POWER RANKINGS

Western Conference Week Five Power Rankings: Portland Takes Over Top Spot

Nov 21, 2018, 7:23 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2018, 6:30 pm
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers and Evan Turner #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers ce...
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers and Evan Turner #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrate after a play during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on November 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –The Utah Jazz suffered an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Mavericks and as such slipped four spots in the Western Conference Power Rankings.

After showing their bite all season, Portland replaced Golden State at the top of the rankings.

Here are the KSL Sports NBA Western Conference Power Rankings for the fifth week of the season from games played from November 14-20.

1. Portland Trail Blazers (12-5)

Week five record: 2-2

Wins: at Washington, at New York

Losses: at Los Angeles Lakers, at Minnesota

The Trail Blazers take over the top spot in the Western Conference Power Rankings after showing the most consistency in the west to start the season. Granted they did benefit from playing the Wizards and Knicks this week, but still they stand with the best record in the West so far.

Previous ranking: 2

Next up: at Milwaukee, vs. LA Clippers

2. Golden State Warriors (12-6)

Week five record: 0-3

Wins: none

Losses: at Houston, at Dallas, at San Antonio

There’s trouble in basketball paradise as reports of locker room drama surround the Warriors. With three losses this week, the unrest is manifesting itself on the floor as well. Still, on paper they’re clearly the best team in the NBA and they’ll show up united and determined when it counts. Probably.

Previous ranking: 1

Next up: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. San Antonio, vs. Orlando

3. Los Angeles Clippers (11-6)

Week five record: 3-1

Wins: vs. San Antonio, at Brooklyn, at Atlanta

Losses: at Washington

The Clippers had a wild three games during the fourth week of the season as they started out with an 11-point loss in Portland. The next two games both went into overtime against two really good teams in the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors. They won by seven combined points. During that stretch, the Clippers had three different leading scorers with Danilo Gallinari scoring 20 against Portland, Montrezl Harrell with 26 versus Milwaukee and Lou Williams had 25 points over the Warriors.

Previous ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Memphis, at Portland

4. Memphis Grizzlies (11-5)

Week five record: 4-0

Wins: at Milwaukee, vs. Sacramento, at Minnesota, vs. Dallas

Losses: none

The Grizzlies continue to surprise as they had a perfect week with quality wins over the Bucks, Kings and Timberwolves. In the win over Milwaukee, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley combined for 55 points and overcame a 31-point performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Tuesday’s contest against the Raptors will reveal a lot about this team.

Previous ranking: 7

Next up: at San Antonio, at LA Clippers, vs. New York, vs. Toronto

5. Denver Nuggets (10-7)

Week five record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Atlanta

Losses: at New Orleans, at Milwaukee

The Nuggets did what they should do and absolutely drummed the Hawks 138-93 last Thursday. Denver had seven players finish in double figures in the big win. However, if they want to remain among the top teams in the West, they’ll need to figure out how to get past the Pelicans and the Bucks, who both beat the Nuggets this week.

Previous ranking: 3

Next up: at Minnesota, vs. Orlando, at Oklahoma City, vs. Los Angeles Lakers

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (10-6)

Week five record: 2-1

Wins: vs. New York, at Phoenix

Losses: at Sacramento

With wins in 10 of its last 12, this team is officially scorching hot. In that stretch, Paul George is the NBA’s fourth highest scorer, averaging 31.3 points per game. Russell Westbrook isn’t far behind at 29.0 points per game, tied for the sixth best mark in the league during this current run.

Previous ranking: 6

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

7. New Orleans Pelicans (10-7)

Week five record: 3-1

Wins: vs. New York, vs. Denver, vs. San Antonio

Losses: at Minnesota

It has a silly name, but Smoothie King Arena is proving to be one of the toughest places to play in the NBA. The Pelicans defended homecourt in all three home games over the last week including a high-scoring 140-126 win over Spurs on Monday. In that game, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore all had over 20 points for the victorious Pellies.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: at Philadelphia, at New York, at Washington

8. Los Angeles Lakers (9-7)

Week five record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Portland, at Miami

Losses: at Orlando

LeBron has his new team trending in the right direction. The win over Portland last Wednesday was huge. In the victory, James had a terrific night with 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. It’l be interesting and fun to see how the King is received on a return to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Previous ranking: 11

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

9. San Antonio Spurs (8-8)

Week five record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Golden State

Losses: at Phoenix, at LA Clippers, at New Orleans

Nobody embodies the uncertainty of the beginning of the season better than the Spurs. Well, maybe except for the Jazz. Anyways, San Antonio had a challenging fifth week of the season with mixed results. It’s always cause for celebration when a team beats the Warriors, like the Spurs did on Sunday. On that same note, it’s a bit concerning when a team drops a 20-point decision to the Suns, like the Spurs did on Wednesday. Call it a wash.

Previous ranking: 5

Next up: vs. Memphis, at Indiana, at Milwaukee, at Chicago

10. Sacramento Kings (9-8)

Week five record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Oklahoma City

Losses: at Memphis, at Houston

After an unexpected strong start to the season, the Kings cooled off in the fifth week of the year. A close win over the Thunder at home salvaged the week for the Kings. In the win, Sacramento out-shot Oklahoma City from beyond the arc, shooting 42.1 percent to just 29.3 perccent by the Thunder.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: at Utah, at Golden State, vs. Utah

11. Houston Rockets (8-7)

Week five record: 2-0

Wins: vs. Golden State, vs. Sacramento

Losses: None

Addition by subtraction seems to be the case in Houston. No more Carmelo Anthony and suddenly the Rockets are winning big games against the Warriors and the Kings. With the team playing better, this is a great time to rack up wins with the Cavaliers and Wizards on the slate for this week.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: vs. Detroit, at Cleveland, at Washington

12. Dallas Mavericks (7-9)

Week five record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Utah, vs Golden State

Losses: at Memphis

The Mavericks put together one of the most shocking wins so far this NBA season. It wasn’t so much that they won, but by how many they did over the Utah Jazz last Wednesday that raised plenty of eyebrows across the league. The Mavs followed it up with a win over the Warriors a few days later. It was a good week in Dallas.

Previous ranking: 13

Next up: vs. Brooklyn, vs. Boston

13. Utah Jazz (8-9)

Week five record: 1-3

Wins: at Boston

Losses: at Dallas, at Philadelphia, at Indiana

This is not yet the team many thought it would be at the beginning of the season. A 50-point loss to Dallas was the franchise’s worst loss since they moved to Utah in 1979. Ouch. Luckily the Jazz pulled off a win in Boston, but overall it was a miserable road trip for Utah. Is it time to panic yet?

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: vs. Sacramento, at Sacramento, vs. Indiana 

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-10)

Week five record: 2-1

Wins: vs. New Orleans, vs. Portland

Losses: vs. Memphis

Without Jimmy Butler, who was traded last week, the Timberwolves endured a tough stretch of the schedule with a 2-1 record. In an intense head-to-head matchup against Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns had a 25-point, 16-rebound double-double to led the Timberwolves to the win over New Orleans.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: vs. Denver, at Brooklyn, vs. Chicago, at Cleveland

15. Phoenix Suns (3-13)

Week five record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Spurs

Losses: vs. Oklahoma City, at Philadelphia

The good news: the Suns got a nice 20-point win over the Spurs last Wednesday. The bad news: it was their only win in last two weeks as they have lost five of their last six.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: at Chicago, at Milwaukee, at Detroit, vs. Indiana

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