Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 3 and 4

NBA.com Global on Nov 18, 2018 07:27 AM
Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 3 and 4
FILE - MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 12: Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies is introduced before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 12, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

It was bound to happen, right?

The King was never, ever going to give up his throne to anyone else. Period. Because of that, we had to separate him from the rest of the field and give out a new ranking: ATHO (All To His Own). So unless something crazy happens during the season -- or an injury -- No. 1 will have an asterisk of sorts.

Now that the chase has opened up for everyone else, it should make for an interesting and intriguing run to the finish line, asterisk be damned.

Notes:

- Statistics are through games of Nov. 15 (Nov. 16, PHL time)
- Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings.
- Check out previous rankings
- Send comments to my email. If it's good -- and clean -- it may appear in a future column. Be sure to include your first name and city.

ATHO. LeBron James (33), Los Angeles Lakers

Previous rank: 1
Latest stats: 6 games, 27.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 6.2 apg
Season stats: 27.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 7.2 apg

Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) 44-point performance against the Trail Blazers was the one. That was the one that pushed the King into his own tier, his own neighborhood, his own ranking. He just refuses to make it fair for everyone else. That's how good he is. In addition to Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) superior effort, James has gone for 25 or more in eight of the last 10.
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1. Marc Gasol (33), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 4
Latest stats: 7 games, 16.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.6 apg
Season stats: 15.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.1 apg

After eclipsing 15 points in just three of the first six, Gasol has surpassed the mark in four straight, which included Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) effort in which he tied a career high with six three's. Of course the splits over the last seven left us puzzled. In four wins, Gasol went for 21.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 52.2 3PT%. In three losses: 10.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 0-for-8 from deep.

2. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 3
Latest stats: 8 games, 16.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 7.1 apg
Season stats: 17.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 7.5 apg

We were ready to move Paul to the top of the list until Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) effort: 10 points (4-for-10 shooting) and seven assists against the Warriors. In two previous games, Paul managed 21 and 26 on 15-for-25 shooting. Of course four previous contests saw him combine for just 39 points on 15-for-47 (31.9) shooting. It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride in November.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 2
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.1 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 1.6 apg
Season stats: 17.4 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 2.4 apg

He's scoring at home while rebounding on the road. In three home games, Aldridge went for 21.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg. In four road games, he averaged 9.0 ppg and 15.5 rpg. Aldridge has been hot and cold this month, failing to score in double figures in two of seven and scoring 20 or more just twice. One consistent has been the board work, grabbing 10 or more in five straight.

4. JJ Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 7
Latest stats: 7 games, 17.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 18.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg

Redick is feeling it of late, pouring in 20 or more points and hitting at least three three-pointers in three consecutive games. Coincidentally, he's started the last three games after beginning the season on the bench. We've also taken notice of Redick's volume of long-range shots, making 3.0 treys a game and attempting 8.3 -- both career highs.

5. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers

Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 6 games, 21.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.7 apg
Season stats: 19.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.1 apg

Hello there, newbie. Williams, who just turned 32 on Oct. 27, sprints up the list on the strength of five games with 20 or more points -- all while averaging less than 30 minutes (29.4) per game. In fact, the only game he didn't go for 20, he added 10 assists. Digging deeper, the last time Williams failed to break double-figure scoring was Nov. 20, 2017.

6. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 5
Latest stats: 6 games, 13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 10.0 apg
Season stats: 16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 10.7 apg

Lowry, who finally saw his streak of games with 10-plus assists end at nine, has been a bit of a road warrior over the last handful of games. In his last three home games, he averaged 9.3 points, 8.7 assists and 40.0 FG%. In three road games, Lowry managed 18.0 points, 11.3 assists and 46.3 FG%.

7.  Wesley Matthews (32), Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: 6
Latest stats: 5 games, 12.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg
Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg

After starting the season with six straight double-figure scoring games, Matthews has gone for 10 or more in just three of the last seven. He missed one game with a hamstring injury and had to leave Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) game after just 21 minutes with the same injury, so that'll skew the numbers a bit, which is why he only fell one spot.

8.  Taj Gibson (33), Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 7 games, 12.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.9 apg
Season stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 apg

Gibson started the season sluggishly, failing to score more than 13 points in any of the first 10 games. Since then, the gritty veteran has gone for 15 or more in three of the last five. Also in those first 10 games, Gibson managed to snag nine or more boards just once. He's done that three times in the last five contests.

9.  Dwight Howard (32), Washington Wizards

Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 7 games, 12.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.4 apg
Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.4 apg

After missing the first seven games of the season with a back injury, Howard is starting to get into a groove. In addition to scoring in double figures in four straight, he has snatched eight or more rebounds in five of the last six. His return to the lineup might also be a reason the Wizards have started to turn things around, winning four of their last six.

10. Goran Dragic (32), Miami Heat

Previous rank: 9
Latest stats: 4 games, 16.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.5 apg
Season stats: 17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.8 apg

The theme song from Facts of Life keeps running through my head: "You take the good, you take the bad ..." That rings very true with Dragic, who in his four games had three with 20 or more points and one with a goose egg on 0-for-7 shooting. Now, we won't pile on since we realize he missed a pair of games with a knee injury.

Just missed the cut: Paul Millsap, JJ Barea, Dwyane Wade, Al Horford, Jeff Green

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