2015 NBA Preseason Power Rankings
NBA Power Rankings
September 27, 2015
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The 2015 NBA season is about a month away from taking place. After a crazy free agency and a bunch of teams getting players back healthy, it’s time to take a look at how each team stacks up heading into a new NBA season.
1. Golden State Warriors - The Golden State Warriors ran through the NBA last season and return all of their key players after Draymond Green resigned for the long term. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry gives the GSW the best backcourt in the league once again.
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2. Cleveland Cavaliers - The Cleveland Cavaliers will enter the season a lot healthier than they ended last year, as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao will be ready to go at some point. Also, don’t sleep on the Cavs adding Mo Williams for point guard depth, as he can still play at a high level.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder - I’m very high on the Thunder this season with a healthy Kevin Durant to go along with Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter. OKC is my early, early pick to win the NBA Finals.
4. Los Angeles Clippers - We all know about DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. But now the Los Angeles Clippers have a legit bench with the additions of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson. Can the Clippers finally take that next step?
5. San Antonio Spurs - I’m not nearly as high on the San Antonio Spurs as others because of their overall age in a young West. However, LaMarcus Aldridge and David West give a deep Spurs team even more talent to work with.
6. Houston Rockets - The Houston Rockets get back a healthy Donatas Motiejunas and now have a true point guard with the addition of Ty Lawson. The Rockets are now a legit dark horse championship team.
7. Memphis Grizzlies - It’s hard to deny the Memphis Grizzlies success over the years, and they bring back the same team they’ve had for quite some time. Eventually a trio of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley is going to pay off, right?
8. Miami Heat - If the Miami Heat can stay healthy, they can beat any team in the NBA in a playoff series. A starting five of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Luol Deng is possibly the best in the league. Do not sleep on this Heat squad, I’m warning you now.
9. New Orleans Pelicans - The Pelicans should get the most out of Anthony Davis now that Alvin Gentry is calling the shots. A healthy Jrue Holiday can also go a long way. Bottom line, the Pelicans have a young and talented group that’s only going to get better as time goes by.
10. Atlanta Hawks - Anybody remember that the Atlanta Hawks won 60 games last season? Anyone? Either way, the Hawks have a balanced starting five, are explosive and well coached.
11. Chicago Bulls - The Chicago Bulls have a lot of the pieces in place, especially if Derrick Rose can stay healthy. Now the question is what can new coach Fred Hoiberg do that Tom Thibodeau couldn't?
12. Milwaukee Bucks - You guys should know by now that I’m in love with these young Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks really turned heads last season and should take another step forward with a healthy Jabari Parker and with the addition of Greg Monroe. The Bucks could be a top four team in the East if everything goes well. Yeah, I said it.
13. Washington Wizards - I was high on the Washington Wizards last season and there’s no reason to jump off that bandwagon now with the same team pretty much returning. Something in John Wall is finally clicking, which is scary for the rest of the East.
14. Toronto Raptors - Is this the year the Toronto Raptors finally grow up and take that next step? The addition of DeMarre Carroll should help the Raptors, but you still get the feeling something is missing on this team.
15. Boston Celtics - The Boston Celtics are one of the most well coached teams in the NBA. Also, the additions of Amir Johnson and David Lee give a young Boston team more experience and depth. The baby Celtics are starting to grow up before our eyes.
16. Utah Jazz - The Utah Jazz just missed out on the playoffs last season and have some of the more underrated players in the league, including Rudy Gobert. Don’t be surprised if the Jazz find a way to sneak into the playoffs this year.
17. Dallas Mavericks - The Dallas Mavericks had the potential to be higher on this list if they were able to land DAJ. Still, a starting lineup that includes Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews has potential to make some noise. The Mavs aren’t dead just yet.
18. Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons are going to be even better with another season of Stan Van Gundy. Also, Andre Drummond is inching closer towards becoming a superstar player. You just question the amount of offense the Pistons lack.
19. Phoenix Suns - The Phoenix Suns have some intriguing players who could make some noise. Also, the addition of Tyson Chandler doesn't hurt at all. Still, I’m used to the Sun's falling short every year, so it’s tough to put them any higher than this.
20. Sacramento Kings - The Sacramento Kings are one of a few bottom feeding teams that actually has a legit building block. Unfortunately, the ownership, coaching staff and DeMarcus Cousins can’t get on the same page in order to get the Kings over the hump.
21. Charlotte Hornets - The Charlotte Hornets have some nice pieces to work with when you include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. The Hornets now just need to find some depth and guys who can provide a spark off the bench in order for Michael Jordan’s team to compete in the East.
22. Indiana Pacers - Remember when the Indiana Pacers were a consistent threat in the East? Me too. While expectations have seriously dropped, Paul George, George Hill and Monta Ellis will at least make the Pacers watchable and keep them in the hunt for a final playoff spot in the East.
23. Orlando Magic - You looking for a team to put stock into for the future? The Orlando Magic are your team. Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris and Elfrid Payton gives Orlando an incredibly talented team that will be a force in a couple of seasons. Just not quite yet.
24. New York Knicks - On paper, the New York Knicks are far better than they were last season, but that’s certainly not saying much. It’s going to take more than Carmelo Anthony, Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez for the Knicks to make the playoffs this season.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves - The Minnesota Timberwolves have a lot of reasons to be excited, as a duo of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns has the potential to be special. Now it’s question of when?
26. Los Angeles Lakers - I’d like to see the Los Angeles Lakers be competitive in Kobe Bryant’s last season. However, right now there’s just too many questions with this Lakers squad.
27. Brooklyn Nets - The Brooklyn Nets are just a few guys away from blowing things up and starting over. Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson simply is no longer enough in an improved Eastern Conference.
28. Denver Nuggets - Kenneth Faried gives the Denver Nuggets a spark of much needed energy. If only Denver had about eight more guys who matched Faried’s passion and will to win.
29. Portland Trail Blazers - The Portland Trail Blazers went from being a consistent playoff team to a squad that features Damian Lillard and a bunch of other guys. It’s going to be a long season for Portland fans.
30. Philadelphia 76ers - Does this need to be explained? The Philadelphia 76ers have combined for just 37 wins the last two seasons. Yeah, uh, the 76ers are quite used to being in this spot.