Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 14 and 15

NBA.com Global on Feb 03, 2018 09:12 PM
Old School Power Rankings 2017-18: Weeks 14 and 15
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 2: Dwight Howard #12 of the Charlotte Hornets shoots a free throw against the Boston Celtics during a preseason game on October 2, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

Superman is again soaring while having fun, the King no longer shares the kingdom with anyone and Marc's older brother rejoins the race.

Meanwhile, two top-five mainstays slip (but not far) and a pair of veteran guards round out the field.

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: 6 games, 23.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 8.5 apg
Season stats: 26.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 8.7 apg

Despite a sluggish two-week period in which he shot just 47.8 from the field and 68.3 from the free-throw line, James slides back to the middle as the only throne at the top. One thing that has been a bit disconcerting in 2017-18 has been the turnovers (5.3 average over the last six games and a career-worst 4.5 this season).

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 1a
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 apg
Season stats: 22.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.9 apg

It was a bit of an up-and-down stint for Aldridge, who went for 30 points in two games but was held to 16 or less in three games. Also, in three wins, the big man went for 25 points on 55.2 FG% compared to just 15.3 points and 39.4 FG% in four losses. Aldridge also hasn't pocketed a double-double since Jan. 21 (Jan. 22, PHL time).

3. Dwight Howard (32), Charlotte Hornets

Previous rank: 5
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 18.6 ppg, 14.4 rpg, 1.4 apg
Season stats: 16.0 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 1.4 apg

What's been more impressive: Howard shooting 77 percent from the line over the last four games or eight straight games with 15 or more rebounds? Regardless of which one you choose, there's no mistaking the impressive play of Howard, who has also managed to block four or more shots in three of the last six.

4. Chris Paul (32), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 3
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 21.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.3 apg
Season stats: 19.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 8.4 apg

Some hits and some misses sum up Paul's last two weeks. Two impressive performances (33 on Jan. 21, PHL time and 38 on Jan. 27, PHL time), two average outings (16 on Jan. 23, PHL time and 17 on Jan. 29, PHL time) and two clunkers (12 on Jan. 25, PHL time and 10 on Feb. 2, PHL time) mean the point guard drops one spot. Another troubling sign: Paul hasn't had 10 or more assists since Jan. 11, PHL time (10 games).

5. Marc Gasol (32), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 4
Last weeks' stats: 8 games, 15.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.6 apg
Season stats: 18.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.9 apg

Despite notching his first triple-double of the season, Gasol slips a spot. That's because all his performances (even the 13-12-10 triple-double) left something to be desired. In addition to just 41.1 FG%, the center went over 20 points just once (23 on Thursday, PHL time). He did finish the period with 19 and 14, but shot just 6-for-21.

6. Carmelo Anthony (33), Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous rank: 6
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 16.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 apg
Season stats: 17.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg

After three consecutive games with 20 or more points where he connected on 11 three's, Anthony has eclipsed the threshold just once in the last six while going just 8-for-35 (22.8 percent) from deep. And it looks like he's more comfortable on the road. In three home games, Anthony averaged 13 points on 35.9 FG%. In four road games: 19.8 points on 43.1 FG%.

7.  Pau Gasol (37), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 13.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.4 apg
Season stats: 10.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.3 apg

Even if we brush aside Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) head-scratcher in which he shot just once in 20 minutes (he did manage six points and seven rebounds), it was a fairly productive two weeks for Gasol. In addition to shooting 52.5 from the field, he snatched two double-doubles, went for 14 or more points in 5-of-7 and shot 78 percent (28-for-36) from the line.

8.  Taj Gibson (32), Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous rank: 8
Last weeks' stats: 8 games, 12.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
Season stats: 12.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.3 apg

Before Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) nine-point showing against the Bucks, Gibson managed seven straight games with double-digit scoring. In fact, he's been held under 10 points in just three of his last 15 games. But if we dig deeper, he hasn't gone for 20 points in any of those games, with four games being 12 or less points.

9.  Courtney Lee (32), New York Knicks

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 13.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.1 apg
Season stats: 13.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg

Lee did just enough at the start of the two-week period to climb back into the chase. The veteran guard went for 18, 16 and 20 in the first three games before stumbling, failing to eclipse 13 in the next four. He did, however, manage to connect on two or more three-pointers in 5-of-7 while averaging 1.4 steals.

10. Jamal Crawford (37), Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 13.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.5 apg
Season stats: 9.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.4 apg

Despite averaging just 19.6 minutes, Crawford went for 16 or more points in three of six games while shooting 52.6 from the field. But outside the points, Crawford didn't do much else to fill the box score, going for five or more assists twice and three or more rebounds once. But it was enough to make the cut.

Just missed the cut: Anthony Tolliver, J.J. Redick, Dwyane Wade

Will turn 32 this season: Rajon Rondo (Feb. 22), Corey Brewer (March 5), Kyle Lowry (March 25), Marco Belinelli (March 25).

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