SPORTS

Raptors Prove Their Stuff With Perfect Week Of NBA Action

Nov 6, 2018, 1:51 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2018, 2:23 pm
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors...
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors drives on Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 121-107 Raptors win at Staples Center on November 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Toronto Raptors flexed their muscles with a perfect week and reclaimed the top spot in KSL Sports’ NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings.

Rankings are based on results from Wednesday, October 31 to Tuesday, November 6.

1. Toronto Raptors (10-1)

Week two record: 3-0

Wins: at Phoenix, at LA Lakers, at Utah

Losses: None

The Raptors showed that they belong in the top spot in the Eastern Conference after winning all three of their game this week, on the road, no less. Granted one of their wins was over the abysmal Suns, but wins over LeBron’s Lakers and Rudy Gobert’s Jazz are quality victories.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: at Sacramento, vs. New York, vs. New Orleans


2. Milwaukee Bucks (8-2)

Week two record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Sacramento

Losses: at Boston, at Portland

The Bucks brought the Kings back to earth with a 144-109 demolition. That was the highlight of a week that was sandwiched between losses to playoff teams in Boston and Portland on the road. Still, the Bucks showed that Milwaukee is a place to be feared as they remained unbeaten at home.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: at Golden State, at LA Clippers


3. Philadelphia 76ers (6-5)

Week two record: 2-1

Wins: vs. LA Clippers, vs. Detroit

Losses: at Brooklyn

Every good team loses some bad games every once in while. The 76ers’ loss to Brooklyn on the 4th was one of those games. In a 122-97 defeat on the road, the Boys from Broad Street shot just 20 percent from beyond the arc. Consider it a one 0ff.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: at Indiana, vs. Charlotte, at Memphis, at Miami


4. Boston Celtics (6-4)

Week two record: 1-2

Wins: at Milwaukee

Losses: at Indiana, at Denver

The Celtics got an awesome win over the Bucks on the first, but then departed for a tough four-game road trip that started with losses to Indiana and Denver. Pencil in a win over the Suns on Thursday. Gordon Hayward should have an interesting night when Boston visits Utah on Friday.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: at Phoenix, at Utah


5. Indiana Pacers (7-4)

Week two record: 3-1

Wins: at New York, at Chicago, vs. Boston

Losses: vs. Houston

If the Raptors, Bucks, 76ers and Celtics make up the top tier in the East, consider the Pacers the class of the second tier. They narrowly missed going 4-0 for the week in a narrow 98-94 loss to Houston.

Previous ranking: 7

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


6. Charlotte Hornets (6-5)

Week two record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Cleveland, vs. Atlanta

Losses: vs. Oklahoma City

Charlotte benefited from playing the two cellar dwellers of the East, Cleveland and Atlanta back to back. The Hornets blew them both away, by 32 points against the Cavs and then by 11 against the Hawks. If only every game was this easy.

Previous ranking: 6

Next up: at Philadelphia, at Detroit, at Cleveland


7. Brooklyn Nets (5-6)

Week two record: 3-1

Wins: vs. Detroit, at Philadelphia, at Phoenix

Losses: vs. Houston

Like the Pacers, the Hornets would have gone 4-0 for the week had it not been for a close loss to the Rockets. Oh well. The win against the 76ers could end up being a marquee victory for the season. They have a tough three-game western road trip coming up.

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: at Denver, at Golden State, at Minnesota


8. Miami Heat (4-5)

Week two record: 1-1

Wins: at Detroit

Losses: at Atlanta

At the end of season, when the Heat are knees-deep in a tight playoff race, they’re going to really lament their close loss to Atlanta on the road. Maybe they got distracted by the cool courtside bar at State Farm Arena. Tough games against San Antonio and Indiana are the horizon for the Heat.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: at San Antonio, vs. Indiana, vs. Washington


9.
Detroit Pistons (4-5)

Week two record: 0-3

Wins: None

Losses: at Brooklyn, at Philadelphia, vs.Miami

The Pistons took a considerable dive in the rankings this week after a winless week that extends their losing streak to five. It’s been a tough stretch in their schedule, but Blake Griffin and the boys have to find wins against Miami and Brooklyn if they want to make the playoffs.

Previous ranking: 5

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


10.
Orlando Magic (4-6)

Week two record: 2-1

Wins: at Spurs, vs. Cleveland

Losses: vs. LA Clippers

Truth be told, the Magic should have gotten more credit for a gritty road win over the Spurs. They followed it up by nearly losing at home to the hapless Cavs, but a win is a win. It was a toss-up between the Magic and the Pistons for the No. 9 spot. They meet this week, winner passes the other in the rankings.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: vs. Detroit, vs. Washington, at New York


11. Chicago Bulls (3-8)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: at New York

Losses: vs. Denver, vs. Indiana, vs. Houston

Chicago had a tough week with three home losses, including a one-point loss to Denver and a two-point loss to Indiana. Fortunately they salvaged their spot in the power rankings thanks to a win over New York. The Eastern Conference has a few bad teams, and Chicago might be the best of the bad teams at this point.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: at New Orleans, vs. Cleveland


12. New York Knicks (3-8)

Week two record: 1-3

Wins: at Dallas

Losses: at Washington, vs. Chicago

Again, it’s hard to say where this team deserves to be without superstar Kristaps Porzingis. They’re certainly not good, yet only lost to Chicago by a single point on Thursday. Time will tell if they have string it together once Porzingis returns around Christmas time.

Previous ranking: 11

Next up: at Atlanta, at Toronto, vs. Orlando


13. Washington Wizards (2-8)

Week three record: 1-2

Wins: vs. New York

Losses: vs. Oklahoma City, at Dallas

This team continues to be wildly disappointing, yet somehow the Wizards managed to squeak out a win over the Knicks while shooting just 23 percent from beyond the arc, something that shouldn’t be possible in the modern NBA. It’s only a matter of time before drastic steps are taken, roster-wise.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: at Orlando, at Miami, vs. Cleveland

 

14. Atlanta Hawks (3-7)

Week three record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Miami

Losses: vs. Sacramento, at Charlotte

As written above for Miami, the Heat should be mortified that they lost to the Hawks on Tuesday, especially when Trae Young went 9-for-19 including 2-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: vs. New York, at LA Lakers, at Golden State

 

15. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-9)

Week two record: 0-3

Wins: None

Losses: vs. Denver, at Charlotte, at Orlando

No wins. No LeBron. No head coach. What good can be said about Cleveland right now? Well, at least they’re the front runners in the Zion Williamson sweepstakes right now.

Previous ranking: 13

Next up: vs. Oklahoma City, at Chicago, vs. Charlotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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