This season’s first installment of the weekly Amico Hoops Top 16 power rankings.
1. Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving has never looked so relaxed and effective to start a season. Maybe he was on to something.
2. Houston Rockets: Will be interesting to see what type of impact Chris Paul’s return will have on Eric Gordon, who’s been magnificent.
3. Golden State Warriors: Sort of half-heartedly approaching the early season, and still starting to blow out opponents.
4. Detroit Pistons: Don’t look now, but Andre Drummond is making free throws. Avery Brady quite a pickup.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Additions of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague everything team hoped so far.
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol and Mike Conley look like All-Stars, Tyreke Evans has found new hoops life.
7. Orlando Magic: Starting to cool off after red-hot start. Still appear to be vastly improved.
8. San Antonio Spurs: Been sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde after 4-0 start. Need Kawhi Leonard back ASAP.
9. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard won’t be overlooked for the All-Star team this season. Period, end of discussion.
10. Toronto Raptors: Same cast, largely same results — a good team that doesn’t quite scare anybody.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Hey, why not? Ben Simmons is doing things we rarely see from rookies, and Joel Embiid is healthy.
12. Washington Wizards: John Wall and Bradley Beal are the mainstays, but Otto Porter and others offering even more help.
13. Los Angeles Clippers: This has basically become the Blake Griffin Show. Read: Things could be worse.
14. Charlotte Hornets: Dwight Howard is playing well, Kemba Walker is an All-Star and Jeremy Lamb has been fantastic.
15. New York Knicks: Yeah, Carmelo Anthony’s old team is playing better than his new. Credit Kristaps Porzingis, baby.
16. New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins starting to come together, Pelicans coming around.