The West takes over the top five this week -- which team is No. 1?

By Matt Dollinger
December 01, 2014

The 76ers -- if that's what we're still calling them these days -- have lost as many games this season as the Grizzlies, Warriors, Rockets, Blazers and Spurs combined.

With the exception of a brief cameo at No. 31 last season, the Sixers have been No. 30 in my rankings for as long as I can remember. They're my surest placement every week. No debate, no second-guesses -- just ironclad certainty. I expect the 76ers to be last like I expect to inhale oxygen when I breathe. 

Picking No. 1 is an entirely different matter. Every week I fret over who should lead the rankings, especially this early in the season when a single win or a loss could shift your placement by several slots.

Golden State has made that exercise relatively easy this season -- up until now. The Warriors are on top for the fourth consecutive week, but the hard-charging Grizzlies should probably be No. 1A at a minimum. Memphis has an NBA-best 15 wins and is tied with Golden State for the fewest losses (two) in the league. It has a top-five defense in terms of efficiency and a top-10 offense to boot. It has a perfect record against Western Conference foes and the highest RPI (Relative Percentage Index) of any team in the league. If it weren't for the Warriors, the Grizzlies would be the talk of the league. 

Instead, much like Memphis is used to, its overshadowed by its glitzier rival in Golden State, which has won nine straight and remains on top. Let's take a look at where the rest of the 30 teams stand in this week's NBA Power Rankings.

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(All stats and records through Nov. 30)

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