By: 48 Minutes Staff
1. Golden State Warriors ( - )
The Dubs keep on rolling with not only the best record in the league, but also the best point differential, as well at +13.1. They also lead the league with 11 wins of 10 or more points. The largest contributor to that stat? Golden State's performances in the third quarter where they have a +7 ppg differential on the season. Combine all of this with having the 2nd best offensive rating, and best defensive rating, and it's easy to see why they, yet again, sit atop our rankings.
2. Phoenix Suns ( +3 )
Phoenix's thirteen game winning streak has been nothing short of impressive, but what's even more impressive is the fact that this Suns team is currently 8-2 against teams above .500 on the year. Chris Paul, much like Tom Brady, continues to prove that age simply does not matter when it comes to passing the ball as he leads the league in assists, while JaVale McGee is proving why he was such a key offseason acquisition by leading the team in rebounds. This team is firing on all cylinders and look to be the only team that might be poised to challenge Golden State in the west.
3. Brooklyn Nets ( -1 )
While the headlines of the first few weeks of the season were focused on teams like the Knicks, Bulls, and Heat, the Nets were out getting the highest winning % in the Eastern Conference. Over the last 5 games, James Harden has getting to the charity stripe over 12 times per game, and is averaging 28 points in that span as well. Kevin Durant seems to have his running mate that we expected Harden to be. While the return of Brooklyn's firepower is a sight for sore eyes, there is some concern in the fact that Brooklyn is currently 3-5 against teams above .500 so far this season and a blowout loss to Golden State last week also doesn't help this cause. The Nets need to start getting some W's against their top-tier constituents if they want to properly be taken seriously.
4. Chicago Bulls ( +1 )
Despite getting absolutely thumped by Indiana last night, it's still pretty safe to say that life is pretty good if you're involved with the Chicago Bulls right now. DeMar Derozan has been the best closer in the NBA this season, Zach Lavine is finding his stride offensively, heck even Coby White had standout performance on Sunday. What's wild is that this team doesn't necessarily do a lot of things well, but they also aren't terrible at many things, either. The Bulls are a true jack of all trades, master of none team right now, and right now, that's just right.
5. Miami Heat ( +2 )
A nice bounce-back week for the Heat that featured 2 competitive games against a good Washington team that showed us much more on the Heat than they did the Wizards. While the recent road woes were a bit of a wake up call about this team, Miami does still feature a guard, a wing, and a big that all average over 19 points per game which is leading to them leading the East in point differential. This team is still extremely good and should still definitely be on your radar.
6. Washington ( -3 )
The Wizards came back down to earth this week dropping 3 of 4 divisional games against the Heat and the Hornets. While this team continues to be tough defensively, there is a bit of a growing concern about this team's ability to score enough as well as score efficiently going forward. Luckily for Washington, they leave for a long road trip full of extremely winnable games that could provide a perfect opportunity for their offense to find a bit of a groove.
7. Utah Jazz ( NR )
After falling out of our rankings last week, Utah's back in the top 10 thanks to a 3 game winning streak that has propelled them into 3rd place in the Western Conference. The team's defense continues to be a dominant force while the Jazz's offense has woken up and joined the top ranks in offensive efficiency. Jordan Clarkson has reminded everyone why he's the front runner for Sixth Man of the Year again with an On Court +/- of +14. To add to this firepower off the bench, the Jazz recently got Rudy Gay back from injury who made an instant impact going for 18 points in 20 minutes against Toronto on Thursday. This Jazz bench unit is turning into a bit of a cheat code.
8. Milwaukee Bucks ( NR )
Giannis is back to doing Giannis things for this Bucks team AKA leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and FG%. The Champs are currently on a 4 game winning streak with a full slate of winnable games to close out the month of November. If (and when) Milwaukee climbs back near the top of the East standings, it won't be a surprise to anyone hearing Giannis' name in the MVP discussion going forward.
9. Los Angeles Clippers ( - )
The Clippers have dropped 3 of their last 5, and it's pretty clear what needs to change if this team wants to properly compete in the West going forward. Paul George and Reggie Jackson have been great, but no one else on the Clippers is averaging above 10 point per game right now. This team needs more offense and they need it fast as the shootouts in the West start to rack up on a nightly basis. While having a top 3 defense is always a great thing to have in your pocket, it is pretty common knowledge you still have to score the basketball to win games. It'll be interesting to see how long the Clippers let these offensive struggles continue before they consider making a move.
10. Charlotte Hornets ( NR )
The Hornets continue to be one of the streakiest teams in the NBA this season. After losing 5 in a row, they've bounced back to win 5 of their last 6. LaMelo Ball leads this team in assists, steals, and rebounds. The rebounding being the glaring stat as not only is LaMelo Ball out-rebounding Charlotte's bigs, but Miles Bridges is as well. Charlotte spent one of their first round picks on a big in Texas' Kai Jones. Maybe it's time James Borrego gives his rookie some run to see what he can provide?
Other teams receiving votes: Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics
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