’16-’17 NBA Preseason Power Rankings
Look, I love baseball. I enjoy watching baseball. I enjoy listening to baseball. I even enjoy playing baseball. What I don’t enjoy, however, is being restricted to watching baseball… Only.
I’ve heard the “best things in life are free”, but the best thing in life is free-dom. Freedom of speech. Freedom to live, work, eat, and just do whatever you want to do, when you want to do it… There’s nothing greater (don’t believe me, then you’ve never been without it).
But all that aside, the greatest freedom of all is the freedom to watch any sport you chose, almost 7 days a week, and it be live! Don’t tell me I can only watch old shit, or baseball! I want no parts of that ESPN Classic, NBA Playoff Playback, or NFL throwback garbage (Although, flashing back to childhood and seeing Mike kill the Knicks, or Bo Jackson dominate, and wondering how I watched that and knew what was happening in non-HD is rather entertaining at times).
Now, this summer was different, as the Olympics provided some additional viewing options. And, for the past 8 weeks or so, we’ve had football, and hockey. But, this. This right here… Is the best time of the year!
I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time.
At 7:30/6:30 Central (as the commercial guy always says), when the Knicks tip-off against the Cavs, the NBA regular season will officially be upon us, and all will be glorious and right within the universe. No more boring, in bed by 8 Tuesday nights. No more, I guess I’ll watch this Rangers/Astros game, and no more struggle parlays! Options galore.
So, why not some pre-season NBA Power Rankings?
1. Golden State Warriors
I know, the Cavs are the defending champs. And honestly, in a seven game series, I don’t see the Warriors having the defense or depth to win another title… this year. But who cares? The regular season will be video game-esque.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
I think the loss of Dellavedova will hurt them more than many realize, but they still have LeBron, and that’s all that matters.
3. San Antonio Spurs
Bill Belich… Gregg Popovich is a genius, and Gasol, Aldridge, Leonard, Green (when back healthy), and Parker is one of the best starting 5s you’ll find.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
Is this the year they finally figure it out, and win a Championship? Probably not, but you have to like their chances if they stay healthy. They quietly had an impressive off-season, adding quality veteran depth in Marresse Speights, Brandon Bass, Raymond Felton, and Alan Anderson.
5. Toronto Raptors
I’m still not sold on the Lowry/DeRozan duo, but a full year of healthy Carroll and Valanciunas, and the addition of Jared Sullinger… Hard to see the Drakes falling off.
6. Indiana Pacers
I love this team, but still hate them (Reggie Miller ruined my childhood). Their starting 5 – Teague, Ellis, George, Young, Turner – is one of the best in the league, and their first five off the bench are better than what a good portion of the league will roll… From their starting unit.
7. Utah Jazz
Waiting for it to click with this team, and hopefully this is the year. Joe Johnson was a nice pick up, he fits perfectly, but they’re already without Gordon Hayward to start the season.
8. Portland Trailblazers
They surprised last season, and added some nice pieces. Particularly, Evan Turner. They’ll be in contention for home court advantage come playoff time.
9. Boston Celtics
The east coast Blazers. Young, athletic, scrappy squad, and the addition of Horford gives them the big they’ve been missing.
10. Washington Wizards
People are sleeping on Washington after last year’s .500 season, but I think they’ll bounce back to the up-and-coming team from two seasons ago. They added some depth, and more importantly, are healthy… For now.
11. Memphis Grizzlies
Last season was pretty disappointing for Memphis, but the playoff appearance should be applauded given the injuries. We’ll see what rookie head coach David Fizdale is about, and there’s some questions roster-wise, but I think they’ll be solid.
12. Atlanta Hawks
They lost Al Horford, and Jeff Teague, but added Dwight Howard. Their bench is weak… Well, young…. I feel like I have them too high.
13. Chicago Bulls
I like the off-season additions, and the MCW trade, but nothing overly impressive. Yet, they’re #13… I miss the 90’s when there were only a handful of bad teams.
14. New York Knicks
Like the Hawks, and Bulls, I think this is too high. But, who the hell else is going to go here?? 11-15 are kind of all the same team, so it’s really semantics… A lot of buzz surrounding NY, but I don’t buy it. Bench is vigin margarita on the rocks weak.
15. Detroit Pistons
Just another mediocre Eastern Conference team.
16. Houston Rockets
We’ll call them Golden State, Jr. They’ll be able to put up points in bunches, but can they stop anyone? Also, they hired Mike D’Antoni… Yay.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder
Like the Rockets, at least they’ll be exciting to watch. Russell Westbrook will have a MVP caliber season.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
They’re going to surprise some people this season. I really want to put them above that lackluster 11-15 group, but they’re still young. I’ll wait, and see.
19. Dallas Mavericks
Rick Carlisle is one of, if not the, most underrated coaches in the league, but I don’t like this roster. Hopefully, Harrison Barnes can get out of this funk he’s been in since last season.
20. Sacramento Kings
Can Dave Joerger un-dysfunctionalize this team? I hope so. They have talent.
21. Charlotte Hornets
Their guards run deep, but the loss of Big Al will hurt. I wonder what kind of team they’ll be? They have a weird mix of up-tempo, and half court offensive guys.
22. Milwaukee Bucks
Antetokounmpo was nice at PG last year, and it looks like that’s the direction they’re headed this season. Unlike the Hawks, Bulls, and Knicks I feel like I have them too low. They should be above them… Maybe next week. We’ll see.
23. Orlando Magic
They’ve got some solid, young talent, and Frank Vogel is a decent coach… They’re still a few years away from relevance. Although, Nikola Vucevic has been a man crush since he was killing at SC.
24. Denver Nuggets
People forget about Denver, because they’ve been ravished by injuries the past few seasons. They’re still a very talented team, and probably should be higher… Guess I’m sleeping too #staywoke
25. New Orleans Pelicans
I’m still not used to saying Pelicans, but I am getting used to Anthony Davis’ talent going to waste.
26. Miami Heat
They should be competitive, and play solid defense as usual, but are lacking a go-to guy. Dragic is nice, but he’s not the answer.
27. Phoenix Suns
The team I’m most likely to use in 2K17 (outside of the Wizards). It’ll be interesting to see what they can do if they can stay healthy. They’ll make the playoffs if so… Watch.
28. Brooklyn Nets
I feel bad for Brook Lopez. He’s stuck in eternal, wasted talent hell. But, at the same time, he gets paid handsomely to lose… Can’t be that bad.
29. Los Angeles Lakers
It’s going to be so weird not seeing Kobe out there. Who’s going to provide the comedic belittling, and yelling at-age when all these knuckleheads do their knuckleheadish shit? Childish antics aren’t funny without belittling… Maybe Luol Deng can play that role?
30. Philadelphia 76ers
Another #1 pick… Another #1 pick already injured…
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