Rauf's Rankings: Week 3 NBA Power Rankings

The NBA regular season is now two weeks old and there are already several teams that look like they'll exceed expectations this season, while others have underperformed to this point. How do all of the teams project to stack up against each other as we head into the new year? Here's our initial 2015-16 NBA Power Rankings:

1) Golden State Warriors (9-0)

The defending champs have picked up right where they left off, cruising to an undefeated start in historic fashion. Right now, it looks like they'll keep this spot all season, even when they inevitably suffer some losses this season.

2) Cleveland Cavaliers (7-1)

After losing their season opener, Cleveland has reeled off seven straight wins, keeping them right on pace with the Warriors.

3) San Antonio Spurs (6-2)

The Spurs keep plugging along and checking boxes in the win column while finding ways to incorporate newcomers LaMarcus Aldridge and David West into the offense. San Antonio will only get better as the season goes on - a scary thought for everyone else in the league.

4) Los Angeles Clippers (5-3)

The Clippers shook off back-to-back four-point losses to the Warriors and Rockets by ousting the Grizzlies on Monday night. 

5) Atlanta Hawks (8-2)

Atlanta's seven-game win streak was cut short against the Timberwolves, who led the Hawks by as many as 34 points in the game. Look for them to get back on track tonight against the Pelicans, who may be without Anthony Davis.

6) Oklahoma City Thunder (5-3)

OKC snapped a three-game losing streak with back-to-back 20+ point wins over the Suns and Wizards, and have looked every bit like the contender we thought they'd be.

7) Detroit Pistons (5-2)

Detroit has been the biggest surprise in the NBA this season, and gave the Warriors all they could handle on Monday night before ultimately falling. The development of point guard Reggie Jackson and center Andre Drummond has this team playing at an incredibly high level.

8) Houston Rockets (4-3)

The Rockets looked awful during their 0-3 start, but have looked more like the team we thought they'd be in their recent 0-4 stretch, beating both the Thunder and the Clippers.

9) Miami Heat (5-3)

Miami is currently on their first two-game winning streak of the season and have wins over the Raptors and Rockets this season. 

10) Toronto Raptors (6-3)

Toronto's feel-good 5-0 start has been followed by three straight losses. The question still remains as to if this team has what it takes to take the next step and become a true contender.

11) Chicago Bulls (5-3)

Chicago has traded wins and losses over the past two weeks, but losses to the Timberwolves, Hornets, and Pistons show this team is still getting adjusted to new head coach Fred Hoiberg.

12) Utah Jazz (4-3)

Utah looks like they'll deliever on their playoff expectations this year and have taken care of business to this point, but have yet to beat anyone of consequence.

13) Indiana Pacers (5-4)

Indiana has caught fire of late, winning four of their last five games with their lone defeat coming by four points to the Cavs.

14) Boston Celtics (3-4)

A lot of questions started to arise about this Celtics team after a 1-3 start, but blowout wins over the Wizards and Bucks and have put them back on the right track.

15) Milwaukee Bucks (4-5)

Milwaukee's 0-3 start was concerning, then their 4-0 stretch against Atlantic division teams seemed to get them right, only to have them fall by 16 points to the Celtics on Tuesday night. I don't know what to make of them just yet.

16) Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3)

Minnesota appears to be ahead of schedule in their rebuild thanks to spectacular play from No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns and budding superstar Andrew Wiggins. Wins over the Hawks and Bucks prove these guys are for real.

17) Washington Wizards (3-4)

Washington's 3-1 start was nice, but three straight blowout losses have put the Wizards in a funk they need to shake out of sooner rather than later. 

18) Portland Trail Blazers (4-5)

Another big surprise of the early season, the Blazers have been an exciting young team when many expected them to be one of the worst teams in the league with wins over Minnesota, Memphis, and Utah.

19) Dallas Mavericks (4-4)

Dallas has been inconsistent all season, but that can be accredited to a relatively tough schedule to this point. They should start to pick things up soon.

20) New York Knicks (4-5)

The Knicks have a pulse! Led by rookie Kristaps Porzingis, New York has three wins over playoff teams from a year ago while only losing to playoff teams. Expect them to move way up these rankings once their schedule lightens up.

21) Charlotte Hornets (4-4)

Charlotte has managed to rebound nicely from a 0-3 start with a 4-1 stretch. They still have a lot to prove, but their bench is looking like one of the best units in the league.

22) Orlando Magic (4-5)

Orlando has had a very tough schedule through the first two weeks of the year, but they're one of the few teams that haven't been blown out this year.

23) Phoenix Suns (3-5)

Phoenix has only recorded wins over the Kings and Pelicans - hardly something to write home about. They need to start showing us something if they want to be a playoff contender. 

24) Memphis Grizzlies (3-6)

Memphis was expected to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but instead have been blown out by almost every quality team they've played. Wins over the Kings, Nets, and Pacers won't cut it.

25) Denver Nuggets (4-4)

Denver's young group - headlined by No. 7 pick Emmanuel Mudiay - have shown flashes of being a really good team, but are still really inconsistent. 

26) New Orleans Pelicans (1-7)

New Orleans was the last Western Conference team to pick up a win this season, and they've vastly disappointed after last year's playoff appearance.

27) Los Angeles Lakers (1-8)

We knew the Lakers would be bad, but this is REALLY bad. Their only win came over the Nets, who you'll read about in a second, and that should tell you something about the Lakers.

28) Sacramento Kings (2-7)

The offseason addition of Rajon Rondo hasn't done anything to help this team, and with rumors of more in-house fighting, the Kings are simply a disaster.

29) Brooklyn Nets (1-7)

Brooklyn finally got their first win of the season against the Houston Rockets last night, keeping them out of the bottom spot.

30) Philadelphia 76ers (0-8)

The Sixers have bad as you would expect, though rookie Jahlil Okafor is playing well.

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