NBA Eastern Conference Week One Power Rankings: Toronto Leaps To Top Spot With Undefeated Start

Oct 25, 2018, 11:53 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2018, 3:14 pm
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball as Tristan Thompso...
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball as Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends during the second half of the NBA season opener at Scotiabank Arena on October 17, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA season has one week in the books. Kawhi Leonard made his debut with Toronto. Meanwhile, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokonmpo eyes the MVP award.

Here is the week one Power Rankings from October 16 to October 23 in the Eastern Conference according to KSL Sports:

1. Toronto Raptors

Week one record: 4-0

Wins: vs. Cleveland, vs. Boston, at Washington, vs. Charlotte

The Kawhi Leonard era started off strong, compiling four wins. Leonard averaged 25.6 points per game in the three games he played during week one. Kyle Lowry scored 21.5 points per game and has created a nice tandem with Leonard. They will be tested in week two, traveling to Milwaukee and hosting Philadelphia.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas, at Milwaukee, vs. Philadelphia

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Week one record: 3-0

Wins: at Charlotte, vs. Indiana, vs. New York

Giannis Antetokonmpo is making a case for MVP early in the season. He scored 27.3 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and dished out 5.6 assists per game in the fast 3-0 start for the Bucks. The starting lineup is clicking, all five scored in double figures in two of the three games. Milwaukee won by 29 points combined in the three wins.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Philadelphia, at Minnesota, vs. Orlando, vs. Toronto

3. Detroit Pistons

Week one record: 3-0

Wins: vs. Brooklyn, at Chicago, vs. Philadelphia (in overtime)

The third game of the season was an instant classic as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime, 133-132. Blake Griffin scored a career high 50 points in the win, including the go-ahead free throw with 1.8 seconds left. During the three game winning streak, Griffin averaged 36.3 points per game.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: vs. Cleveland, vs. Boston, at Boston

4. Boston Celtics

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Philadelphia, at New York

Losses: at Toronto, vs. Orlando

Not the ideal start that Celtics fans were hoping for. The home loss to Orlando stands out as a game that maybe Boston shouldn’t have lost. Sophomore forward Jayson Tatum is making a case as the go-to scorer on the team as he averaged 17.5 points per game in week one. Kyrie Irving has improved in every game since he scored just 7 points in the season opener against the Sixers. Gordon Hayward was shaking the rust off, he averaged only 11.6 points per game in three games.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: at Oklahoma City, at Detroit, vs. Detroit


5. Philadelphia 76ers

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Chicago, vs. Orlando

Losses: at Boston and at Detroit (in overtime)

Like the Celtics, not the start that the Sixers were hoping for. Despite the 2-2 start, Joel Embiid was fantastic in the first four games, averaged 29.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. The reigning Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons already logged a triple-double in the second game of the season. He contributed 12 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game. He played 8 minutes in the win over Orlando and missed the following game against Detroit due to injury.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: at Milwaukee, vs. Charlotte, vs. Atlanta, at Toronto


6. Indiana Pacers

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Memphis, vs. Brooklyn

Losses: at Milwaukee, at Minnesota

Victor Oladipo picked up where he left off from last season as he led the team in scoring three out of the four games. He averaged 21.5 points per game in those games. The Pacers haven’t played a close contest yet. They won by a combined 48 points in their two wins and lost by 27 combined points.

Previous ranking: 5

Next up: at San Antonio, at Cleveland, vs. Portland


7. Orlando Magic

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Miami, at Boston

Losses: vs. Charlotte, at Philadelphia

The Magic picked up an impressive win on the road against the Boston Celtics. Through three games, Nikola Vucevic led the way with 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, he posted a triple-double in their one point loss to Philadelphia. Aaron Gordon added 16 points and 10.2 rebounds through the first four games.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: vs. Portland, at Milwaukee, vs. Sacramento


8. Charlotte Hornets

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: at Orlando, at Miami

Losses: vs. Milwaukee, at Toronto

Kemba Walker scored 41 points in their season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks and has led the team in scoring ever since. He averaged 33 points per game, including 48 percent shooting from the field. Walker scored 26 points or more in all four games.

Previous ranking: 11

Next up: at Chicago, vs. Chicago, at Philadelphia, vs. Miami


9. Miami Heat

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: at Washington

Losses: at Orlando, vs. Charlotte

All three games were nail-biters, as all were decided by three points or less. Dwyane Wade looked like he has some gas left in the tank when he scored 21 points against Charlotte. He is playing his last season of his career. The Heat are looking for their consistent scorer as all three games have had a different leading scorer.

Previous ranking: 7

Next up: vs. New York, vs. Portland, vs. Sacramento, at Charlotte


10. Washington Wizards

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: at Portland (in overtime)

Losses: vs. Miami, vs. Toronto

Almost identical to the Heat, the Wizards have lost by five points in their two losses combined and won by one in overtime at Portland. John Wall continued to lead the team as he scored 20 points or more in two of the three games. His backcourt teammate, Bradley Beal scored 20 points or more in every game. He dropped 32 points in their four point loss to Toronto. Dwight Howard has yet to make his Wizards debut as he is out due to injury.

Previous ranking: 6

Next up: at Golden State, at Sacramento, at LA Clippers, at Memphis


11. Brooklyn Nets

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: vs. New York

Losses: at Detroit, at Indiana

The Nets might have found their next star player in Caris LeVert. He scored 27 and 28 points respectively in their first two games of the season in their loss to Detroit and the win against New York. The third year pro averaged 24 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists during the first week of the season.

Previous ranking: 13

Next up: at Cleveland, at New Orleans, vs. Golden State, at New York


12. Atlanta Hawks

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: at Cleveland

Losses: at New York, at Memphis

So far, the Trae Young experiment has been positive. The rookie scored 35 points and added 11 assists in their 22 point win over Cleveland. He scored 23 points per game through week one to go with 8.3 assists. Third year veteran Taurean Prince had a great week as he scored 21 points per game.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: vs. Dallas, vs. Chicago, at Philadelphia, at Cleveland


13. New York Knicks

Week one record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Atlanta

Losses: at Brooklyn, vs. Boston, at Milwaukee

The 1-3 start is expected for the Knicks since they are without star big man Kristaps Porzingis. Tim Hardaway Jr. tried to fill the void by scoring 31 points in their season opening win over Atlanta. Hardaway scored 24 points or more in all four games as he averaged 27 points per game. After the win against the Hawks, the Knicks have lost by 15 combined points, including two losses by two points each.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: at Miami, vs. Golden State, vs. Brooklyn


14. Chicago Bulls

Week one record: 0-3

Losses: at Philadelphia, vs. Detroit, at Dallas

Without Lauri Markkanen, the 0-3 start isn’t surprising. Zach LaVine has been spectacular to start the season, he scored 30 points or more in all three games. He averaged an impressive 32.3 points per game. Jabari Parker scored 15 points in his Bulls debut followed up by a 20 point performance against the Dallas Mavericks.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: vs. Charlotte, at Charlotte, at Atlanta, vs. Golden State


15. Cleveland Cavaliers

Week one record: 0-3

Losses: at Toronto, at Minnesota, vs. Atlanta

LeBron James is missed dearly in Cleveland as the Cavaliers have lost by 42 points combined in just three games. Kevin Love scored 20.6 points and pulled down 14.3 rebounds per game. Rookie Collin Sexton scored 9 points per game on just 37 percent shooting from the field in his first three games.

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: vs. Brooklyn, at Detroit, vs. Indiana, vs. Atlanta

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