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NBA Power Rankings: Week One

Here lies the first of many weekly NBA power rankings of all 30 teams in the league. The list will change based on weekly performances.

In this weekly feature, we’ll rank all 30 NBA teams throughout the course of the season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week One

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are the reigning NBA champions, and until someone proves otherwise, they secure the number one spot on the first power rankings of the year.

2. Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson all in their starting five. What more can a team ask for?

3. San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are still the Spurs. With Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich leading the way, anything is possible.

4. Los Angeles Cippers

Clippers fans are expecting big things from their team this upcoming season. With a healthy Blake Griffin this time around, the fans may just get what they’re asking for.

5. Boston Celtics

After a very successful off-season, Celtics fans are excited to watch their team play during the upcoming season. With Al Horford now in the mix, they may be one of the most balanced teams in the whole league. They can put a big scare into the Cavs.

6. Toronto Raptors

After going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, fans are going to be hungry for more. This team is very good but still might be one key piece away from contending with the Cavs for East supremacy.

7. Utah Jazz

This team gets better every year. If the Jazz can hover over .500 without Gordon Hayward to start the season, they will be very scary in a wide open Western Conference. They can even challenge for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

8. Portland Trail Blazers

It’s possible that the Blazers will take a step back from a surprising fifth place finish in the West last year. It’s also possible that they take a step forward. If this team stays in contention for home-court in the playoffs all season, look for Damian Lillard to potentially be the MVP of the league this season.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder will probably be on a decline this season after Durant left during the off-season. However, they did sign Victor Oladipo and they still have one of the most explosive players in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. Never count out Westbrook.

10. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers look like a very good team and they may be even better than last year, but they do have question marks. Is Myles Turner going to live up to all the hype in his second season? Will Al Jefferson be the center the Pacers are looking for? And will Jeff Teague work well with Monta Ellis? We will find out soon enough.

11. Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies better hope that Mike Conley plays as well as they think he will, based on his record-breaking contract, right from the start of the season. A healthy Marc Gasol and newly-acquired Chandler Parsons by Conley’s side will definitely help. The Grizzlies will most likely finish in the middle of the West, as they usually do.

12. Atlanta Hawks

After being a top six defense for most of last season, the Hawks picked up right where they left off during the preseason, ranking first in the NBA. Dwight Howard looked incredible during the preseason. If he can have the same success during the regular season, this team will be tough to beat every night.

13. Houston Rockets

James Harden is going to show the league this year that he isn’t so bad at playing defense. This team will go as far as Harden takes them. James Harden is the Houston Rockets.

14. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons will surely miss Reggie Jackson to start the season. Jackson is in the second season of a five-year, $80 million deal. However, Andre Drummond will do everything he can to keep the Pistons around .500 until Jackson gets back.

15. Charlotte Hornets

Thus far in his tenure, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford has done a tremendous job with this team. They were top five in defensive and offensive efficiency last season. The other four teams in the top five? Golden State, San Antonio, the L.A. Clippers, and Cleveland. Not bad.

16. Dallas Mavericks

Mavs owner Mark Cuban recently announced that Harrison Barnes will not be the Mavs’ top option this year. Dallas just gave him nearly $100 million, so the Mavs better hope that he plays like a number one option.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves

It has been 12 seasons since the T-Wolves last made the playoffs. However, their new coach, Tom Thibodeau, is five for five when it comes to making the playoffs, which he did with the Chicago Bulls. Can he make it six for six? That will be up to Karl-Anthony Towns and company.

18. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls got a bit better this off-season, adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. But how much better did they get? It’s anyone’s guess. One thing we know is that Jimmy Butler is excited for those two to join him.

19. Washington Wizards

The Wizards surprised everyone last season by missing the playoffs and dropping all the way to 10th in the East. John Wall will try to right the ship this season, but it may just not be enough to propel this team into the playoffs.

20. Miami Heat

With Wade out of the picture and Chris Bosh on his way out of Miami, the Heat now belong to Hassan Whiteside. Based on how Whiteside looked last season and his attitude going into the upcoming season, he looks more than ready to lead them.

21. New York Knicks

The Knicks made a ton of off-season moves, which made many people think that they’ll take a huge step forward and possibly even make the playoffs. Their biggest move was trading for former league MVP Derick Rose. Can he get back to his old self? Knicks fans sure hope so.

22. Orlando Magic

The Magic will look a bit different this year with new bench boss Frank Vogel running the show and Oladipo going to Oklahoma City in exchange for Serge Ibaka. Expect a big breakout from (should have been dunk champion) Aaron Gordon.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks made the playoffs two seasons ago but took a big step back last season, finishing 12th in the East. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be spectacular this season, but without Khris Middleton for most of the year, the Bucks may once again find themselves on the outside looking in.

24. Denver Nuggets

A big sophomore season from Emmanuel Mudiay and a healthy Danilo Gallinari may be enough to get this Nuggets team into the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

25. Sacramento Kings

If DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t get into any on- or off-court trouble, and Rudy Gay’s trade distractions don’t get in the way, the Kings may be at least a bit competitive this season. That is, however, a lot of “if”s.

26. New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans lost Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon in free agency this off-season, but they gained their present and future star shooting guard by drafting Buddy Hield. He and Anthony Davis should do plenty of damage this season, as long as Davis stays healthy.

27. Phoenix Suns

The Suns have plenty of talent and the future looks bright with Devin BookerAlex Len, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and Tyler Ulis. They also figure to be more competitive than last season, with a healthy Eric Bledsoe back on the floor.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

Now that the Kobe Bryant era has finally come to an end, it is time for the D’Angelo Russell era to begin. With the help of Jordan Clarkson, and rookie Brandon Ingram in the mix as well, the Lakers probably won’t win many games, but they might be one of the most exciting teams in the league next season.

29. Philadelphia 76ers

The bad news is that Ben Simmons may be out the whole year. The good news is that the Sixers won just 10 games last season, so it can’t get much worse than that.

30. Brooklyn Nets

It’s going to be a long season in Brooklyn. Stay patient, Nets fans.


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