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Denver Stiffs Power Rankings Week 3: Good and Bad in Texas

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Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks are picking up victories, and the Rockets look as messy as an episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." It's the third week of Stiffs power rankings.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver welcomes some snow to the area, and the NBA moves one week closer to Thanksgiving. The league is beginning to shake out, with good teams rising to the top while the bad teams sink to the cellar.

The Nuggets had a good week with a bad finish, getting blown out by the Phoenix Suns. There are a lot of hurt players for the Nuggets, who are still waiting for Jusuf Nurkic to get back to speed and return to the court. Wilson Chandler underwent surgery, but sounds like it went well and he's committed to getting back to the court next season.

Here's the Denver Stiffs NBA power rankings, with an eye to the future while considering current results as well.

Rank Team Stiffiness Summary Move (LW)
1 Golden State Warriors The Warriors are toying with teams, letting the Nets take them to overtime. Even when they don't have their A-game they're able to win. Harrison Barnes is working on earning that max contract in the offseason. -- (1)
2 San Antonio Spurs The Spurs defense might be the more terrifying unit, and that's reflective of team leader Kawhi Leonard. Leave it to Coach Popovich to continue to evolve and adapt to the talents and abilities of his players. +1 (3)
3 Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James November - 29 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and all these wins. As they say, "That dog sure can hunt." -1 (2)
4 Toronto Raptors Really good team that shouldn't have lost to the Knicks, or to the Kings, and they have a trip to the Warriors coming up. Upset alert for the Dubs? -- (4)
5 Chicago Bulls Nikola Mirotic is up and down, Derrick Rose may have double vision for months, but this team just keeps scrapping out wins. Jimmy Butler is their best player, and it's pretty obvious. +2 (7)
6 Atlanta Hawks Different week, same story. It's called rebounding, look it up. A good team that seems like a good losing streak away from falling down the ladder in the East. -- (6)
7 Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul is the latest Clipper to miss time, but a MVP-caliber season from Blake Griffin is helping them win games. A lack of depth (hello poor bench play) is hurting them once again. Thanks a lot GM Doc. -2 (5)
8 Oklahoma City Thunder What if the Thunder can't get home-court the first round of the playoffs? Still can't rule out a healthy Durant-Westbrook-Ibaka core, but things could be better for Billy Donovan's team. -- (9)
9 Miami Heat Tyler Johnson is playing good minutes for the Heat, and Hassan Whiteside is continuing to improve his 2k rating. This team is good and the bench is coming along. +3(12)
10 Utah Jazz What if Rodney Hood was the answer at point guard? The 6-foot-8-inch dervish with an improving offensive game is helping the Jazz stay competitive as their defense continues to keep them in games. -- (10)
11 Phoenix Suns Brandon Knight messed around and got a triple-double, and Eric Bledsoe is a scoring machine this season. If the Suns guards can keep up this torrid play, the Suns are going to worm their way into the playoffs. +3 (14)
12 Washington Wizards What if the Wizards traded for Boogie? They need to figure out a way to capitalize on the awesomeness that is John Wall, there is so much potential there. +1 (13)
13 Boston Celtics The Celtics have a three-game winning streak, and have beaten contenders in Washington, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. Marcus Smart continues to develop as well, with his offense catching up to his prodigious defense. -- (13)
14 Memphis Grizzlies The Grizzlies are back! Probably best to just plant them here in the high teens and keep them there until a major injury. +3 (17)
15 Dallas Mavericks Rick Carlisle is amazing, helping the Mavericks to a four-game winning streak. Can they play the Rockets, Lakers and 76ers all the time? +7 (22)
16 Indiana Pacers Jimmy Butler blocked Paul George at the buzzer to secure a win for the Bulls, but that shouldn't mar what was a great week for the Pacers. Also a fan of the Hickory Pacers jersey. +4 (20)
17 Detroit Pacers "Hello, Earth? We'd like to come crashing back down into you. Yes, we're on our way. Thanks." -6 (11)
18 Milwaukee Bucks Jabari Parker isn't fully back yet, but his presence in the lineup helps show why they grabbed Greg Monroe. Not all rim protection happens by blocking shots. -- (18)
19 Charlotte Hornets A week of the Knicks, Nets and Sixers has the Hornets licking their lips. Time for some wins, and the offseason acquisition of Nic Batum is looking like a good move. +4 (23)
20 Houston Rockets The power of chemistry - the Rockets don't have any. Corey Brewer hasn't been Corey Brewer either, and the team just stinks. That's from their head coach too, so don't blame me for saying it. -11 (9)
21 Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns might be one of the 5-best centers in the league sooner than anyone predicted. Now they just need Ricky Rubio healthy. -- (21)
22 Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo missed a few games, but this is a young team that finally has a direction. Scott Skiles is working his magic on them and helping bring them together. Amazing what a good coach can do for a team. -6 (16)
23 Portland Trail Blazers A six-game losing streak means things are gloomy in Portland, but there's still a chance they break out of it and win a game here and there. If Damian Lillard regresses, they'll drop. -5 (18)
24 New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony is still a good basketball player, but the rookie wall is looming for Kristaps Porzingis. You can't just be tall and get by in the NBA. +2 (26)
25 Denver Nuggets If Emmanuel Mudiay didn't play the Rockets, his turnovers would be much lower. A serious lack of energy, and seems like they got too cocky, against Phoenix. Still learning Michael Malone's offense (watch for pointing on offense). -1 (24)
26 Sacramento Kings Rajon Rondo is putting up triple-doubles, DeMarcus Cousins is a monster, but this team is constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Hard to raise them in the rankings with so much entropy. -1 (25)
27 New Orleans Pelicans Pelicans are off to their worst start since the 2004-05 season, when they opened 1-19. They'd need to finish the season with a winning percentage of .625 to reach 45 wins. Going to be a tough road. -- (27)
28 Los Angeles Lakers Jordan Clarkson is shooting almost 43 percent on 3-pointers, and Julius Randle is averaging 10 and 8. Sadly, Nick Young and Lou Williams are among the team leaders in points scored. Byron Scott is a bully. +2 (30)
29 Brooklyn Nets The Nets took the Warriors to overtime, but they still only have one win this season. Boston fans are doing cartwheels outside Faneuil Hall. -- (29)
30 Philadelphia 76ers "This team is built to turn the ball over," Brown said, via Philly Mag's Derek Bodner. "I hope it's not at that margin." 76ers have lost 21 straight going back to last season. They are the definition of terrible. -2 (28)