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Hawks 101: Power Rankings After the First Month of Action

December 3rd, 2012 at 11:19 PM
By Gordon Robinson

'Kevin Durant' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (14-4)- OKC has won five in a row by taking turns taking games over.  Kevin Martin is proving to be just as good of a scoring weapon as James Harden was (defensively maybe not) and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are always going to do what they do.
  2. Miami Heat (12-3)- While most of the focus stays on LeBron James, who was recently named Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year", it is the supporting cast who has held it down for the Heat. Miami has won their last six games which included Brooklyn and the San Antonio Spurs (even though the starters did not play!).
  3. New York Knicks (12-4)- The Knicks are still winning with Coach Woodson's defensive philosophy despite their point guards battling some injuries and Amar'e Stoudemire being out until around Christmas. J.R. Smith may be having one his best seasons, Carmelo Anthony is displaying more leadership and they are even getting production from Rasheed Wallace.
  4. San Antonio Spurs (14-4)- Coach Pop got fined by the NBA for resting his stars on a national televised game, which resulted in a five point loss to the Miami Heat. The following game the Spurs went on to defeat a hot Memphis Grizzlies team in overtime behind Tony Parker's 30 points.
  5. Memphis Grizzlies (12-3)- The Grizz are 8-2 in their last 10 games with wins coming against Miami, OKC, the Knicks and the Lakers. With their core group intact and the newcomers stepping up nicely, Memphis is having one of their best starts to a season ever.
  6. Los Angeles Clippers (10-6)- The Clippers had a tough stretch of losses before winning back to back games, those losses came from teams like OKC, Atlanta and Brooklyn. The Clippers look like the deepest team in the league and with Chauncy Billups back, roles are going to have to continue to be defined.
  7. Golden State Warriors (10-6)- The Warriors have won three in a row behind the hot hand of Stephen Curry and the wins could continue as Golden State faces the Magic and Detroit in their next two games. David Lee, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack are providing other scoring options for the Warriors.
  8. Atlanta Hawks- (9-5)- With a team full of shooters, Atlanta is becoming known for their tight defense. Josh Smith is stepping up as the team leader, Kyle Korver and Lou Williams are providing most of the outside scoring and Al Horford continues to be solid in the paint. 
  9. Brooklyn Nets (11-5)- Before recently losing to the Miami Heat, the Nets had a winning streak of five games (they have currently won 7 of their last 10), which included wins against the Clippers, the Knicks and Boston. 
  10. Chicago Bulls (8-7)- The Bulls have defeated the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers this past week in back to back wins. Luol Deng is leading in points and Joakim Noah is killing the boards, there is pause for concern with Rip Hamilton being listed as out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, NBA

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