By: Scott Brock-Wilson
Two weeks into the season, Scott provides the current NBA landscape.
1. Golden State Warriors (8-0)
Undoubtedly, the Warriors have been the best team in the league this year. Curry is going off each and every night, but if you’re a Warriors fan you’d like to be a little less Curry-dependent and see a little more out of Thompson.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (6-1)
The Cavs are the Cavs. They have won six straight after dropping the first one to the Bulls, and find themselves in a good situation to start the season. Keep in mind this is without Irving and Shumpert. Lebron is top-ten in points/game as Love finds himself among the top-five in rebounds/game.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (5-2)
They have suffered two four point losses to the Warriors and Rockets. Griffin is playing MVP-caliber basketball. Paul may have officially hit the Lebron stage of the regular season, meaning all that matter is the playoffs. But Stephenson will be the x-factor for this team, so keep an eye on him.
4. San Antonio Spurs (5-2)
The Spurs have yet to beat a team with .500 record or better and have suffered two losses to the Thunder and Wiz. We all thought it would be about Aldridge’s fit with the team, but the real story is how Kawhi is showing his 2014 finals MVP form again.
5. Atlanta Hawks (7-2)
The Hawks are a regular season team. They are 7-2 but haven't had any impressive wins. It seems as though Carroll’s presence has been missed. They are allowing 100.3 points per game, which is middle of the pack. This is especially disappointing compared to their 97.1 last season, which was top-five in the league.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3)
The Thunder are the first team with three losses to appear on this list. All three of which to good teams. Westbrook is leading the league in assists and, along with Durant, is in the top-ten in points/game. Their offense is thriving, scoring the second most ppg (113.3, only behind the Warriors).
7. Houston Rockets (4-3)
Oh no! The Rockets lost their first three games! Yes, one was to the Nuggets, a really bad loss, but that was without Howard (still no excuse). Then Houston rattled off four in a row including one over both the Clippers and Thunder, two top-tier teams. Harden is right back up there contending for the scoring title while Howard has only played four games, but with him healthy, the Rockets are legit.
8. Detroit Pistons (5-2)
The Pistons are the surprise team of the year so far. Drummond has cemented himself as one of the best centers in the league, if not the best. He is averaging 19 and 19! Morris has finally answered the question of which twin is better and has proven to be a key addition averaging 17 ppg. The Pistons appear as though they are legit and will be here to stay around in the East.
9. Miami Heat (4-3)
Wade is back! (pending injury). Wade is averaging over 18 points per game, but more importantly looks fluid and dynamic on the court. However, Dragic is struggling. He has yet to mesh with the Heat since the trade. His perimeter shot has struggled along with his creating. But, I do understand that they have only played seven games with this starting lineup and it takes time.
10. Toronto Raptors (5-2)
The Raptors were playing well, winning their first five games including an impressive victory over OKC. The part that is sort of surprising is that the Raptors are doing it with their defense. They are allowing the sixth least amount of points (95.1) in the league. Carroll has come in and brought an intensity to defense that they never had. They are coming off a blowout from the Heat where their offense was non-existent.
11. Chicago Bulls (5-3)
The Bulls had a very impressive opening win over the Cavs, but have suffered a bad loss to the struggling Hornets. Butler is now the star of this team. He has always been the best defensive player, and is now the best offensively, averaging over seven more points/game than Rose.
12. Utah Jazz (4-2)
The Jazz have lost to the only good team they’ve played so far. But, Gobert is averaging a league-leading four blocks per game to go along with almost 13 boards. Hayward once again provides the scoring (15.5ppg). Burke has looked good offensively besides his goose egg on opening night.
13. Milwaukee Bucks (4-3)
I do not know what to make of the Bucks right now. They have all of the potential but are far from reaching it right now. Their four wins: 76ers, Knicks, and Nets twice. Not too difficult. Their offense has gone ghost. Monroe was supposed to be an improvement, but it is on the perimeter where they lack. Giannis may be averaging 19, but he is no three point threat. Middleton seems like the only one who can shoot.
14. Washington Wizards (3-3)
The Wizards are one of the most inconsistent teams in league. They have had some bad losses and really good wins, but Beal is a star and there is no doubt. He has taken the necessary step this year, averaging 22 ppg. That backcourt is a force to be reckoned with now and for years to come.
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2)
The Timberwolves have been one of the pleasant surprises in the NBA so far. Wiggins (17 ppg) and Towns 15 (ppg, 7rpg) are leading the way. The T-Wolves are developing their talent while being successful. It’s the best of both worlds.
16. Indiana Pacers (4-4)
17. Boston Celtics (2-3)
18. Orlando Magic (3-5)
19. Phoenix Suns (3-4)
20. Memphis Grizzlies (3-5)
Memphis has been a big disappointment so far this year. No one on the team is averaging over 15 ppg, and their defense has fallen far from the normal, stout Memphis D. The are allowing 100.3 points per game, which is average, but far from their standard from last year, as they were second in the league with 95.1.
21. Dallas Mavericks (3-3)
22. New York Knicks (3-4)
23. Portland Trail Blazers (4-4)
24. New Orleans Pelicans (0-6)
What happened to the Pelicans?!? Yes, Injuries have been a problem and their schedule has been difficult, but a winless season including 19-point blowout loss to the Mavericks? It's ugly, but Davis is still a stud. It is only six games. There are still 76 more, so no need to panic. The Pelicans are a different team when healthy.
25. Sacramento Kings (1-7)
One of the more interesting teams coming into the season, the Kings have struggled mightily.They’ve played the Rockets, Spurs, Warriors, and the Clippers (twice) already. Ouch! That’s four of the top five in the West. To add onto that, Boogie has missed four games already.
26. Denver Nuggets (3-4)
27. Charlotte Hornets (2-4)
28. Los Angeles Lakers (1-5)
The Lakers one win was against the even worse Nets. Kobe cannot get a thing to fall. Russell continues to struggle with turnovers as his assist to turnover ratio is below two. That's terrible.
29. Brooklyn Nets (0-7)
30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-7)