NBA Western Conference Week One Power Rankings: Pelicans Jump Five Spots After 4-0 Start

Oct 25, 2018, 1:00 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2018, 4:23 pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 19: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during a game ag...
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 19: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during a game against the Sacramento Kings at the Smoothie King Center on October 19, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first week of the NBA season is over but a lot of parody in the Western Conference so far. The Denver Nuggets start with a four game winning streak and the New Orleans Pelicans picked up where they left off in the playoffs last season.

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

1. Golden State Warriors

Week one record: 3-1

Wins: vs. Oklahoma City, at Utah, vs. Phoenix

Losses: at Denver

The Warriors had a very entertaining first week of the season. They had to overcome a deficit on the road against the Jazz, where Utah scored 81 points in the first half. They lost to the Denver Nuggets on the road as Nuggets center Juan Hernangomez blocked Damian Jones’ layup with two seconds left. Stephen Curry scored 30 points or more in three of the four games, posting a 30.5 scoring average. Kevin Durant chipped in 26.7 points per game, including a 38-point performance against the Jazz.

Previous ranking: 1

Next up: vs. Washington, at New York, at Brooklyn, at Chicago


2. Denver Nuggets

Week one record: 4-0

Wins: at LA Clippers, vs. Phoenix, vs. Golden State, vs. Sacramento

Nikola Jokic was sensational through the Nuggets 4-0 start. In their second game against Phoenix, he posted a triple-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the field. Jokic averaged 23.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game.

Previous ranking: 6

Next up: at LA Lakers, vs. New Orleans

3. New Orleans Pelicans

Week one record: 3-0

Wins: at Houston, vs. Sacramento, vs. LA Clippers

The Pelicans were simply dominant in their three wins to start the season as they won by 46 points combined. Anthony Davis averaged 30.3 points, 13 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 3.3 blocks and 2 steals per game. Nikola Mirotic has become a great wing man to Davis, averaging 28 points and 10.3 rebounds. He scored 30 points in Houston and 36 against Sacramento, while shooting 47 percent from three.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: vs. Brooklyn, vs. Utah, at Denver

4. Portland Trail Blazers

Week one record: 2-1

Wins: vs. LA Lakers, vs. San Antonio

Losses: vs. Washington (in overtime)

The Blazers spoiled the debut of LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers as Damian Lillard scored 28 points. That was Lillard’s lowest scoring performance of the week, ending with a 28.6 per game average. CJ McCollum pitched in 21 against the Lakers, 24 versus San Antonio but struggled against the Wizards with 13 points on 5-of-25 shooting from the field.

Previous ranking: 5

Next up: at Orlando, at Miami, at Indiana, at Houston


5. San Antonio Spurs

Week one record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Minnesota, at LA Lakers (in overtime)

Losses: at Portland

DeMar DeRozan started his first season in San Antonio by scoring 28 points against Minnesota and Portland. He finished week one with a 29.3 points per game average. The Spurs go as LaMarcus Aldridge goes. He scored 21 and 37 points in their wins and just 12 points in their loss to Portland.

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: vs. Indiana, vs. LA Lakers, vs. Dallas


6. Los Angeles Clippers

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Houston

Losses: vs. Denver, at New Orleans

Tobias Harris emerged as the No. 1 option for the Clippers, he led the team in scoring in all four games. He averaged 23 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Danilo Gallinari scored 21.5 points and pulled down 7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 43 percent from the three-point-line to help the Clippers to a 2-2 start.

Previous ranking: 11

Next up: at Houston, vs. Washington, at Oklahoma City


7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Week one record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Cleveland, vs. Indiana

Losses: at San Antonio, at Dallas

Jimmy Butler is still in Minnesota and it looks like they need him. He dropped 33 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field in their win over Cleveland. Karl Anthony-Towns struggled to start the season, he scored just 8 points against San Antonio and 12 points against Cleveland. He bounced back with a 31 point performance against the Dallas Mavericks. The Timberwolves lost by 8 points total in their two losses.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: at Toronto, vs. Milwaukee, vs. LA Lakers


8. Memphis Grizzlies

Week one record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Atlanta, at Utah

Losses: at Indiana

The Grizzlies are happy to have Mike Conley back in the lineup, he finished the first week with 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6 assists. Memphis won a big game on the road against the Utah Jazz in their third game. Their defense held Utah to 84 points. Marc Gasol posted 18 points and 13 rebounds, his best performance of the early season. Rookie forward Jaren Jackson Jr. finished his first week as an NBA player with an average of 15 points, 6.3 rebounds and a block per game.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: at Sacramento, vs. Phoenix, vs. Washington


9. Dallas Mavericks

Week one record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Minnesota, vs. Chicago

Losses: at Phoenix

Rookie guard Luka Doncic scored just 10 points in his NBA debut in Phoenix. He followed up with 26 points and 6 rebounds in his home debut over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Doncic averaged 18.3 points per game through the first week. DeAndre Jordan has made a significant impact to the Mavericks as he averaged 17 points, 16 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in the Mavericks win over the Timberwolves in their second game of the season.

Previous ranking: 13

Next up: at Atlanta, at Toronto, vs. Utah, at San Antonio


10. Utah Jazz

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: at Sacramento

Losses: vs. Golden State, vs. Memphis

As expected, the Jazz won on the road in Sacramento to start the season. They fell just short of beating the Golden State Warriors, they lost 124-123 at home. The Jazz scored 81 points in the first half of that game. Through the first three games, Donovan Mitchell averaged 19 points per game on 34 percent shooting, including just 27 percent from downtown. Rudy Gobert earned a double-double in all three games to go with his 15.3 points and 12.6 rebounds per game average. Joe Ingles scored 22 points in the season opener against Sacramento and 27 against the Warriors, including 7 three-pointers.

Previous ranking: 3

Next up: at Houston, at New Orleans, at Dallas


11. Houston Rockets

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: at LA Lakers

Losses: vs. New Orleans, at LA Clippers

The Rockets lost by 19 points at home in their opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. They beat the Los Angeles Lakers on the road but lost Chris Paul for two games after being suspended for the altercation with Lakers guard Rajon Rondo. That didn’t help the Rockets chances to beat the Clippers the following game. The reigning MVP James Harden finished week one averaging 28.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 9.6 assists.

Previous ranking: 2

Next up: vs. Utah, vs. LA Clippers, vs. Portland


12. Phoenix Suns

Week one record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Dallas

Losses: at Denver, at Golden State

No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton had a strong NBA debut against Dallas with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had his best game of the week in their loss to the Warriors, he finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Devin Booker continues to be the Suns leading scorer, he had 25 points or more in all three games to start the season. Booker averaged 29.3 points and 6.6 assists.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: vs. LA Lakers, at Memphis, at Oklahoma City


13. Los Angeles Lakers

Week one record: 0-3

Losses: at Portland, vs. Houston, vs. San Antonio

LeBron James is still looking for his first win as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He continues to post strong numbers as he averaged 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in his first week with the Lakers. The Lakers lost Rajon Rondo for three games and Brandon Ingram for four games following an altercation with the Houston Rockets in their second game. Kyle Kuzma stepped up scored 37 points in the Lakers overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Previous ranking: 7

Next up: at Phoenix, vs. Denver, at San Antonio, at Minnesota


14. Oklahoma City Thunder

Week one record: 0-3

Losses: at Golden State, at LA Clippers, vs. Sacramento

Russell Westbrook missed the first two games of the season but returned against the Kings and posted 32 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Paul George had to carry the load in Westbrook’s absence, he scored 27 points in the opener against Golden State and 20 on the road to the Clippers. The Thunder lost by a combined 35 points in their three games.

Previous ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Boston, vs. Phoenix, vs. LA Clippers


15. Sacramento Kings

Week one record: 1-3

Wins: at Oklahoma City

Losses: vs. Utah, at New Orleans, at Denver

The 1-3 start has the looks of another rebuilding year in Sacramento. They lost by 40 combined points in their three losses and beat the Thunder by 11 on the road. Second overall pick, Marvin Bagley III scored just six points in his debut versus Utah. He scored in double figures in the next three games including 20 against the Denver Nuggets.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: vs. Memphis, vs. Washington, at Miami, at Orlando

Western Conference Preseason Power Rankings

Eastern Conference Week One Power Rankings


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NBA Western Conference Week One Power Rankings: Pelicans Jump Five Spots After 4-0 Start