The strike shortened NBA season is already twenty games in for most teams, and the Chicago Bulls currently have the best record in the Eastern conference, while the Oklahoma City Thunder currently are perched on top of the Western Conference.
The upcoming week features a number of key matchups, headlined by the Sunday evening star studded game between the Bulls and the Heat.
In KP’s inaugural NBA Power Rankings, the aforementioned Bulls and Thunder have earned the top two spots. The surprising 76ers and Nuggets are also featured in the top ten.
KP’s NBA Power Rankings: January 29, 2012
* Statistics and rankings include results up to January 28, 2012
1. Chicago Bulls – 17-4 (101 points)
Chicago’s 87.0 points per game allowed is tied for the lowest in the NBA this season.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – 16-3 (97 points)
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each are in the top ten in points per game average, combining for over 47 points per game.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – 14-6 (90 points)
The Sixers are outscoring opponents by nearly 12 points per game and the team’s 11.7 differential is the best in the NBA this season.
4. Atlanta Hawks – 14-6 (73 points)
In his first season seeing significant playing time, point guard Jeff Teague is averaging 12.4 points per game, 2.1 steals per game and shooting nearly 48% from the floor.
5. Miami Heat – 14-5 (71 points)
Despite an injury to Dwyane Wade, the “Big 3” each is still averaging more than twenty points per game, with LeBron James headlining the trio, scoring 29.2 per game.
6. Denver Nuggets – 14-5 (71 points)
The Nuggets have six players averaging in double digits, headlined by Danilo Gallinari, who leads the team averaging 17.9 points per game.
7. Houston Rockets – 12-8 (61 points)
Shooting guard Kevin Martin is averaging 20.1 points per game this season, and over his last three games played, he totaled 85 points in that span.
8. Dallas Mavericks – 12-8 (57 points)
With 16 games under his belt this season, it’s important to note that Dirk Nowitzki (17.5 ppg) is currently more than five points below his career average.
9. Indiana Pacers – 12-6 (56 points)
Danny Granger leads the team in points per game (16.8) and steals per game (1.5).
10. Orlando Magic – 12-7 (56 points)
Dwight Howard continues to put up gaudy numbers with the Magic. His 15.6 rebounds per game are nearly two boards more per game than any other player in the NBA.
11. Portland Trail Blazers – 12-8 (52 points)
Of qualified players, Jamal Crawford currently leads the league in free throw percentage, missing just three on the year and posting a 94.9 percentage from the charity stripe.
12. San Antonio Spurs – 12-8 (49 points)
Kawhi Leonard has been a youthful compliment to the team, starting ten games on the year, and averaging 7.2 points per game.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – 10-6 (48 points)
Chris Paul leads the league in the steals to date, posting 2.55 per contest.
14. Memphis Grizzlies – 10-9 (42 points)
The Grizzlies have been very balanced offensively. Just how balanced? Tony Allen (9.9 ppg) is sixth on the team in scoring.
15. Utah Jazz – 11-7 (41 points)
Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and C.J. Miles are the only three Jazz team members to currently average in double figures on the season.
16. Boston Celtics – 9-9 (39 points)
Even with all the injuries and trade rumors, the Celtics have found a way to win four straight, including a huge comeback against the Magic a few days ago.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves – 9-10 (39 points)
Kevin Love’s 18 double-doubles (in 19 games) are currently four more than any other player in the NBA this season.
18. Los Angeles Lakers – 11-9 (29 points)
Kobe Bryant, averaging 30.0 points per game, leads the league in scoring and is the only current NBA player to average thirty-plus on the season.
19. Milwaukee Bucks – 8-11 (22 points)
Andrew Bogut, the team leader in rebounds and blocks, recently suffered another major injury and will be out for significant time.
20. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7-11 (6 points)
Kyrie Irving (17.6 points per game) and Antawn Jamison (15.3 points per game) are the only two players to average in double figures.
21. Golden State Warriors – 6-12 (5 points)
Of qualified players, Brandon Rush leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, posting a 57.1% percentage from behind the arc.
22. Phoenix Suns – 7-12 (4 points)
Marcin Gortat leads the team in points per game (14.8), rebounds per game (10.1) and blocks per game (1.6).
23. New York Knicks – 7-13 (1 point)
The Knicks have four players that average in double figures, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler.
24. New Jersey Nets – 7-13 (-1 point)
Deron Williams (19.4 ppg and 8.6 apg) has played well, but the team has struggled to perform.
25. New Orleans Hornets – 4-15 (-9 points)
Eric Gordon leads the team in points per game (21.0), steals per game (2.0) and even blocks per game (1.5).
26. Toronto Raptors – 6-14 (-11 points)
He’s only appeared in 13 of the team’s 20 games, but Andrea Bargnani is averaging 23.5 points per game, nearly ten more than any of his teammates.
27. Sacramento Kings – 6-14 (-26 points)
Defensive minded DeMarcus Cousins leads the team in rebounds (10.9 per game) and blocks (1.4 per game).
28. Washington Wizards – 4-16 (-27 points)
JaVale McGee leads the league in blocks per game, with an average of 3.15 per contest and 63 total blocks in Washington’s 20 games.
29. Detroit Pistons – 4-17 (-31 points)
Greg Monroe leads the team in points per game (15.8), rebounds per game (9.5) and steals per game (1.3).
30. Charlotte Bobcats – 3-18 (-45 points)
The Bobcats are 1-10 on the road and 0-8 versus the Southeast division so far this season.
* All stats per NBA.com
The Wife Hates Sports’ NBA Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and defense, too.