Everybody does power rankings – so why not us! In an attempt to separate from the crowd, we’ve polled our NBA team (found on the NBA Weekly Podcast) and asked for their input on a ranking of teams – based on who would win a 7-game series. More than “power”, these are our impressions of each teams comparative quality over a 7 game series. These will change every week, and reflect the current state of the NBA in our NBA Power Rankings.
NBA Eastern Conference
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Finally coming into form, the Cavs appear to have found a balance between LeBron and Kyrie in regards to scoring and assists.
2. Toronto Raptors
The DeRozen injury casts a long shadow, but Lowry and crew seem to have learned how to handle the adversity thus far.
3. Chicago Bulls
Constantly fighting health issues, the Bulls rely heavily on Pau and Jimmy. If they can balance minutes and avoid injuries they could be the best team in the east by season’s end.
4. Atlanta Hawks
The team nobody is talking about, yet comes into the week on a six game winning streak. A team of role players, they’re stepping up to challenge after challenge – but are yet to face the worst of the western conference.
5. Washington Wizards
In some ways Washington is searching for an identity. Bringing in Pierce in the off-season has certainly given them more attitude, but has also shifted the focus away from Wall and Beal, once touted as the “best backcourt in the league”.
6. Miami Heat
Miami is middling so far this year. When Wade is healthy and Deng comes through, they look unbeatable – but when not everything goes right they don’t seem to have the fortitude to withstand attack from the NBA’s better teams.
7. Milwaukee Bucks
The scrappy group of youngsters seem to be finally falling back to earth after some losses against the middle of the pack western conference teams cut down a fast early start.
8. Brooklyn Nets
Another team without an identity. If Lopez and Williams are truly healthy and this is the extent of their skills the team can’t progress much higher than seventh or eighth in the standings.
9. Orlando Magic
Vucevic has proven to be one of the most talented big men in the league, and the other young stars around him just need time – but have given headaches to some of the league’s best teams.
10. Boston Celtics
The Celtics, who sold their fans on another sad year, are now suddenly within a game of the last playoff spot. As the trade season heats up, do they become buyers instead of sellers?
11. Indiana Pacers
Giving up Lance Stephenson might have been their best move of the offseason. For a team that was expected to be devastated, they’re starting to play decent basketball.
12. Charlotte Hornets
Simply a disastrous year, highlighted so far by a win of the even more disastrous Knicks.
13. New York Knicks
The second-highest disappointment this season. We knew they would be bad – but not THIS bad. They will need a run of good games soon to avoid calls to just bottom out this year.
14. Detroit Pistons
The NBA’s biggest disappointment. This team is so un-SVG, and the in-game coaching even seems to be off.
15. Philadelphia 76ers
For a team that is publicly tanking, exactly what you would expect.
NBA Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors
How can you doubt a team coming into the week on a 12-game winning streak. Nobody seems to be able to solve the puzzle of this team, and the biggest question is how to integrate David Lee once he comes back – a nice problem to have.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Once the “best team in the league”, the Grizzlies still surprise with their early season success. As their schedule gets a little harder, we’ll see how they can handle the competition.
3. San Antonio Spurs
The world champs, and one of only two teams to beat the Warriors – in what Warriors coach Steve Kerr called “a perfect game”.
4. Houston Rockets
Even without all-star center Dwight Howard, this team continues to play great offense, and have added great defense led by it’s star guard James Harden.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
After a slow start and a long road trip, the Clippers have started to look like we expected them to. The advent of Blake Griffin’s jumper seems to bring about better results for the Clippers – but could turn into a liability at any moment.
6. Dallas Mavericks
Even in an aged state, Dirk continues to lead this team full of strong role players including Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, and Monta Ellis – the team’s standout star thus far.
7. Portland Trail Blazers
Quietly entering the week at 16-4, the Blazers are scary good, and biding their time until the playoffs by all appearances.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder
Will the return of Durant and Westbrook allow this team to finally gel and become the championship caliber team that we all expected?
9. Phoenix Suns
The three-guard lineup that has wowed fans has had mixed results in the standings. With only one ball, the Suns might need to look into grabbing another big man as the trade deadline approaches.
10. Sacramento Kings
Boogie Cousins being out means this team lacks any punch – and Rudy Gay seems to be a figment of himself when there’s not a second fiddle in the lineup.
11. New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis is amazing. Anthony Davis needs help.
12. Denver Nuggets
A team we expected more from this year, the Nuggets have started to right the ship after a horrendous start.
13. Utah Jazz
A young team for whom not much has gone well so far.
14. Los Angeles Lakers
Nobody expected them to be good this year, but without Nash there is even less hope. Kobe continues to be the show of the NBA, though, and on any given night he can change the course of the league – just ask the Raptors.
15. Minnesota Timberwolves
A disappointment who seems to be comfortable accepting the fate of the Kevin Love trade instead of buying into their wealth of young talent. When Rubio is out things become hard, but this team needs to grow up fast in order to compete.