1. Indiana Pacers (Change from last week: Up 6 places)
I’ve held off for two weeks now but there’s no chance I can for a third week. The 6-0 Pacers are the only team yet to enter the loss column. They truly humbled the Chicago Bulls in a 17-point win, holding the Bulls to just 80 points.
Paul George is vaulting his way towards superstar status. Roy Hibbert is busy showing why he should win Defensive Player of the Year. It’s a convincing argument. The Pacers defense is the stingiest in the league, allowing opposing teams to shoot just 37.5%. Staggering so far. This week they host the struggling Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks before a rematch with the Bulls in Chicago.
Offensive Rating: 99.6, Defensive Rating: 87.5(!)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (Up 2)
The Clippers are only 4-3, but they are playing better. In fact, they’re playing very well. In their first three games this week they scored a frightening 324 points or 108 per game. Even more scary is this is down 2.5 points per game on their season average. The two losses to the Orlando Magic – more on them later – and the Heat were the first sub-100 point outings they’ve had this season.
Their high ranking is led by Chris Paul who is one of the early front-runners for MVP. His 22.5 points and 12.5 assists per game, should he average that for the rest of the season, would see him become just the second player to ever average over 22 points and 12 assists per game after Magic Johnson accomplished the feat in 1987 and ’89.
ORtg: 110.0, DRtg: 106.6