MFFL Playoff Watch: Western Conference Power Rankings – Week 3 (10/31-11/06)

This has been an absolutely terrible start to the season for the Mavericks, but we still have time on our side.  Sitting at 3-7, the Mavs are just 2 games back of the 8-seed.  That means we have to make up 2.5 games over the next 72.  Call me optimistic, but I think they can do it.  I guess that’s why they call me a MFFL.

Southwest Division Standings Wins Losses Win % GB Streak
San Antonio 6 3 .667 L1
Memphis 5 4 .556 1 L2
Houston 4 5 .444 2 W3
New Orleans 4 6 .400 2.5 L6
Dallas 3 7 .300 3.5 W1

 

Western Conference Standings Wins Losses W% GB
Golden State Warriors (1) 10 1 0.909
Denver Nuggets (2) 9 1 0.900 0.5
Portland Trail Blazers (3) 8 3 0.727 2
San Antonio Spurs (4) 6 3 0.667 3
Sacramento Kings (5) 6 4 0.600 3.5
Los Angeles Clippers (5) 6 4 0.600 3.5
Oklahoma City Thunder (7) 5 4 0.556 4
Memphis Grizzlies (7) 5 4 0.556 4
Houston Rockets (9) 4 5 0.444 5
New Orleans Pelicans (10) 4 6 0.400 5.5
Los Angeles Lakers (10) 4 6 0.400 5.5
Utah Jazz (10) 4 6 0.400 5.5
Minnesota Timberwolves (13) 4 7 0.364 6
Dallas Mavericks (14) 3 7 0.300 6.5
Phoenix Suns (15) 2 8 0.200 7.5

Western Conference Power Rankings:

Biggest Gainer:  Houston ↑7.

Biggest Losers:  Utah ↓7, Pelicans ↓6.

  1. Golden State Warriors (10-1 overall, 1st in West) (3-0 this week) – If I could put the Warriors any higher, I would. Another perfect week, 8 in a row now, winning all of their games this week by at least 10 ppg.  Steph Curry has placed his name in the hat for MVP this season.  In the 2015-2016, when Curry was named unanimous MVP, he had averages of 30.1 ppg, 6.7 apg, 5.4 rpg, 5.1 3s with a 3P% of 45%.  This seasons numbers are almost identical, 31.3 ppg, 6.1 apg, 5.4 rpg, 5.6 3s with a 3P% of 50%. Next Week: MIL, BKN, @LAC.
  2. Denver Nuggets (9-1, 2nd) (4-0 this week) – Denver continues to impress. They took care of business on the road against two eastern conference bottom dwellers, then had two impressive wins at home against the Jazz where Jokic had 16 assists, and the Celtics where Jamal Murray went off for 48 points.  Where Denver really stands out is their defense, giving up “only” 102 ppg, second in the West.  They take on the top defensive team in the West Wednesday when they travel to Memphis.  Next Week: @MEM, BKN, MIL, HOU.
  3. Portland Trailblazers (8-3, 3rd) (3-1 this week) – With 4 home games this week the Blazers beat the Pelicans, a team that swept them out of the playoffs last season, lost a close one to the Lakers, blew out the Timberwolves, then CJ McCollum went off for 40 against the 8-1 Bucks as a home underdog Tuesday night. Lillard and McCollum look extra focused, even after his 40 point performance Tuesday, CJ would not even crack a smile in the postgame interview.  Look for Portland to keep it rolling.  Next Week: LAC, BOS.
  4. San Antonio (6-3, 4th) (2-1 this week) ↑1 – Over the past two decades the Spurs have been the model of consistency. They have made the playoffs every season since 1997 when Greg Popovich took over, that is 21 straight seasons, longer than Luka Doncic has been alive.  This season is no different, the Spurs have been 2-1 in each of the first 3 weeks placing them 1st in the Southwest and a solid 4 seed in the West. Next Week: @MIA, HOU, @SAC.
  5. LA Clippers (6-4, T-5th) (2-1 this week) ↑3 – The Clippers are deep, well rounded, and well coached. They are 6th in offensive rating and 10th in defensive rating. They shoot 3rd best in the league from 3 (40%) and 3rd best in FT% (83%). No easy wins when you go up against the Clippers this year, their 6.4 point differential is 4th in the West.  Next week: @POR, MIL, GS.
  6. Memphis Grizzlies (5-4, T-7th) (1-2 this week) ↑1 – They are 3-0 at home and 2-4 on the road. They had a good win in Utah this week but then lost both ends of a back-to-back that included the 1st (Warriors) and last (Suns) ranked team in these Power Rankings.  Next Week: DEN, PHI, UTA.
  7. Houston Rockets (4-5, 9th) (3-0 this week) ↑7 – I guess all the Rockets needed was a row of eastern conference teams to get things on track (BKN, CHI, IND). Well, it probably helped to get the reigning MVP back to.  I am not 100% buying it yet though, as in two of their 3 wins this week they did not even score 100, not quite the Rockets who won the West last year.  @SA and @DEN this week should let us know if they are really back.  Next Week: @OKC, @SA, IND, @DEN.
  8. Sacramento Kings (5-3, T-5th) (1-1 this week) ↑1 – The Kings played only two games this week. They beat up on Atlanta by 31 then turned around and lost by 35 in Milwaukee. Last year’s 5th overall pick, De’Aaron Fox, made sure nobody forgot about him by posting a gaudy stat line in Atlanta of 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists!  The Kings have been stacking young talent for years but there is no way the playoff turnaround is happening already.  If they have a winning record on this coming week’s games I may have to reconsider.  Next week: TOR, MIN, LAL, SA.
  9. OKC Thunder (5-4, T-7th) (2-1 this week) ↑2 – OKC opened the season 0-4 then rebounded to win their next 5 to have the second longest win streak in the NBA. The Thunder would have jumped higher in this week’s rankings had Westbrook not injured his ankle at the end of Mondays game against the Pelicans, reports say he is likely to miss some time.  Next Week: @CLE, HOU, @DAL, PHO.
  10. Los Angeles Lakers (4-6, T-10th) (2-1 this week) ↑2 – Apparently Magic Johnson is angry with Luke Walton after the Lakers 4-6 start, but it may not be as bad as he thinks. They really have no size outside of JaVale McGee so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise they rank in the bottom 4 in points allowed. They have wins against 2 of the top 3 teams in this ranking and had not lost a game by 10 points all year until they lost to the Kawhi-less Raptors by 14 on Sunday.  By this time next week we may be looking at a Lakers team with a winning record.  Next week: MIN, @SAC, ATL.
  11. Utah Jazz (4-6, T-10th) (0-4 this week) ↓7 – The Jazz made a big jump in the week 2 Power Rankings only to give up all that ground in week 3. They had a tough schedule and were without Donovan Mitchell for two of the 4 contests but 0-4 is 0-4. Without Mitchell Utah just does not have the firepower to score consistently.  Mavs fans would be happy to see the Jazz without Mitchell on Wednesday in Utah. Next Week: DAL, BOS, @MEM.
  12. New Orleans Pelicans (4-6, T-10th) (0-4 this week) ↓6 – The Pellys won their first 4 games this season then lost 6 straight. Anthony Davis has not led his team in points, rebound, or assists in any of those 6 consecutive losses.  Davis already seems sick of being in New Orleans this season by stating to the media that he has “got to play almost perfect every night to give [the Pelicans] a chance to win.”  Next Week: CHI, PHO, @TOR.
  13. Dallas Mavericks (3-7, 14th) (1-2 this week) ↓3 – This has seemed like a very long week for the Mavericks. Hoping for a rebound week, the Mavs started the week by giving away the Lakers game with 2 seconds left, wasting what could have been a defining moment in young Luka’s career after scoring 13 in the 4th against his idol, Lebron James (thanks, Wes).  Then we were an absolute no-show at home on Friday against the Knicks where we let an undrafted rookie, Allonzo Trier, dominate the 4th quarter in our own building.  Finally it all cam together Tuesday night at home against the reeling Washington Wizards in a 19 point vistory, but one win against the lowly Wizards does not yet get the Mavericks out of the cellar.  Next Week: @UTA, OKC, @CHI.
  14. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-7, 13th) (1-3 this week) ↓1 – Last week I thought Jimmy Butler was done playing for the Wolves until he was traded. I was wrong, but maybe Wolves fans wish that was true as you can see Jimmy waiving his towel with Warrior fans in the midst of a Golden State run in their 17 point loss in GS  Next week: @LAL, @SAC, BKN.
  15. Phoenix Suns (2-8, 15th) (1-3 this week) – The Suns had a tough home stretch this week against SA, TOR, MEM, and BKN. The 2-point win against Memphis was impressive but they are the only team in the Western Conference with 8 losses. Next week: BOS, @NOP, @OKC.

 

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