Espn Nba Power Rankings
By Marc Stein
Friday, September 28
Back to work on this fabulous fall Friday with four overseas-bound teams (Heat, Clippers, Celtics and Mavericks) holding their annual media day. Back with a piping hot batch of ESPN.com's NBA Power Rankings, this one coming to you after a wild summer that sandwiched monster trades landing Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in Hollywood around a little international tournament known as the Olympics.
You know the score by now: This is where we meet up every week during the regular season to take the pulse of NBA teams from 1 to 30, relying on the trusted formula employed for more than a decade by your devoted committee (of one) that calculates each team's slot by gauging what's happening in the present in equal measure with the big-picture outlook for the season … while always allowing for a dash of subjective whim.
Don't forget, furthermore, that this preseason edition of the rankings, as always, automatically awards the top spot to the reigning champions and likewise factors a team's personnel successes (or failures) from the summer into our calculations. Which is why, in addition to Miami's standing as an automatic No. 1 as training camps begin, you'll see the Lakers ahead of Oklahoma City, Philadelphia ahead of Indiana and Dallas ahead of Memphis. And, yes, those upstarts from Brooklyn one spot ahead of their New York neighbors at Madison Square Garden.
The next edition of the rankings is scheduled for Oct. 29 in advance of opening night after taking the next month to get a decent look at everyone during exhibition play. Click here to rank the teams yourself or here to comment on the rankings, which as always are compiled with ever-helpful dishing from ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau.
2012-13 Power Rankings: Training Camp
RANK TEAM / RECORD COMMENTS
How can they not start out peering down at 29 other teams? Even if the Heat do launch slowly with Wade and Ray Ray healing, it's not just our rule about defending champions that matters. Also: Mr. James returns as undisputed King of his sport for the first time ever.
Maybe you can't win anything in the summertime. What you can do, though, is leapfrog everyone else in Power Rankdom apart from the defending champs when you trade for Dwight and Nash without surrendering Pau, which still hasn't fully sunk in even after writing that sentence dozens of times.
Am I, like so many out there, overlooking the fact that the Lakers still have lots of chemistry wrinkles to work out and health questions to answer? Guilty. Thing is, OKC convenes for camp amid plenty of its own uncertainty thanks to Harden's contract situation, Perk's health and that Finals flameout.
Timmy, Manu and Tony don't get any easier to read with age. Who could have predicted the 20 games in a row they won or the four straight Ls to OKC after that brush with invincibility? Want to write the Spurs off after a summer of precious little change? Go for it. We'll pass.
5 should be number 2
Last season of bliss before CP3 leaves Blake and Clipperland behind? Or the start of something truly special that makes L.A. feel like Manchester with two true powerhouse teams in the same neighborhood? Like it or not, Staples Center is the NBA's two-team epicenter for juicy storylines. For now.
Whether or not you agree with Rondo's claim that the Celts are still on the short list of five teams that can win it all, there's no denying they'll have a bench this time with JET Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Darko arriving to succeed the departed Ray Allen and Stiemsma.
Find myself drawn to the Sixers as much as anyone in the East chasing Miami. Time will tell if I'm[..]uming too much about Bynum's impact, but Philly automatically skyrockets here for now in the wake of a trade that landed an undeniable franchise center and got Dwight out of the East.
Indy's splashiest acquisition was Donnie Walsh. Nothing wrong with that -- not when the Pacers also re-signed Hibbert and George Hill -- but that means Frank Vogel is clearly dependent on improvement from within to maintain their spot in the East's elite. Not so simple.
The Nuggets, with Iguodala, are right there with Memphis and Dallas in the West's steel-cage battle for the bottom four playoff seeds. Yet you can't shake the suspicion that, even if Iggy and JaVale McGee have big years, they'll find out first-hand what sort of monster they helped L.A.[..]emble.
After missing out on D-Will, Dallas never dreamed it could offer only one-year deals to the rest of the free-agent pack and still come away with Mayo, Kaman, Brand and Collison. The problem? The West is suddenly super deep again. And now Dallas has to score in Free Agency 2013.
Committee (of one) spies say Z-Bo looks far sharper coming into this season than he did at any point last season, but it won't mean much unless A) Z-Bo and Rudy Gay finally click, B) Gay is dealt for a better fit and C) Memphis eventually puts some shooters around Z-Bo and Marc Gasol.
OK, OK: They didn't get Dwight. But the Nets did just enough, by trading for Joe Johnson and signing a slew of others, to convince D-Will to stay, ship a watchable team to their gleaming new Brooklyn palace and give themselves a shot at finishing higher than the Knicks. It's a start.
Let's see. Let's see if J-Kidd, at 39, can combine with Ray Felton (and Hakeem Olajuwon's tutorials) to help Melo and Amare snap together like Legos at last and make people forget that James Dolan let J-Lin go out of what largely appears to be spite. Maximum points for ambition.
When was the last time the Wolves were this interesting? Probably 2003-04 when they went to the West finals before trading away Sam (I Am) Cassell. We're still not quite sure how soon Rubio will be back from knee surgery, but K-Love and his overhauled supporting cast are must-see regardless.
If you think D-Rose was emotional at that adidas press conference chronicling his diligent rehab, wait until you see what happens around New Year's when he and Coach Thibs start planning Rose's comeback from that ACL tear ... and cautious Bulls management tells them it's best to sit tight.
In the early days of the Pop era, Utah was the franchise San Antonio always tried to emulate. Now the Jazz have imported Dennis Lindsey from the Spurs' front-office mafia to help figure out who on the frontline stays or goes (Jefferson? Millsap?) to make way for Favors and Kanter.
New management has overhauled so much, but the expectation that something (most likely health) will go awry lives on. So let's see if the Dubs -- deepest roster since 2007's We Believe squad -- with Bogut, Curry and D-Lee ready to the start the season -- can hush the doomsayers for once.
It won't show up in the standings right away, but the Hawks were one of the unquestioned offseason winners on this scorecard when Danny Ferry jettisoned Joe Johnson (and more). I'd rather start over, as Atlanta will now do, than pointlessly keep banging my head on a second-round ceiling.
En route to the Hall of Fame, reflecting on the monster trade two of his old teams swung, Don Nelson said: "Something you just never do in the NBA, you don't trade a 6-3 player for a talented 7-footer." Put Nellie down, then, in the camp saying Milwaukee lost the Bogut-for-Monta swap.
Whispers around the league persist that ROY favorite Anthony Davis and Co. can make a run at the No. 8 spot out West. I simply prefer to echo what we so often said about Kyrie's Cavs last season: Hope has been restored here, post-CP3, far faster than anyone imagined.
Can Damian Lillard trump Unibrow Davis and actually win the ROY race? Hard to fathom. Will Lillard be sufficiently dazzling to buy new coach Terry Stotts some time and placate Blazermaniacs as their heroes try to rebuild around Aldridge, Batum and the flashy new PG? Quite conceivable.
Lottery teams aren't supposed to be very intriguing, but the Wiz do make you wonder: Are we sleeping on these guys? Depends on what they get from Wall and his new rookie sidekick Beal and what sort of impact Nene and Okafor can still make. Buy in at your own risk.
There's quiet optimism north of the border that the Raps can scrap for the East's No. 8 spot. I'll just stop at saying that Valanciunas' unhappy Olympics (and likely slow NBA start) won't discourage me at all about his promise. European coaches are prone to take it slow with young guys.
Did the Suns hang onto Steve Nash too long? Definitely. Did they spin out of Nash's emotional defection to the hated Lakers about as well as they possibly could by signing All-Lefty Team aspirant Dragic and snagging Scola on an amnesty waiver claim? This desert lover hopes so.
It's an if. A rather big if, actually. But the idea that draft gamble Andre Drummond can eventually form a legit front-line tandem with Greg Monroe -- with salary-cap space looming next summer -- adds up to the biggest glimmer of hope Pistons fans have seen for a half-decade.
Better to be stockpiling trade[..]ets and scheming from lottery land to finally pull off a blockbuster than chase a playoff spot. The Rockets, sporting J-Lin and Kev Martin and not much else these days after Orlando spurned all their Dwight proposals, are about to seriously test that theory.
Jacque Vaughn's older brother played at Cal State Fullerton, so it'll come as little surprise that the committee (of one) not-so-secretly roots for the Magic's surprise rookie coach. But let's be clear here. A rough season awaits after they got none of the three best players in the Dwight deal.
The Cavs, with five or six first- and second-year players in their rotation, will ask their fans for more patience. And you know what? With Varejao coming back and Kyrie poised to serve up more thrills, they'll undoubtedly get it whether or not Waiters dazzles or stumbles early.
The uncertain futures of Tyreke, Jimmer and NBA basketball itself in Sactown command our focus heading into the season. Factor in all the attention Cousins generates, with Thomas Robinson on the scene now as well, and methinks you can expect more Kings chatter nationally than normal.
How many games will the seven-win Cats win this season? Do they dare dream of rising to the lofty rankings heights of No. 29 or (gasp) No. 28? Will His Airness ever grant an extended interview to explain his game plan? Answers forthcoming in this space every Monday during the regular season.
|Latest Sports Hot Topics Ľ||share this topic Ľ|| |
|09-28-2012, 12:20 PM||online - #2|
|09-28-2012, 12:26 PM||away - #3|
I ain't watchin espn no more.
|09-28-2012, 12:29 PM||away - #4|
|09-28-2012, 12:29 PM||online - #5|
|09-28-2012, 12:59 PM||away - #6|
|09-28-2012, 01:10 PM||away - #7|
Cant wait to see the nets fail [pic]
|09-28-2012, 01:25 PM||online - #8|
#7 thats that !! I do like! [pic]
|09-28-2012, 01:26 PM||away - #9|
can we just wait until at least preseason
|09-28-2012, 01:29 PM||away - #10|
Looks like Rondo was wrong about Boston being one of the 5 legit teams contending right now [pic]
|09-28-2012, 01:31 PM||away - #11|
Prok is throwing out favors I see. Ok.
|09-28-2012, 01:52 PM||away - #12|
why do they keep over rating the clippers and the nets
Both will barely make it to the second round (if they make is) and lose in 5
|09-28-2012, 01:58 PM||away - #13|
|09-28-2012, 02:06 PM||away - #14|
17 let's !!ing go [pic][pic]
|09-28-2012, 02:09 PM||away - #15|
|09-28-2012, 02:16 PM||away - #16|
|09-28-2012, 02:18 PM||away - #17|
We'll see at the end of the year [pic]
|09-28-2012, 02:39 PM||online - #18|
|09-28-2012, 03:09 PM||away - #19|
!! is this son...
|09-28-2012, 03:11 PM||away - #20|
| Lil Scrappy Off To Rehab, Claims Addiction To Weed |
New reply 40 seconds ago - 142 comments - by TheThreadLord
| May 22 - Man Sets Up Camera To See Ghosts, Catches Gir... |
New reply 9 minutes ago - 78 comments - by Becky911
| NBA (pic) Lebron Stans Be Like ..... |
New reply 3 minutes ago - 57 comments - by DR JAYY
| Meek Mill Puts His Homie On Blast For Asking For $5000... |
New reply 10 minutes ago - 269 comments - by ProfitSee
| NFL Michael Crabtree Tears Achilles Possibly Done For Season |
New reply 4 minutes ago - 175 comments - by ThiZZ
| Did Fake Thuggin Strike Again? Augusta, Georgia Rapper... |
New reply 14 minutes ago - 100 comments - by KleanKutt100
| Url Night Of Main Events 3 Line-up Announced!! |
New reply 8 minutes ago - 100 comments - by Zaosyn
| Biggie's Daughter Releases "notorious" Line |
New reply 17 minutes ago - 56 comments - by ProfitSee
|Join us on Facebook. Check out the BX fan page and hit the Like button.||Follow BX on Twitter to get instant hot topic alerts.||Enter your email address below and receive a daily hot topic newsletter.|
|5,315 fans of BX and 1 new today||4,292 following and 1 new today|