Composite NBA Power Rankings for Dec. 4

There will be no substantial sanctions here, as the composite NBA power rankings are back, though we are sitting a starter.

One week in (at least as far as these rankings are concerned) and we've already had some shakeup, with a new team at the top. As a quick reminder, I have no personal say in these rankings (at least not directly): I've picked 10 representative weekly power rankings and two automated daily power rankings from around the web. I drop each team's highest and lowest ranking, then average out the remaining 10 rankings and sort the teams by lowest average.
The regular lineup is as follows:

Sam Amico (, Sean Deveney (AOL/Sporting News), Kurt Helin (ProBasketballTalk), Matt Moore (, Eric Pincus (Hoopsworld), Seth Rosenthal (SB Nation), John Schuhmann (, Marc Stein (, Marc J. Spears (Yahoo!), USA Today, Jeff Sagarin (USA Today), John Hollinger (

This week, something funky is going on with USA Today's rankings (the page appears to be broken), so they're not included. But they'll return to the lineup when they're back.

If you know of any weekly power ranking that you think should be added to the list, just drop me a line. And now what you came for, this week's rankings:

Composite NBA Power Rankings - Week of Dec. 4
1. Miami Heat (last week: t-2)
High: 1, multipleLow: 6, HollingerAverage: 2.00
2. San Antonio Spurs (last week: t-2)
High: 1, multipleLow: 4, AmicoAverage: 2.22
3. Memphis Grizzlies (last week: 1)
High: 1, PincusLow: 4, multipleAverage: 2.78
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (last week: 4)
High: 1, HollingerLow: 6, DeveneyAverage: 3.22
5. New York Knicks (last week: 5)
High: 2, DeveneyLow: 7, SteinAverage: 5.33
6. New Jersey Nets (last week: 7)
High: 5, multipleLow: 8, SagarinAverage: 5.67
7. Los Angeles Clippers (last week: 6)
High: Stein/HollingerLow: 7, multipleAverage: 6.67
8. Atlanta Hawks (last week: 8)
High: 8, multipleLow: 10, multipleAverage: 8.78
9. Golden State Warriors (last week: 12) 
High: 8, multipleLow: 15, SagarinAverage: 9.78
10. Philadelphia 76ers (last week: 13)
High: 9, multipleLow: 19, HollingerAverage: 11.67
t-11. Boston Celtics (last week: 11)
High: 10, Amico/HelinLow: 15, Hollinger Average: 12.11
t-11. Chicago Bulls (last week: t-15)
High: 9, SteinLow: 14, PincusAverage: 12.11
13. Milwaukee Bucks (last week: 14)
High: 8, SteinLow: 21, SagarinAverage: 12.89
14. Los Angeles Lakers (last week: 9)
High: 8, HollingerLow: 19, PincusAverage: 13.89
15. Denver Nuggets (last week: 10)
High: 7, SagarinLow: 18, HelinAverage: 14.11
16. Houston Rockets (last week: 19)
High: 11, Sagarin/HollingerLow: 19, AmicoAverage: 14.78
17. Utah Jazz (last week: t-15)
High: 12, PincusLow: 20, AmicoAverage: 16.00
18. Indiana Pacers (last week: 20)
High: 17, Sagarin/HollingerLow: 21, HelinAverage: 18.11
19. Dallas Mavericks (last week: 17)
High: 16, Amico/DeveneyLow: 25, HollingerAverage: 18.89
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (last week: 22)
High: 16, HollingerLow: 22, PincusAverage: 19.33
21. Portland Trail Blazers (last week: 21)
High: 17, MooreLow: 24, HollingerAverage: 21.78
22. Charlotte Bobcats (last week: 18)
High: 20, multipleLow: 29, SagarinAverage: 21.89
23. Orlando Magic (last week: 24)
High: 20, Stein/SagarinLow: 25, HelinAverage: 22.33
24. Detroit Pistons (last week: 27)
High: 20, HollingerLow: 26, RosenthalAverage: 24.33
25. Phoenix Suns (last week: 23)
High: 23, Helin/SagarinLow: 27, Stein/HollingerAverage: 24.67
26. Toronto Raptors (last week: 28)
High: 23, HollingerLow: 29, SpearsAverage: 26.33
27. New Orleans Hornets (last week: 26)
High: 25, Rosenthal/SagarinLow: 29, PincusAverage: 26.78
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (last week: 29)
High: 21, HollingerLow: 29, DeveneyAverage: 27.11
29. Sacramento Kings (last week: 25)
High: 27, Deveney/SpearsLow: 29, multipleAverage: 28.56
30. Washington Wizards (last week: 30)
High: 30, everyoneLow: 30, everyoneAverage: 30.00
Average calculated after removing highest and lowest ranking

AT THE TOP: The defending champion Heat are back on top, though it's not a clear-cut selection. Yes, six of the nine human rankings did put Miami in the top spot, but the Heat's adjusted average is just .22 points better than the Spurs, and their non-adjusted averages are equal. That's because the two computers are more down on the Heat, thanks to Miami's poor point differential at this point in the season.

BIGGEST GAIN: Chicago Bulls (up 4)
The Bulls moved from t-15 to t-11 (what is it with Chicago and ties?), even picking up a top-ten vote this week. However, there's not a lot of separation between Boston, Chicago and Milwaukee, so there's no guarantee the Bulls keep rising.

BIGGEST DROP: Los Angeles Lakers (down 5)
This isn't a huge surprise. As we get deeper into the season, the Lakers' ranking will be more reflective of their record and less reflective of their past and future expectations. We thought the Lakers would be good, and we think they still will be good, but right now they're not good, and their ranking shows it.

LOUD NOISES Team of the Week (least consensus): Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee was ranked as high as 8 and as low as 21, a range of 13 spots. I haven't watched the Bucks enough to know for sure why opinions vary so much on them, but it's something I'll keep an eye on going forward.

SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW Team of the Week (most consensus, non-Wizards category): Los Angeles Clippers
Unlike the Bucks, everyone was pretty confident on where the Clippers should be. They were 7th in 8 of the 9 human rankings, and the other three rankings had them 5th, 5th and 6th. Basically the divide between the top of the league and the second tier happens at the Clippers.