Other Power Rankings have you fooled with the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, or even the Los Angeles Lakers (how?) in the top spot. However, we can’t ignore the level of play coming out of the Dallas Mavericks of late, especially considering they’re riding a very impressive 12-game winning streak.
It looks like Dirk and co. finally have that inside help they’ve been searching for with Tyson Chandler at center. While Dallas is top dog in our power rankings this week, there’s still a slew of solid teams that round out the top ten. Take a look who makes that part of the list, and then check out the rest of week 9′s NBA Power Rankings:
1. Dallas Mavericks (19-4)
Dirk Nowitzki finally has a truly well-rounded team. They’re playing great defense and playing great team basketball. Something tells me they’ll actually only get better. This is a true contender for the Lakers and Spurs.
2. San Antonio Spurs (20-3)
That team of old guys is at it again. Don’t you get the feeling that you’re 25 and getting ready for intra mural basketball, and you’re about to get beaten by the team of 45-year olds? Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like.
3. Boston Celtics (19-4)
They win without Shaq. They win without Rondo. They’re just one of the best coached teams in the leagues; period.
4. Los Angeles Lakers (17-7)
If they were any other team, they’d be out of the top 10. They’re still the defending champs, and they’re still stacked. They should get things fixed rather quickly. Or, at least, they better.
5. Miami Heat (17-8)
They’ve re-invented themselves and suddenly look very good and very dangerous. Is this the type of team we thought they could be? And even worse, are they only going to get better?
6. Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8)
The big three (Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Jeff Green) continue to amaze. But are they simply a good team, or on the verge of being a great one?
7. Orlando Magic (16-8)
I’ll give them a couple mulligans, as a virus took over half of their team and now they’re in the middle of a long road trip. They’re much better than this, and it’ll start showing again soon.
8. Utah Jazz (17-8)
Deron Williams is a man possessed, willing his team to most victories and keeping the Jazz in the game in matchups they should probably get crushed in. The return of Mehmet Okur later this year could be huge.
9. Atlanta Hawks (16-9)
They’re still one of the most athletic teams in the league, and once Joe Johnson gets back, they still have to be considered relatively strong contenders.
10. New York Knicks (16-9)
You knew that high-octane Mike D’Antoni offense was going to pay-off sooner or later. If it just me, or did D’Antoni find his point guard in Raymond Felton?
11. Chicago Bulls (14-8)
Derrick Rose is an absolute delight to watch, and his speed and play-making keeps them in every game. The help of Carlos Boozer and the outside shooting of Kyle Korver only adds to the beautiful mix going on in Chi-town.
12. New Orleans Hornets (14-9)
They’ve been regressing, but you can’t count a Chris Paul-led team down for long. If it continues, then they’ll drop severely, but Paul is too good to doubt this early in the season.
13. Denver Nuggets (14-9)
Carmelo Anthony is clearly thinking trade, but I still can’t get why. This team is still built to contend now, and isn’t even 100% healthy yet. If they could just focus, they could still give it a solid run like they did two seasons ago.
14. Portland Trail Blazers( 12-12)
Brandon Roy’s constant knee issues are worrisome, and the rest of the team’s supporting cast really isn’t enough to make-up for it. If this keeps up, the team should take the training wheels off of Luke Babbitt, who’s tearing it up in the NBA D-League.
15. Phoenix Suns (11-12)
Steve Nash is willing this team to a high level of play than they’ve been billed for. Without an athletic big man to consistently finish at the rim, they’re just not the same team in year’s past.
16. Indiana Pacers (11-11)
Indiana is inconsistent, but when they’re on, they’re very hot. Josh McRoberts’ play is severely under rated, as is the presence of Brandon Rush.
17. Milwaukee Bucks (9-13)
After a slow start, Milwaukee keeps fighting their way back to respectability. Having a healthy Anrew Bogut to go to battle with surely helps.
18. Memphis Grizzlies (10-14)
The Grizzlies aren’t a bad team, but they’re just kind of there. They’re missing that “it” factor that could push them over the top, and they’re lacking a true go-to guy. You can’t hate the strides made by Mike Conley Jr., though.
19. Houston Rockets (9-14)
They play hard, and could have won quite a few of their tough losses to start the season. Considering the early hole they dug themselves, you have to love their resiliency.
20. Toronto Raptors (9-15)
Toronto remains a team selling themselves on potential and hype, yet repeatedly coming up short.
21. Charlotte Bobcats (8-15)
Is last year’s Cinderella team done already?
22. Philadelphia 76ers (8-15)
You don’t feel like wanting to cheer for the 76ers, except when that Jodie Meeks kid starts drilling three’s. Still, they’re not going anywhere this year, and Andre Iguadola knows it.
23. Golden State Warriors (8-15)
With a healthy David Lee, this team is pretty darn competitive. Now, if only their guards could stay healthy.
24. Detroit Pistons (7-18)
Detroit is constantly stuck in mediocrity. It’s just so hard to put your finger on this team.
25. New Jersey Nets (6-18)
Avery Johnson has a talented, young roster, but few of his players are truly good enough to compete against other NBA stars. Getting 25+ wins in year one would be one heck of a coaching job.
26. Los Angeles Clippers (5-20)
The Blake Griffin show can only drop down this far. There’s a ton of talent in L.A. and believe it or not, most of it is on the Clippers. Baron Davis probably has to be on another team before the Clippers can ever truly mature into a winning team.
27. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-18)
Kevin Love and Michael Beasley continue to earn their paychecks, while Darko Milicic just keeps blowing people’s minds. The return of Jonny Flynn won’t save the season, but things should get better in Minnesota with a little more guard help.
28. Washington Wizards (6-16)
They won’t likely compete for the playoffs this season, but there’s no doubt that have a great roster of pure talent. If they can find the right mix, they can work towards consistency. Despite his solid play, however, the best move would be to ship off Gilbert Arenas.
29. Sacramento Kings (5-16)
Tyreke Evans has been playing with a bum foot and has been flat-out ineffective. This team just isn’t mature enough to win without him, nor with an unhealthy version of him.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-17)
It’s all about the eight straight losses. It’s almost like this team was completely deflated after losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. With lineup changes seemingly every night, there’s just no cohesiveness on this squad. More importantly, when Mo Williams is your best player (sort of), the writing is already on the wall.