NBA Power Rankings: Warriors have control at top

Darnell Pointer

Sports Blogger

@theozoneonline

 

This past week, some phenomenal basketball happened as teams try to claim the No. 1 spot. The Cavaliers are rolling in the East, as teams in the West try to claim the top spot.

 

5. Toronto Raptors (10-6)

The Raptors have a top-5 backcourt in Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, as DeRozan is also a top-5 scorer, averaging 30.2 points per game. The Raptors had some tough losses against Western conference contenders Los Angeles. Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Eastern Conference contenders Cavaliers. The Raptors’ bench needs to improve if they want a shot against the Cavs as Lowry and DeRozan scored half the teams’ points. The Raptors have a key matchup against the Hawks on Saturday night.

 

4. San Antonio Spurs (14-3)

The Spurs are consistent, averaging 104.4 points per game. They are on a nine-game winning streak since allowing a triple-double from James Harden in a loss Nov. 9 to the Rockets. Kawhi Leonard leads his team in scoring, averaging 24.8 points per game and 2.1 steals. The Spurs are a sleeper team as they are one game behind the Warriors in the West and lead the league in 3-point percentage, shooting 39.9 percent behind the arc. The Spurs should have an easy week as they play they play three teams under .500.

 

3. Los Angeles Clippers (14-4)

The Clippers lost their flame since surprising the league starting the season 9-1. With a loss to the Pacers on Sunday, the Clippers suffered their first losing streak of the season. They should be able stop that streak when they play the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, but they may suffer another loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. The Clippers have a top 5 defense in the league, as they allow 97.8 points per game. They are also a great offensive team, as they have five players averaging more than 10 points per game. The Cleveland matchup may be close. The Clippers are 8-2 against teams with a .500 or better record.

 

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (13-2)

After having a milestone week for some players, the Cavaliers stay on top in the Eastern conference. LeBron James grabbed his 45th triple-double in a win against the 76ers, Kevin Love scores 34 points in one quarter and Kyrie Irving scored 39 points in a win against the 76ers. The Cavs have one of the best offensive teams in the league, as they score 112 points per game. Their level of competition will increase when they play the Clippers, Bulls and Raptors consecutively as they try to stay on top of the Eastern Conference.

 

1. Golden State Warriors (15-2)

(saltcityhoops, Flickr)

(saltcityhoops, Flickr)

The Warriors have been playing great basketball. They are on an 11-game winning streak since losing to former assistant coach Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors have three players averaging over 20 points per game in Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Draymond Green leads the team in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Green suffered an ankle injury in the win against the Lakers on Friday and is expected to return in the next two games. Golden State is the best team in the league as it’s in the top 5 in all major stats in the league.

ozone@ocolly.com

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