If you're a fan of movement in the NBA Power Rankings, the early weeks of the season are the stuff dreams are made of. With so few games under their belt, teams can take dramatic swings from the bottom to the top, or vice versa, based on just a single week's results. Take for example the Houston Rockets, at the bottom of last year's standings and second-to-last in the first edition of the Power Rankings, who moved into the top 10 thanks to a 3-0 week.
On the other side of the coin are the Detroit Pistons, who crashed with five straight losses after a 2-1 start, dropping them to dead last with a massive 17-spot drop. Round and around we go.
What didn't change this week, however, is the very top. The Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics are still the class of the league in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, but the Philadelphia 76ers moved up seven spots to No. 3 on the heels of a perfect week after dealing James Harden to the LA Clippers.
Anything can happen early in the year, and this pecking order is proof of that. Here is this week's edition of the NBA Power Rankings.
*Please keep in mind that our NBA Power Rankings are based on weekly performance, not the whole season.
|The Nuggets lost to the giant-slaying Timberwolves this week, but otherwise it was business as usual with wins over the Jazz, Mavericks, Bulls and Pelicans. Nikola Jokic was out of control -- even more so than usual -- averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the week on 64% shooting. Read those numbers again. Goodness. Denver wasn't weakened with Jamal Murray missing Monday's game against New Orleans, as Michael Porter Jr. and rookie Julian Strawther each scored over 20 points in the win.
|Well, the Celtics aren't going 82-0. They suffered their first loss of the year on Monday against the Timberwolves (in overtime, no less), and it's not exactly cause for concern. Boston still had a plus-18 net rating for the week, scoring almost 122 points per 100 possessions. The offensive hero can change on a nightly basis with such depth of top-end talent, but Jayson Tatum took center stage this week with 32 points and nine rebounds per game on 58/47/88 shooting splits.
|The post-James Harden era started with three straight wins, making it five in a row overall for the new-look 76ers. Nicolas Batum impressed in his debut on Monday, putting up 11 points on 3-for-4 3-point shooting, but the real story of the week was the man in the middle. Joel Embiid averaged 34 points, 12 rebounds and five assists on fewer than 22 shot attempts per game. Tyrese Maxey didn't shoot well from distance, but upped his playmaking with over eight assists per game -- a key for Philadelphia with Harden now in L.A.
|The Mavs emerged brilliantly from a stretch of five games in eight days, beating the Grizzlies, Bulls, Hornets and Magic, with their only loss coming to the defending champs in an In-Season Tournament game. The offense has been clicking to start the year, averaging over 119 points per 100 possessions this week as Luka Doncic led the way, as usual, with 28 points, nine assists and nine rebounds per game. Offseason addition Grant Williams has been blistering from 3-point range, making 59% of his almost seven attempts per game this week.
|Golden State kept things rolling this week with impressive wins over the Pelicans, Kings, Thunder and Pistons. Their only blemish came in an off night in Cleveland, but overall the Warriors look like a top-tier contender. Stephen Curry was named Western Conference Player of the Week, averaging 31 points and five assists on ridiculous 54/49/85 shooting splits. The scary thing about the Warriors is that Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson haven't even really gotten going yet, with Draymond Green just starting to get his conditioning back.
|Any time you take down the Nuggets and Celtics in the same week, you're doing something right. The Wolves are on a three-game winning streak behind a sparkling 95.4 defensive rating. Anthony Edwards is making the leap many expected, averaging 31 points per game this week while shooting 61% from the field and 42% from 3-point range. For the season, the Wolves have a net rating of plus-8.6 with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the floor together.
|It still isn't looking perfect in Milwaukee, but things are progressing after a 3-1 week that included wins over the Heat, Knicks and Nets. Defense has been the main issue, but they've scored enough to make up for it on most nights. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 27 points and eight rebounds for the week, while Damian Lillard added 23 points and five assists per game. Khris Middleton played in all four games this week (good!), but he only averaged 19 minutes per game (not so good).
|Atlanta bounced back from a rough start to win consecutive games over the Wolves, Wizards and Pelicans this week before falling to the Thunder on Monday. The offense hit the afterburners, scoring over 121 points per 100 possessions over the four games, led by 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game from Dejounte Murray on 50% 3-point shooting.
|The Pelicans went 2-3 this week, but the major news was CJ McCollum suffering a lung injury that will require significant attention. Zion Williamson missed a game, but averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the week on 45% shooting, which is well below his standard. Brandon Ingram returned after a bout with knee tendinitis, averaging 19 points on 50% shooting in New Orleans' last two games.
|And here come the Rockets, who beat the Hornets to start the week before consecutive home wins over the Kings, the last coming by a 25-point margin. The offense went berserk, averaging 123 points per 100 possessions this week with five players putting up at least 17 points per game. Dillon Brooks caught fire, which always helps, as he shot 66% from the field and 60% from 3-point range for the week.
|The Nets started off the week on a mini-streak with wins over the Hornets, Heat and Bulls, but dropped consecutive games to two Eastern Conference powers, the Celtics and Bucks, to close things out. Cam Thomas kept up his hot start to the season, averaging 27 points for the week, including a 45-spot against Milwaukee on Monday.
|Miami lost to the Bucks and Nets to start the week, but followed that up with wins over the Wizards and Lakers. Bam Adebayo had an absolute monster game against L.A. on Monday, tallying 22 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and two steals in the win. Tyler Herro led the way in terms of scoring this week, putting up nearly 28 points per game on 51/44/88 shooting splits.
|The week started great for the Lakers, who beat the Magic and pulled off a thrilling overtime win over the Clippers. But things turned sour with a bad loss to the Magic followed by a near-comeback against the Heat that fell short when Cam Reddish's potential go-ahead 3-pointer caromed off the rim as time expired. Always concerning is the fact that Anthony Davis missed the second half of the Miami game due to a hip/groin issue. It goes without saying that the Lakers are a much less formidable team if he's forced to miss time.
|The Clippers finally pulled the trigger on a deal for James Harden, who put up 17 points and six assists on 6-of-9 shooting in a debut loss to the Knicks on Monday. The trade depleted the Clippers' frontcourt, so it will be interesting to see how they fill those minutes, especially if Mason Plumlee is forced to miss extended time after a nasty looking knee injury on Monday.
|Orlando went 2-3 in a five-game week, with their biggest win coming against the Lakers at home. The offense struggled mightily, putting up just 107 points per 100 possessions, as Franz Wagner shot below 40% from the field. An injury to Markelle Fultz opened up some opportunity for rookie Anthony Black, who averaged 10 points and five rebounds on 54% shooting in two starts to close the week.
|OKC beat the Pistons and Hawks this week, while dropping close games to the Pelicans and Warriors. Without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder went toe-to-toe with Golden State in a last-second loss in the first in-season tournament game of the year, which has to give the rest of the roster a ton of confidence. Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren and Lu Dort all averaged over 16 points for the week.
|The Pacers went 2-3 this week, but ended on a high note by putting up 152 points in a demolition of the Spurs on Monday, easily eclipsing their previous season high of 143 points on opening night against the Wizards. Did we mention Indiana also *allowed* 155 points to the Celtics on Wednesday? If you like points, on one side or the other, this is your team. Tyrese Haliburton continued to put up monster numbers, averaging 26 points and 12 assists this week on 49/38/92 shooting splits.
|Rough week for the Suns, who suffered a stunning last-second loss to the Spurs, and then watched Victor Wembanyama go off for a career-high 38 points two nights later in another defeat at the hands of San Antonio. Even worse, Devin Booker has missed the team's last two games with an ankle injury after putting up 31 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds in his return to the lineup on Thursday. Phoenix was able to get back on the winning track against the Pistons on Sunday, with Kevin Durant putting up 41 points on 27 shots.
|The Knicks split with the Cavs this week, while also losing to the Bucks and beating the Clippers in James Harden's debut on Monday. Jalen Brunson led the team with 24 points per game, but shot just 25% from 3-point range. RJ Barrett returned from a two-game absence to put up 26 points and six rebounds in the win over the Clippers.
|The Cavs went 2-2 this week, but the record isn't as important as the strides they've made in the health department. Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen played in the final two games of the week after extensive absences. Garland averaged 19 points but was unable to find the mark from long distance, while Allen put up 11 points and eight rebounds per game on 69% shooting. Sunday's win over the Warriors looked much more like the complete, two-way Cavs team that had so much success last season.
|Raise your hand if you saw the Blazers putting up a 3-1 week with Anfernee Simons out of the lineup and Scoot Henderson missing two of the games. Portland took down the Raptors, Pistons and Grizzlies to start the week before finally losing to Memphis in the rematch on Sunday. The defense was surprisingly stout, allowing just 103 points per 100 possessions, but that could be significantly compromised with Robert Williams III expected to miss extended time with a knee injury.
|Toronto bounced back from a disappointing home loss to the Blazers to put up a season-high 130 points in Wednesday's impressive win over the Bucks. After a loss to the 76ers the next night, the Raptors salvaged a 2-2 week by coming back from a 22-point deficit to beat the Spurs in OT on Sunday. Scottie Barnes has been phenomenal, averaging 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists this week on 48/44/79 shooting splits.
|The Spurs started the week in impressive fashion, putting up consecutive road wins over the Suns. They stole the first one -- quite literally -- when Keldon Johnson ripped the ball out of Kevin Durant's hands and soared in for the go-ahead layup, and the next win was marked by Victor Wembanyama's career-high 38 points. Things went downhill from there, however, as they blew a 22-point lead in Sunday's overtime loss to the Raptors, and then lost by ... um ... hold on ... still doing the math ... 41 points (!) to the Pacers on Monday. Wembanyama averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the week on 38% 3-point shooting.
|The Bulls beat the Pacers and Jazz this week, with losses to the Mavericks, Nets and Nuggets. Zach LaVine led the team with 21 points per game for the week, but five Bulls averaged double-figures, including 11 from Jevon Carter on 67% 3-point shooting. As promised, the Bulls are shooting more 3-pointers this season, but still land in the bottom five of the league in attempts per game.
|The Kings have not fared well following an injury to De'Aaron Fox, losing to the Warriors and twice to the Rockets this week, the last defeat coming by 25 points in Houston. The record-setting offense from last season has sputtered without Fox, putting up a measly 101 points per 100 possessions this week. Domantas Sabonis led the team with an average of 14 points over the three games, which tells you everything about Sacramento's struggles right now.
|A one-point win in Indiana was the lone highlight for the Hornets this week, other than LaMelo Ball becoming the first player in franchise history to record a 30-point triple-double in regulation against the Mavs -- not bad for a 22-year-old. Gordon Hayward has been having a quietly resurgent season, putting up 19 points and five assists per game this week on 44% 3-point shooting.
|Utah's only victory this week came against the then-winless Grizzlies, with losses to the Nuggets, Magic, Wolves and Bulls. Lauri Markkanen led the way with 24 points per game on 46/42/85 shooting splits, while John Collins contributed 16 points and seven rebounds per game on 42% 3-point shooting.
|That elusive first win looked like it might never come after an overtime loss to the Blazers on Friday in the Grizzlies' first In-Season Tournament game, but they bounced back against those very same Blazers on Sunday to get off the schneid. Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. have predictably picked up the offensive slack with Ja Morant out of the lineup, combining for nearly 60 points per game this week. The offense is still struggling, however, putting up just 106.5 points per 100 possessions in the 1-3 week.
|Four straight losses for the Wizards this week to pretty good teams, as the defense has just been atrocious. Jordan Poole hasn't begun the offensive onslaught many expected in a Wizards uniform, though he was efficient this week, averaging 16.5 points this week on 13 field goal attempts per game. Kyle Kuzma led the way with 24 points per game on 46% 3-point shooting.
|The excitement from a 2-1 start didn't last long for the Pistons, who dropped consecutive games to the Thunder, Blazers, Pelicans, Suns and Warriors this week. Cade Cunningham led the team with over 23 points per game for the week, but shot just 41% from the field while producing almost as many turnovers (30) as assists (31).