Boston Celtics

NBA Power Rankings: Preseason Edition

With the first night of preseason last night, it only seems right to rank the NBA teams from the worst of the worst all the way to the top. I won’t comment on the bottom teams, but I will give thoughts on the top 10 teams. This is my biased opinion, so that means, I don’t give a flying fuck if you agree with, but if you don’t agree, at least @ me, @WTPFox.

30. Brooklyn Nets

29. New York Knicks

28. Orlando Magic

27. Denver Nuggets

26. Chicago Bulls

25. Atlanta Hawks

24. Dallas Mavericks

23. Indiana Pacers

22. Sacramento Kings

21. Utah Jazz

20. Phoenix Suns

19. Los Angeles Lakers

18. New Orleans Pelicans

17. Philadelphia 76ers

16. Detroit Pistons

15. Charlotte Hornets

14. Los Angeles Clippers

13. Memphis Grizzlies

12. Miami Heat

11. Milwaukee Bucks

10. Toronto Raptors

For the Toronto Raptors, I think this year is just going to be more of the same. They are hanging around the top half of playoff spots in the East, but usually, they’ll start to slack off towards the end of the season and that trend continues through the playoffs. For the Raptors to be successful and hopefully make a playoff run, they’re going to need to bring in another star. With Kyle Lowry seeming to be a little uneasy in the offseason and Serge Ibaka on a decline, Toronto needs to get a big name with Demar Derozan, or they need to look into a rebuild.

9. Portland Trailblazers

This is a team who is on the up and rising quickly. Damian Lillard is the most underrated player in the NBA and the veteran leader on a younger team. With C.J. McCollum last year looking like he’s becoming a budding star, there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t find success. With Portland being a small market area, it wouldn’t surprise me if Damian Lillard flies under most people’s All-Star ballot radars, and if Portland could surprise people by making the playoffs.

8. San Antonio Spurs

Same old Spurs. Same old Popovich. The Spurs again will come in as the most boring team to watch in the NBA. The ball movement will be the same, Kawhi Leonard will drop 27 points per game and average 3 words in a post-presser per game, and no one will bat a fucking eye. That’s the Spurs.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are going to be my favorite non-hometown team to watch. Karl-Anthony Towns is the best young big man in the game hands down and Andrew Wiggins looks like he’s starting to find his step. The Wolves added Jimmy Butler which is huge, but a more under the radar addition is Jeff Teague. Teague is a solid point guard, and showed in his Hawks days that he can lead a team to success. The Timberwolves have set themselves up for great long-term success, and this year could be the start of that.

6. Washington Wizards

The Wizards, much like Raptors, are the same shit, just a different year, except they have more upside and more talent than Toronto. John Wall is top 3, if not the best guard in the east. Bradley Beal is one of the best young two-way players hooping right now. They have also put good talent around these two young weapons. However, they struggle in the playoffs and always seem to lose their swagger. Hopefully this year, they have an answer for it.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder

The team with the second biggest offseason, the Thunder added superstar Paul George to their lineup and Carmelo Anthony (the hoodie-less version) to go along with the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook. Don’t expect any of these three to put up the same type of numbers they did last year; they all can’t have the ball at the same time. Adding two good players makes the Thunder a lot better and stirs the pot up in the west, competition-wise. Their only downfall may be who’s going to get the ball when the team needs a basket. All three were considered number 1 options previously, so it may not go over so well when two of them need to take a backseat. My money is on Westbrook staying the main scoring option and the Thunder running most of the offense through him based on his passing abilities as well.

4. Houston Rockets

With James Harden not having to run the point every time down the floor, it gives him more opportunities to have plays called for him and come off screens, utilizing his catch and shoot ability. Mike D’Antoni has done a great job moving the ball up quickly and scoring most times before all five defenders have crosses half court. Lil B’s curse is still on James Harden, so that has the potential to be the only thing holding them back.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

Alright. Hear me out. The Cavs got worse. Not by much, but they definitely did. Isaiah Thomas, as much as I love him, is a liability on defense. Offensively, he’s a top 5 point guard in the league, but defense has always been a struggle. Lebron is still Lebron, there’s no doubting that. Dwyane Wade is not the same Dwyane though. He’s old and weathered. This is the season Father Time will finally catch the Flash. I haven’t mentioned Kevin Love because frankly, he’s irrelevant. For a good majority of the summer, I forgot KLove even played basketball anymore.

2. Boston Celtics

Call it a bias. Sure. Just wait though. The team with the best offseason, no doubt. Got a top 3 guard and a top 10 wing to a top 10 center as well. A team with some of the youngest talent in the league and the best coach, this team is destined to be the ones who take down the Warriors. They have the knit and grit to get under their skin and the skill to match their play. In the finals (yes, they beat the Cavs too), don’t act like I didn’t call this upset.

1. Golden State Warriors

Read any of other articles you know how I feel about the Warriors. Fuck KD.

 

Isaac Fox

@WTPFox

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