Another week of the 2016-17 NBA season has been completed, and while some expected championship contenders have retained that status some other teams have are still looking to work their way into the conversation. One of those teams is Charlotte, which won six of its first seven games to start the season before dropping games against Toronto and Cleveland. Led offensively by high-scoring point guard Kemba Walker, Steve Clifford's Hornets are also one of the NBA's best defensive teams as they're ranked sixth in points allowed per game (98.9) and fourth in defensive rating (101.4).
The one thing that detractors can point to when it comes to not giving Charlotte the respect worthy of a contender is who their losses have come against. Charlotte's lost to Boston, Toronto and Cleveland, with the first two coming at home, and it has to be said that there's no shame in losing to teams expected to be contenders in the East. But it would be nice for Charlotte to pick up a "statement" victory, thus backing up the numbers and overall record that declare the Hornets to be a quality team. With games against Atlanta (Friday) and San Antonio (next Wednesday) in the near future, the Hornets will have the opportunity to change that.
Even with their losses to the Raptors and Cavaliers the Hornets are in this week's power rankings, making their season debut. With Charlotte and Houston moving into the rankings, Boston and Oklahoma City drop out as a result of their recent struggles. Click through the slide show to see this week's top ten. (Getty)
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