Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 5 and 6

NBA.com Global on Dec 02, 2018 08:13 AM
Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 5 and 6
MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies blocks a shot against the Dallas Mavericks on November 19, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com

Not even an impressive stretch can get you closer to the King.

A certain seven-foot Spaniard in Memphis put together seven solid games, but it wasn't enough to bring No. 23 back to the rest of the field. It's hard to see that happening at all this season.

Meanwhile, Dallas' energizer bunny enters the chase for the first time in 2018-19. If he can get a slight bump in minutes to the 23-25 range, he could become a mainstay on our list. Scroll down to No. 7 and you'll see why we feel that way.

- Notes: Statistics are through games of Nov. 29 (Nov. 30, PHL time); ATHO = All To His Own
- 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: ATHO
Latest stats: 7 games, 29.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 5.7 apg
Season stats: 28.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.7 apg

The King remains in a group by himself, and the last seven games haven't changed anything, especially when it includes a 51-point showing. We did notice a big statistical difference in wins compared to losses. In four wins, James averaged 35.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 55.8 FG%. In three losses: 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 43.8 FG%.

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1. Marc Gasol (33), Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 1
Latest stats: 7 games, 23.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.7 apg
Season stats: 18.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 4.0 apg

Gasol widened the gap between he and the rest of the pack on the strength of five solid double-doubles. He also managed some nice synergy along the way with 27 points in each of the last three games. If that's not enough, he's gone for 17 or more in eight straight. More? He's hit three or more three-pointers in two straight games.
 
2. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 3
Latest stats: 7 games, 18.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.9 apg
Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.5 apg

Like James, Aldridge performed much better in victories. In three wins, Aldridge went for 25.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 60.4 FG%. In four losses, he went for 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 35.2 FG%. With that said, he moves up a spot thanks to two healthy performances: 33 points and 14 rebounds on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and 24-18 last Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
 
3. J.J. Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 4
Latest stats: 7 games, 18.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Season stats: 18.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg

If Redick is one thing, it's consistent. Look at his numbers from the last seven games. Now look at his season stats. It doesn't get much more even than that. Redick has also gone for 15 or more in three straight and nine of the last 11 while connecting on four or more three-pointers in four of the last eight.
 
4. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 2
Latest stats: 3 games, 21.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.3 apg
Season stats: 17.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 7.7 apg

The biggest reason for Paul's slip is the fact he only played two games. The gritty point guard has been nursing a nagging hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for the last three games. So why not a bigger drop? Because Paul delivered in his two games, going for 20 in each while handing out seven or more dimes in both.
 
5. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers

Previous rank: 5
Latest stats: 7 games, 14.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.4 apg
Season stats: 17.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.2 apg

After starting the season with 18 consecutive games of double-digit scoring, Williams hit the skids last Sunday (Monday, PHL time) with a 4-point showing (2-for-13 shooting). Following a 20-point effort Wednesday, Williams managed another dud Thursday with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting. We were very, very close to dropping him down a spot.
 
6. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 6
Latest stats: 8 games, 14.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 9.5 apg
Season stats: 15.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, 10.3 apg

Since his run of eight double-doubles in nine games in late October-early November, Lowry has been hit-and-miss. Over his last eight games, he's had just three double-doubles, and none of those in consecutive games. In fact, Lowry hasn't had back-to-back double-doubles since Nov. 4 and 5 (Nov. 5 and 6, PHL time).
 
7.  J.J. Barea (34), Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 4 games, 16.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 7.5 apg
Season stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 6.2 apg

The bad boy Pistons of the 1980s had Vinny 'The Microwave' Johnson. This year's Mavericks have Jose Juan (J.J.) Barea. The connection? Both are instant offense. In addition to scoring in double figures in eight straight, Barea is averaging 11 points in just 19.8 minutes. That works out to 26.7 points per 48 minutes. 'Nuff said.
 
8.  Rudy Gay (32), San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: NA
Latest stats: 7 games, 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.9 apg
Season stats: 13.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.2 apg

Gay started strong, securing three straight games of 17 or more points. But then things slowly headed downhill, scoring 11, 10, 8 and 3 over the last four. We realize he played less than 20 minutes in each of those last two games (Popovich wanted to take it easy on him before a grueling stretch), which is why he made the cut.

9.  Wes Matthews (32), Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: 7
Latest stats: 2 games, 13.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
Season stats: 15.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg

Like Paul, Matthews managed just two games while dealing with a hamstring injury. Upon his return, Matthews scored 15 and 11, respectively -- just enough to remain in the chase. Before dealing with the nagging hamstring injury, Matthews was producing to the tune of six games of 20 or more points over an eight-game span.

10. Dwyane Wade (36), Miami Heat

Previous rank: Just missed
Latest stats: 4 games, 17.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg
Season stats: 15.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg

Yep, Flash still has something left in the tank, lighting up the Raptors last Sunday (Monday, PHL time) for 35 points on 13-for-22 shooting to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Of course he did a lot better on the road than at home, going for 22.5 points on 56.3 FG% on two road games compared to 11.5 points and 42.1 FG% in two home games.

Just missed the cut: Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Devin Harris, Taj Gibson

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