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1 Houston (4)3-0Off: 105.8 (17), Def: 97.3 (3) -- Even though Rick Adelman is an offensive guy, and even though T-Mac scored 47 in Utah, the Rockets' defense is still their strength.
2 San Antonio (1)3-0Off: 110.6 (9), Def: 101.4 (10) -- They have the best coach, the best player and a ton of depth. What's not to love? They travel to both Houston (1) and New Orleans (4) this week.
5 Detroit (3)3-0Off: 113.4 (5), Def: 98.0 (6) -- Comfortable road wins on back-to-back nights without Rip Hamilton have the Pistons as the best team in the East once again.
4 New Orleans (16)3-0Off: 113.0 (6), Def: 98.1 (7) -- The Hornets won a battle of 2-0 teams in Denver Sunday night, the first of seven road games in a nine-game span.
5 Boston (7)2-0Off: 106.2 (16), Def: 90.9 (1) -- Never mind the Big Three. The Celtics are the best defensive team in the league. And they've played two of last season's top 10 offenses.
TEAM (PRESEASON)2006-07BREAKDOWN
6 Indiana (26)3-0Off: 109.2 (11), Def: 97.5 (4) -- 3-0? The Pacers? With Jermaine O'Neal missing one game and not playing more than 25 minutes in the other two? What's going on here?
7 L.A. Lakers (22)2-1Off: 112.4 (7), Def: 104.5 (14) -- We're not ready to admit that we were wrong about the Lakers, but we are very impressed with Odom-less wins over the Suns and Jazz.
8 Toronto (9)2-1Off: 111.8 (8), Def: 97.8 (5) -- They fell just short of a 3-0 start on Sunday, but the Raptors have shown early that they mustn't be forgotten when discussing the best teams in the East.
9 Denver (10)2-1Off: 103.3 (18), Def: 94.7 (2) -- George Karl said that defense would be stressed this season, and it's apparently working. The Nuggets now head East, with games in New York, Boston, Washington and Indiana this week.
10 L.A. Clippers (29)2-0Off: 117.8 (2), Def: 107.3 (20) -- We're not sure this version of the Clippers is built for the long haul, but they're fun to watch. They'll be challenged by a Central Division trip (CHI, IND, DET) this week.
11 Charlotte (25)2-0Off: 107.8 (12), Def: 105.5 (17) -- The Bobcats are two games over .500 for the first time ever. Yes, you read that right.
12 Atlanta (23)1-1Off: 107.5 (13), Def: 104.6 (15) -- Beating the Mavs and losing in the final seconds in Detroit has the Hawks off to another impressive start. Even more impressive would be picking up a couple of wins this week, with games against the Nets, Suns, Celtics and Wizards.
13 Dallas (2)2-1Off: 118.1 (1), Def: 106.2 (19) -- The Mavs lost Devin Harris in the middle of that loss in Atlanta (and they were also missing Josh Howard), so we'll give them a little bit of a break. Harris hopes to be back for Monday's matchup vs. the No. 1 Rockets (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV).
14 Utah (6)2-2Off: 114.9 (3), Def: 109.3 (23) -- The Jazz really have Golden State's number, beating them twice by a total of 44 points this week. They don't play them again until Feb. 19, but their upcoming schedule still looks pretty favorable.
15 Phoenix (3)2-1Off: 103.1 (19), Def: 101.0 (8) -- Getting smoked by the Lakers at home was probably just one of those things, but for some reason, it would be more excusable if it was Game 50-something rather than Game 2.
16 New Jersey (12)2-1Off: 99.1 (25), Def: 106.1 (18) -- A 37-point loss at home sandwiched between two nice wins? That's inconsistency. And that's exactly how the Nets played last year.
17 Orlando (15)2-1Off: 109.4 (10), Def: 105.0 (16) -- Hedo Turkoglu ... All-Star? Why not? He's leading the Magic in scoring and is 8-of-15 from downtown to start the season.
18 Cleveland (11)1-2Off: 100.2 (23), Def: 108.9 (22) -- The Cavs are the first Eastern Conference team to head West. Sunday's loss in Phoenix was the first of a six-game trip. If they can go 3-3, they'll be in decent shape.
19 Philadelphia (21)1-2Off: 100.2 (24), Def: 102.1 (12) -- The Sixers beat the Bulls (which may have seemed like a more impressive win at the time than it does now) and hung close with the Raptors and Nets. You can't count them out of the playoff picture.
20 New York (24)1-1Off: 114.1 (4), Def: 114.3 (27) -- Why are the Knicks ranked eight spots lower than a team with the same record? Check out our Power Rankings Protraction on The Court Reporters blog.
21 Milwaukee (18)1-2Off: 95.6 (26), Def: 102.8 (13) -- While Saturday's win over the Bulls may have been brutal to watch, it's good to see Yi Jianlian (16 points, eight boards, two blocks and only three fouls!) getting more comfortable.
22 Memphis (19)0-2Off: 107.1 (15), Def: 113.5 (26) -- Chemistry seems to be an issue for a team that is just starting to get to know each other. Give them some time.
23 Minnesota (28)0-2Off: 101.0 (22), Def: 108.7 (21) -- The effort has been there. The execution? Not so much. But the Wolves have been right there down the stretch of their two losses.
24 Golden State (17)0-3Off: 107.4 (14), Def: 123.5 (30) -- Obviously, Utah is a bad matchup for the Warriors, but no matter whom you're playing, the worst defense in the league is not a good thing to be.
25 Seattle (30)0-3Off: 95.0 (27), Def: 111.1 (25) -- Through one week of action, the Sonics are playing at the fastest pace by far. They're averaging more than six possessions per game more than any other team. They just aren't using them very well.
26 Chicago (8)0-3Off: 91.4 (30), Def: 101.2 (9) -- Losing to New Jersey, a good team that has their number, is forgivable, even for a team that has the tools to make it to the Finals. Losing to Philly and Milwaukee? Nuh-uh.
27 Portland (27)0-3Off: 101.4 (20), Def: 115.8 (28) -- The Blazers' three losses have all been on the road against teams in our top four, and they hung in there with the Spurs until the final minutes. They open at home against the Hornets on Wednesday.
28 Washington (14)0-3Off: 92.4 (29), Def: 109.7 (24) -- Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison are shooting a combined .314 from the field. And it's not like they can just rely on their defense.
29 Miami (13)0-3Off: 92.9 (28), Def: 101.5 (11) -- They're 0-3, they've got the Spurs and Suns up next, and then four of five on the road after that. And of the seven teams that are 0-3, only the Heat have lost two at home. Hurry back D-Wade!
30 Sacramento (20)0-3Off: 101.4 (21), Def: 120.6 (29) -- We know that Mike Bibby and Ron Artest have been out, but the Kings have trailed by an average of 19.7 points at the half.