Published 12/01/2010 – Week 5
With nearly a quarter of the season now passed, we are starting to finally learn more about which teams are truly good, which teams are pretenders, and which teams really really don’t like their coaches (see: Heat, Miami). For the first time this season, both Andrew Melnick and myself have dropped the world champion Los Angeles Lakers from the top spot of the rankings as they’re coming off a three game losing streak where they lost to Utah, Indiana and the mighty Memphis Grizzlies. It should be pointed out though that they still are without Andrew Bynum and two of those three losses were on the road at the end of November. Certainly not time for the champs to panic. Melnick felt that the Orlando Magic have showed enough prowess recently to justify a jump of the Lakers, however I disagree. The Lakers may be struggling right now, but until the Magic show they can consistently beat good teams, I refuse to move them into the top 3.
The Magic have won four straight but have played a relatively weak schedule so far. They’ve only played 5 teams with a winning record and are only 3-2 in those games. The only impressive win was against a struggling Heat team at home. Speaking of the Heat, they continue to chill out in the rankings and both Melnick and I have them out of the top 10 for the time being (11 and 12 respectively). The chemistry that I expected to be weak during the beginning of the season, has surpassed even my own negative expectations. This team has clear power struggles and a disgruntled superstar child in LeBron James.
The revitalized San Antonio Spurs top the S&M Power Poll for the first time this season and it’s scary how good this team could be come playoff time if they can manage to stay healthy. Tim Duncan is still dropping triple-doubles and the slow it down, grind-it-out Spurs we are used to, have faded away. The Spurs are ranked second in the league in points scored per 100 possessions and seventh in overall pace. These aint your Myspace-lovin, Bruce Bowen Spurs any longer.
The biggest jump this week came courtesy of the New York Knicks who Melnick had ranked at 23 and now are ranked by both of us at 14. The biggest tumble came from those lovable Miami Heat who we each dropped 5 spots.
The full S&M Power Poll is available after the jump:
|S&M Power Poll – Serra||S&M Power Poll – Melnick|
|1||San Antonio Spurs (3) (15-2)||1||San Antonio Spurs (3) (15-2)|
|2||Boston Celtics (2) (13-4)||2||Boston Celtics (2) (13-4)|
|3||Los Angeles Lakers (1) (13-5)||3||Orlando Magic (8) (13-4)|
|4||Orlando Magic (7) (13-4)||4||Los Angeles Lakers (1) (13-5)|
|5||Dallas Mavericks (5) (13-4)||5||Dallas Mavericks (4) (13-4)|
|6||Utah Jazz (8) (14-5)||6||Utah Jazz (6) (14-5)|
|7||Oklahoma City Thunder (11) (12-6)||7||Oklahoma City Thunder (12) (12-6)|
|8||New Orleans Hornets (4) (12-5)||8||New Orleans Hornets (5) (12-5)|
|9||Chicago Bulls (9) (9-6)||9||Denver Nuggets (11) (10-6)|
|10||Atlanta Hawks (10) (11-7)||10||Chicago Bulls (10) (9-6)|
|11||Miami Heat (6) (10-8)||11||Atlanta Hawks (9) (11-7)|
|12||Denver Nuggets (12) (10-6)||12||Miami Heat (7) (10-8)|
|13||Indiana Pacers (18) (9-7)||13||Indiana Pacers (18) (9-7)|
|14||New York Knicks (20) (10-9)||14||New York Knicks (23) (10-9)|
|15||Phoenix Suns (14) (8-9)||15||Portland Trail Blazers (13) (8-9)|
|16||Memphis Grizzlies (16) (8-10)||16||Phoenix Suns (14) (8-9)|
|17||Portland Trail Blazers (14) (8-9)||17||Memphis Grizzlies (16) (8-10)|
|18||Golden State Warriors (15) (8-10)||18||Golden State Warriors (17) (8-10)|
|19||Cleveland Cavaliers (19) (7-10)||19||Cleveland Cavaliers (21) (7-10)|
|20||Milwaukee Bucks (156 (6-10)||20||Milwaukee Bucks (15) (6-10)|
|21||Washington Wizards (25) (5-11)||21||Charlotte Bobcats (20) (6-11)|
|22||Charlotte Bobcats (22) (6-11)||22||Houston Rockets (19) (5-12)|
|23||New Jersey Nets (24) (6-12)||23||New Jersey Nets (24) (6-12)|
|24||Toronto Raptors (27) (6-11)||24||Toronto Raptors (27) (6-11)|
|25||Detroit Pistons (23) (6-12)||25||Detroit Pistons (22) (6-12)|
|26||Houston Rockets (21) (5-12)||26||Washington Wizards (26) (5-11)|
|27||Minnesota Timberwolves (26) (4-13)||27||Minnesota Timberwolves (25) (4-13)|
|28||Philadelphia 76ers (29) (4-13)||28||Philadelphia 76ers (28) (4-13)|
|29||Los Angeles Clippers (30) (3-15)||29||Los Angeles Clippers (30) (3-15)|
|30||Sacramento Kings (28) (4-11)||30||Sacramento Kings (29) (4-11)|
Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here.