NBA Power Rankings (Kings 17th?!)
NBA.com's Power Rankings as of Aug 3, 2006:
TEAM (LAST WK) REC. BREAKDOWN
52-30 They're the champs and Dwyane Wade is the best player in the league, but will that translate into the best regular season record? And does it matter?
60-22 They've improved their bench with the additions of Anthony Johnson, Austin Croshere, Devean George and Gregg Buckner.
San Antonio (5)
63-19 A healthier and rested Tim Duncan could get the Spurs back on top, and he's got a little more help down low with Francisco Elson and Jackie Butler.
54-28 Look out league. Amare is back.
64-18 Ben is gone, but they still have that swagger and they could have done a lot worse than Nazr Mohammed as a replacement. Flip Murray gives them a little more offense off the bench.
50-32 We're still waiting on Drew Gooden to stay or go, but if essentially the same squad returns, the Cavs have a shot at their first division crown since 1976.
New Jersey (7)
49-33 With a full season under their belt together, Kidd, Carter and Jefferson should be sharp from the get-go this time around and Nenad Krstic should continue to develop.
41-41 We're taking a bit of a wait-and-see approach before we put the Bulls on the level of Big Ben's former team. Mostly, we want to see who will do the scoring.
L.A. Clippers (8)
47-35 They essentially traded Vladimir Radmanovic for Tim Thomas, so the key for the Clips may be the improvement of Chris Kaman and Shaun Livingston.
42-40 They've added Darius Songaila to strengthen their bench and from what we've seen from Gilbert Arenas this summer, he could be an MVP candidate.
49-33 A great regular season was followed with another playoffs sweep. Dealing Shane Battier for Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift could work in the long run, but will most likely hurt in '06-07.
NO/Okla City (18)
38-44 No team looks to have improved more than the Hornets this summer and that's not even taking into account that Chris Paul has been working on his jumper.
44-38 They seem to be putting the Kenyon Martin issue behind them and we're calling it here right now: Carmelo Anthony is definitely an All-Star and a fringe MVP candidate this season.
L.A. Lakers (10)
45-37 We will be keeping a close eye on the Lakers early this season. Specifically, we want to see how much Andrew Bynum has been working on his game this summer.
36-46 The 2006-07 season is the official coming-out party for one Mr. Dwight Howard.
34-48 They were 21-10 with both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming last year and we like the addition of Battier.
44-38 A full season of Ron Artest and the development of their young guys off the bench should help. The loss of Bonzi Wells (still not sure where he lands) should hurt.
40-42 The jury is out on the deals they have made, but the key could be making Andrew Bogut more of a focus in the offense.
41-41 If they can get 80-plus games from Andrei Kirilenko and more consistency from Deron Williams, they should battle for a playoff spot.
41-41 With Peja gone and a whole new bench, much will depend on the development of Danny Granger and the health of Jamaal Tinsley.
35-47 We're still waiting on something to be worked out with Chris Wilcox, but basically, the Sonics need to improve from within.
33-49 Randy Foye and Mike James will give the Wolves some much needed punch in the backcourt, but losing Rashad McCants for a significant amount of time is a tough blow.
38-44 So Allen Iverson is staying, but the question remains: Where are the Sixers going?
33-49 The Celtics made a lot of changes, but none of them involved Paul Pierce. They will battle the Raptors for the title of Suns-East.
27-55 T.J. Ford should give the Raps the pass-first point that they needed last year to be more consistent and Anthony Parker and Fred Jones should give them a lot more firepower off the bench.
Golden State (23)
34-48 With Ike Diogu and Monta Ellis, we like the Warriors' future, but they'll need more chemistry than what they had last year among the vets to improve their present.
26-56 Adam Morrison will give them the scorer that they so desperately needed last year, and don't overlook the return of Sean May, who showed signs of excellence before his injury last season.
26-56 We're expecting a lot from Marvin Williams this year, but trades just don't come easy in Atlanta, do they?
New York (29)
23-59 With Isiah taking over on the bench, we might get a better idea of who was to blame last season.
21-61 Be patient Portland. Things are turning around and Brandon Roy is the future, but it will take some time.
Kings deserve to be a couple of spots over 17. They are better than the Lakers and Orlando, right?