Remember when this season was all about the Cavaliers and Warriors? Remember when everyone was fretting about how boring this season might be?
Those were good times, but we were very, very wrong. This week brings the third different team at No. 1 in the power rankings within the season's first month — although No. 30 remains the same.
Let's dive into the power rankings.
Philadelphia 76ers (previous ranking: 30): 2-10
The 76ers were this close to moving up from the power rankings basement — then Karl-Anthony Towns roasted Joel Embiid on Thursday night. Last week, we asked if Philly would go wire-to-wire at No. 30; I'm very much starting to doubt that possibility.
New Orleans Pelicans (29): 2-10
As if the Pelicans didn't have enough problems, Anthony Davis is once again dealing with injury concerns. This time, a back injury and a quad contusion kept the New Orleans big man out in a loss to the Magic. At this rate, this team will be up for contraction by the first of the year.
Jerome MironUSA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks (28): 2-8
Harrison Barnes' continued emergence as a franchise player — Dirk Nowitzki's words, not mine! — is fun to watch in Dallas, but until Nowitzki himself is healthy, there's something off about the Mavs. I'm not ready for glimpses at what the team will look like when Dirk retires.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Washington Wizards (27): 3-8
Good news for John Wall: the Wizards point guard, who has been sitting out the second half of back-to-backs after knee surgery this summer, is nearing full health.
Bad news for John Wall: literally everything else going on in Washington these days. Wall's off to the best scoring start of his career, but his assists are down because the Wizards are playing so poorly.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Orlando Magic (25): 5-7
Coach Frank Vogel is slowly but surely instilling his passion for defense into his team, which is great. Unfortunately, Orlando is dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage, and it's hard to see where they'll improve on that front with this roster.
Phoenix Suns (24): 3-9
Brandon Knight is in a no-win situation in Phoenix. He's losing minutes; he's off to the worst start of his career; and for good measure, trade rumors continue to swirl around the Suns point guard.
Both sides need a resolution. If I could bet on which player would be traded first this season, Knight would be my pick.
Jennifer StewartJennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport
Miami Heat (23): 3-8
I've been hard on Hassan Whiteside in the past (mostly because blocking a lot of shots and playing elite defense are not the same thing), but the Heat big man is balling this season. Even I can appreciate that.
Still, it's probably not a great sign for Miami that Whiteside is the team's leading scorer.
NBAE/Getty ImagesFernando Medina
Sacramento Kings (19): 4-8
Somehow, DeMarcus Cousins is pulling off the rare feat of increasing his rate of 3-point attempts and the number of free throws he's taking. His rebounding numbers are down, but that's splitting hairs with one of the game's best talents.
Minnesota Timberwolves (26): 4-7
If you missed Minnesota's Thursday win over the 76ers, here's my suggestion. Put on your favorite slow jams, sit back with your favorite classy beverage, and watch Karl-Anthony Towns go to work.
The 4-7 Wolves stumbled out of the gate this season, sure. I'm keeping the faith that they make a postseason run just because KAT is so, so good.
Denver Nuggets (22): 4-7
Will Barton is the best show you're not watching. I don't mean just in the NBA — across all of television, there's nothing like Trill deciding he needs to dunk the ball from about 12 feet away, then finding a way to get it done.
By the way, he leads all Nuggets in scoring (18.0 ppg) this season.
Brooklyn Nets (21): 4-7
Usually, when a skilled veteran is mired in a rebuild, we clamor for a trade to a better location. Brook Lopez's time with the Nets feels like a different situations somehow. The NBA's unsung hero isn't going anywhere, because he's the perfect leader to shepherd a new generation — you know, once Brooklyn actually has draft picks to use.
New York Knicks (20): 5-7
Kristaps Porzingis keeps displaying his dominance. Meanwhile, the Knicks are the worst defensive team in the league. If New York doesn't get it turned around soon, do you realize how many Carmelo Anthony trade ideas we're going to hear over the next few months?
... be right back, going to play with the Trade Machine.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportsTom Szczerbowski
Indiana Pacers (18): 6-6
The Pacers could see a pretty significant improvement on offense with just one minor change — draw more contact. Indiana is in the bottom-five in the NBA in free throw attempts per field goal attempt (a nifty measure of how often you're getting to the line).
Brad Mills-USA TODAY SportsBrad Mills
Detroit Pistons (17): 6-6
For all of Stan Van Gundy's reported frustrations with Andre Drummond at times, the Pistons have put together one of the league's best defenses. If Detroit can find some outside shooting — the Pistons are 29th in 3PAs and 25th in 3P% — this team could be scary.
Milwaukee Bucks (14): 5-6
Jabari Parker continues to impress, as do the Bucks in general. The only problem is Milwaukee's glut of centers, with Greg Monroe, Miles Plumlee and John Henson combining to eat up more than $40 million. A trade has to be on the horizon, right?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports
They're fun. They're good. They're on the verge of establishing themselves as playoff contenders. Could the Lakers crack the top 10 in the power rankings this season? If so, we might as well give Luke Walton the Coach of the Year award by Christmas.
Portland Trail Blazers (11): 7-6
Portland's dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is keeping the team afloat while everyone else flounders. The Blazers' backcourt accounts for just shy of 50 percent of all of Portland's points so far this season.
Memphis Grizzlies (15): 6-5
Few things in the NBA are as fun as a healthy Marc Gasol — especially if he's going to hit game-winning 3s and strut like Conor McGregor (and/or Vince McMahon). His numbers aren't great, but if Gasol keeps this up and Memphis can sneak into the top four in the West, Big Spain could end up in the MVP conversation.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY SportsNelson Chenault
Utah Jazz (10): 7-6
As long as the Jazz are in the playoff picture, wins and losses are less important to me this season than continued growth as a unit. Long-term, Utah stands to be one of the best teams in the NBA, and that should be the real focus.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY SportsJaime Valdez
Houston Rockets (7): 7-5
A little bit of perspective on James Harden's start: at 28.5 ppg and 12.8 apg, the Rockets PG is on pace to become the first player in NBA history to average at least 25 points and 12 assists per game.
Heck, since 1946-47, only three players have averaged 25 points and 10 assists per game for an entire season. Harden really is on a different level.
Oklahoma City Thunder (9): 7-5
There's not a lot to say this week outside of the typical praise for Russell Westbrook. I just wanted an excuse to share this amazing picture of Russ with the world.
Chicago Bulls (12): 8-4
The focus in Chicago is on the Dwyane Wade-Jimmy Butler-Rajon Rondo triumvirate, and rightfully so. But how about some love for the big guys? Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez are the real backbone of this Bulls team.
Toronto Raptors (6): 7-4
You win, DeMar DeRozan. I submit. I will stop questioning your scoring ways and get over my love affair with the 3-pointer. You deserve to be appreciated.
When the playoffs roll around, though, I'm probably going to get critical again. Sorry in advance.
Charlotte Hornets (4): 7-3
We simply can't say enough about how good Kemba Walker is these days. His development into one of the game's top point guards has the Hornets playing like one of the game's best teams.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY SportsBill Streicher
San Antonio Spurs (8): 9-3
For all the attention on Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, the Spurs' hopes might rely on Patty Mills more than anyone. The more he can carry the load at PG this season, the fresher Tony Parker will be for the playoffs. And if Parker can't step it up in the postseason, I like Mills' chances of filling the void.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Atlanta Hawks (5): 9-2
The Hawks are a balanced team, with five players averaging double-digit scoring, but I can't get over Dwight Howard this year. He's finishing at the rim and playing like the Howard we always wished he would be. His chemistry with Dennis Schroder, particularly in the pick-and-roll, is downright dreamy, as pointed out by FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring.
Golden State Warriors (3): 9-2
Go ahead and high-five, guys. The Warriors offense is so hot Golden State is practically shooting lava at the rim these days. In fact, the Warriors are on pace to be just the second team in the past 20 years to make more than half of their field goal attempts — and they're only going to get better from here.
Who needs defense when you could be the greatest offense in basketball history?
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 9-2
The Cavaliers are who they are. Short of a catastrophic injury to LeBron, there's no reason to worry about a damn thing this season in Cleveland. And that's fine — but we have to admit that lack of urgency is showing on the court, particularly on the defensive end. While the Cavs are No. 1 when they're locked in, we're likely months away from this team playing like the games matter.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
Los Angeles Clippers (2): 10-2
All hail the new No. 1, even after a last-second loss to the Grizzlies this past week. The Clippers look like genuine title contenders, which is more than most expected in a season that was supposed to be about anointing the Warriors.
Managing to claim homecourt advantage would be a big step toward Los Angeles ruining the Warriors narrative, and the Clippers are well on their way to the NBA's best record.