Two weeks into the season, here’s how we’re ranking each of the 30 NBA teams. Obviously, we got everything wrong last week but, don’t worry, this edition is perfect.
This is an easy one — the NBA’s only winless team and the one with the league’s worst point differential. The fact that they’ve already made a coaching change is like hanging up blacklight posters here in the NBA’s basement.
Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are still putting up numbers but the defense is an absolute train wreck and the supporting cast stopped making 3-pointers this week. That’s a recipe for a steep slide.
The Bulls pulled a nice win over the Hornets but were blown out by Charlotte in a revenge game. The beat the Hawks but were blown out by the Wizards. Oh, and they are still one of the absolute worst defenses in the league.
The defense fell off a cliff this week and Tim Hardaway Jr.’s shooting percentages have regressed about towards his career averages. This is more like the Knicks we’ll likely be seeing until Kristaps returns.
The Wizards went winless this week and were outscored by an eye-popping 18.4 points per 100 possessions. On and off the court, the cracks are beginning to show.
Dallas fell hard, dropping all four of their games this week. However, those four losses included games against San Antonio, Toronto and Utah. They have a lot of problems to fix but they’re not nearly as bad as they looked this week.
For all Trae Young’s heroics, the driving factor for Atlanta’s (relatively) strong start has been their top-10 defensive efficiency. If they can keep this up they might play themselves right out of the top of the draft.
The Magic only had two games this week and lost them both — getting trounced by the Trail Blazers and Bucks by a combined 36 points. At least they’re losing to good teams?
Brooklyn ended the week with a clunker against the Knicks but they played both Golden State and New Orleans tough in losses. D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert have been shooting lights-out and they should bounce back.
The Thunder almost certainly won’t be this bad all season long but they’re digging themselves a pretty deep hole in the battle for playoff position. They split their two games but lost a very winnable game against the Boston Celtics. Westbrook missed all five of his 3-pointers and finished under 40 percent from the field. Paul George wasn’t much better either. They desperately need to get some offensive rhythm and build some momentum.
Don’t look now, but the Kings might actually be good. They went 3-1 this week, beating Memphis, Washington and Miami. They currently hold the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference and have essentially an even point differential on the season.
The bottom has begun to fall out a bit for the Timberwolves, in a week that saw them beat the Lakers but get roughed up by the two best teams in the Eastern Conference. There is no shame in losing to the Bucks and Raptors but for a team with such a tenuous hold on tranquility, they can’t afford to build up any negative momentum.
Things have been so bad in Houston, they’re working on rebuilding the signature defensive scheme. They are currently 27th in defensive efficiency and there is no obvious path back into the top 10.
The Lakers finally broke into the win column and their offense has looked very good at times. The problem has been horrific defensive execution, a problem which is likely to plague them all season.
The magic of the Spurs is not ready to go out yet. They have one of the worst defenses in the league and a significantly negative point differential on the season, and somehow they’re off to a 4-2 start and firmly in the West playoff picture.