The 76ers are expected to be one of the best teams in the NBA, and they start that way in The Inquirer’s inaugural NBA power rankings. The NBA’s lone unbeaten team overcame a 21-point deficit for Saturday’s dramatic 129-128 win at Portland.

Two teams to watch are the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, who both haven’t lost since opening-night defeats to the LA Clippers and Sixers, respectively. Newcomers Anthony Davis of LA and Kemba Walker (minus his game vs. the Sixers) of Boston have given both franchises a major lift.

Minnesota might not be for real, but the Timberwolves’ only loss is to the Sixers. Miami appears better than expected, and Tyler Herro should be included in any Rookie of the Year discussion.

Milwaukee, the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference, has yet to get it in gear.

The contenders

The Los Angeles Lakers are back among the league's elite. At least, it looks that way in the season's first few weeks.
Robert Gauthier / MCT
The Los Angeles Lakers are back among the league's elite. At least, it looks that way in the season's first few weeks.

1. Sixers (5-0)

2. LA Lakers (5-1)

3. Boston (4-1)

4. Minnesota (4-1)

5. LA Clippers (5-2)

6. Miami (5-1)

7. Milwaukee (4-2)

8. Utah (4-3)

9. San Antonio (4-2)

10. Dallas (4-2)

Next 10

The Houston Rockets and James Harden aren't quite among the league's top teams ... yet.
Mary Altaffer / AP
The Houston Rockets and James Harden aren't quite among the league's top teams ... yet.

A loss to New Orleans keeps Denver out of the Top 10. The Blazers looked like a world-beater against the Sixers, until Furkan Korkmaz broke their hearts.

Toronto is still getting used to playing without Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors, who have feasted on lesser lights, appear one player short of competing with the Eastern Conference elite.

Phoenix, which will host the Sixers on Monday night, has been an early season surprise. Houston is among the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and if that isn’t cleaned up, the Rockets won’t be a factor.

11. Denver (4-2)

12. Portland (3-3)

13. Toronto (4-2)

14. Phoenix (4-2)

15. Houston (3-3)

16. Atlanta (2-3)

17. Detroit (3-4)

18. Indiana (3-3)

19. Brooklyn (2-4)

20. Orlando (2-4)

Wait till next year

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are heading in the wrong direction.
Ezra Shaw / MCT
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are heading in the wrong direction.

With injuries to Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, could Golden State be playing its way into the lottery?

21. Charlotte (3-3)

22. Memphis (1-4)

23. Cleveland (2-4)

24. Oklahoma City (2-4)

25. Golden State (1-5)

26. Sacramento (2-5)

27. Chicago (2-5)

28. Washington (1-4)

29. New York (1-6)

30. New Orleans (1-5)