The first week of every NBA season is a difficult time to add any particular value to a win or loss. Teams and players are just ramping up which is why you often see good teams with losses and bad teams with wins. This season, given the quick turnaround and short preseason, things are even tougher. But, the math-based strength-of-schedule Western Conference Power Rankings go on! In fact, things have settled in week 2 with the cream of the NBA rising to the top.
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
The Los Angeles Clippers (5-2 with 3 Quality Wins (QW) retain the top spot but only after a victory against the Phoenix Suns (5-2 with 3 QWs). While the Clippers being at #1 is not unexpected, the Suns being as close as they are to the top spot is a surprise. However, after watching them play I can say that they certainly look as if they belong! The New Orleans Pelicans (4-2 with 2 QWs) and the Los Angeles Lakers (5-2 with 1QW) round out the top four. The only thing holding the Lakers back is the fact that they have a 1-2 record against Quality Teams. While they beat the Dallas Mavericks they lost to both the Clippers and Trailblazers.
The Dallas Mavericks are interesting in that they were categorized as a Quality Team to start the 2020-21 season, but so far they aren’t doing much to merit that classification. They are 2-4 with 2 Bad Losses which offset their 2 QWs. Probably the biggest surprise this week however is that the Denver Nuggets (2-4) are holding up the rest of the Conference at #15. The problem for the Nuggets is that while they don’t have any Bad Losses, they have no QW’s. Fear not however Nuggets fans, there is no way this team stays this low for long.