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NBA Power Rankings: Raptors Rising

The Toronto Raptors are rising, but are they worthy of dethroning the Golden State Warriors at the top?



The third week of the NBA season has come and gone and to say there have been quite a few surprises along the way, well, that would be an understatement.

Immediately, after about 10-12 games, our focus turns right to that eighth seed out West, where the New Orleans Pelicans enter play on Nov. 20 as the final team in. One team that couldn’t be any further out? The Oklahoma City Thunder, who will begin Week 4 dead last out West and tied for the second-west record in the entire league.

For the sake of the Thunder, we hope that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can return sooner rather than later, otherwise, the season may be lost.

The surprise team of the season, thus far? It’s gotta be the Jason Kidd-coached Milwaukee Bucks. Entering play on Nov. 20 at 7-5, we are impressed. We wouldn’t have tabbed the Bucks to be two games above .500 at ANY point during the season, much less after 12 games.

Kidd’s Bucks waltzed into Barclays Center on Wednesday night and beat his former team, thoroughly earning our kudos.

But as usual, there is one team and one team alone that has stolen our hearts, and this week, it is the Toronto Raptors. We came dangerously close to dubbing them numero uno, but didn’t have the heart to demote the Golden State Warriors since they haven’t lost since their initial anointment. We also took into account the fact that the Raptors beat an undermanned Grizzlies team on Wednesday night, taking a bit of a luster off of an otherwise phenomenal win.

Still, Toronto, nothing but love for you!

Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders.

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