It's that time.
After three of Wednesday's 10 games are complete, we will have reached the quarter point (308/1,230) of the 2019-20 NBA season. So it's time to take stock of where your team sits after 20 games.
If your team is one of the 13 that currently reside above .500, you should be feeling pretty good. Over the last 20 full (82-game) seasons, 86% of the teams that won at least 11 of their first 20 games went on to make the playoffs. And if, at the 20-game mark, your team has fewer than eight wins, maybe start working some college games into your viewing schedule, because the NBA Draft Lottery is probably in your future.
There's still plenty of season left, and everything is relative. Fans in Indiana might be feeling better about the Pacers' 12-7 mark than fans in Philadelphia are feeling about 14-6.
No team's fans should be feeling more confident than those of the Bucks, who take over the top spot in this week's Power Rankings.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Right Way: James Harden (HOU) was a plus-61 in two games last week.
- Wrong Way: Miles Bridges (CHA) was a minus-74 in four games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Toronto (4-0) -- The Raptors improve their winning streak to seven games, picking up a huge win over the Sixers and thumping the Jazz along the way.
- Something Just Ain't Right: Chicago (0-3) -- The Bulls (twice) helped the Blazers turn things around last week, while also giving the Warriors their fourth win of the season.
East vs. West
- The West is 54-49 (.524) against the East in interconference games after the East went 10-9 last week.
Schedule strength through Week 6
- Toughest: 1. Atlanta, 2. New Orleans, 3. Sacramento
- Easiest: 1. L.A. Lakers, 2. Toronto, 3. Indiana
- Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Portland (+7), Toronto (+5), Detroit (+3)
- Free falls of the week: Chicago (-4), Phoenix (-4), Three teams (-3)
Week 7 Team to Watch
- Toronto -- The Raptors take a seven-game winning streak and a 9-0 home record into a week in which they'll host the Heat (who are 12-3 with Jimmy Butler) on Tuesday and Rockets (with James Harden throwing flames) on Thursday. They'll then visit one of the other three teams that's undefeated at home, playing in Philadelphia on Sunday.
- Last week: Mavs rise to No. 5, Lakers hold top spot
- This time last year: Raptors drop champs, ascend to No. 1 again -- In a Finals preview, the eventual champs - on their way to winning eight straight games and a league-best 20-4 record - beat the defending champs. The Jazz traded Alec Burks for Kyle Korver, the Heat lost their first six games in their black Miami Vice uniforms, and the Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored seven points in 12 seconds as the Grizzlies pulled off a wild comeback in Brooklyn, Khris Middleton hit a game-winning three against the Bulls, and Gary Harris hit one in Portland. Mario Hezonja dunked on (and stepped over) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marcus Smart started the Celtics' break from the floor, and Patrick Beverley knocked out Dennis Smith Jr.'s tooth.
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 101.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 108.1 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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