been lacking.
  18. Cleveland (17): Only three Cavs players have played in all nine of the team’s games.
  19. Phoenix (19): The Suns haven’t been whole yet this season, but have already had a handful of really bad fourth quarters.
  20. Brooklyn (18): The Nets have just one win over team with a .500 record.
  21. LA Clippers (5): The Clippers are 0-4 since the James Harden trade. We’re a couple more losses from asking if it’s time to look at trading away Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
  22. New Orleans (13): The Pelicans haven’t won a game since Nov. 2.
  23. Chicago (26): The Bulls vets continue to produce, but the team is getting next to nothing from its young players.
  24. Utah (27): Two of Utah’s three wins have come over Memphis, which will likely have a permanent place at the bottom of these rankings this season.
  25. Portland (24): On a team with no real expectations, center DeAndre Ayton is averaging the few shot attempts per game of his career.
  26. Charlotte (28): The Hornets expect forward Miles Bridges to make his debut later this week.
  27. San Antonio (16): The Spurs have cooled off considerably since taking two straight from Phoenix. San Antonio has dropped five straight.
  28. Memphis (30): Desmond Bane is doing all he can for a bad Grizzlies team, putting up nearly a 27/5/5 stat line every night.
  29. Washington (29): What contender is going to trade for Kyle Kuzma?
  30. Detroit (25): After a promising opening week, the Pistons once again look like the worst team in the league.
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