November 30, 2021 | 7:40 am
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NBA Power Rankings Week 1

The 2014-15 NBA season is finally here with more intrigue than you can shake a stick at. (Where does that expression come from anyway?) We check-in on all 30 teams and where they stand going into the 82-game marathon set before them. The shakeup caused by LeBron James and his move back to Cleveland was seismic and the landscape of the NBA is vastly changed from a season ago. The NBA is as wide open as it’s ever been and it’s glorious.

Here are our power rankings heading into the 68th season of the association:

  1. San Antonio Spurs: The King stays the King until proven otherwise.

  2. Los Angeles Clippers: Talent, deep bench, great coach and another year together should make for a great a year in Southern California.

  3. Cleveland Cavaliers: The dawn of a new Big Three with Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and that other guy they got in free agency.

  4. Chicago Bulls: They added offense, they had defense and they get Derrick Rose back—they could be scary.

  5. Golden State Warriors: Until the Thunder are at full strength they should be gods in the West with the Spurs and Clippers.

  6. Dallas Mavericks: Tyson Chandler back and Chandler Parsons on board has things looking up in Big D.

  7. Portland Trail Blazers: Didn’t have an amazing summer but still a very good team in the West because of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard.

  8. Memphis Grizzlies: With Marc Gasol healthy to start the year and Coach Joerger another year wiser, the Grizzlies look to continue to be an unfavorable opponent for teams in the NBA.

  9. Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard and James Harden have to make it happen or the curtain will close early on H-Town’s hopes for the playoffs.

  10. Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan look to continue their success with an underappreciated attention to team defense.

  11. Oklahoma City Thunder: I don’t think the world is ready for Russell Westbrook in abundance but that’s what we are getting while Kevin Durant and other OKC players are on the mend.

  12. Washington Wizards: Even with Bradley Beal out to start the year, John Wall and company have enough to be lethal in the East.

  13. Miami Heat: Their refusal to go quietly after LeBron James’ departure is admirable but Dwyane Wade’s health is key and concerning.

  14. Phoenix Suns: Won’t sneak up on anyone this season but their up tempo style is fun to watch…can it continue to translate to a winning season?

  15. Charlotte Hornets: Was Lance Stephenson the missing ingredient for a team desperate to build on a surprising winning season?

  16. Atlanta Hawks: One of the most overlooked teams in the league but they are well coached and welcome back an All-star talent in Al Horford.

  17. Brooklyn Nets: If healthy they can make noise in the East but Deron Williams and Brook Lopez have bodies that always seem to let them down as of late.

  18. Denver Nuggets: A solid team but they were a little Jekyll and Hyde last season and battled numerous injuries. Will this season be different?

  19. New York Knicks: It’s triangle time in the Garden but who will help Carmelo Anthony score consistently?

  20. New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis is being anointed the next big thing but he had little help last season. Will the ‘Walking Wounded’ in NOLA stay healthy to make a run with AD?

  21. Detroit Pistons: Stan Van Gundy will have this team playing the right way by season’s end even with three lefties on the roster.

  22. Utah Jazz: A magical preseason has fans hopeful. Derrick Favors and Trey Burke look ready to lead alongside Gordon Hayward.

  23. Minnesota Timberwolves: The ‘Bounce Brothers’ (Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine) will provide excitement for a team that could be better than advertised in the West…maybe.

  24. Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins continues his assent towards the NBA elite…really he’s that good. The Kings hope to build around DMC with Rudy Gay and um—Darren Collison?

  25. Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant and a band of misfits should make for fun times (that’s sarcasm) in L.A.

  26. Boston Celtics: They might be a little better than last year but that’s not saying anything at all. Will Rajon Rondo make it through the season healthy or even on the roster?

  27. Orlando Magic: So much youth but the team is heading in the right direction…just not ready to compete.

  28. Milwaukee Bucks: They should have the Rookie of the Year in Jabari Parker so that’s something right?

  29. Indiana Pacers: They will probably finish higher but starting the season without three starters (George Hill, David West and Paul George) makes for less than humble beginnings.

  30. Philadelphia 76ers: They know who they are and they are fine with it so we should be too. Check back in a season or two…or three.

We will be back in a few weeks with an update to these rankings. Until then follow ShawSportsNBA or The Baseline on Twitter for up to date NBA news and takes.

 

 

 

 

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