Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 5 and 6

NBA.com Global on Dec 03, 2017 08:29 AM
Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 5 and 6
BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes to the basket against the Brooklyn Nets on October 25, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

Is it time to consider putting the King in a group all by himself? After all, as our colleague Sekou Smith points out, the man seems to be defying Father Time.

Even as a certain big man in the River City turns up his game in a big way, no ground is gained. Such is life when you live in his kingdom.

Meanwhile, there's a gritty point guard in Houston getting up to speed after missing the last 14 games with a knee bruise. Give him another two weeks before he becomes a serious factor in the OSPR chase.

Notes:
- Season statistics are through games of Nov. 2 (Nov. 3, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during the regular season can be added to the rankings.

1.  LeBron James (32), Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous rank: 1
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 27.4 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 8.0 apg
Season stats: 28.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 8.5 apg

Another two-week stint, another three games with 30 or more points. James seems to be boring us with his impressive play in Year 15. In fact, James has been held under 20 points just twice over the last 15 games. Want more? The four-time MVP continues to shoot at career-high numbers: 58.4 from the field and 42.5 from beyond the arc.

2.  LaMarcus Aldridge (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 3
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 25.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.0 apg
Season stats: 23.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.3 apg

With Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) 33-point effort against the Mavericks and Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) 41 points vs. Memphis, Aldridge notched back-to-back 30-point games for first time since March 25-28, 2016. Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) monster performance also gave us a first from the big man: three made three-pointers in one game, going a perfect 3-for-3.

3.  Marc Gasol (32), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 2
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 15.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.2 apg
Season stats: 18.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.3 apg

To say it was an interesting week for Gasol would be an understatement. First there was this, quickly followed by this. Gasol, like the Grizzlies, is struggling, shooting just 35.5 FG% and 27.3 3PT% over the last six games. In fact, over that span, Gasol's best shooting performance was last Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) 5-for-13 (38.5).

4.  Carmelo Anthony (33), Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous rank: 4
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 18.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 apg
Season stats: 19.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.6 apg

Anthony is reeling, and now there's chatter of whether moving him to the bench is the answer. Shooting at what would be a career-low 41.9, Anthony has been unspectacular yet consistent, scoring no more than 22 and no less than 16 in seven straight. This after he started the season with six straight games of 20 or more.

5.  Taj Gibson (32), Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous rank: 5
Last weeks' stats: 8 games, 11.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.0 apg
Season stats: 10.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.5 apg

Gibson continues to be a double-double machine, managing in three straight and nine so far this season. Remember, he had 11 all of last season. Of course the Wolves saw the best from Gibson when they won. In four wins, he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and 62.9 FG%. In four losses, Gibson went for 8.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 50 FG%.

6.  Chris Paul (32), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 12.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 10.4 apg
Season stats: 11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 10.3 apg

Look who joins the fun. And we're not going out on a limb when we predict he'll be somewhere on this list the rest of the season ... as long as he stays healthy. Having been sidelined since the season opener, Paul's shooting is still a bit rusty (44.9 FG%), but he also reeled off three straight games of 12 or more assists.

7.  Courtney Lee (32), New York Knicks

Previous rank: 9
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 14.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.4 apg
Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.0 apg

Why are Lee's offensive numbers up across the board this season. "We're not running the triangle," he recently told the Daily News. It's hard to argue with the results so far. Lee's scored in double figures in six straight, shooting a blistering 61.7 from the field and 52.9 from deep. For good measure, he chipped in 1.6 steals over that span.

8.  Zach Randolph (36), Sacramento Kings

Previous rank: 8
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
Season stats: 12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.0 apg

The two-week period couldn't have started any uglier for Randolph, who notched a goose egg, zero points on 0-for-4 shooting in 14 minutes, on Nov. 17 (Nov. 18, PHL time). But the veteran rebounded fairly nicely with six consecutive double-digit scoring games, shooting better than 50 percent in five of those to go along with five or more boards in all six.

9.  Pau Gasol (37), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 13.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.2 apg
Season stats: 11.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.3 apg

It looks like it's going to be a roller-coaster ride all season with Gasol. After a six-point showing Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), the seven-footer went for 17, 17 and 25 in the next three. He followed that up with an ugly four-point performance on 2-for-6 shooting. But we have been impressed with the long-range game, hitting eight three-pointers in the last three games and 44.9 3PT% for the season.

10.  J.J. Redick (33), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 10
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 16.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg
Season stats: 15.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.6 apg

Redick keeps his spot by the slimmest of margins. If not for last Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) effort (29 points on 10-for-18 shooting including 8-for-12 three-pointers), he would've fallen off. Like Gasol, it appears Redick is going to be up and down all season. After going for 20 in back-to-back games, Redick turned in an 11-point showing. He then bounced back with the aforementioned 29.

Just missed the cut: Dwyane Wade, J.J. Barea, Dirk Nowitzki, Marcin Gortat, Trevor Ariza

Will turn 32 this season: Dwight Howard (Dec. 8), Gerald Green (Jan. 26), Rajon Rondo (Feb. 22), Corey Brewer (March 5), Kyle Lowry (March 25), Marco Belinelli (March 25).

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