MFFL Playoff Watch: Western Conference Power Rankings – Week 4 (11/07-11/13)

The Mavericks finally had a winning week, their first since week 1 of the 2018-2019 season.  They also had a win against the team that made the biggest jump in the Power Rankings this week, the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Nobody is running away with the Southwest Division and there really has yet to even be many divisional match-ups.  It is a very evenly matched group of teams and the head-to-head match-ups are going to be incredibly important this season.  We have already dropped 1 game in San Antonio and we have our next division match-up this week in Memphis where they are 5-1 to start the season.

2.5 games back in the division and 2.5 games back from the 8th seed, the Mavericks just need to keep trying to improve their chemistry each game and fight their way back up the standings.

Southwest Division Standings
Team Wins Losses Win % GB
San Antonio 7 5 0.583
Memphis 7 5 0.583
New Orleans 7 6 0.538 0.5
Houston 6 7 0.462 1.5
Dallas 5 8 0.385 2.5

 

Western Conference W L W% GB
Golden State Warriors (1) 12 3 0.800
Portland Trail Blazers (2) 10 3 0.769 1
Denver Nuggets (3) 9 5 0.643 2.5
Oklahoma City Thunder (4) 8 5 0.615 3
Los Angeles Clippers (4) 8 5 0.615 3
Memphis Grizzlies (6) 7 5 0.583 3.5
San Antonio Spurs (6) 7 5 0.583 3.5
Sacramento Kings (8) 8 6 0.571 3.5
New Orleans Pelicans (9) 7 6 0.538 4
Utah Jazz (9) 7 6 0.538 4
Los Angeles Lakers (9) 7 6 0.538 4
Houston Rockets (12) 6 7 0.462 5
Dallas Mavericks (13) 5 8 0.385 6
Minnesota Timberwolves (14) 5 9 0.357 6.5
Phoenix Suns (15) 2 11 0.154 9

Western Conference Power Rankings:

Biggest Gainer:  Oklahoma City ↑5.

Biggest Losers:  Houston ↓5

  1. Golden State Warriors (12-3 overall, 1st in West) (2-2 this week) – Steph Curry Went down with a leg injury, they lost to the Bucks and the Clippers, and now there is drama between Durant and Draymond surrounding KD’s impending free agency. Even with all of this, the Warriors get to hang on to their top spot in the West but if their stumble continues as they travel through Texas this week, they may find themselves looking up in the standings by next week. Next Week: @HOU, @DAL, @SAS.
  2. Portland Trailblazers (10-3, 2nd) (3-1 this week) ↑1 – The Blazers just finished up a 6-game home stand in which it went 5-1, beating MIL, LAC, and BOS within that stretch. Just 1 game back from Golden State in the Western Conference Standings, the Blazers are not only winning, they are winning big, with a point differential of +9.7 ppg.  They now embark on a 6-game road trip that will include @MIL and @GSW, but as for this coming week, 3 out of 4 of the teams are sub .500. Next Week: @LAL, @MIN, @WAS, @NYK.
  3. LA Clippers (8-5, T-4th) (2-1 this week) ↑2 – The Clippers had a brutal stretch of games this week playing 3 of the NBA’s 4 best teams) and still managed to come out of it with a winning week. In fact, they have yet to have a losing week all season. They lost in Portland to start the week then finished with overtime wins against the Bucks and Warriors. The Clippers have moved all the way up to the 4 seed in the West, just 1 game back of the Denver Nuggets. Next week: SAS, @BKN, @ATL, @WAS
  4. OKC Thunder (8-5, T-4th) (3-1 this week) ↑5 – Paul George and the Thunder had the league’s longest winning stream heading into Dallas Saturday night and were handed a 15-point loss by the Mavs. Still, OKC has not really skipped a beat after losing Westbrook to an ankle injury. Dennis Schroder has orchestrated the offense well, but it is really the defensive side of the floor where OKC excels.  They are dead last in the league in 3-point percentage and 22nd in overall field goal percentage but they are first in steals and 3rd in Defensive Rating. A pretty easy week upcoming should keep the Thunder rolling. Next Week: NYK, @PHO, @SAC.
  5. Denver Nuggets (9-5, 3rd) (0-4 this week) ↓3 – The Nuggets came down to earth in a big way this week, losing all 4 of their games, 3 of which were at home. They had some tough opponents in Memphis, Milwaukee, and Houston, but the home loss to Brooklyn with Jokic putting up a monster 37 points and 21 rebounds is the head scratcher. If they lose at home on Thursday to Atlanta then we will know this is not an elite team in the West.  Next Week: ATL, @NOP, @MIL.
  6. Memphis Grizzlies (7-5, T-6th) (2-1 this week) – Grizzlies fans should be happy about this 2-1 week being that they had some tough opponents. Beating Denver and Philly are really good wins, then they lost to the Jazz by 8. They are 1st in the league in opponents points per game (defense) and 29th in points per game (offense), and last in the league in pace (Grit N’ Grind).  They play a lot of close games and as you could imagine, they tend to win those at home (5-1) and lose them on the road (2-4).  Next Week: @MIL, SAC, @MIN, DAL.
  7. San Antonio (7-5, T-6th) (1-2 this week) ↓3 – The Spurs have now lost 3 out of their last 4, including a home loss to Orlando, and road losses in Miami and Sacramento. They are 7-2 against the Western Conference but a regrettable 0-3 against the Eastern Conference so far this year.  With these blemishes on their resume they have lost their lead in the Southwest Division standings and share the top spot with Memphis.  DeRozan is still tearing it up, averaging 25 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists per game.  Next Week: @PHO, @LAC, GSW, @NOP.
  8. Sacramento Kings (8-6, 8th) (2-2 this week) – I will admit I have not yet watched the Kings play but I am now starting to think that has been a mistake. They are second in the league in pace and they knock down threes at the third highest percentage at 38.7%. They are super-efficient offensively, not at all what I had expected from them this season with all of their young guys.  De’Aaron Fox is averaging 18.7 points, 7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game with unbelievable speed that is igniting the Kings offense.  They play a lot of different guys and just keep running.  The return of 2nd year shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic should only add more ammo to an already potent offense.  Next week: @MEM, @HOU, OKC.
  9. Los Angeles Lakers (7-6, T-9th) (3-0 this week) ↑1 – Winners of 5 of the last 6, LeBron has the Lakers moving in the right direction. The addition of Tyson Chandler was great for the Lakers, although JaVale McGee is really having a good year, he was the only experienced big man on the roster.  They will look to stay above .500 this week which includes a return to Miami for LeBron James.  Next week: POR, @ORL, @MIA.
  10. Utah Jazz (7-6, T-9th) (3-0 this week) ↑1 – A team of runs, they won 3 in a row, then lost 4 in a row, and now put together another 3-game winning streak. Rudy Gobert, the Stifle Tower, has been the model of consistency.  He has pulled down at least 10 boards and recorded at least 1 block in every single game this season, and scored at least 10 points in every single game except just one (he scored 9). He also makes up one of the most deadly pick-and-roll tandems in the league with Joe Ingles.  They will look to stay hot but have a full load of games this week.  Next Week: @DAL, @PHI, @BOS, @IND.
  11. New Orleans Pelicans (7-6, T9th) (3-0 this week) ↑1 – The Pellys won their first 4 games this season then lost 6 straight, then won their next 3. Mirotic, Holiday, and Randle have really stepped up alongside Anthony Davis to make New Orleans a very dangerous team.  At 20 points, 9 assists, and almost 5 boards, Jrue Holiday is making an early case for the All-Star game.  As is Nikola Mirotic who is off to a 21 point 12 rebound per game start.  They have been really good on offense but are terrible defensively, which is a surprise with guys like Davis and Holiday on the team.  They are 6th in offensive rating but 26th in defensive rating. Next Week: @MIN, NYK, DEN, SAS.
  12. Houston Rockets (6-7, 12th) (2-2 this week) ↓5 – The Rockets are 28th in pace and 24th in the league in offensive rating, a category which they dominated last season. They were blown out in Oklahoma City, and lost a close one in San Antonio where the Rockets only scored 18 points in the 4th  Nothing about the Rockets this year is as exciting or as efficient as it was last year. Now there are reports that the Melo experiment has been dubbed a failure and he will take on a much-reduced role going forward. They really saved their week from being a complete disaster by beating the Nuggets in Denver Tuesday night. Next Week: GS, SAC
  13. Dallas Mavericks (5-8, 13th) (2-1 this week) – Winners of 3 of their last 4 the Mavs are finally starting to gain some momentum. It is going to be very hard to keep that going with the next 3 being against Utah, who has already beat us twice, Golden State, who is Golden State, and at Memphis where they are 5-1 so far this season. A few wins and everyone may start feeling different about this team, a few losses and they will bury themselves even farther in the standings. Next Week: UTA, GSW, @MEM
  14. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-9, 14th) (1-2 this week) – The Jimmy Butler saga is over and all he left the Timberwolves was a 5-game losing streak that they finally broke the first game without him on the roster (it was against the Nets…). Dario Saric and Robert Covington actually appear to be really good compliments to Towns and Wiggins. With all of the turmoil over we will see if the Wolves can move on and move up, but it probably won’t happen this week with a very difficult schedule upcoming. Next week: NOP, POR, MEM.
  15. Phoenix Suns (2-8, 15th) (0-3 this week) – By far the worst team in the conference with a league high 11 losses already, with an average margin of loss of -13.5 points per game. They are dead last in offensive rating and 27th in defensive rating.  Tyson Chandler found his way out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see fellow veteran Trevor Ariza as the next trade/buyout candidate.  Another long season ahead for Suns fans (they exist, right?)  Next week: SAS, OKC, @PH

 

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