<
>

Stein's Power Rankings: Week 1

Something tells me Gregg Popovich has never looked at the ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings.

Not mine. Not the John Hollinger version. Not once.

But maybe somebody in San Antonio -- some Spurs fans, perhaps -- will take some measure of pleasure in seeing that a fourth-quarter fade in Phoenix on Friday night couldn't knock the reigning champs off their rankings perch.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers all simply took too many Week 1 hits to earn a promotion of that magnitude. The Cavs and Clippers suffered humbling losses to the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, respectively, while the Bulls find themselves dealing with Derrick Rose's two freshly sprained ankles after D-Rose looked so good late in the preseason.

The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, rightfully moved up from No. 5 to No. 2 thanks to their 3-0 start, but putting the Dubs on top of the pile -- even at this early juncture -- just felt too aggressive for the committee (of one).

The Dallas Mavericks (from No. 6 to No. 3) and the Miami Heat (No. 16 to No. 7) were the other notable risers ‎since last Monday. The Knicks (No. 21 to No. 15) and the Kings (No. 23 to No. 16) also made nice little leaps after their 2-1 starts.

Yet really nothing -- nothing! -- catches the eye like the Los Angeles Lakers' tumble all the way down to a lowly No. 29. Everyone surely understands that Oklahoma City's dip from No. 10 to No. 19 is purely injury-related after Russell Westbrook joined Kevin Durant on the shelf.

‎Join us again next Monday when the committee reconvenes to do it all over again ...