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updated: 11/20/2012 9:11 PM

It's time to reset NBA power rankings

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  • Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers are Mike McGraw's top team in the NBA so far this season.

    Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers are Mike McGraw's top team in the NBA so far this season.
    Associated Press


Not even a month into the season and already things have gotten strange in the NBA.

So with the Bulls muddling in the middle of the pack and ready to head home after greeting Omer Asik in Houston on Wednesday, let's reset the power rankings (records through Monday):

1. L.A. Clippers (8-2): Maybe the Bulls were onto something with Vinny Del Negro. He has taken a deep group, with several new players, and blended it together flawlessly so far -- except for that home loss to Cleveland.

2. Memphis (8-2): The Grizz could have been No. 1 but lost at home to Denver on Monday. Last week Memphis beat Miami, OKC and New York, all by at least 10 points. The best explanation is finally having a training camp to blend Rudy Gay with Zach Randolph.

3. New York (7-1): Without a doubt, the Knicks have been solid. The questions are whether Amare Stoudemire will ruin the chemistry when he comes back from injury, and how long J.R. Smith, Jason Kidd and Ronnie Brewer can combine to shoot 52 percent from 3-point range.

4. Oklahoma City (8-3): The defending West champs are rolling along, except for a weird home loss to Atlanta.

5. Miami (8-3): Is small ball hurting the Heat? Not really. In the 3 losses, rebounds were even, while the opponent shot lights out from 3-point range.

6. San Antonio (8-3): Spurs have lost only to quality teams and have 4 wins by 4 points or fewer.

7. Brooklyn (6-2): Strength of schedule is a question. The best win was against Boston without Rajon Rondo. The Nets played the Lakers in L.A. late Tuesday night.

8: Milwaukee (6-3): We may find out soon if the Bucks are for real. They're in Miami on Wednesday, then play the Bulls twice in three days. Mike Dunleavy is off to a surprisingly good start.

9: Philadelphia (6-4): The Sixers were expecting a boost from C Andrew Bynum, but his chronically sore knee isn't even strong enough for bowling.

10. Minnesota (5-4): A good start without Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio or Chase Budinger may mean better times are in store for the Timberwolves.

11. Golden State (6-5): Road wins against the Clippers, Minnesota and Dallas suggest the Warriors might have a playoff shot in coach Mark Jackson's second season.

12. Atlanta (5-4): Newcomers Lou Williams and Kyle Korver helped the Hawks get off to a decent start against a challenging schedule.

13. Boston (6-5): The Celtics have earned a reputation for turning up the energy only when needed, and they don't seem ready to give up that label.

14. Charlotte (5-4): Will the Bulls get an extra draft pick next season? Bobcats have been an early surprise behind Kemba Walker, Byron Mullens and rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

15. Portland (5-5): Blazers have cranked up the offense to win three in a row, including Sunday's blitz of Bulls.

16. Bulls (5-5): Nothing special yet, the Bulls still are seeking anything that qualifies as a quality win.

17. Utah (6-6): Jazz has plenty of guys who can score, but the pieces don't quite fit together.

18. L.A. Lakers (5-5): Things are bound to get better. But so far all the Lakers have done is beat bad teams at home.

19. Dallas (6-6): O.J. Mayo has been terrific, while the rest of the Mavs haven't kept up without Dirk Nowitzki.

20. Denver (5-6): The Nuggets won at Memphis on Monday but still seem to be searching for a go-to scorer.

21. Indiana (5-7): Who knew Danny Granger was a difference-maker? Pacers have a losing record, despite leading league in points allowed and defensive field-goal percentage. They have played a road-heavy schedule.

22. New Orleans (3-5): The Hornets may be on the verge of becoming a decent team, as evidenced by the win in Chicago and some narrow losses.

23. Houston (4-7): Since James Harden's 82-point outburst in the first two games, the Rockets haven't done much.

25: Toronto (3-7): The Raptors were counting on some newcomers who haven't quite arrived. New PG Kyle Lowry has been out with sprained ankle.

25. Phoenix (4-7): It seemed like the Suns set out to be mediocre this year and the plan is working. They have the league's worst defense, giving up 104.3 points per game.

26. Orlando (3-7): Magic averaged 108.5 points in first two games, 83.4 points since.

27: Cleveland (2-8): Ten games into the season, opponents are shooting better than 50 percent against Cavs and now Kyrie Irving is out for a month.

28. Detroit (2-9): There have been signs of life since an 0-8 start, mostly from third-year forward Greg Monroe.

29. Sacramento (2-8): The Kings' 2 wins were both by 2 points. The DeMarcus Cousins as franchise centerpiece plan may need further review.

30. Washington (0-9): Wizards have gone winless while playing the league's softest schedule. At least they have an excuse with John Wall being hurt.

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