2018 New Year Top 10 Power Rankings
1. Warriors (29-8)
The defending champions haven’t missed a beat this season. It seems like the only team that can beat the Warriors are the Warriors. With Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston, and Draymond Green missing some time due to injuries the Warriors were still able to take care of business. Riding the wave of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Warriors had a very impressive Christmas Day win against a mostly healthy Cleveland Cavaliers team.
2. Boston Celtics (30-10)
I’m sure nobody in their right mind thought that Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics would have so much success this early. Hats of to the Celtics they are playing great basketball. With basically a whole new starting lineup head coach Brad Stevens has the Celtics playing great team ball. With a 16-5 home record, the Celtics are taking care of business at home. Barring any more injuries, the Celtics have the talent to finish top of Eastern Conference going into the All-Star break.
3. Houston Rockets (26-9)
The Houston Rockets lead by MVP candidate James Harding are looking like a real threat to compete against the Warriors come playoff time. Head Coach Mike D’Antoni has always been an offensive mastermind but this year the Rockets are actually playing some defense. With the additions of Chris Paul, PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah A Moute have helped the Rockets become a better defensive team. In the past, the Rockets haven’t been very good outside of H-Town but this year the Rockets are one of the better road teams(12-4) away record.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-12)
Missing Isaiah Thomas and Lord knows where Derrick Rose is the Cavaliers are playing decent basketball. Leading the way of course is LeBron James. James is playing out of his mind at 33 years old James is shooting the three ball way better than he has ever been. The Cavaliers seem to be coasting through the regular season. One positive sign for the Cavaliers is the play of Kevin Love. Love switched position from the power forward to center and it has helped. The Cavaliers are have beat the teams that they are supposed to beat for the most part. A healthy Cavaliers team will be scary but for now, I am not impressed.
5. Toronto Raptors (24-10)
We the North! The Raptors are kind of going under the radar, with a 13-1 home record people should be talking about the Raptors. Leading The Raptors is Compton native DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is playing like a bonfire star, the Raptors are getting a solid contribution from everybody. The Raptors are playing hard on both ends but it seems like everybody is finally buying into the defensive scheme head coach Dwayne Casey has been preaching. Flying under the radar is perfectly fine for the Raptors right now.
6. San Antonio Spurs (25-12)
The Spurs continue to have success no matter who is on the roster. Playing most of the season without Kawki Leonard and Tony Parker the Spurs have played well which shouldn’t be surprising to anybody. LaMarcus Aldridge is leading the way. Aldridge is playing like he did in Portland. The Spurs have done most of there damage at home (17-2) with Leonard and Parker healthy the Spurs should be in the race another title.
7. Washington Wizards (21-16)
The Wizards are the weirdest team in the NBA coming off probably there best win against the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day. The Wizards are just so inconsistent. At home, they look like one of the best teams in the East (12-5) home record but on the road, they look like an average team fighting for an 8th spot (8-10) road record. The Wizards will need to improve against some of the bottom feeder teams and stay consistent to keep in line with the competition of East.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17)
On paper OKC looks great with three HOF players and some decent bench players but should be way better. It will take time for Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George to get it together. OKC hasn’t looked awful but oftentimes looked confuse especially on the offensive end. Thunder fans should not be scared because it’s a long season and in the NBA talent win games and they have plenty of that, but for now just be patient. A recent 6-game win streak and better shooting from the Thunder’s big three is definitely a step in the right direction for 2018.
9. Detroit Pistons (20-15)
The Pistons will be without starting point guard Reggie Jackson for a couple of weeks. Without Jackson, the Pistons are relying on Andre Drummond to keep dominating the paint. Drummond improved all around. They have plenty of depth to compete without Reggie Jackson, with a great home win against the San Antonio Spurs. The Pistons should be in good shape to at least stay in the middle of the East for a playoff berth.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-14)
Minnesota Timberwolves might be going to the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnet was wearing a Timberwolves uniform. Timberwolves are playing well coming off a good win against a young and tough Lakers team on Christmas Day. Timberwolves are playing great and it seems like Jimmy Butler is finally getting comfortable with his new teammates. With Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns improving the Timberwolves should be a force in the West.