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NBA Power Rankings 3.0

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The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks continued their dominance, the Toronto Raptors silenced most of their doubters, and James Harden displayed a 60-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks. Here is what is taking place around the league:

Bucking The Trend, and Showtime Has Arrived

There were two teams with a 10-game winning streak this week: The Milwaukee Bucks (17-3) and Los Angeles Lakers (17-3). By the end of the week, only the Bucks were left standing. They have run of 11 consecutive victories as Khris Middleton returned from injury. Giannis Antetokounmpo displayed a 50-point performance on Monday against the Utah Jazz (12-7), and ended the week with a 41-point blowout against the Charlotte Hornets (8-13) on Saturday night.

The Lakers rode a 10-game winning streak of their own into Sunday night as they faced off against the Dallas Mavericks (13-6), where they saw their streak come to an end. Nevertheless, the Lakers have rolled through their opponents and are tied with the Bucks for the best record in the league (17-3). The schedule is due to increase in competition, as the Lakers to this point have lost all three of their games to teams with winning records. In fact, 14 of their 17 wins were against teams with losing records.

The Winner’s Circle

Welcome to the Winner’s Circle, where we acknowledge all teams with a winning streak of three or more games.

With the Bucks currently holding the longest winning streak (11), the Toronto Raptors (15-4) hold the next-longest streak (7), while the Philadelphia 76ers (14-6) and Portland Trailblazers (8-12) round out the list with a pair of three-game winning streaks.

Getting Back on Track

After a four-game losing streak, Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers bounced back this week with three straight wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-11) and the Chicago Bulls (6-14). Even with two off those three wins came against the struggling Bulls, every win is important. The addition of Anthony started off slow with Damian Lillard sidelined, but he has posted a line of 17.7/6.0 in 30.8 minutes per contest.

Back To Life, Back To Reality

As we enter the month of December, teams are now settling in with the first round of scouting reports having circulated throughout the league. Now teams are able to pick up on trends, offensive and defensive playcalls, rotations and schemes. The Phoenix Suns (8-10) have lost three straight and seven of their last ten, as their early season magic has settled with DeAndre Ayton still sitting out with his suspension.

After a three-game winning streak last week, the New Orleans Pelicans (6-14) have now lost five in a row, but their last three losses were by a combined 10 points. In addition, their last two losses came at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-11).

The Other Side of The Winner’s Circle

Remember when Zach LaVine hit the game-winner against the Charlotte Hornets and put up 49 points in the process? The Bulls are on a current three-game losing streak, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-14), who have lost nine of their last ten games. The New York Knicks (4-16) have lost six in a row while the Atlanta Hawks (4-16) are on a ten-game losing streak.

The Week Ahead

As we step into the month of December, it will be interesting to see if Luka Doncic will continue his triple-double pace throughout the month. Will the Houston Rockets keep James Harden’s minutes under wraps? With the schedule getting tougher, how will the Lakers fair? Lastly, it is time we scrap the narrative about the Toronto Raptors?

Power Rankings 3.0

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (+1)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (-1)
  3. Miami Heat (+3)
  4. Toronto Raptors (+4)
  5. Houston Rockets (+6)
  6. Denver Nuggets (-1)
  7. Los Angeles Clippers (-4)
  8. Philadelphia 76ers (-1)
  9. Dallas Mavericks (-5)
  10. Boston Celtics (-1)
  11. Indiana Pacers (+1)
  12. Utah Jazz (-2)
  13. Brooklyn Nets (-)
  14. Sacramento Kings (+1)
  15. Portland Trail Blazers (+10)
  16. Minnesota Timberwolves (-2)
  17. Orlando Magic (-)
  18. Charlotte Hornets (+2)
  19. Washington Wizards (+7)
  20. Oklahoma City Thunder (-2)
  21. Phoenix Suns (-5)
  22. New Orleans Pelicans (-3)
  23. Detroit Pistons (+4)
  24. San Antonio Spurs (-2)
  25. Memphis Grizzlies (-2)
  26. Chicago Bulls (-5)
  27. Golden State Warriors (+3)
  28. Cleveland Cavaliers (-4)
  29. New York Knicks (-)
  30. Atlanta Hawks (-2)

Photo Credit: Stacy Revere, Getty Images

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