Magnum's Power Index

The next edition of Magnum P.I. is in.  The first week of the season has been played and there are plenty of things to talk about already.  Some of my pre-season rankings were a bit off so a few teams have jumped around in the rankings quite a bit.

Some highlights:

The Lakers fell out of the top spot down to 4th

The Rockets, 76ers and Thunder all made moves into the teens after being ranked in the 20s previously.

The Bucks probably didn't deserve to be ranked 28th out of 30 teams.



This isn't my prediction for how the standings will look at the end of the year.  This is a ranking of how teams are playing up to that point in the season weighted toward recent performance.  In this case, it is how teams look heading into the season.

For example, the difference between power rankings and a prediction for the end of the season is that teams are far healthier now then they will be in April.  The Spurs are number 3, but could easily be hit with injuries again this year and fall out of the top 10, something I would take into account in a season end prediction.  


1.  (Previous rank: 5) Celtics  4-0

The Celtics vault to the top of the rankings after beating the Cavs in their house and obliterating the Bobcats and Bulls by a combined 61 points.

2.  (2)  Magic  3-0

 Rashard Lewis is out for the first 10 games, but the Magic haven't missed him so far and probably won't until the Nov. 11th meeting against the Cavs.

3.  (3)  Spurs  2-1

Dejaun Blair looks like the steal of the 2009 draft so far and he fits well on a team that desperately needed big man help.  Even though I've said it before, I think this is the last shot the Spurs have at a title, but they seem poised to capitalize.

4. (1)   Lakers  2-1

A double digit loss to the Mavs at home doesn't hurt the Lakers' repeat chances, but an injured Pau Gasol does.

5. (4)  Cavaliers  2-2

The Cavs have struggled out of the gate.  Lebron can't continue to do it all if this team wants to get back to the finals.

6.  (6) Nuggets  3-0

If Carmelo Anthony can make the jump to legitimate MVP candidate then the Nuggets have a great shot at getting back to the WCF.

7.  (8) Mavericks  2-1

A big win over the defending champions on the road is a great way to bounce back from a loss in their home opener.

8.  (7) Blazers  2-2

No need to worry Blazer fans.  2 losses by 7 combined points to the Nuggets and scrappy Rockets in Houston is nothing to be ashamed of.  The team hasn't been firing on any more than 2 cylinders at a time yet the losses were close.

 9.  (13)  Suns  3-0

It's a good thing the Suns went 3-0 against these cupcakes, because they have a tough 5 game Eastern road trip including games against the Magic and Cavs up ahead.

10.  (14)  Heat  3-0

Jermaine O'Neal's numbers came back to earth in his 3rd game, but it didn't matter.  The Heat are 3-0 the first time since 2004.

11.  (12)  Hawks 2-1

2 double digit wins to open the season were nice, but being the team to play the Lakers after they lost in a blowout isn't15.  

12.  (11)  Jazz  1-1

Even a minor injury to Okur is a bad omen for this Jazz team.  The last thing they want is another season plagued by injuries.

13.  (15)  Wizards 2-1

Arenas was surprisingly good in the season opener even after being out for 2 years.  I don't think anyone outside of D.C. thought Agent Zero could be a legitimate all star candidate again.

14.  (10)  Bulls  1-2

Beating the Spurs and losing on the road to a healthy Celtics team isn't a bad 2 game split.

15.  (9)  Hornets 1-2

Their early schedule seems to show that they can beat the bad teams, but will fall to the elite teams.

16.  (21)  76ers  2-1

Lou Williams is doing quite well in the absence of Andre Miller.  If he keeps it up he could be in the running for MIP.

17.  (24)  Rockets  2-1

Do you think the Lakers regret giving up Ariza yet?

18.  (23) Thunder  2-1

Early season confidence could be huge for this team.

19.  (17)  Raptors  1-2

The Raps beat the Cavs in their home opener and then lose to the Grizzles.  Huh?

20.  (20)  Bobcats 1-2

Losing to Cleveland and Boston is nothing to be ashamed of.  Only scoring 59 points in their first game is something to be embarrassed about.  The Bobcats will have trouble scoring all year, just like Cloudy.

21.  (28)  Bucks  1-1

Brandon Jennings has been very impressive in his first two games.  His hot shooting won't continue, but he definitely put himself in the ROY race especially with Griffin currently injured.

22.  (22)  Pistons 1-2

They are who we thought they were: a team that overpaid for ill-fitting 2nd tier talent.

23.  (27) Grizzles  1-2

They're passing the ball more than I thought they would.  Will that keep up when Iverson comes back Monday?

24.  (26) Timberwolves  1-2

They are a buzzer beater away from a possible 0-3 start.

25.  (18)  Warriors  0-2

Don Nelson plays some strange rotations, but the Warriors do have the firepower to win games.

26.  (19)  Pacers  0-2

2 double digit losses is a painful way to open the season.  Their 3rd leading scorer is defensive stopper Dahntay Jones.

27.  (16)  Clippers 0-4

Can you say Clipper curse?

28. (25)  Knicks  0-3

I'm tempted to say that the Knicks forgot how to play defense.  However, that implies they knew how to play defense to begin with.

29.  (29)  Nets  0-3

In Soviet Russia, groin injures YOU.

30.  (30)  Kings  0-3

Do I have to think of anything for the Kings?  Uh, they could win their home opener?

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