Andy’s Power Rankings Week 1

LeBron is looking for #2

Stephen did his power rankings a couple days ago and I was NOT consulted. As you’ll see in the next few minutes, we disagree on some things. Most things. What you and I can agree on, though, is that my rankings are probably pretty much perfect.

 

  1. Miami Heat- Not much to say here. They won the title, and got stronger in the offseason. No reason to believe they’ll have any drop off.
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder- The loss of James Harden might effect chemistry more than it effects overall talent. Kevin Martin can score and Jeremy Lamb should pick up the slack on defense.
  3. Los Angeles Lakers- The starting 5 is the best in the league. Antawn Jamison will provide a spark off the bench, but there’s a significant dropoff after him.
  4. Denver Nuggets- Without a “star” it will be hard to win a championship, but a team this deep will be dangerous during the regular season. Depth, plus altitude, will make this team tough to beat at home.
  5. San Antonio Spurs- As always, the Spurs will be near, or at, the top of the standings at the end of the season. Having the best coach in the league goes a long way.
  6. Boston Celtics- Significantly deeper than in the recent past, the Celts have a strong enough bench to keep Pierce and Garnett’s minutes low enough to get them through the season.
  7. Los Angeles Clippers- When a team has one of the top 5 players in the league, they’re going to be competitive. Chris Paul is playing alongside alley-oop machines Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in a contract year. Scary.
  8. Memphis Grizzlies- Call me a homer, but I think Zach Randolph will have a strong year. Add in Rudy Gay, the better Gasol, and Mike Conley, and this team is very good.
  9. Indiana Pacers- Depending on the extent of Danny Granger’s knee injury, this team could get out to a very slow start. 12 of their first 18 games are on the road, so a .500, or worse, start to the season would not be surprising.
  10. Philadelphia 76ers- Adding Andrew Bynum to one of the best young teams in the league makes for a scary squad. Jrue Holiday is part of a great crop of young point guards and will love having a dominant big man.
  11. Dallas Mavericks- Some people are writing them off, but I think their collection of 2007 All-Stars has a little left in the tank. Dirk can still ball and Chris Kaman is sneaky good. Don’t count them out of the playoff picture.
  12. Brooklyn Nets- Deron Williams is one of the few bona fide stars in the NBA and finally has a decent supporting cast in New Jer..errrBrooklyn. Brook Lopez is a good scorer and Joe Johnson has thrived before when he wasn’t the #1 guy.
  13. New York Knicks- Carmelo Anthony has to make this work eventually, right? There’s a chance Jason Kidd can make add some cohesion to the team off the bench. If not, this team is destined for mediocrity.
  14. Chicago Bulls- Will probably struggle for the first half of the season. If they can keep their head above water until the return of Brittle Bones, they should close out the season strong and be a tough out in the playoffs.
  15. Minnesota Timberwolves- Kevin Love is out for the first few weeks of the season, and Ricky Rubio is definitely out until mid-January. Like the Bulls, they just need to survive until they get their stars back. At full strength, this is a tough team.
  16. Utah Jazz- Nothing wrong with a team that has too many big men than they know what to do with. Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kantor can’t all share the floor, but having assets is never bad. Wait, I just saw they have Jamaal Tinsley. They’re screwed.
  17. New Orleans Hornets- Eric Gordon. Nuff said. I don’t know why, but I get a feeling that the Hornets aren’t going to suck. I’m not saying they’re playoff bound or anything, but not sucking doesn’t suck.
  18. Atlanta Hawks- Josh Smith is a beast and Al Horford has All Star potential. Jeff Teague is a sneaky good point guard. Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow can shoot the lights out from the outside. The parts are there for success.
  19. Portland Trail Blazers- I like what they’re doing over in Hippyville. LaMarcus Aldridge is a very good power forward and there’s a couple young guns to go with him. Nicolas Batum isn’t afraid to punch someone in the balls if he’s losing. That kind of grittiness will go a long way in team chemistry.
  20. Milwaukee Bucks- There will be many a night when one of the guards decides to put the team on his back. The problem is Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis aren’t good enough to carry a team. It’ll be fun to watch them try to break the rim with poor shots.
  21. Golden State Warriors- I like Steph Curry. He can shoot. He can pass. He plays excellent defense. If David Lee plays like he did inNew York, and Andrew Bogut played like he did in college a decade ago, they might not be a horrible team.
  22. Cleveland Cavaliers- Kyrie Irving can take over a game unlike many guards in the league. He was the number 1 pick despite missing his entire college career due to injury. That’s when you know you’ve got a stud on your hands.
  23. Houston Rockets- They got the best beard in the league. James Harden got his max contract and is supposed to be the piece the Rockets build around. The problem is they forgot to get any building blocks. Linsanity is dead. Count on it.
  24. Toronto Raptors- A scoring guard who doesn’t score. A center who doesn’t rebound. A lot of foreign people. Beyond Kyle Lowry, there’s not a whole lot to like on this team. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a playoff spot.
  25. Detroit Pistons- I really like Greg Monroe. He does things other centers don’t do. He passes extremely well for a big fella and rebounds efficiently. Brandon Knight should take the next step towards stardom. There’s hope for this squad, but not this year.
  26. Phoenix Suns- It’s a bad sign when I, a real life basketball writer, have to look up the roster just to see who’s on the team. I guess Goran Dragic is kinda good, right?
  27. Washington Wizards- There’s good people on the roster, don’t get me wrong. But having three starters in street clothes for half the season isn’t going to get them anywhere. If John Wall limits his stints on the injured list, they won’t be this low after a month.
  28. Sacramento Kings- Remember when everyone thought Tyreke Evans was the next big thing? Yeah, we all look dumb now. Demarcus Cousins is a 7 foot tall 9 year old. Nobody gets anywhere when their best player is as likely to punch the coach as get a double-double.
  29. Orlando Magic- Oh how the mighty have fallen. Losing Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard in the same offseason is rough. But, hey, Arron Afflalo seems like a really cool guy and Al Harrington is one of my all-time favorite players. So there’s that.
  30. Charlotte Bobcats- ha.

Topics: Indiana, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Pacers, Power Rankings

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  • Stephen Ajamie

    The only thing I majorly disagree with is that picture of Lebron.