The Golden State Warriors’ comeback is complete, plus our new 1-30 breakdown

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The NBA’s last remaining one-loss team suffered its second defeat Sunday when the Golden State Warriors fell to the Charlotte Hornets. Stephen Curry kicked off the week with a 50-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks — and dropped 40 against the Chicago Bulls on Friday — but was 7-of-22 from the field in Sunday’s loss.

Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns are close behind, riding an eight-game win streak to the West’s second spot. The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, continue to try to tread water while LeBron James rehabs an abdomen injury that has sidelined him for the past six games.

In the East, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards are trying to stay ahead of a surging Brooklyn Nets team that has seemingly found its rhythm after an up-and-down start. The Miami Heat have cooled off, while the Milwaukee Bucks have lost seven of their past 10 games.

Can the Bucks stop their skid? Will the Warriors falter as they hit the road? Can the Lakers climb back to the top of the West? Our experts break down where all 30 teams stand after four weeks of play.

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

1. Golden State Warriors
2021-22 record: 11-2
Previous ranking: 2

Stephen Curry didn’t have the homecoming that he wanted in Sunday’s loss to the Hornets — shooting just 7-for-22 from the field — but at 11-2, the Warriors still feel great about the direction they’re headed thanks in large part to a deep roster that is playing well together early in the year. The Warriors’ first huge test of the year comes Tuesday night when they see former teammate Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets as they continue their first East Coast swing of the season.— Friedell

This week: @BKN, @CLE, @DET, TOR


2. Brooklyn Nets
2021-22 record: 10-4
Previous ranking: 4

It has been a rather chaotic few weeks for the Nets. And yet, despite Kyrie Irving’s absence and James Harden’s slow start, they sit tied for first in the East with the Wizards, and have put several games between them and their expected rivals for the top spot, the Milwaukee Bucks. With better days all but certainly ahead for Harden, things are looking quite rosy in Brooklyn ahead of a showdown with the West-leading Warriors on Tuesday at Barclays Center. — Bontemps

This week: GS, CLE, ORL


3. Phoenix Suns
2021-22 record: 9-3
Previous ranking: 7

JaVale McGee has had to step up with Deandre Ayton missing time this season, and he had his biggest game of the year on Sunday in a big win against the Rockets. In just 25 minutes, McGee had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. He became just the 10th NBA player to hit those marks in a game in as little as 25 minutes. In six starts this season, McGee is averaging 12 points and 7.5 rebounds. Phoenix is 6-0 in those games. — Lopez

This week: @MIN, DAL, DAL, DEN


4. Washington Wizards
2021-22 record: 9-3
Previous ranking: 11

The Wizards sit atop the East at 9-3, and with a slightly better winning percentage than the Nets (10-4). They’ve won four straight and have done it in different manners, blowing out Memphis while also pulling out a tight win over the improved Cavs. Washington also won while not having to depend on its star, Bradley Beal. Beal struggled, shooting 4-for-19, in the win over Cleveland before revealing that his grandmother had died. He did not play in Saturday’s win over Orlando and will miss Monday’s game against New Orleans. But the Wizards are deeper and have more scorers this season, and it’s showing. — Youngmisuk

This week: NO, @CHA, @MIA, MIA


5. Denver Nuggets
2021-22 record: 9-4
Previous ranking: 10

Last week started with the Nuggets wondering if their franchise star would be looking at a multiple-game suspension. But league MVP Nikola Jokic drew only a one-game suspension for body-checking Markieff Morris from behind after taking exception to a foul in Denver’s 113-96 win over Miami. The skirmish set off a lot of emotions, including a social media back-and-forth between Jokic’s brothers and Morris’ twin brother, the Clippers’ Marcus Morris. Despite not having their top three players in Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets beat the Pacers. And with Jokic back in the lineup, Denver handled Atlanta and Portland. The Nuggets have won five straight, the past four without Porter, whose return remains in the air due to a back injury. — Youngmisuk

This week: @DAL, PHI, CHI, @PHX

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6. Miami Heat
2021-22 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 3

After three straight losses, including some fireworks in Monday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Heat picked up a nice win over the Jazz on Saturday as Tyler Herro poured in 27 points. Jimmy Butler is still dealing with a sprained ankle, but Miami finally gets a short, two-game break at home after Monday’s tilt against the Thunder. — Friedell

This week: @OKC, NO, WAS, @WAS


7. Chicago Bulls
2021-22 record: 9-4
Previous ranking: 9

Chicago is going to have to figure out how to adjust to playing without center Nikola Vucevic, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but the Bulls continued their hot start by winning three of four games last week. Their bench should receive a scoring boost this week with Coby White set to make his season debut on Monday against the Lakers. — Collier

This week: @LAL, @POR, @DEN, NY


8. Utah Jazz
2021-22 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 5

After a 7-1 start, Utah has lost four of its past five games. The Jazz’s defense has been dreadful during the 1-4 funk, allowing 114.5 points per 100 possessions, which is more than any team in the league is giving up this season. Frustrations boiled over during the kerfuffle late in Thursday’s loss to the Pacers, which resulted in Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles being ejected and fined a total of $85,000. — MacMahon

This week: PHI, TOR, @SAC


9. Dallas Mavericks
2021-22 record: 8-4
Previous ranking: 6

Dallas is tied for the West’s third-best record despite ranking ninth in the conference in point differential. The Mavs have mopped up mediocre and poor competition but lost by double-digit margins to each of the three teams they’ve faced that currently have winning records, as well as the now-slumping Hawks. Dallas’ next seven games are against plus-.500 foes. — MacMahon

This week: DEN, @PHX, @PHX, @LAC


10. Philadelphia 76ers
2021-22 record: 8-6
Previous ranking: 1

Philadelphia followed up an impressive 4-0 week with an 0-4 showing — which happened, in large part, because Joel Embiid was sidelined for all four games after testing positive for COVID-19. While Tyrese Maxey continues to give 76ers fans things to be excited about, and the team fought gamely while down several players, losses are losses. A five-game West swing looms. — Bontemps

This week: @UTAH, @DEN, @POR


11. Los Angeles Lakers
2021-22 record: 8-6
Previous ranking: 15

Could L.A. be turning a corner? After Sunday’s 114-106 win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers are 3-3 without LeBron James since he was sidelined by abdomen strain, and a source close to the 19-year veteran told ESPN that James’ return is “soon.” In the meantime, the rest of the Lakers are getting healthier, as Wayne Ellington (out the first eight games because of a hamstring injury) and Talen Horton-Tucker (out the first 13 games following thumb surgery) scored 15 and 17 points, respectively, against the Spurs. — McMenamin

This week: CHI, @MIL, @BOS, @DET


12. LA Clippers
2021-22 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 20

The Clippers suffered their first loss of November on Sunday when the Bulls, who increasingly look like one of the top teams in the league, snapped their seven-game winning streak. The Clippers have looked a lot like the team that made the run to the Western Conference finals last season. They’ve defended and played with a lot of fun during the winning stretch, even with Kawhi Leonard and Marcus Morris out and Serge Ibaka playing sparingly in just two of the games as the big man works his way back from injury. After a tough seven-game stretch, Eric Bledsoe is beginning to look like the point guard the Clippers envisioned over the past four games. Paul George continues to play like a do-it-all MVP candidate, and Reggie Jackson is a catalyst when the Clippers are at their best. — Youngmisuk

This week: SA, @MEM, @NO, DAL


13. Cleveland Cavaliers
2021-22 record: 9-5
Previous ranking: 16

It’s beginning to look like the Cavs’ early-season success will be sustainable. Now winners of six out of seven — the only loss in that stretch came because of two 3s by the Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma in the final 30 seconds — Cleveland has not only proven it can win without Collin Sexton (meniscus tear), but it appears to be improving. Saturday’s 91-89 win over the Celtics came after trailing by 19 late in the third quarter and was led by Darius Garland’s 22 points. “We’re here and we’re not a slouch anymore,” Garland said postgame. — McMenamin

This week: BOS, @BKN, GS

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14. Milwaukee Bucks
2021-22 record: 6-8
Previous ranking: 8

The Bucks have kicked off their title defense slower than expected, but a pair of wins last week will keep hands off the panic button for now. Khris Middleton is expected to rejoin the team as soon as Wednesday night ahead of a five-game homestand against some favorable competition, which should provide a big boost to an offense that has struggled to score consistently. — Collier

This week: LAL, OKC, ORL


15. New York Knicks
2021-22 record: 7-6
Previous ranking: 12

New York’s starting five is being outscored by over 14 points per 100 possessions. New York’s all-bench unit is outscoring teams by nearly 20 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks — coached, remember, by Tom Thibodeau — rank 24th in defensive rating. It has been a strange beginning to the season for the Knicks, who have gone 2-5 since the calendar flipped to November. — Bontemps

This week: IND, ORL, HOU, @CHI


16. Charlotte Hornets
2021-22 record: 8-7
Previous ranking: 17

Charlotte picked up its third straight win on Sunday over the surging Warriors thanks in large part to the play of Miles Bridges, LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier — who combined for 63 points. Wednesday’s game against the Wizards should provide another test for a young team that has bounced back well after dropping five straight games last week. — Friedell

This week: WAS, IND, @ATL


17. Toronto Raptors
2021-22 record: 7-7
Previous ranking: 14

It appears Toronto is going to be a difficult team to face, and a hard one to get a read on. Thursday, the Raptors had a nice come-from-behind win in Philadelphia, only to come home and drop a game to the Pistons on Saturday night. Toronto is yet another team that should be in the play-in mix all season long in the East. — Bontemps

This week: @POR, @UTAH, @SAC, @GS


18. Memphis Grizzlies
2021-22 record: 6-7
Previous ranking: 13

Memphis is mired in a miserable stretch, having lost four of its past five games with a minus-67 point differential during that span. After the Pelicans snapped their nine-game losing streak at the Grizzlies’ expense on Saturday, Ja Morant tweeted that he has “gotta do more,” but he’s the only player in the league averaging at least 26 points and 7 assists per game. — MacMahon

This week: HOU, LAC, @MIN


19. Boston Celtics
2021-22 record: 6-7
Previous ranking: 22

Boston has, so far, lost two double-overtime games, lost another game on a Luka Doncic buzzer-beating heave and blew big fourth-quarter leads to Cleveland and Chicago. Oh, and Jayson Tatum is shooting 38.8% from the field. All of that is to say: It has been an awkward, rough start. But the Celtics are still hovering around .500 and have a top-10 defense. Better days are ahead. — Bontemps

This week: @CLE, @ATL, LAL, OKC


20. Portland Trail Blazers
2021-22 record: 6-8
Previous ranking: 18

As if the Blazers didn’t already have enough to deal with, Damian Lillard is nursing a lower abdominal injury that kept him out on Sunday. Without their star, the Blazers lost 124-95 in Denver. Portland has dropped three of its past four games by eight or more points. Off the court, the Blazers are dealing with the investigation into general manager Neil Olshey. Rookie head coach Chauncey Billups has his work cut out for him. — Youngmisuk

This week: TOR, CHI, PHI


21. Atlanta Hawks
2021-22 record: 5-9
Previous ranking: 19

Trae Young had 42 points and 10 assists as the Hawks snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the Bucks on Sunday. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it was Young’s eighth 40-point, 10-assist game in his career, breaking a tie with Luka Doncic for the most such games for a player in their first four seasons since the merger (1976-77). It was also Young’s 17th 40-point game, tying him with Kevin Durant and LeBron James for third most by a player in his first four seasons, behind only Michael Jordan (62) and Shaquille O’Neal (21). — Lopez

This week: ORL, BOS, CHA

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22. Indiana Pacers
2021-22 record: 6-8
Previous ranking: 23

Indiana has bounced back from a 1-6 start with wins in five of its past seven games, including victories over the Jazz, Knicks and Sixers. Indiana’s offense is among the top 10 in the league even with Caris LeVert in and out of the lineup due to a back injury and T.J. Warren yet to make his season debut. — Collier

This week: @NY, @DET, @CHA, NO


23. Oklahoma City Thunder
2021-22 record: 5-7
Previous ranking: 26

Lu Dort, who has earned a reputation as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, has shown significant improvement as a driver and finisher this season. He’s shooting 61.5% inside 5 feet this season, according to NBA.com stats, an upgrade from 49.8% in the previous two seasons. Dort averaged 19.8 points during the Thunder’s four-game winning streak, which was snapped Sunday by the Nets. — MacMahon

This week: MIA, HOU, @MIL, @BOS


24. Sacramento Kings
2021-22 record: 5-8
Previous ranking: 21

The only good thing about the Marvin Bagley III drama ramping up again this week — with coach Luke Walton having to answer questions about whether Bagley refused to check in when called upon against the Suns — is it has taken some of the spotlight away from the shoddy play by Sacramento as of late. The Kings have dropped four straight, including a 136-117 shellacking from a Spurs team that was just 2-7 going into that game. — McMenamin

This week: @DET, @MIN, TOR, UTAH


25. Minnesota Timberwolves
2021-22 record: 4-8
Previous ranking: 24

Minnesota has lost seven of its past eight games and is struggling to generate consistent offense despite having three dynamic scoring talents in Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. Minnesota ranks as a bottom-five team in offensive efficiency. — Collier

This week: PHX, SAC, SA, MEM


26. San Antonio Spurs
2021-22 record: 4-9
Previous ranking: 25

In Wednesday’s win over the Kings, the Spurs had four bench players score at least 15 points. That was the second time that has happened under coach Gregg Popovich, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The bench has been big this year for the Spurs. San Antonio leads the NBA in bench scoring at 41.7 points per game, fueled by second-year forward Devin Vassell, who has scored in double figures in eight of the Spurs’ 13 games. — Lopez

This week: @LAC, @MIN


27. Orlando Magic
2021-22 record: 3-10
Previous ranking: 27

The young Orlando group suffered two losses this week but got a nice performance from Mo Bamba, who had 14 points and 17 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Wizards. Orlando has a rough five-game road swing upcoming, including a trip to Brooklyn and two straight in Milwaukee. — Friedell

This week: @ATL, @NY, @BKN, @MIL


28. Detroit Pistons
2021-22 record: 3-9
Previous ranking: 29

After a victory over No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets earlier in the week, Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham followed that up with his first moment excelling in the clutch during Saturday’s win against the Toronto Raptors. Cunningham scored twice in the final 2:30 of the game over stellar defensive wing OG Anunoby to help Detroit secure a victory in what Pistons fans hope is a sign of things to come. — Collier

This week: SAC, IND, GS, LAL


29. Houston Rockets
2021-22 record: 1-12
Previous ranking: 28

Houston, which has lost its past 11 games, is paying the price for relying so heavily on such an inexperienced backcourt. The Rockets rank last in offensive efficiency (98.9 points per 100 possessions). Their starting guards — Kevin Porter Jr. (37.9%, 4.3) and Jalen Green (35.8%, 3.1) — are two of the four players in the league shooting less than 40% from the floor and averaging more than three turnovers per game. — MacMahon

This week: @MEM, @OKC, @NY


30. New Orleans Pelicans
2021-22 record: 1-9
Previous ranking: 30

A bright spot for New Orleans through 14 games: Jonas Valanciunas is shooting 15-of-26 from 3-point range. That’s a whopping 57.7%, which is good enough for the league lead at this early part in the season for players who make at least one 3 per game. Valanciunas has never hit at least one 3 per game for an entire season, and he’s shooting close to two per game. — Lopez

This week: @WAS, @MIA, LAC, @IND

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