December 4, 2021 | 3:32 pm
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Shaw Sports NBA Power Rankings Week 1

Tip off is finally on the horizon. We here at Shaw Sports will take a regular look at the NBA and give you our power rankings through out the season. Trends take time to develop and just because a team has a bad week or loses to an inferior opponent that doesn’t mean they need to be shifted. The same goes for a bad team who happens to catch a better team on the second night of a back to back and scrapes by for the W.

Trends my good people…these power rankings will be about trends. That said check out where we ranked all 30 teams as the season is set to begin.

  1. Miami Heat: As back to back champs there is no reason to disrespect them to start the season.
  2. San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard must continue to develop as the Spurs try recover from a heart-breaking Finals defeat.
  3. Indiana Pacers: Solid bench moves and great team chemistry have this team well in the hunt.
  4. Los Angeles Clippers: A new focus on defense with a bench that should dominate has the Clippers as serious contenders
  5. Chicago Bulls: Sure Derrick Rose is back but can the roster stay healthy when it matters most? (Noah, Deng, Boozer)
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder: A third scorer has to emerge and the bench is weaker than it has ever been. Time for Jeremy Lamb and Serge Ibaka to step up.
  7. Brooklyn Nets: Very deep team with size…coaching is going to be the biggest question.
  8. Golden State Warriors: Adding Andre Iguodala was great for their defense but the loss of Jarret Jack looms large especially in the closing minutes of games.
  9. New York Knicks: They aren’t really any better or worse than last year just so many other teams improved to leap frog them.
  10. Houston Rockets: Love the pairing of James Harden and Dwight Howard. Lots of shooting but still questions at the point guard and power forward positions.
  11. Memphis Grizzlies: Zach Randolph needs to bounce back and the Grizzlies need to find perimeter scoring from somewhere…they hope Mike Miller is part of the solution.
  12. Portland Trail Blazers: With an improved bench they should challenge for a playoff spot out west. Will Lillard play some defense this season?
  13. Denver Nuggets: Lost some depth and still don’t have Danilo Gallinari to start the season. This ranking might be high to start the season.
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers: One of the deepest teams in the league at the front court spots with Andrew Bynum waiting in the wings. Oh yeah they also have Kyrie Irving.
  15. Dallas Mavericks: They struck out in free agency again but adding Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon was a solid backup plan. If Dirk is fully healthy they could make some noise.
  16. Washington Wizards: All their chips are in for a playoff push this year. John Wall and Bradley Beal might be the East’s best young backcourt.
  17. Minnesota Timberwolves: If this team can stay healthy they have a chance…Kevin Love has to play at least 75 games. Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin were great signings though.
  18. New Orleans Pelicans: Wholesale changes and good talent. Anthony Davis is the real deal and Tyreke Evans wants to be Manu Ginobili. Should be fun in NO.
  19. Los Angeles Lakers: They aren’t that bad on paper. Chris Kaman was an underrated edition and Pau Gasol says he feels great. Can D’Antoni and company hold things down till Kobe returns?
  20. Detroit Pistons: Three lefties in the starting lineup are intriguing enough but Andre Drummond’s development is key to their playoff push.
  21. Toronto Raptors: Is Rudy Gay really that dude? Can DeMar DeRozan be a true consistent number two option?
  22. Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford is in store for a monster season statistically but how many wins can the Hawks actually get?
  23. Boston Celtics: An average roster with no legitimate scoring threat and no Rajon Rondo until….?
  24. Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins is a beast but has he matured enough to be a leader. Who is the best player behind Cousins anyway?
  25. Charlotte Bobcats: Getting Al Jefferson was huge but how will Kemba Walker play with a dominate post presence on the roster?
  26. Utah Jazz: Rebuilding with good young pieces. Big seasons from Derrick Favors and Gordan Hayward on the way but not much else to be excited about.
  27. Milwaukee Bucks: It is going to be the O.J. Mayo show on offense while Larry Sanders throws a nightly block party.
  28. Orlando Magic: So much youth but the team is heading in the right direction…just not ready to compete.
  29. Phoenix Suns: They are trying to get all 30 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft it seems. It’s a rebuilding year with Eric Bledsoe as the franchise player.
  30. Philadelphia 76ers: The worst team in the league but at least they will get another year to make a decision on Evan Turner.

Don’t agree with the rankings? Tell us why. We will catch you in few weeks with an updated version.

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