NBA Power Rankings: Where surprise teams and struggling contenders check in

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are tied for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets are both two games under .500. The Toronto Raptors have one win.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are currently tied for the East’s No. 7 seed — with the New York Knicks!

What does it all mean? Nothing, it’s Week 3.

Small Sample Size Theater has taken hold of the NBA standings. What do our experts think about the hot starts in Cleveland, Atlanta and Phoenix, or the early speedbumps experienced in Brooklyn, Toronto and Dallas?

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin, Eric Woodyard, Royce Young 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.

Previous rankings: Week 1 | Week 2

1. Los Angeles Lakers
2020-21 record: 5-2
Previous ranking: 1

After posting the third-best road winning percentage in league history last season, the Lakers are off to a 3-0 start away from Staples Center this season, sweeping a two-game

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