The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t missing a beat since losing NBA All-Star Khris Middleton to a thigh injury on Nov. 10, winning their first 6 games after the mishap.
The 2019-20 NBA season entered its second month of play this weekend and right now the team that finished last season with the best record in the league is right back in the front of the pack.
Right behind that team, however, are a pair of Western Conference clubs that have been wandering through the NBA wasteland for the last few years.
The Milwaukee Bucks, winners of 60 games last season before a tough Eastern Conference Finals loss, are continuing their winning ways at 13-3.
But in the West, the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are rising from the ashes. Dallas won a title in 2011, but have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. For the Lakers, it’s been six years without a playoff berth and nearly a decade since the franchise’s last championship in 2010.
After the first five weeks of the season, only 13 teams have winning record, with the Lakers leading the way at 14-2, but that gaudy record includes only three wins against teams currently better than .500. Dallas is 11-5 with two losses to the lowly Knicks, sort of offset at least by wins over the Raptors and Rockets.
The biggest uptick of the week went to the Mavericks, who climbed six spots, while the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each plunged eight places.
As for the streaking teams entering Week 6 of the NBA schedule, it’s not a huge shock that it’s Milwaukee and Los Angeles that share the longest active winning streak at seven straight games.
The other end of the spectrum finds the Atlanta Hawks — who have dropped six in a row and 12 of 14 after their 2-0 start. A three-game road trip this week through Milwaukee, Indiana and Houston may not do a lot to help Atlanta turn things around yet.
And with that, we dive into the new rankings.
Golden State Warriors 3-14
Last rank: 30th
Last week: Won at Memphis 114-95, lost at Dallas 142-94, lost at Utah 113-109
This week: Monday vs. Oklahoma City, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday at Miami
It was a bit of an extreme week for the Golden State Warriors last week, blowing out the Grizzlies before getting obliterated in Dallas and closing their slate with a narrow defeat at Utah.
The latest malady for the Warriors came when Draymond Green missed the game against the Jazz with an ankle injury. He is listed as day-to-day, but there may be some rays of light at the end of the tunnel that are not, in fact, fast-approaching trains.
Kevon Looney was scheduled to practice Sunday, but the Warriors have already declared Looney unavailable for their home games against the Thunder and Bulls, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. The hope is that Looney can return on their Florida road trip on the weekend.
As for last week, Alec Burks continued to start and had a season-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the win at Memphis on Tuesday. For the week, Burks averaged 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 33.0 minutes per game, shooting 43.2 percent overall, 5-for-15 from deep and a perfect 17-of-17 at the line.