As the calendar turns to December and the NBA settles in at the quarter pole, it's time to check in with the NBA Vegas Rankings on each team. Our panel of NBA handicappers -- including Dave Tuley, Geoff Kulesa of wunderdog.com and yours truly of sportsmemo.com -- to a surprise of absolutely no one has the undefeated Golden State Warriors sitting comfortably on top of the ratings. They're rated three points higher than the next competitor in the San Antonio Spurs. Note the Spurs and Warriors won't face off until Jan. 25, and maybe, just maybe, the Warriors will lose a game by then. But it's the next jump that's remarkable with the Warriors rated 6.5 to 8.5 points better than teams ranked third to ninth. The Warriors have been favored by double digits in 10 of their 22 games.
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference and in somewhat surprising fashion, the Miami Heat rank No. 1. They rank a half-point stronger than the defending conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who are yet to regain health and hit their stride. But the race in the East will continue to be tight, with seven teams ranked within two points of one another, including the Heat, Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics. The question lingers for the Cavaliers: Once they return to health, will they be able to separate from the rest of the improving conference?
The NBA Vegas Rankings are intended to compare the relative strength of teams and can be used in relation to point spreads if they were to meet on a neutral court. They're the combined power ratings of our panel and can also be used as a basis of your own power ratings if you think our consensus is too high or too low on certain teams. We invite readers to offer their opinions in the comments section.
Here are the power ratings for all 30 NBA teams, with a full table at bottom.
NBA Vegas Rankings
1. Golden State Warriors (power rating: 34)
The defending champs check in at 22-0 and a bankroll building 15-7 against the spread. There are a handful of teams remodeling themselves off the Warriors' "pace and space" and shooting more 3-pointers. But the Warriors and Stephen Curry are showing they're impossible to duplicate by attempting the most 3-pointers in the NBA but connecting at a sensational 44 percent, with the NBA average at 35 percent.