As we charge towards the quarter mark of the 2019 season, the latest edition of NBA Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports makes it very clear that the league’s best and most consistent overall teams are currently the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
A torrid NBA offseason featuring a number of stars moving and big names being drafted has led to a lot of flux. The Golden State Warriors are no longer the best team in the league. In fact, heading into Monday, the Warriors (3-14) have the worst record in the NBA. With Kevin Durant moving on and Stephen Curry out with a broken hand, this hardly comes as a surprise.
As of today, the Los Angeles Lakers (+278) remain the current favorites to win the NBA title. The Los Angeles Clippers (currently +300) were the favorites on July 6, but have since slipped behind its cross-town rivals. The Milwaukee Bucks (+600), Philadelphia 76ers (+700) and Houston Rockets (+750) are also considered strong contenders.
So, where do the mainstream sports sites rank these teams in their current power rankings? In a word: HIGH. Take ESPN, which has each of the aforementioned five teams in its top ten.
View this post on Instagram
How do the latest NBA championship odds compare to the current standings and updated rankings at The Wife Hates Sports, which uses metrics and stats to calculate the rankings into a specific point system? Well, not surprisingly, there are also some clear similarities.
There are also some differences.
Lakers and Bucks, Oh My!
Three superstars headline and carry these two teams: Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.9 ppg), Anthony Davis (25.5 ppg) and LeBron James (25.2 ppg). As a result, these teams headline their conference and currently sit in the top two spots of the TWHS NBA Power Rankings.
Don’t Tell Mark Cuban, But…
The Nuggets, Mavs and Celtics round out the top five in the rankings, but none crack the top list of teams with the best championship odds. Boston and Denver do land amongst the top eight, but Dallas fails to even land in the top 12 list of contenders.
Houston, We Have a Problem?
No problems, just a ton of talent on teams that are playing well, just not currently at an elite level. The Houston Rockets (11-6) and Philadelphia 76ers (11-5) are right in the thick of it. In the rankings, the Rockets currently sit in ninth position, while the Sixers are in tenth. It is still very early and the key will be each team’s long-term health and ability to gel over the course of the season.
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Finally, before listing out the rankings in its entirety, let’s quickly look at some of the league’s elite in recent seasons. Mainly, that focus should be on the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Obviously, the Thunder (5-10) miss Russell Westbrook, so OKC’s decline is not at all surprising. Meanwhile, in San Antonio, the combination of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge has not been enough to get the Spurs (6-11) going. Finally, the injuries and departures have sent the Warriors (3-14) into a complete tailspin.
Despite some of the obvious reasons, it remains a major surprise to see these three teams combine for a 14-35 record to this point in the season. We are talking about three teams that combined to win 153 games during the 2017-18 regular season.
Instead, the Thunder sit in 21st position, followed by the Spurs in 22nd place. The Warriors are in dead last, with even the hapless Knicks and youthful Grizzlies ahead of them.
With that said, here is where the TWHS model ranks the thirty teams as we near the quarter mark of the 2019-20 season:
KP’s NBA Power Rankings: Week of November 25, 2019
*Stats, records and updates through Sunday
1. Los Angeles Lakers (101 points)
2. Milwaukee Bucks (100 points)
3. Denver Nuggets (80 points)
4. Dallas Mavericks (78 points)
5. Boston Celtics (74 points)
6. Toronto Raptors (72 points)
7. Miami Heat (71 points)
8. Los Angeles Clippers (67 points)
9. Houston Rockets (57 points)
10. Philadelphia 76ers (56 points)
11. Utah Jazz (56 points)
12. Indiana Pacers (52 points)
13. Phoenix Suns (42 points)
14. Brooklyn Nets (36 points)
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (35 points)
16. Sacramento Kings (22 points)
17. Orlando Magic (20 points)
18. Washington Wizards (18 points)
19. Chicago Bulls (13 points)
20. New Orleans Pelicans (11 points)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (10 points)
22. San Antonio Spurs (3 points)
23. Memphis Grizzlies (2 points)
24. Portland Trail Blazers (-1 point)
25. Detroit Pistons (-3 points)
26. Charlotte Hornets (-8 points)
27. Cleveland Cavaliers (-10 points)
28. New York Knicks (-10 points)
29. Atlanta Hawks (-18 points)
30. Golden State Warriors (-25 points)
* 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.
Feature Image Credit: Getty Images