Reigning champs return to top

Publish date:

Talk of parity normally gravitates to football standings, not the more hidebound hierarchy of the NBA. But one week into the season, only three teams are undefeated while six are winless.

Some of this has to be with a few early epic matchups: When Miami plays both Boston and Orlando, you have powerhouse teams beating up on each other. But the first week also yielded its share of surprises, led by the undefeated Hornets and the winless Rockets. Golden State, New Jersey and Sacramento are all over .500 -- better than the Jazz, Suns, Bucks and even the Magic.

Of course, the statisticians will tell you that this is a woefully inadequate sample size by which to pass judgment or predict the future of the 82-game season. They're right: What matters more are the trends, circumstances and causes for why a team is over- or underachieving; the leaders who are disappointing and the rookies and relative unknowns who are coming up big.

That's why I'll repeat what I said in my initial Power Rankings: The comments about the teams will hopefully mean more to you than where your team lands, because the order will almost certainly deserve to be scrambled after another night or two of action.

(All stats and records are through Nov. 1.)

NBA Power Rankings

1 - 10

11 - 20

21 - 30