Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings- Week 3


With just about 3 full weeks of NBA action in the books after the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games… let’s take a look the latest Power Rankings as some teams continue to surprise and others continue to fall. Indiana, the last of the unbeatens suffered their first loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.


San Antonio and Indiana are playing like the two best teams in the league while early top 10 Philadelphia is falling fast.


Teams 1-30 with records and last weeks rankings in parentheses are as followed:


1 Indiana Pacers (9-1 LW 1)- They lost to Bulls on the second of a back-to-back. Danny Granger expected back soon.


2 San Antonio Spurs (9-1 LW 2)- The Spurs have won 7 straight while Tim Duncan is averaging career-lows of 12 points and 39.4 percent shooting.


3 Miami Heat (7-3 LW 5)- LeBron James is averaging 34 points per game during the Heat’s three game win streak.


4 Los Angeles Clippers (7-3 LW 7)- The Clippers have won four straight while Blake Griffin is averaging a double-double with 22.9 points and 10.9 boards.


5 Golden State Warriors (7-3 LW 8)- Warriors have won three straight while suffering through injuries.


6 Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4 LW 4)- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin have formed the league’s highest scoring-duo in the season’s opening month.


7 Portland Trailblazers (8-2 LW 13)- One of the league’s early surprises…. the Blazers have won six straight.


8 Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3 LW 3)- Thunder will be looking for revenge against the Clippers on Thursday night.


9 Houston Rockets (7-4 LW 10)- Back up center Omer Asik wants out of Houston and has been benched the last two games since his request.


10 Chicago Bulls (5-3 LW 12)- Derrick Rose hits six 3’s in their big win against Indiana on Saturday night.


11 Dallas Mavericks (6-4 LW 11)- Mavs look to get back on track when Dwight Howard and the Rockets visit Wednesday night.


12 Phoenix Suns (5-4 LW 6)- Suns have dropped three straight by an average 2 points.


13 Atlanta Hawks (6-4 LW 17) Another early surprise team is getting it done with Al Horford, Ronnie Millsap and the return of Lou Williams.


14 Memphis Grizzles (5-5 LW 9)- They continue to struggle and have the Clippers and Warriors on the road coming up.


15 Charlotte Bobcats (5-5 LW 16)- Continue to surprise with Al Jefferson still nursing a bad ankle. Have five of their next six games at home.


16 Philadelphia 76ers (5-6 LW 14)- Back to losing but still in first place in a bad Atlantic Division.


17 Denver Nuggets (4-5 LW 28)- Have won of four but have OKC, Chicago and back-to-back against Dallas coming up.


18 New Orleans Pelicans (4-6 LW 15)- Ryan Anderson lit it up with six 3’s against the Sixers… can he continue?


19 Los Angeles Lakers (5-7 LW 19)- Steve Nash is still out… but good news is Kobe Bryant has begun practicing.


20 Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7 LW 20) As Kyrie Irving goes, so do the Cavs. Averaging 27.5 in wins and 17.7 in losses.


21 Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 25)- Will Aaron Afflalo be traded? He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and playing well.


22 Toronto Raptors (4-7 LW 24)- Have lost three of four and still only getting scoring from Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.


23 Brooklyn Nets (3-6)- Too much talent to be struggling but dealing with various injuries.


24 New York Knicks (3-6 LW 23)- Disappointing start and Carmelo Anthony is unhappy.


25 Boston Celtics (4-7 LW 26)- Started 0-4, won four in a row now has lost three straight.


26 Washington Wizards (2-7 LW 22)- Turning into a major disappointment early on… not was expected.


27 Detroit Pistons (3-6 LW 18)- Josh Smith makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday night.


28 Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 LW 27)- No Brandon Knight, no Caron Butler… now have lost five straight.


29 Sacramento Kings (2-7 LW 29)- Only one win in November and three of next four is on the road.


30 Utah Jazz (1-10 LW 30)- Avoided tying their worst start in franchise history by beating the Pelicans.





By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter




The Bucks and Pistons swap Brandon Jennings and Brandon Knight, head in different directions

Brandon Jennings drives previous Brandon Knight, in direction of the purpose (J. Dennis Einstein/ Getty).

With NBA free company nearing its finish, Milwaukee Bucks restricted free agent point guard Brandon Jennings stood out as one of the biggest names not but dedicated to a workforce for the 2013-14 season. As basketball stars and followers alike waited for a decision, the questions concerning his employer and future had been clear. Would Jennings stay with the Bucks due to an absence of options, locked into a scenario without clear paths to improvement? Would he accept his qualifying provide and cast his lot with unrestricted free company subsequent summer? Or would he find one other staff, accepting a new begin beneath his most popular wage?

We now appear to have a resolution that would work for all events. As reported by Y!’s own Adrian Wojnarowski, Jennings has agreed to a contract with the Detroit Pistons for $24 million over three years and engineered an indication-and-trade deal that will ship guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton, and center Slava Krastov to the Bucks. Jennings’s new deal is significantly much less lucrative than the 4-year, $40-million extension supply he turned down prior to the 2012-thirteen season, though it can permit him to grow to be a free agent in three years, when he will likely be simply 26 years previous.

The problems with Jennings’s game are well-known — he struggles to complete at the rim, selects bad photographs, and hasn’t improved a lot statistically since his impressive rookie season in 2009-10. Whereas averages of 17.5 ppg and 6.5 apg look strong at first look, Jennings has shot under 40 p.c from the field in three of his four seasons, hasn’t added quite a lot of strength, and tends to gamble defensively (more likely to compensate for his construct) in a way that causes him to be out of position with regularity. For that matter, Jennings has developed a fame as someone who believes himself to be better than he’s, creating the impression that he would not understand his splendid function on a high quality group. He is a fast, proficient participant who has never learned to rein in his volatility.

On the other hand, Jennings has not all the time been put in the very best situation as a member of the Bucks. Once they acquired Monta Ellis earlier than the 2012 commerce deadline, they added one other ball-dominating, small-ish guard with abilities and deficiencies much like those of Jennings. The partnership exacerbated lots of his flaws, making certain that the Bucks could not disguise Jennings on protection or surround him with players inclined to take full benefit of his creativity. That commerce highlighted the methods by which the Bucks have lacked path for several seasons, which may have harmed Jennings’s development and willingness to regulate his recreation to the wants of the team. The Bucks earned the East’s final playoff spot in 2013, however it’s laborious to remember a postseason participant with much less of a sense of their own future.

The Pistons, after their very own interval of listless irrelevance, appear to be reaching for one thing extra, even if it is not precisely clear what that might be. Coming on the heels of their acquisition of athletic forward Josh Smith, Jennings represents Detroit’s second major free-agent deal of the summer. With Knight heading to Milwaukee, the Pistons have successfully dedicated to Jennings as their backcourt leader of the longer term, a young point guard who can workforce with lottery decide Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to type an extended-time period combo on the perimeter. Despite his faults, Jennings is much better suited to this position than the one he held throughout his murky partnership with Ellis in Milwaukee. His skills require him to deal with the ball, and it helps that the Pistons have surrounded him with capable finishers. Smith, athletic man-youngster Andre Drummond, and skilled large man Greg Monroe present Jennings with more offensive choices than he ever had with the Bucks (they might even cover for some of his unhealthy shots with offensive rebounds). For a participant that thrives on confidence, this type of organizational assist might make an enormous difference.

It’s not clear that all the Pistons’ pieces fit. Jennings nonetheless must prove that he is usually a prepared distributor, and any group that adds him and Smith in the identical summer has to anticipate many more poorly thought of photographs in its future. Yet, for the primary time in a few years, the Pistons look like including very gifted players with excessive ceilings. They overpaid for Smith at $56 million over 4 years, however the Jennings deal gives them three years to see if a 23-12 months-outdated grows into a extra reliable point guard. These are the dangers that perennial lottery groups need to take if they want to become relevant once more.

The Bucks, meanwhile, are courting the type of all-encompassing irrelevance that the Pistons are looking to escape. Knight is a good choice within the backcourt, but he also struggles with his shooting (taking pictures 40.7 p.c from the sector last season) and is greatest recognized for getting embarrassed on different players’ highlights. After losing Jennings, Ellis, and J.J. Redick this summer time, the Bucks are more likely to enter next season with Knight, Luke Ridnour, O.J. Mayo, and the recently signed Gary Neal as their guards, with every player being best fit for a bench role. The youthful frontcourt of Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, and John Henson shows promise, however they don’t represent the core of a stable and even quickly bettering group. It isn’t clear what the Bucks need to be or how they plan to do it. They’re prone to be very unhealthy, but it would not look like the results of a rebuilding plan so much as an unlucky byproduct of their own uncertainty.

These two groups are heading in several instructions, neither of which may lead to a lot success. The Pistons have traded of their perpetual chase for the eighth-total draft decide — just dangerous enough to have no hopes of the playoffs, just ok to lose out on the best rookies — in the hopes of reestablishing themselves as a related NBA franchise. It is unclear how good they will be, however they will be watchable. The Bucks, in distinction, are falling out of the league’s center class towards a scenario harking back to what the Pistons are trying to escape. Neither possibility is right — nonetheless, it’s apparent which staff’s fans will enter the 2013-14 season with a modicum of hope.