POWER RANKINGS

Bucks Overtake Raptors For Top Spot In Eastern Conference Power Rankings

Oct 31, 2018, 6:50 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2018, 7:56 pm
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Aron Bayne...
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Aron Baynes #46 of the Boston Celtics during the game between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on November 1, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A new team has taken the No. 1 spot in the NBA Eastern Conference power rankings. After grinding to a 15-point win over last week’s No. 1 team, the Toronto Raptors, the Milwaukee Bucks showed that as of now, they’re the team to beat in the East.

Rankings are based on results from Wednesday, October 24 to Tuesday, October 30.

1. Milwaukee Bucks (7-0)

Week two record: 4-0

Wins: vs. Philadelphia, at Minnesota, vs. Orlando, vs. Toronto

The brand new Fiserv Forum already feels like a dominant home court advantage for the Bucks, who have yet to lose at home this season. They’re scoring big numbers at home and away and defeated all four of their opponents this week by an average of 20.5 points. The Greek Freak is the real deal and Mike Budenholzer looks like a perfect fit at head coach.

Previous Ranking: 2

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

 

2. Toronto Raptors (7-1)

Week two record: 3-1

Wins: vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas, vs. Philadelphia

Losses: at Milwaukee

In a battle of the two top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks got the edge over the Raptors with a 124-109 win Monday night in Milwaukee. Despite that setback, the Raptors responded the next night with a 17-point win over the Sixers. Playing those two teams back-to-back is a tall task, and finishing 1-1 isn’t bad at all.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: at Phoenix, at LA Lakers, at Utah

 

3. Boston Celtics (5-2)

Week two record: 3-0

Wins: at Oklahoma City, at Detroit, vs. Detroit

After a disappointing home loss to Orlando last week, the Celtics have gotten their act together and are playing as well as any team in basketball while riding a perfect record last week. They’re so deep, especially in the starting lineup, that they have gotten wins with a different leading scorer each night.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Milwaukee, at Indiana, at Denver

 

4. Philadelphia 76ers (4-4)

Week two record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Charlotte, vs. Atlanta

Losses: at Milwaukee, at Toronto

The Sixers beat the teams they should beat in victories over the Hornets and Hawks, but lost in tough matchups against the Bucks and the Raptors. If they want to cement themselves as solid contenders in the Eastern Conference, they’ll have to win those types of games going forward.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next up: vs. LA Clippers, vs. Detroit, at Brooklyn

 

5. Detroit Pistons (4-2)

Week two record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Cleveland

Losses: vs. Boston, at Boston

There’s no shame in losing to Boston twice, the Celtics are really good. The question is, how good is Blake Griffin really? He put up 50 points in a win over the Sixers last week and then managed just seven in Detroit’s first loss to the Celtics this week. It’s quite concerning and for the Pistons to have any success this season, they’ll need to see more consistency from Griffin.

Previous ranking: 3

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

 

6. Charlotte Hornets (4-4)

Week two record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Chicago, vs. Miami

Losses: at Chicago, at Philadelphia

The Hornets were just a few baskets away from a perfect week in week two of the NBA season. They narrowly lost to Chicago by score of 112-110 before blowing the Bulls away at home just two nights later. The next night, they nearly knocked off Philadelphia in a two-point loss on the road. This team could easily be higher up the list.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Cleveland, vs. Atlanta

 

7. Indiana Pacers (4-3)

Week two record: 2-1

Wins: at San Antonio, at Cleveland

Losses: vs. Portland

The Pacers blew out the Spurs on the road on Wednesday in a 116-96 victory. It was a solid complete team victory as six Pacers, including four bench players, scored in double-figures. They also shot the ball well from the field, cashing in on 17 made 3-pointers.

Previous ranking: 6

Next up: at New York, at Chicago, vs. Boston, vs. Houston

 

8. Miami Heat (3-4)

Week two record: 2-2

Wins: vs. New York, vs. Portland

Losses: vs. Sacramento, at Charlotte

Miami started the week strong, with a blowout win over the Knicks, followed up by a hard-earned victory over Portland. Unfortunately, the Heat lost their momentum by running into the red-hot Sacramento Kings on Monday. Hopefully they’ll get back on track with a trip to Atlanta to face the hapless Hawks this week.

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: at Atlanta, at Detroit

 

9. Brooklyn Nets (2-5)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: at Cleveland

Losses: at New Orleans, vs. Golden State, at New York

After whooping Cleveland on the 24th, Brooklyn dropped three straight to the Pelicans, Knicks and Warriors. Playing into the Warriors’ game, they actually shot the 3-pointer often and with great effectiveness, shooting 20-for-42 in the six point loss.

Previous ranking: 11

Next up: vs. Detroit, vs. Houston, vs. Philadelphia, at Phoenix

 

 10. Orlando Magic (2-5)

Week two record: 0-3

Losses: vs. Portland, at Milwaukee, vs. Sacramento

After starting the season 2-2, Orlando showed their youthfulness in three straight losses. Granted, they were losses to good teams in Portland, Milwaukee and Sacramento, but they’re still losses all the same. In the loss to the Bucks, they shot a miserable 33-for-101.

Previous ranking: 7

Next up: vs. LA Clippers, at San Antonio, vs. Cleveland

 

11. New York Knicks (2-5)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Brooklyn

Losses: at Miami, vs. Golden State, vs. Indiana

Previous ranking: 13

This team remains in a holding pattern and will be until after Christmas when star big man Kristaps Porzingis returns to the hardwood. While their record isn’t good, they nearly beat Boston last week and put up 113 points in a loss to the Bucks as well. They also rolled over their crosstown rivals, the Nets, in a 19-point win on Monday.

Next up: vs. Indiana, at Dallas, at Washington, vs. Chicago

 

12. Chicago Bulls (2-5)

Week two record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Charlotte, at Atlanta

Losses: at Charlotte, vs. Golden State

The Bulls are much maligned with injuries but Zach LaVine has emerged as an elite scoring option. Unfortunately, the injuries to Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are too much to overcome for the time being.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: vs. Denver, vs. Indiana, vs. Houston, at New York

 

13. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-6)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Atlanta

Losses: vs. Brooklyn, at Detroit, vs. Indiana

It’s been another rough week for the Cavaliers. Head coach Tyronn Lue was given the boot and interim head coach Larry Drew insisted that he had the full-time gig. The front office has denied Drew’s claim to the top coaching gig, so it’s hard to say what’s going on here. Oh, did we mention that Kevin Love, far and away the team’s best player, is going to miss a month with a toe injury.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: vs. Denver, at Charlotte, at Orlando

 

14. Washington Wizards (1-6)

Results: 0-4

Losses: at Golden State, at Sacramento, at LA Clippers, at Memphis

After gutting out their first win of the season over the Trail Blazers last week, the Wizars had a week to forget this week, going 0-4 on the road. Their worst showing was a 136-104 blowout loss to the Clippers in which the Wizards shot a miserable 18.5 percent from beyond the arc. It might be time to commit to a total rebuild in the capital.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. New York, at Dallas

 

15. Atlanta Hawks (2-5)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Dallas

Losses: vs. Chicago, at Philadelphia, at Cleveland

After managing to sneak in a couple wins early in the year, this team is right back where KSL Sports thought they would be at the beginning of the season. Losers of three straight, including a 22-point loss to miserable Cleveland insures that the Hawks are right where they belong, in the Eastern Conference cellar.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: vs. Sacramento, vs. Miami, at Charlotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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