The season is finally old enough that we can start to view things as real. Some of the teams who started hot are showing their real colors, and some late-bloomers are starting to look like themselves. Let’s see where the league is at after a week of some pretty fantastic basketball.

Biggest Moves

Positive: Indiana Pacers, +11

Negative: Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, -14

30. Chicago Bulls. Record: 3-12. Net Rating: -11.8.
Power Shift: =
There’s two sides to every coin for this team. On the good side, Zach LaVine has been cleared to practice after tearing his ACL last year. On the bad side, Nikola Mirotic has returned to the team after having his face broken by Bobby Portis. Their continued schism shines a spotlight on what a diseased and broken franchise this is.

29. Los Angeles Clippers. Record: 5-11. Net Rating: -1.7.
Power Shift: -7
Losing nine games in a row, as the Clippers have after starting their season 5-2, is almost as impressive as winning nine games in a row, in its own way. It’s almost impossible to go this long without stumbling into the right place at the right time. But the Clippers are doing it, and no end is in sight.

28. Dallas Mavericks. Record: 3-15. Net Rating: -8.3.
Power Shift: +1
Monday night, the Mavericks had a chance to beat the Boston Celtics, who owned the league’s best record and a 15-game winning streak entering the night. With 24 seconds left and possession of the ball, the Mavs chose not to get one of the best scorers of all-time involved. Dirk Nowitzki stood idly by and watched Harrison Barnes take a terrible mid-range jumper. Dallas deservedly lost in overtime.

27. Sacramento Kings. Record: 4-13. Net Rating: -14.1.
Power Shift: =
Many franchises across the sports world have traits that follow them around through changes in coaching, management, and ownership. With the Kings, those traits are incompetence and a general weirdness. The 2017-18 Kings suffered the most embarrassing loss of the year, losing by 46 points to the Atlanta Hawks. They followed it up with an impressive win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Okay.

26. Atlanta Hawks. Record: 3-14. Net Rating: -4.3.
Power Shift: +2
Despite putting up the largest margin of victory in franchise history against the Kings, the tank rolls on in Atlanta. They won’t get run off of the floor as often as the Bulls or the Mavericks might, but they aren’t going to win much more either.

25. Brooklyn Nets. Record: 6-10. Net Rating: -4.2.
Power Shift: =
It’s not clear how or why, but Spencer Dinwiddie is the truth. The offense is 10.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court. He keeps finding ways to lead this scrappy bunch of role players to occasional wins. But don’t be surprised if you look up in a month or two and this team is 10-25.

24. Phoenix Suns. Record: 7-11. Net Rating: -7.3.
Power Shift: +2
Devin Booker is starting to look a lot more like a complete NBA product, and they’ve found something worthwhile in point guard Mike James. But the only thing that sparks my interest in Phoenix is Dragan Bender. He’s a super raw talent, and I’m not exactly sure what he is — but he has looked a lot better since Earl Watson was fired.

23. Orlando Magic. Record: 8-9. Net Rating: -0.1.
Power Shift: -14
The Magic were just counting the days until they started to regress. But this is a bit harsher than anyone expected. The bottom has completely fallen out of a fun story and they’ve lost five in a row. Their three-point percentage remains fifth in the league, but their once impressive defense has fallen to 16th. Even worse, their defensive rating is an abysmal 112.1 during their losing streak.

22. Memphis Grizzlies. Record: 7-9. Net Rating: -0.2.
Power Shift: -14
Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies probably aren’t as good as they were to start the year, but they definitely aren’t as bad as they’ve been over their five-game losing streak. Unfortunately, with point guard Mike Conley out indefinitely, it may not matter how good they really are.

21. Los Angeles Lakers. Record: 8-10. Net Rating: -1.7.
Power Shift: =
Lonzo Ball looked awful for several games in a row, and chatter began about benching him or giving him some G-League run. Lonzo then gets a triple-double against a Jokic-less and coach-less Denver Nuggets team, and he’s suddenly back in the Rookie of the Year race. This team keeps winning games despite themselves, but Ball has been awful and hopefully they realize it.

20. Utah Jazz. Record: 7-11. Net Rating: -1.3.
Power Shift: +4
In the six games since Rudy Gobert went down, the Jazz have an impressive offensive rating of 107.6. They’ve gone 2-4 in that stretch, but they’ve given reason to believe the bottom won’t totally fall out. In Gobert’s absence, Utah has discovered one thing that may be worth holding onto: Jonas Jerebko as their starting power forward. With Jerebko on the court this season, the Jazz’s offense has been 7.9 points better per 100 possessions.

19. Miami Heat. Record: 7-9. Net Rating: -3.8.
Power Shift: -2
The Heat’s entire identity is built around effort. They always outplay bad teams, but don’t have the talent to beat good teams, unless they catch them on an off night. This Miami team’s vibe is a bit different though. After getting their first good win of the season against the Washington Wizards, they gave no effort against the Indiana Pacers and got blown out.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder. Record: 7-9. Net Rating: 4.7.
Power Shift: +5
We’re officially in a space with this team where no lead is safe. They blew a 23-point lead to the San Antonio Spurs, then went up 25-6 against the New Orleans Pelicans only to lose, even after DeMarcus Cousins was ejected. At this rate, we’re headed for the Thunder going up 60 points on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, then going scoreless in the second half.

17. Charlotte Hornets. Record: 7-9. Net Rating: 0.9.
Power Shift: +2
Okay, so Nic Batum’s return didn’t go exactly as planned. They lost a tough one to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his first game back, then suffered an unacceptable loss to the Bulls. But they’re starting to turn it around. They got a mammoth win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and they’ve had a net rating of 14.4 with Batum on the court.

16. Milwaukee Bucks. Record: 8-8. Net Rating: -2.2.
Power Shift: -1
As expected, Eric Bledsoe can’t fix the fundamental issues this team has. They’ve gone 4-2 since the trade, but their offense has been awful (99.5 offensive rating). Their defense has been great, but their schedule has been cake. Unless this team evolves on both ends of the floor, it will be a disappointing season.

15. New Orleans Pelicans. Record: 9-8. Net Rating: -1.0.
Power Shift: -3
Anthony Davis and the Pelicans followed up an all-time bad performance — giving up 146 points to the Denver Nuggets — by scratching out a gutsy win against the Thunder. Still, this team has an identity issue. They just don’t seem to know what they want to do on either end, and end up getting pushed around by good teams. They may have enough talent to get by though.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves. Record: 10-7. Net Rating: -0.3.
Power Shift: +2
In their wins over the Mavericks and the Spurs, the Wolves showed something. They showed the ability to focus in and take over a game that could slip away. Then, in losses to the Hornets and the Detroit Pistons, the Wolves showed something else. They can still blow totally winnable games.

13. Detroit Pistons. Record: 11-6. Net Rating: 1.5.
Power Shift: -9
Detroit is 1-3 in their last four, but the wheels aren’t coming off. They were playing unsustainably well and they needed to come back to earth. If Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, and Tobias Harris keep playing as well as they have, this team will be in great shape.

12. Cleveland Cavaliers. Record: 10-7. Net Rating: 0.0.
Power Shift: +6
There’s still very, very little to celebrate in Cleveland, even after a monster win in Detroit. They’ve won five straight and haven’t had a defensive rating above 103 in any of the five games — but against some pretty uninspiring teams. The Cavs schedule remains absurdly easy for the next three weeks. We won’t really know how to feel about this team for the rest of 2017, at least.

11. Denver Nuggets. Record: 10-7. Net Rating: 2.6.
Power Shift: -5 
Denver’s inconsistency is absolutely glaring, as shown in losses to the Lakers and the currently red hot Portland Trail Blazers. But when you hang 146 on a playoff team, you get serious points with me. The Nuggets offense is back to fifth in the league, and they’re still working the kinks out. Unfortunately, Paul Millsap is having surgery on his left wrist and will likely miss three months. It’s not a death sentence, but it’s a huge bummer.

10. New York Knicks. Record: 9-7. Net Rating: 0.0.
Power Shift: +1.
This is a really fun, really cool Knicks team. Right now, low expectations are keeping them in a healthy spot in these rankings. But how long will those expectations remain low? If Kristaps Porzingis is going to stay in the MVP race, and the Knicks are going to stay in the playoff race, they’ll need to do more than just beat bad teams.

9. Indiana Pacers. Record: 10-8. Net Rating: 2.1.
Power Shift: +11
You can’t take your eyes off these Indiana Pacers for even a second. I had officially written them off last week, then they ripped off four straight wins. They’re back above .500 and back in the playoff picture. They might just be good.

8. Washington Wizards. Record: 10-7. Net Rating: 4.0.
Power Shift: =
Washington keeps plugging along. A couple good wins, a couple bad losses, a bounce back win. They’re frustrating, but they’re good. The biggest thing to focus on here is the development of Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. They’ve both been incredible this year, and when they’re on the floor together, the Wizards are an absolute death machine.

7. Portland Trail Blazers. Record: 10-7. Net Rating: 5.3.
Power Shift: +7
Portland has the second best defense in the league. The Trail Blazers. Who start Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. It’s been as exciting as it is bizarre, but I’m still concerned. They’ve had the easiest schedule in the league so far by a pretty comfortable margin, according to Basketball Reference, and they still have some bad losses. Portland isn’t to be trusted yet.

6. Philadelphia 76ers. Record: 9-7. Net Rating: 0.1.
Power Shift: +7
The Sixers are really difficult to beat every night because they have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. And it might be that way for the next decade. As a team, they’re pretty much average on both ends of the floor. But they’re already winning games and will hopefully only get better as their best players get NBA experience.

5. San Antonio Spurs. Record: 11-6. Net Rating: 3.5.
Power Shift: +1
The Spurs will literally never die, and, to be honest with you guys for a second, I’m sick of it. Can’t they just go away? They’re the best franchise in sports, but I’m ready for some new blood in the Western Conference playoffs.

4. Toronto Raptors. Record: 11-5. Net Rating: 7.1.
Power Shift: +4
Toronto is taking the sixth most threes in the league despite being 23rd in the league in three-point percentage. Is that a good thing? Does it make sense? I actually think so. Here’s the thing: over the past seven games, where the Raptors have gone 6-1 with impressive wins over the Pelicans, the Wizards, and the Rockets, they’ve been making 40 percent of their threes. It’s something to keep an eye on.

3. Houston Rockets. Record: 13-4. Net Rating: 8.8.
Power Shift: =
It turns out Chris Paul is pretty good. He came back and the Rockets scored 90 points in one half. James Harden is the obvious MVP and the Rockets get scarier every day.

2. Golden State Warriors. Record: 13-4. Net Rating: 13.1.
Power Shift: -1
I didn’t expect this either. No one did. I came into the year with a pretty stubborn stance that the Warriors would be number one in these rankings every week unless something drastic happened. They lost to the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics haven’t lost in a month. Everyone knows the Warriors are the best team in the league, but the Celtics can not be denied.

1. Boston Celtics. Record: 16-2. Net Rating: 7.3.
Power Shift: +1
They could have lost to the Raptors, they could have lost to the Mavericks, they could have lost to the Warriors. They didn’t. They don’t. They just don’t lose. Eventually, one of these close games is going to flip the wrong way. Then the Celtics will rip off another ten wins in a row. That’s just the type of team they are, and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

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