Post Pre-season NBA Power Rankings

David Ridderhoff, Sports Editor

Alright, time for preseason power rankings. Wait, the season has already started? So that means that this isn’t a preseason power ranking. But it’s not a postseason power ranking. It’s in the middle, but not a midseason power ranking. So, I’m going to give you the first ever post-preseason power rankings! I’m going to rank all 30 teams in a rapid-fire manner, as well as give an over-under for win total. Try to stay with me.

30. Philadelphia 76ers: 13.5 Wins

This team is awful. I bet you can’t even name five players on this team. I might be tempted to take the under here.

29. Utah Jazz: 17.5 Wins

Their best player is known more for his skills on World of Warcraft than basketball. Enough said.

28. Orlando Magic: 18.5 Wins

Again, just a bad team. Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton are two rookies worth looking at. But really, they’re the only people worth looking at.

27. Milwaukee Bucks: 22.5 Wins

The Bucks are going to slowly but surely improve. Plus, they have Jabari Parker, who’s the best player in this year’s draft.

26. Sacramento Kings: 22.5 Wins

The Kings just love being bad. That’s the only explanation I can give, because they’re continuously battling for last place in the West.

25. Los Angeles Lakers: 24.5 Wins

It’s Kobe Bryant against the world. He has no players around him worth mentioning, and now ball-hogs Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin will take shots away from him. Smart.

24. Boston Celtics: 26.5 Wins

Rajon Rondo is more overrated than Taylor Swift, and he’s their best player. Well, second best, something we’ll find out when Jeff Green starts dominating.

23. Detroit Pistons: 29.5 Wins

This team would be so good if Brandon Jennings or Josh Smith passed the ball. Smith can’t shoot, and he’s the only one who doesn’t know that.

22. New York Knicks: 29.5 Wins

It’s strange to think that a team with players like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire can be this bad. If you don’t think Melo and J.R. Smith can disappoint you, prepare to be proven wrong.

21. Denver Nuggets: 30.5 Wins

So many decent parts, but the team has no stars and no true scorers. Just another team that would be in the playoffs in the East.

20. Brooklyn Nets: 31.5 Wins

Age, added to inconsistency and lack of skill around a core will make this team irrelevant. They’ll fight for a playoff spot still.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves: 33.5 Wins

How does a team get better by trading away its best player? Easy, it replaces him with two good players at the same position and add the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

18. Indiana Pacers: 34.5 Wins

Who’s ready for a season of mediocrity? The funny thing is at 34.5 wins, the Pacers are sitting in seventh-place in the East. Ouch.

17. Atlanta Hawks: 35.5 Wins

In the West, the Hawks are a 25-win team. But hey, this group of players plays far enough East to get the 76ers and Bucks on their schedule on a consistent basis.

16. Memphis Grizzlies: 36.5 Wins

Remember when the Grizzlies were considered a lock for a top seed in the West? That’s all the way back in 2012, which, is only two years ago.

15. Phoenix Suns: 37.5 Wins

The Suns are up-and-coming team that will contend for a playoff spot this year. They almost made it last year in the first year under Jeff Hornacek, and should stay in the middle of the playoff chase.

14. New Orleans Pelicans: 40.5 Wins

This is my pick for the No. 8 seed in the West, with scorers like Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans combining with Anthony Davis’ eyebrow, this team is pretty good.

13. Portland Trailblazers: 42:5 Wins

Damian Lillard is so good, and LaMarcus Aldridge is among the best power forwards in the NBA, but I don’t see a top-10 team in Portland. Playoffs, but not elite.

12. Miami Heat: 44.5 Wins

Yes, they lost LeBron James, but they still have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who will now combine with Luol Deng and Danny Granger among others to be a playoff team.

11. Washington Wizards: 45.5 Wins

There are so many parts in Washington–no stars, maybe no All-Stars, but they are good. In the East, being good is good enough for 45 wins.

10. Dallas Mavericks: 45.5 Wins

Monta Ellis is finally as good as everyone thought he should be. Add him to Tyson Chandler, Jameer Nelson and the greatest European player ever in Dirk Nowitzki, there’s 45-plus wins in Dallas.

9. Golden State Warriors: 47.5 Wins

Golden State has so many shooters that it seems almost impossible for them not to score 105 points per game. Stephen Curry is a legitimate MVP contender this season.

8. Toronto Raptors: 48.5 Wins

DeMar Derozan is probably the most underrated player in the NBA, and they proved that a team with Rudy Gay can’t win. Maybe Sacramento should take the hint.

7. San Antonio Spurs: 50.5 Wins

I know they just won the championship, but I really think this is the start of the decline of the Spurs. The one we’ve been expecting for a long time. Tim Duncan will start missing bank shots, the bench won’t be as consistent and Tony Parker won’t be a top-10 point guard.

6. Charlotte Hornets: 51.5 Wins

The Hornets are the best team in the East outside of the Central Division, and will win 50 games behind the third-best center in the NBA, Al Jefferson, and a fringe-elite point guard in Kemba Walker.

5. Houston Rockets: 53.5 Wins

Yeah, the team hates each other, but the players are good enough. James Harden is my MVP pick, and Dwight Howard will probably be back to being the second-best center in the league. Second?

4. Oklahoma City Thunder: 55.5 Wins

The Thunder would be top three if Kevin Durant wasn’t injured for the beginning of the season. Instead, they should be the No. 2 seed in the West and win about 55 games. Still a good season.

3. Los Angeles Clippers: 60.5 Wins

This team is still so good. I think Blake Griffin is set for a season that will make him the best power forward in the NBA, and having the league’s top point guard in Chris Paul doesn’t hurt the team’s chances.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: 63.5 Wins

How can two teams from the same division be considered the best two teams in the NBA? There are so many wins to be had in the East that it’s possible. LeBron James is the kind of player who can add 30 wins to a team.

1. Chicago Bulls: 65.5 Wins

The Bulls are the best team in the NBA. They have 10 players who could legitimately start on any team in the NBA, and none of them seem to care that they won’t get 30-plus minutes a night. The MVP won’t come from this team, but the best record surely can. I think they’re the best team in the NBA, and dominant wins won’t change my mind any time soon. They have an elite point guard and the best center in the NBA. Good enough for me.

David Ridderhoff is a junior Radio/TV broadcast major. He is the sports editor for The Flyer. He is also the general manager of Lewis’ radio station, WLRA. As an avid sports fan, he also collects hats and jerseys from a variety of sports teams.

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