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This is so much better than last season...

It's Monday, which means it's time for our weekly dose of power rankings.

 ESPN has us sitting in third (boo! hiss!), behind San Antonio and Orlando.  Marc Stein's reasoning:
 1.  San Antonio Spurs (17-3): Only Pop could greet a start like this with caution and/or indifference like this: ''We've had bad starts in the past, we've had good starts in the past and neither one is indicative of whether we won a championship.''

 2. Orlando Magic (16-5): Before its first "bad" L of the season -- and losing at home to the Pacers isn't exactly heinous with how they're playing -- Orlando racked up another impressive road W at Golden State. So it's only a one-spot dip.

3. Boston Celtics (17-2): I know, I know: Boston had nothing to do with spitting out such a cake early schedule. But I can't help it: Boston can't wow me more than the Spurs and Magic have until the schedule gets harder, like it or not.

 It's hard for me to believe that we're behind a team with five losses, even if they did beat us (by two points, in Orlando, after the Celts played as poorly as they are capable of playing for a half).

Read more had us a solid #2 , behind the red hot Spurs:
1.  San Antonio Spurs.  Can't we just give Ginobili the Sixth Man award right now? He picked up the slack for the absent Duncan by posting back-to-back 37-point efforts to lead them to those triumphs over the Mavs and Jazz. Duncan, meanwhile, should be back for this week's tough roadies at Golden State (Tuesday) and at the Lakers (Thursday).

2. Boston Celtics.  They might not be perfect like the Patriots, but they're still wicked good (as they say in New England). Saturday's win at Chicago was their sixth straight and improved their record to an NBA-best 17-2. Only the Spurs' impressive week moves the Celtics out of the top spot.
Finally, also ranks us second behind San Antonio:
1.  San Antonio Spurs: Off: 115.4 (1), Def: 104.6 (7) -- We were prepared to move the Spurs down after losing to the Mavs and/or Jazz without Tim Duncan. Then they went and beat them both.

 2. Boston Celtics.  Off: 110.6 (7), Def: 95.8 (1) -- The Celtics are cruising along and they've got another five of six at home before heading out West for the first time.
It's hard to argue with us being ranked behind the Spurs right now, after they just got past both the Mavs and Jazz without Duncan.  That team just keeps rolling right along.

 So, what do you think?  Have we earned our rankings?  Do you care?  Do the Spurs scare you?  Do you agree that the Spurs, Celts, Magic, and Suns are the consensus four best teams in basketball?  Post your thoughts below (and wish upon a star for some actual news).

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