These are not the top 10 teams in the NBA. These are the top 10 teams in the NBA last two weeks.
We missed Week 3, so we’re combining them into a brief — it’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we want to chill with our family — look at who did what over the last 14 days through Tuesday night. A number of teams are riding the top of the success wave, but none more than the 16-0 Warriors, who are setting their sights on a record they’re still less than halfway towards matching.
But before we start talking Miami’s penultimate 27-game streak, or LA’s still unfathomable 33-game stretch, lets stop and appreciate what the Dubs have done in the season’s first month. Everyone was tripping over themselves to crown a Western successor before this season with Kevin Durant returning from injury, Ty Lawson clubbing in Houston, the Clippers’ reloaded bench, and LaMarcus Aldridge heading to the Alamo. But while the Spurs are right there, the Warriors are on another plane of play, and that’s forgetting to mention Steve Kerr is still recuperating from that spinal fluid leak during back surgery over the offseason.
It might be foolish to talk about them getting even better, but we thought it was foolish to expect them to replicate last season’s 67-win delicacy. Turns out they were just getting started.
So are we.
Week 3-4 Power Rankings
All games from Nov. 10 – 24.
1. Warriors (record the last two weeks: 8-0)
We’re almost tired of them. Their net rating of 16.3 is seven points higher than the next-closest, San Antonio. Their small-ball lineup when Draymond Green moves over to the five, Harrison Barnes plays power forward, Andre Iguodala acts as a point-forward of sorts at the three and Steph and Klay cause all sorts of kinetic damage coming off screens and whipping the ball around perimeter, is the best five-man unit in the NBA with at least 10 games under their belt.
The Warriors aren’t fair. Everyone knows it, but right now only fate can intercede. The rest of the Association is largely powerless. Maybe one of the other ascending teams on this list, who happens to be a stop on Golden State’s upcoming seven-game road trip, will have an answer. Until then, sit back and enjoy. You’re going to be telling your kids about this Warriors team.
2. Spurs 6-1
LaMarcus Aldridge is working through his assimilation issues with the Spurs, which is probably what Popovich envisioned this regular season. No one cares less about the league’s annual six-month slugfest, and no one prepares his team for the late-April peak better than Pop. Thankfully for their home-court in the spring Kawhi Leonard is making that proverbial leap unoriginal people allude to so often on Twitter. He’s really doing it on the offensive end this season, unleashing the potential Spurs fans have seen tiny glimpses of for the last two seasons — most especially with that Finals MVP in 2014.
While their offense sputtered a little over the last two weeks, Kawhi has morphed into a do-everything wing who can defend the opponent’s best player, and perhaps just as importantly now, Klaw can now attack them like a real MVP candidate on the offensive end. You can be sure when Cleveland is matching up against San Antonio, LeBron will be switching Kawhi off to a teammate so he can get some respite.
Leonard ranks in the 95th percentile for points per possession that end in a shot, turnover, or foul, per Synergy data, and he’s in the 70s when you take into account assists; although, a scary notion for opponents: he can still clean up an assist-to-turnover ratio that’s a pedestrian 1.6. If Steph Curry wasn’t drenching the league in gasoline and dropping the butane lighter, then Klaw would be an MVP frontrunner. If he doesn’t get selected to start in his first All-Star game, Spurs fans will have every reason to revolt.