Now that the NBA season is two weeks old, it's time for the first power rankings of the year. SB Nation NBA writer extraordinaire Tom Ziller has ranked every NBA team one through 30, and has come to the conclusion that the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are the two best teams in the league, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are somewhere in the middle of the pack.
It's hard to argue with the Heat at number one, as they are 8-1 while also dealing with injuries to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City is quietly 8-2, and Kevin Durant and company just became the first NBA team this season to win three games in three nights, defeating the Houston Rockets twice and San Antonio Spurs once this weekend.
The Clippers host the No. 1 Heat on Wednesday night at Staples Center, where they beat Miami last season.
It's hard to get a gauge on teams right now that have played a disparate number of games. Ziller rates the 6-4 Lakers just ahead of the 4-2 Clippers, who have played four fewer games. "If you look at both sides of the ball, the Lakers have the best two big men in L.A. Andrew Bynum's defense slots him over Blake Griffin, and Pau Gasol remains the most skilled big man in the NBA," Ziller said while ranking the Lakers No. 13 and the Clippers No. 14. "While the Clippers have the advantage in the backcourt and on the bench, it's hard to imagine too many teams having an easy time dealing with Bynum and Pau."
The Lakers and Clippers play Saturday night at Staples Center, a designated home game for the Clippers.
For more news and notes on the Clippers and the Lakers, be sure to read Clips Nation and Silver Screen and Roll.