NBA Power Rankings, Week 3: The New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and the hottest teams in t...

After falling to 3-4, theMilwaukee Buckshave forfeited the No. 1 spot this week. TheUtah Jazz, who were the league's final unbeaten team before falling to theChicago Bullson Saturday, handedGiannis Antetokounmpoand the Bucks their third straight loss on their way to the top of our list.

Another Western Conference team -- theGolden State Warriors-- is also surging with a 5-1 record entering Week 3.Stephen Curryhas averaged 28.7 points per game and is getting a lift from a revived bench. RookieJonathan Kumingamade his NBA debut Saturday against theOklahoma City Thunder, notching his first points with a 3.


In the East, theNew York Knickscontinue to climb the rankings after a 5-1 start. With the usual contenders off to slow starts, the East is open for the Knicks, Bulls andWashington Wizardsto claim.

Will the Bucks,Los Angeles LakersandBrooklyn Netsget back on track? Can the Knicks, Warriors and Jazz maintain this level of play? Our experts break down all 30 teams.

Note:Throughout the regular season, our panel (Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.





1. Utah Jazz

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 2

Utah was the league's last undefeated team before losing to the Bulls on Saturday night, when point guardMike Conley Jr. rested as a precaution on the front end of a back-to-back. The Jazz's 5-1 record is the franchise's best start since 2008-09.Rudy Gobertbecame the first player in NBA history to record at least 16 points and 14 rebounds in each of the first five games of a season. -- MacMahon

This week: SAC, @ATL, @MIA, @ORL



2.Miami Heat

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 6

The Heat went 4-0 over the week and look like the type of Eastern Conference front-runner that they appeared to be before the season started.Jimmy Butleris averaging 25.3 points a game so far and is a major reason why Miami plays with such edge. Erik Spoelstra & Co. have an interesting matchup against the Jazz on Saturday before going on their first West Coast swing of the season.-- Friedell

This week:@DAL, BOS, UTAH



3. Brooklyn Nets

2021-22 record: 4-3

Previous ranking: 4

It's only seven games, but:James Hardenis currently averaging fewer points per game (18.7) than he has since he was a backup in Oklahoma City a decade ago and he is currently shooting what would be a career-worst 39.8% from the field. Harden's past two games, however, against Indiana (29 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) and Detroit (18 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) were steps in the right direction. -- Bontemps

This week: ATL, @DET, @TOR



4.Golden State Warriors

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 5

The Warriors finally dropped their first game of the season Thursday toJa Morantand theGrizzlies, but everything is looking up for a veteran team on the rise. They have six straight games at home over the next two weeks as they continue to see former All-StarKlay Thompsoninching closer to a return. Steve Kerr and his staff are feeling good about the direction of the first month.-- Friedell

This week: CHA, NO, HOU



5.Milwaukee Bucks

2021-22 record: 3-4

Previous ranking: 1

The Bucks are missing significant firepower on offense, which has contributed to their early-season struggles and a three-game losing streak to close the week.Jrue Holiday(ankle) andBrook Lopez(back) were both sidelined all week, although Holiday has started practicing again, whileKhris Middletonmissed Sunday's game with an illness. It's left Antetokounmpo carrying a heavy workload early on while their rotation is depleted. -- Collier

This week: @DET, NY, @WAS



6. Denver Nuggets

2021-22 record: 4-2

Previous ranking: 3

The season came to a halt whenNikola Jokicwas writhing in pain holding his right knee after knocking knees with Gobert on Tuesday in Utah. Fortunately for the Nuggets, Jokic had nothing more than a bruised right knee that cost him no more than the second half against the Jazz in that 122-110 loss. Jokic returned to action Friday against Dallasand got the Nuggets to turn a two-game slide into what is now a two-game winning streak. Denver is 4-2, despiteJamal Murray's absence andMichael Porter Jr.shooting 33.3% from the field. -- Youngmisuk

This week: @MEM, @MEM, HOU



7.New York Knicks

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 11

A perfect week has the Knicks sitting in a four-way tie for the best record in the Eastern Conference. A pair of strong games byKemba Walkeragainst Philadelphia and Chicago were also a reminder of the impact he can have in his timeshare at the point alongsideDerrick Rose, a duo that's playing out exactly as the Knicks hoped. -- Bontemps

This week: TOR, @IND, @MIL, CLE



8.Philadelphia 76ers

2021-22 record: 4-2

Previous ranking: 7

Ben Simmonsremains sidelined, andJoel Embiid's knee remains a concern. Still, Saturday's dominant win overAtlantais a reminder that, even without Simmons, Philadelphia can be an imposing defensive team -- and thatMatisse Thybulle, who had four steals and three blocks in 23 minutes off the bench, is a terror for opposing guards and wings. -- Bontemps

This week:POR, CHI, @DET, @CHI



9.Chicago Bulls

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 10

An up-and-down week for the Bulls could go a long way toward proving that they can be a legit playoff team. After a win in Toronto to start the week, they bounced back from a close loss at home against the Knicks to hand the Jazz their first loss of the season. The Bulls will have their already thin depth tested withPatrick Williamsout for 4 to 6 months with a wrist injury andZach LaVineplaying through a thumb injury on his non-shooting hand. And more tests are on the way with matchups against Eastern Conference foes, the Celtics and Sixers, due up this week.-- Collier

This week: @BOS, @PHI, PHI



10. Los Angeles Lakers

2021-22 record: 4-3


Previous ranking: 8

Let theCarmelo Anthonyfor Sixth Man of the Year campaign begin. The 19-year gunner has scored 20 points or more off the bench three times so far this season, with L.A. going 3-0 in those games. In the third game against Houston, Anthony registered four blocks and two steals -- reaching that stat line for the first time since 2003. "I didn't expect to see him have a defensive performance like he did tonight," coach Frank Vogel said. -- McMenamin

This week: HOU, OKC, @POR



11.Dallas Mavericks

2021-22 record: 4-2

Previous ranking: 13

The optimism aboutKristaps Porzingis, who entered the season as healthy and happy as he's been since arriving in Dallas, has taken a hit. He's been ineffective and injured so far this season. Porzingis shot 30.2% from the floor in the three games he played and has missed the past three games due to lower back tightness. -- MacMahon

This week:MIA, @SA, BOS



12.Washington Wizards

2021-22 record: 5-1

Previous ranking: 16

The Wizards are 5-1 for the first time since 2005-06 and are riding a three-game winning streak. Tommy Sheppard's offseason moves are looking good early asKyle Kuzmais off to a good bounce-back start and looking like a rebounding presence with 17 and 17 in a double-OT win over Boston.Montrezl Harrellhas three straight double-doubles and is looking like the Trez who won Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-20.Spencer Dinwiddiehas given the Wizards the scoring punch they envisioned, andBradley Bealis starting to heat up, averaging 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and seven assists in his past two games. -- Youngmisuk

This week: @ATL, TOR, MEM, MIL



13. Charlotte Hornets

2021-22 record: 5-2

Previous ranking: 14

Charlotte got a nice lift fromLaMelo BallandKelly Oubre Jr.during Sunday's win over the Trail Blazers to finish the week at 2-2. The pair combined for 53 points for a team that loves getting up and down the court. The Hornets have an intriguing matchup on Wednesday against Curry and the Warriors, as Oubre gets to see his old teammates for the first time. Ball also gets to remind Golden State what might have been if it had selected him -- not 2020 No. 2 overall pickJames Wiseman.-- Friedell

This week:CLE, @GS, @SAC, @LAC



14. Atlanta Hawks

2021-22 record: 3-3

Previous ranking: 9

In Wednesday's victory against New Orleans,Trae Youngreached 5,000 career points in his 208th career game, the quickest in franchise history to reach that point total, ahead of Bob Pettit (212), Pete Maravich (218), Joe Johnson (227) and Dominique Wilkins (230). -- Lopez

This week: WAS, @BKN, UTAH, @PHX



15. Phoenix Suns

2021-22 record: 2-3

Previous ranking: 12

Phoenix was in danger of losing its third straight game when it trailed Cleveland by 14 points in the second quarter Saturday. But then the Suns responded by going on a 50-12 run over the next 16 minutes of play that helped carry them to the victory instead of sliding to 1-4. -- Lopez

This week: NO, HOU, ATL



16.Memphis Grizzlies

2021-22 record: 3-3

Previous ranking: 15

At 6-foot-3, 174 pounds, Morant is dominating around (and above) the rim. According to NBA.com/stats, Morant ranks fourth in the NBA in field goals within 5 feet of the rim, shooting 36-of-55 (65.5%) from short range. He is averaging 12.2 points per game just off of drives, fueling one of the most prolific scoring binges in Grizzlies' history. Only Marc Gasol has scored more points in a five-game span in a Memphis uniform than Morant's 152 over his first five games this season.-- MacMahon

This week: DEN, DEN, @WAS



17.Portland Trail Blazers

2021-22 record: 3-3

Previous ranking: 17

The Blazers continue to search for a rhythm under new coach Chauncey Billups. After starting the week with a 30-point loss to the Clippers, the Blazers rebounded by beating Memphis by 20 and routing the Clippers by 19. But then they lost by 12 to the Hornets on Sunday to open a three-game road trip.Damian Lillardhas yet to explode this season, butCJ McCollumhas been steady, leading the team in scoring in five of its six games this season. --Youngmisuk

This week:@PHI, @CLE, IND, LAL



18. Toronto Raptors

2021-22 record: 4-3

Previous ranking: 22

Toronto is thrilled with what it's getting fromScottie Barnes. The fourth overall pick in July's NBA draft is averaging 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, shooting 55% from the field and is the early front-runner in the Rookie of the Year race. -- Bontemps

This week: @NYK, @WAS, CLE, BKN



19.Boston Celtics

2021-22 record: 2-4

Previous ranking: 19

After Saturday's heartbreaking loss in Washington, the Celtics have now dropped two double-overtime games in the first two weeks of the regular season and have already played five overtime periods in their first six contests. For a team dealing with a series of injuries and COVID-19 absences, the extra minutes have been an added strain. -- Bontemps

This week: CHI, @ORL, @MIA, @DAL



20.Sacramento Kings

2021-22 record: 3-3

Previous ranking: 23


Sacramento's unblemished road record took its first hit with a 105-99 loss in Dallas on Sunday. As if the 2018 NBA draft hasn't haunted Kings fans enough, the fact thatLuka Doncicput up 23 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds, whileMarvin Bagley IIIpicked up his fifth DNP-CD out of Sacramento's six games this season only punctuated the pain. -- McMenamin

This week: @UTA, NOP, CHA, IND



21.Minnesota Timberwolves

2021-22 record: 3-2

Previous ranking: 20

A midweek victory over the Bucks in Milwaukee helped maintain the positive momentum in Minnesota, even if the Timberwolves dropped the other two of their three games last week. They are off to a promising start thanks to the offensive firepower of their young trio,Karl-Anthony Towns,Anthony EdwardsandD'Angelo Russell, while the Wolves have been a surprising top-five defense early on. -- Collier

This week: ORL, LAC, LAC



22. Cleveland Cavaliers

2021-22 record: 3-4

Previous ranking: 25

Evan Mobleyreturned to Los Angeles -- he played his college ball at USC -- and made it quite the homecoming. He put up 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals and helped the Cavs give the Lakers a legitimate scare before L.A. pulled away. "They got a good one," LeBron James said of Mobley afterward. "Cleveland has a good one. They've done a good job over the years in the draft, I'll say." -- McMenamin

This week: @CHA, POR, @TOR, @NYK



23. LA Clippers

2021-22 record: 1-4

Previous ranking: 18

The Clippers have struggled to rediscover the connectivity they had during last season's run to the Western Conference finals. WithKawhi LeonardandSerge Ibakaout andMarcus Morris Sr.missing the past three games due to injury, the Clippers are off to a 1-4 start.Paul Georgecontinues to do everything he can to carry the load, scoring 42 points in a loss to Portland -- the second time this season he has cracked 40 points. But he needs more help. In that 19-point loss at Portland,Luke Kennardwas the only other Clipper to score in double figures. Coach Ty Lue isn't overreacting, but the Clippers have dropped their past two games by an average of 16 points. -- Youngmisuk

This week: OKC, @MIN, @MIN, CHA



24. San Antonio Spurs

2021-22 record: 2-4

Previous ranking: 24

For the second time in his career,Dejounte Murrayscored at least 20 points in three consecutive games, starting with a 21-point, 15-assist, 12-rebound effort in an overtime loss to the Lakers. While Murray's usage rate (24.7%) is the highest of his career, his turnover rate is the second-lowest (10.4%), which is in line with his career best he set a season ago (10.2%). -- Lopez

This week: @IND, DAL, @ORL, @OKC



25. Indiana Pacers

2021-22 record: 1-6

Previous ranking: 21

The Pacers dropped four straight games this week to fall to 1-6, their worst start since the 2014-15 season. No team has rebounded from such a start to make the playoffs since the 2009-10 Miami Heat. The good news is thatCaris LeVertmade his season debut Saturday -- albeit on a minutes restriction -- as Indiana (17th in offense, 23rd in defense) needs help on both ends of the floor right now. -- Collier

This week: SAS, NYK, @POR, @SAC



26.Houston Rockets

2021-22 record: 1-5

Previous ranking: 26

Christian Woodis an exception on the rebuilding Rockets as a core player who is in his prime. Wood, 26, has been Houston's most productive player, averaging 19.2 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. It remains to be determined whether Wood has more value as a long-term fit with the Rockets' developing young talent or as an attractive trade option. -- MacMahon

This week: @LAL, @PHX, @DEN, @GSW



27. New Orleans Pelicans

2021-22 record: 1-6

Previous ranking: 27

After picking up its first win of the season on Monday against the Timberwolves, New Orleans couldn't get another in a three-game homestand against Atlanta, Sacramento and New York. The Pelicans lost all three games by a combined 13 points; the team just didn't have enough down the stretch as it continues to play withoutZion Williamson. -- Lopez

This week: @PHX, @SAC, @GSW



28. Orlando Magic

2021-22 record: 1-6

Previous ranking: 28

The good news for the Magic is that after Monday's game on the road against the Timberwolves, they have five straight contests at home. The bad news is that after an impressive win last Sunday night against the Knicks, they've dropped four straight with a schedule that isn't letting up anytime soon. On a small positive note, rookieFranz Wagnerhas scored in double figures in each of his first seven games, including 19 in Saturday's loss to the Pistons.-- Friedell

This week: @MIN, BOS, SAS, UTA



29. Detroit Pistons

2021-22 record: 1-5

Previous ranking: 29

The best news for Pistons fans is thatCade Cunninghamfinally made his season debut Saturday after an ankle injury cost him the first four games of the regular season. His stat line was quiet -- two points, seven rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes -- and the team rested him for the second half of their back-to-back Sunday. But a new era in Detroit is finally ready to begin and the Pistons are ready to see what their No. 1 overall pick can do.-- Collier

This week: MIL, PHI, BKN



30.Oklahoma City Thunder

2021-22 record: 1-5

Previous ranking: 30

Rookie forwardJosh Giddey, 19, has displayed the playmaking ability that prompted the Thunder to select him with the No. 6 overall pick. The 6-foot-8 Giddey leads all rookies with 5.7 assists per game. He had 10 assists in the Thunder's comeback win over the Lakers. The only player younger to record double-figure dimes in a game, per ESPN Stats & Information research: a kid namedLeBron James. -- MacMahon

This week: @LAC, @LAL, SAS

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