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NBA Power Rankings: Heat, Knicks, Wizards appear to be challengers in East

Chinmay Vaidya updates his NBA power rankings after the second week of the 2021-22 regular season.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Charlotte Hornets on October 29, 2021 at The FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

After two weeks of the 2021-22 NBA season, we’re starting to see some trends that give us a more clear picture of how teams are performing. There are still some variables which will take time to normalize, although most teams appear to be starting to settle into a rhythm. Here’s some of the notable teams trending up and down through two weeks.

The Miami Heat are showing they’re a problem in the Eastern Conference. Two seasons after a run to the Finals in the Orlando bubble, Miami has successfully reloaded and some key players have taken a step forward. Kyle Lowry was exactly what this team needed at the point guard position. The New York Knicks might not have any superstars, but Kemba Walker is playing well in his hometown and the collective group is buying into Tom Thibodeau’s system. The Washington Wizards might be giving Bradley Beal more reasons to stick around, as the team is 5-1 and should be competitive through the season.

On the flip side of things, the New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers continue to slide. The latter should turn things around once Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon get back to 100 percent, while the Pelicans have to hope Zion Williamson will eventually return to the floor. The Milwaukee Bucks are also dealing with injuries and find themselves trending down after holding the top spot last week.

Let’s take a look at Chinmay Vaidya’s power rankings for Week 3 of the NBA season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 3

Rank Team Previous Rank
Rank Team Previous Rank
1 Utah Jazz 3
2 Golden State Warriors 2
3 Miami Heat 6
4 Denver Nuggets 7
5 Brooklyn Nets 10
6 New York Knicks 9
7 Chicago Bulls 4
8 Philadelphia 76ers 5
9 Los Angeles Lakers 11
10 Milwaukee Bucks 1
11 Washington Wizards 20
12 Atlanta Hawks 8
13 Charlotte Hornets 14
14 Phoenix Suns 12
15 Memphis Grizzlies 15
16 Dallas Mavericks 16
17 Toronto Raptors 24
18 Sacramento Kings 17
19 Minnesota Timberwolves 18
20 Portland Trail Blazers 21
21 LA Clippers 13
22 Boston Celtics 19
23 Indiana Pacers 22
24 San Antonio Spurs 23
25 Cleveland Cavaliers 26
26 Detroit Pistons 29
27 Houston Rockets 25
28 New Orleans Pelicans 27
29 Oklahoma City Thunder 30
30 Orlando Magic 28