NBA Power Rankings: Top 3 solidifies as Warriors, Raptors, Bucks soar
Noah Graham / National Basketball Association / Getty

During the regular season, theScore's NBA Power Rankings will be published every two weeks. This edition is the second of the regular season. It was compiled by editors John Chick, Wael Saghir, and Andrew Joe Potter.

1. Golden State Warriors (11-2)

Minus an uncharacteristic blowout loss to the Bucks, the Warriors are making it look easy again despite Stephen Curry and Draymond Green missing some time. They have the best offense in the Association by a wide margin. - Saghir

2. Toronto Raptors (12-1)

The Raptors' sole loss to date came against the red-hot Bucks. They're looking like a conference finals team right now, and both Kawhi Leonard and the vaunted bench have yet to play to their full potential. - Potter

3. Milwaukee Bucks (10-3)

Milwaukee can make a case for the top spot. The Bucks beat both the Raptors and Warriors soundly, lead the league in net rating, and rank second in true shooting percentage. - Chick

4. Portland Trail Blazers (10-3)

It's impossible to count the Blazers out at this point. They sit fourth in the league in net rating and their star pair of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is being aided by improved play from their surprisingly effective depth. - Saghir

5. Denver Nuggets (9-4)

Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Most expected the Nuggets to remain a sieve defensively this season. Instead, they're the West's second-best defensive team thanks to a renewed commitment to that end of the floor and strong rebounding. - Chick

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-5)

Losing their first four games had some projecting the imminent demise of coach Billy Donovan, but the Thunder then ripped off seven straight wins before Saturday's loss in Dallas. They're 5-2 with Russell Westbrook in the lineup. - Potter

7. Philadelphia 76ers (8-6)

A skeptic will say Jimmy Butler doesn't address Philly's need for more perimeter shooting. However, he's above the league average in 3-point percentage so far, and adding an elite two-way player should make the Sixers a force to be reckoned with. - Chick

8. San Antonio Spurs (7-4)

Gregg Popovich is doing it again. With no spacing or high-level defenders, the legendary head coach is managing to win games with mistake-free basketball. The Spurs lead the league in fewest turnovers (12.0) and fouls conceded (19.4) per game. - Saghir

9. Memphis Grizzlies (7-4)

The Grizz remain an early-season surprise and are back to playing their trademark stout defense. Here's to full health for Mike Conley, who hasn't suited up in 70 games since 2014-15. - Chick

10. Boston Celtics (7-6)

AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post / Getty

A bevy of young talent on the wings, not to mention the perpetually underrated Al Horford, has staked the C's to a league-best defense. The offense, on par with the moribund Cavaliers and Magic near the bottom of the league rankings, is a shock. Talent should win out, though. - Potter

11. Charlotte Hornets (7-6)

Charlotte boasts the fifth-best net rating in the league, yet possesses a middling record as five of its losses have come by a combined 10 points. If the Hornets can fix their late-game execution, they could be a juggernaut. - Potter

12. L.A. Clippers (7-5)

The Clippers are one of the NBA's most aesthetically-pleasing teams, getting it done on both ends. Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has surely caused some front office execs to lose sleep for passing on him in the draft. - Saghir

13. Indiana Pacers (8-6)

After shooting unsustainably well on threes to start the year, the Pacers have regressed to an average offense. The defense, anchored by Victor Oladipo and accentuated by steady vets, remains very good. - Potter

14. Utah Jazz (6-6)

The Jazz have flipped the script so far this year, boasting the eighth-best offensive rating but only the 20th-best defense. They'll look like world-beaters for a stretch, and then look completely overwhelmed. - Potter

15. Los Angeles Lakers (7-6)

Juan Ocampo / National Basketball Association / Getty

Is it an accident the Lakers have looked significantly better defensively since picking up Tyson Chandler? L.A. will only go as far as LeBron James can carry them, but the team's chemistry is coming together. - Chick

16. New Orleans Pelicans (6-6)

The pendulum has swung back and forth for the Pelicans thus far. They came out of the gates with a 4-0 start, dropped their next six games, and have now won their last two. Their lack of perimeter depth could be what keeps them out of the playoff picture, even with an MVP-caliber season from Anthony Davis. - Saghir

17. Sacramento Kings (7-6)

For the first time in ages, the Kings are kind of fun. Still, they haven't beaten many quality teams, and three of their victories, over the Thunder, Wizards, and Timberwolves, came against teams experiencing some level of dysfunction when they faced the Kings. - Potter

18. Houston Rockets (5-7)

The Rockets' concern coming into 2018-19 was supposed to be on defense. Instead, a high-octane roster that revolutionized iso-ball last season is scoring a rather pathetic 104.7 points per 100 possessions. - Chick

19. Miami Heat (5-7)

The middling Heat continue their mediocre ways, blowing double-digit leads and losing to the Pacers and Wizards on consecutive nights. Failing to land Butler via trade may hurt their chances of becoming competitive anytime soon. - Saghir

20. Brooklyn Nets (6-7)

Abbie Parr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Nets aren't going to the playoffs, but they've become a darling of the League Pass crowd. Caris LeVert and Joe Harris are a particularly entertaining combination on the wings. - Chick

21. Detroit Pistons (6-6)

The Pistons are still finding themselves under new coach Dwane Casey. Their record is at .500, but all of their wins, except against Philadelphia, have come against middling-to-bad competition. - Potter

22. Orlando Magic (6-7)

Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier have kept the Magic afloat so far. Their struggles on both ends of the floor and a lack of legitimate point guard play should eventually catch up to them. - Saghir

23. Dallas Mavericks (4-8)

Super rookie Luka Doncic has been outstanding, averaging 20.3 points, 6.5 boards, and 4.5 assists for a mostly lackluster team. Blowout wins against the Wizards and Thunder could turn the tide for Dallas after dropping six straight games. - Saghir

24. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9)

With the Butler saga finally over, the Wolves are back in the hands of their underachieving young cornerstones. How long will Tom Thibodeau last? - Chick

25. Chicago Bulls (4-9)

Gary Dineen / National Basketball Association / Getty

The rebuilding Bulls are basically where they should be. But Zach LaVine is answering the many critics of his offseason contract extension with a big season so far. - Chick

26. Washington Wizards (3-9)

Any D.C. resident looking for a diversion from dysfunction will not find it in the Wizards. Washington is a bottom-third team both offensively and defensively, and on many nights, it appears to boil down to a lack of effort. - Chick

27. New York Knicks (4-10)

This is going just about as well as anyone could've hoped for the Kristaps Porzingis-less Knickerbockers. For the sake of their future, it's great to see youngsters like Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, and Allonzo Trier getting run. - Potter

28. Atlanta Hawks (3-10)

It's virtually impossible to predict how Trae Young will look on a nightly basis. The all-or-nothing rookie has made the Hawks watchable despite being among the league's worst teams. They'll be even more fun when sophomore center John Collins makes his season debut. - Saghir

29. Phoenix Suns (2-10)

Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton remain too raw to lead a team to prominence. Regardless, there's no excuse for their league-worst 100.1 points per 100 possessions. The emergence of TJ Warren's 3-pointer has been a welcome surprise. - Saghir

Fernando Medina / National Basketball Association / Getty

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-11)

The Cavs claim ownership of a bottom-five offensive rating and a bottom-five defensive rating. Kevin Love's prolonged absence allows the team to tank unabashedly as their eyes now turn to Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. - Potter

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NBA Power Rankings: Top 3 solidifies as Warriors, Raptors, Bucks soar
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