Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 1 and 2

NBA.com Global on Nov 04, 2018 06:44 AM
Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 1 and 2
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets look on during the game on October 20, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

Is it time to give serious consideration to putting the King in his own group/category? It's going to be a tall task for anyone to snatch his crown.

Moving on to "the other group," Kyle Lowry seems to be taking to his new stud teammate quite well, Wesley Matthews is doing a little bit of everything in Big D, and Rudy Gay is grabbing boards like never before.

A few familiar faces have fallen off the list (Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap, Carmelo Anthony) and another (Lou Williams) just joined the 32-and-older club and is off to a stellar start and could join the chase very soon.

- Notes: Statistics are through games of Nov 1 (Nov. 2, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
- Check out previous rankings

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1. LeBron James (33), Los Angeles Lakers

Previous rank: 1
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 28.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 8.3 apg
Season stats: 27.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 8.0 apg

A new locale with new teammates hasn't prevented the King from storming out of the gates, chipping in at least 19 points in every game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. In fact, that 19-point effort was the only game in which he went for less than 24. For good measure, James is adding 2.1 steals per game -- his best mark since 2004-05 (2.2).

2. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 3
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 20.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 20.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.1 apg

The biggest reason for Aldridge's ascension to the No. 2 spot was Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) 37-point, 10-rebound performance. But what really caught our eye was his splits over the last six games. In three home pages, Aldridge averaged 16.7 points on 35.3 FG percentage. In three road games, he averaged 24.3 points on 60.4 FG percentage.

3. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 2
Last weeks' stats: 3 games, 19.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 9.0 apg
Season stats: 19.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 8.3 apg

Returning from a two-game suspension, Paul's shooting remained MIA -- going 3-for-13 and 6-for-19 in two subsequent games. Of course the one game he played before the suspension was impressive: 28 points (9-for-17 shooting), 10 assists and seven rebounds. He's also chipped in nine or more dimes in six of the last seven.

4. Marc Gasol (33), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 4
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 15.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
Season stats: 15.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.5 apg

In addition to the above statistics, Gasol also managed 1.8 steals per game (eight in the last two games) and knocked down 10-of-21 three-pointers. After hitting more than 100 three's the last two seasons, this after just 12 in eight seasons combined, the big man looks to be well on his way to another big season from beyond the arc.
 
5. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 8
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 17.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 11.6 apg
Season stats: 18.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 11.1 apg

Which one of these is not like the other: 6.4, 7.0, 6.9 and 11.1. Those are Lowry's assist averages over the last four seasons, with '18-19 being the outlier of 11.1. Maybe that's what Kawhi Leonard does for you. In addition to racking up the dimes, Lowry has poured in 20 or more points in four of the first eight, failing to eclipse double figures once.

6. Wesley Matthews (32), Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: NA
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 19.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg
Season stats: 18.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg

Matthews has been as consistent as possible with six of seven games scoring between 19-23 points. If he can maintain his current scoring clip of 18.6, he'll blow away his previous career high of 16.4 set in '13-14. One big reason for the scoring surge has been the trey, hitting four or more in four of the last seven games.

7.  JJ Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 10
Last weeks' stats: 7 games, 20.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.0 apg
Season stats: 18.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.3 apg

Despite coming off the bench, Redick is still averaging 30.9 minutes, which is more than what he averaged in each of the previous three seasons. As should be the case, Redick has been big from deep, connecting on three or more triples in seven straight games. Also true to form, he's gone 27-for-29 from the free-throw line.
 
8.  Rudy Gay (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks' stats: 6 games, 13.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.3 apg
Season stats: 14.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg

Gay has taken to the new season nicely, shooting 52.5 from the field, 64.3 from beyond the arc and 1.3 steals. But of the main stats, the one that really sticks out is the 8.4 rebounds. His previous best mark was 7.4 in an 18-game stint with the Raptors in '13-14. For good measure, Gay has scored in double figures in every game.

9.  Goran Dragic (32), Miami Heat

Previous rank: 9
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 18.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.6 apg
Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.0 apg

If not for Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) nine-point showing, Dragic probably would have moved up a notch. That said, in five games, the veteran guard still managed three games of 20 or more. But in two wins, Dragic averaged 20.5 points, 50.0 FG percentage and 50.0 3PT percentage compared to just 16.3 points, 39.5 FG percentage and 35.0 3PT percentage in three losses.

10. Dwyane Wade (36), Miami Heat

Previous rank: Just missed
Last weeks' stats: 5 games, 14.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.0 apg
Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.0 apg

Wade has made an adjustment in his game this season, becoming proficient from beyond the arc. This season, he's shooting 44.8 on three-pointers. His previous best mark was 32.9 in 46 games with the Cavs last season before being dealt to the Heat. Wade has hit two or more 3s in four of the last five, so let's see if this accuracy from deep continues.

Just missed the cut: Paul Millsap, Lou Williams, Garrett Temple, Al Horford, George Hill

Will turn 32 this season: Ian Mahinmi (Nov. 5)

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