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NBA: The Wall

2013-14 Power Rankings: Week 2
RANK TEAM / RECORD TRENDING COMMENTS
1 Indiana
7-0
--
Last Week: 1
Something tells me all the winning (and suffocating defending) they're doing without Danny Granger is only going to make it easier to force him to accept a role when it's time. Guess we could launch into a "peaking too soon" debate if you want to try to manufacture something to worry about here.
2 San Antonio
6-1
2
Last Week: 4
Here's what the Spurs think of know-it-alls like you-know-who doubting they can bounce back from Finals devastation: They've looked sharper out of the gate than any team bar Indiana and soon will see Timmy and Tony hit 600 career wins as a tandem, bettered by only three duos ever.
3 Minnesota
5-2
--
Last Week: 3
Who else reading along wishes they were cursed with Kevin Love's "limited natural ability" as GMs call it? And who else has noticed how well Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer click next to Love? He's finally got targets for those long-awaited Love outlet passes that must have the Vikings drooling.
4 Los Angeles
4-3
3
Last Week: 7
For all the (justifiable?) fretting about the Clippers' porous D, they just pounded Houston twice in the span of six days by an average margin of 16 points and played five of their first seven games on the road. We'll see Monday night how kind the schedule was making Sota play the Lakers first.
5 Miami
4-3
--
Last Week: 5
The Lakers started 11-19 in 2002-03 after winning three straight titles. So Miami's 4-3 mark, with stumbles in Philly and at home to Boston, isn't exactly unprecedented. But the Heat have to understand that we're bound to overreact when we watched them finish last season on a 37-2 spree.
6 Oklahoma City
5-1
--
Last Week: 6
Things have loosened up nicely for Durant since Westbrook's return despite the fact that Russ isn't close to his best yet. The 3 ball, though, hasn't been dropping all that often even for KD. His triple forced OT in Sunday's eventual win over the Wiz, but OKC is hitting a mere 27 percent from deep.
7 Golden State
4-3
1
Last Week: 8
The new Warriors who are so much more competent defensively will win a game in San Antonio eventually. The bigger concerns at the minute are naturally Steph Curry's first scrape of the season (bruised left ankle) and the Dubs' uncharacteristic fourth-quarter scoring woes.
8 Phoenix
5-2
8
Last Week: 16
With a 4-0 start at home and a 2-0 mark against the playoff-chasing Pelicans, Phoenix is threatening to surpass Philly for No. 1 in November's Cinderella rankings. More important: Jeff Hornacek already gives you the impression that he can get his players to buy in. Which is huge if it lasts.
9 Houston
4-3
7
Last Week: 2
The honeymoon tied to the Rockets' first 3-0 start since 2008-09 ended with the thud of all those missed Dwight free throws against the Lakers. Helping Houston rationalize a tough week is the acknowledgment that a dinged-up Harden (26.5 percent on 3s) hasn't hit top speed yet.
10 Memphis
3-3
5
Last Week: 15
It's only one game. And Golden State was on the second half of a tough back-to-back. But Saturday night's rout of the Dubs was the first time Memphis and its off-key starting five really looked like Memphis under Dave Joerger. The Griz trailed after three quarters in their first five games.
11 Dallas
4-3
1
Last Week: 12
The Mavs don't expect to win many games barely cracking 90 points and were doubly relieved to get out of Milwaukee with a W because road games have been such a problem, too. They know the reality: Success will mostly ride on the highs that Dirk-and-Monta-driven offense can generate.
12 Portland
4-2
1
Last Week: 13
Portland's star tandem has already made (franchise) history. According to our trusty friends at Elias, Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the first pair of Blazers to average better than 23 PPG through the season' first five games -- until Lillard's 1-for-15 shooting in Sacramento.
13 Detroit
2-3
1
Last Week: 14
No less an authority than Frank Vogel, whose megaphone boasts impressive reach these days, has already decreed Detroit will "make the playoffs this year" because of its "monster size and great guards." The same Pistons who hadn't topped .500 since (gulp) November 2009 until their 1-0 start.
14 Chicago
2-3
5
Last Week: 9
The latest illustration why it's dangerous to put stock in anything we see during the preseason: Derrick Rose's struggles. I was among the zillions who saw D-Rose in exhibition play and assumed his rust had been fully chipped away. He's at 32 percent from the floor with 20 assists and 25 TOs.
15 Brooklyn
2-4
4
Last Week: 11
The Knicks' woes can bring only so much satisfaction. It's quite clear D-Will and especially KG are nowhere near the level they'll have to be for the Nets to be a playoff factor, but these guys have to be up there on list of early-season disappointments. Whatever the circumstances.
16 Philadelphia
4-3
6
Last Week: 10
I knew No. 10 was too high last Monday, but the committee (of one) is human, too. Just got swept up in the moment like everyone else. As for your MCW update: Only two rookies have ever rung up 130 points and 50 assists in their first seven games. No. 1. Oscar Robertson. No. 2. MCW.
17 Washington
2-4
8
Last Week: 25
The Wiz, in the end, didn't flirt with last season's 0-12 start or even 2011-12's 0-8. But the sort of W that really could have eased some of the pressure on Randy Wittman slipped away in OKC after the Bradley Beal-led Wiz had just stormed back from 11 points down to stun Brooklyn.
18 New Orleans
3-4
4
Last Week: 22
No one is putting the Pelicans in the playoffs just yet. And three of the NBA's top 10 scorers are forwards from other West teams. But there's no longer any reason to hesitate. We've seen enough to declare that, yes, Anthony Davis will be one of the West's All-Stars in New Orleans in February.
19 Los Angeles
3-5
1
Last Week: 18
The wins (over the Clippers and Rockets) have been fairly epic. The losses (Golden State, Dallas and Minnesota in particular) have been mostly drubbings. And a nervous wait still hangs over everything in Lakerland, not only for Kobe's return but also thanks to Nash's ongoing nerve issues.
20 Toronto
3-4
1
Last Week: 19
Ten teams in the West sport a positive nightly average scoring margin. In the East, if you throw out Detroit's paltry +0.2, only five do. And Toronto is one of those five -- early as we'll concede it is to be making a huge deal of such statistical trends -- after taking out its Charlotte frustrations on Utah.
21 Orlando
3-4
4
Last Week: 17
It wasn't quite the week you might have expected after Nikola Vucevic rumbled for 30 points and 21 boards in a home win over the Clippers, but follow-up losses to Boston and away to Atlanta are understandable when a young, thin team still doesn't have Tobias Harris or Glen Davis yet.
22 Atlanta
3-3
2
Last Week: 24
The greatest source of intrigue in the ATL beyond the trade possibilities? Kyle Korver needs one triple in each of his next 11 games to break the all-time record. He's up to 79 games in a row with at least one 3, tied with Michael Adams for the second-longest streak behind Dana Barros' 89.
23 Cleveland
3-4
2
Last Week: 21
Kyrie's overdue eruption in the Philly win put him alongside LeBron and Mark Price as the only Cavs over the past 25 seasons with at least 35 and 12 in the same game. Not quite enough, though, to take the focus off Bennett's woes, Bynum's frustrationand Coach Brown's dismay over shaky D.
24 Boston
3-4
6
Last Week: 30
Three W's in a row after Brad Stevens takes Avery Bradley off the ball and with Kelly Olynyk only so-so so far? Jeff Green up to 7-for-11 lifetime on go-ahead or game-tying shots with less than five ticks to go in regulation or OT after slaying Miami? Next you'll tell me Gerald Wallace is happy.
25 New York
2-4
5
Last Week: 20
To hold Mike Woodson accountable for what's happening here seems preposterous. Yet I think we all understand by now that James Dolan's world revolves around its own rationale. Even with a healthy Tyson Chandler, who on Earth besides Dolan sees the Knicks as championship material?
26 Charlotte
3-3
2
Last Week: 28
The coaching shot Patrick Ewing has longed for -- against the Knicks, no less -- obviously came about in the worst of circumstances. But theBobcats say Steve Clifford, still unbeaten against Eastern Conference foes at 3-0 when he's on the bench, is returning Monday against Atlanta.
27 Milwaukee
2-3
--
Last Week: 27
Much has been said about Larry Drew's many lineups in his first five games; 10 Bucks already have started at least once. But getting Larry Sanders back to full capacity has to be priority No. 1 after Sanders was one of only six 2010 first-round picks to get a contract extension. Doesn't it?
28 Denver
1-4
2
Last Week: 26
As maybe the world's biggest Shaqtin' A Fool fan, your faithful committee of (one) is seriously devastated to hear JaVale McGee is out indefinitely with a stress fracture. Not ready to ponder the implications for the Nuggets because I'm too worried about how this is going to affect me.
29 Sacramento
1-5
6
Last Week: 23
The good news: Boogie Cousins has already matched last season's three 30-point games. The bad news: After five straight L's since a season-opening win over Denver and a starting five that can't score apart from Cousins, Mike Malone has been calling out his team more than Gerald Wallace.
30 Utah
0-7
1
Last Week: 29
Utah's worst start since going 0-11 as the expansion New Orleans Jazz in '74-75 isn't entirely unexpected given the state of the roster. The alarming part that has thrust earlier-than-expected pressure on Ty Corbin is the non-competitiveness, with the last five L's by a combined 85 points.

http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings

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