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NBA Power Rankings





Our power rankings rate the entire league from top to bottom. A very opinionated feature, obviously. power rankings are updated every now and then during the summer, and usually every week during the season.

Records are 2010-11 regular season wins-losses

1) San Antonio Spurs (53-12) - Heard of this team? They're good.

2) Boston Celtics (46-17) - Need to watch how Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic fit in the mix.

3) LA Lakers (46-20) - Never underestimate the heart of a champion.

4) Dallas Mavericks (47-18) - Great squad that kept fighting without Caron Butler.

5) Miami Heat (45-21) - Not great team chemistry, yet 6th best record in NBA.

6) Chicago Bulls (46-18) - Is Derrick Rose the league's top MVP candidate?

7) Oklahoma City Thunder (41-23) - Need to see how Kendrick Perkins fits in this mix.

8) Orlando Magic (41-25) - Dwight Howard is rocking, but supporting cast must rise.

9) Atlanta Hawks (37-28) - Always pretty good but almost never great.

10) Denver Nuggets (38-27) - Melo's scoing is gone but team depth and versatility has increased.

11) Portland Trail Blazers (37-28) - Amazing coaching job by Nate McMillan, working through all the injuries.

12) New Orleans Hornets (38-29) - Chris Paul isn't as dominant as he was before but he and team are still quality.

13) Memphis Grizzlies (36-31) - Steadily sneaking around the corner before people notice they're good.

14) New York Knicks (34-30) - Melo and Stoudemire are lethal scorers but help is lacking. Chemistry project for future.

15) Phoenix Suns (33-30) - Chugging along. Steve Nash continues to impress while playing old and hurt.

16) Philadelphia 76ers (34-31) - Very solid coaching job, and nice all-around play from Andre Iguodala.

17) Utah Jazz (34-32) - A rebuilding job is beginning, though team plans to stay competitive.

18) Houston Rockets (33-33) - Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin make for a really fun backcourt.

19) Golden State Warriors (29-36) - Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are worth the price of admission.

20) Indiana Pacers (27-38) - Struggling lately. Hope Danny Granger keeps fighting.

21) Milwaukee Bucks (25-38) - The Bucks overachieved last year, and are underachieving this year.

22) LA Clippers (25-41) - Mo Williams should help, but Blake Griffin still needs more soldiers around him.

23) Detroit Pistons (23-43) - Some wacky lineup stuff going on here.

24) Charlotte Bobcats (27-38) - Stephen Jackson is lacking help needed to really compete.

25) New Jersey Nets (21-43) - Deron Williams makes for an awesome building block here.

26) Toronto Raptors (18-47) - Are technically still in the NBA.

27) Washington Wizards (16-47) - Wizards win on the road in NBA about as often as you do.

28) Minnesota Timberwolves (17-50) - Kevin Love, some Mike Beasley scoring, and not much else here.

29) Sacramento Kings (15-48) - Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are nice names but the team loses.

30) Cleveland Cavaliers (12-52) - Are possibly missing LeBron James a little, maybe.


nba power rankings 1) LA Lakers (57-25) - They're the champs. The core remains the same. And even with Kobe Bryant still healing and getting up there in age, Derek Fisher now 85 years old, Ron Artest still wacky (in a great, likeable way), Andrew Bynum hurt as usual, and Lamar Odom a Kardashian, the Lakers are poised to keep winning titles. Matt Barnes and Steve Blake are nice additions. With Kobe's health a concern, Pau Gasol, who rested this summer, may be their best player this season.

nba power rankings 2) Miami Heat (47-35) - What a collection of stars! LeBron James alone can carry a team to the first round of the playoffs. So can Dwyane Wade. The two together is a crazy concept -- but Chris Bosh is along for the ride, too. Every other player on the team should have wide open shots all season. Can Mike Miller make it rain from outside? The supporting cast is pretty unspectacular, though -- especially at center. Still, watch team chemistry develop and enjoy the fun.

nba power rankings 3) Orlando Magic (59-23) - Will the Magic keep playing small-ball, with Rashard Lewis as a power forward and all the starters not named Dwight Howard launching three-pointers? It appears so. Matt Barnes is gone, but Quentin Richardson is on board. Vince Carter is aging, but J.J. Redick is turning out better than expected. wants D-Howard to keep developing his low-post game and mean-streak.

nba power rankings 4) Boston Celtics (50-32) - The Celtics shocked pretty much everyone outside of Boston in the playoffs last season, sending both the Cavaliers and Magic home a round earlier than expected. Now they've loaded up on old veterans. Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal combine to be 250 years old, but in limited minutes both can help. The team wants to make one or two more runs at the title before Kevin Garentt and Ray Allen get too old.

nba power rankings 5) Dallas Mavericks (55-27) - Same as always. It's Dirk Nowitzki and a very good yet not great supporting cast. Plenty of weapons here, with Caron Butler and Jason Terry both able to score 18 regularly. Jason Kidd is about 75 years old. Shawn Marion has to prove he's still legit. Young scoring guard Roddy Beaubois is worth watching. Tyson Chandler is a nice center addition.

nba power rankings 6) Oklahoma City Thunder (50-32) - Kevin Durant is unguardable, and many are picking him to win 2010-11 NBA MVP, though it may be a season too early for that. Russell Westbrook is a stud. Jeff Green is super-versatile. James Harden is legit. Really good young core here. Can they really improve a lot on last season's 50 wins, though? We're not sure.

nba power rankings 7) Chicago Bulls (41-41) - The Bulls got Carlos Boozer, who will start the regular season hurt. But Derrick Rose is a young superstar. Luol Deng has to prove he's a real baller. Joakim Noah got paid, and must live up to the big dollars. Taj Gibson is a solid supporter. We'll pay greater attention to them once Boozer is back.

nba power rankings 8) Utah Jazz (53-29) - Deron Williams is a stud. Carlos Boozer is gone, but Al Jefferson, on paper at least, matches his production. Mehmet Okur is still hurt, but Paul Millsap can step up and do nice things at the four spot, with Jefferson as an undersized center. The team is questionable at the shooting guard and small forward spots.

nba power rankings 9) Portland Trail Blazers (50-32) - Despite having about 40 injured centers on the roster, the Blazers remain as good as ever. Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge lead the show, with support from really-old Andre Miller. Rudy Fernandez wants out, yet had a great preseason. Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews help make an interesting supporting cast. Greg Oden is still out, doing his healing thing.

nba power rankings 10) Denver Nuggets (53-29) - Carmelo Anthony is still on the Nuggets. But point guard Chauncey Billups is about 83 years old, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen are hurt, Nene isn't really getting any better, and J.R. Smith is still a gunner. Should be good and worth watching as long as Melo's here.

nba power rankings 11) San Antonio Spurs (50-32) - Manu Ginobili was semi-hurt for years, then played well and got a new contract. Now he's paid, old, and we're hoping for the Spurs sake that he doesn't fall off. Tim Duncan continues to age, which is sad for any true fan of basketball. Richard Jefferson is back and has something to prove. Tony Parker should keep rolling.

nba power rankings 12) Atlanta Hawks (53-29) - The Hawks core remains the same as last season, though old Mike Bibby will probably do even less, paving the way for Jeff Teague to show he's worthy of greater responsibility. Joe Johnson is still the leader here, though we're not sure there's room for him to improve any more at this point in his career. Will Josh Smith and Al Horford keep rising?

nba power rankings 13) Houston Rockets (42-40) - Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin are one heck of a fun backcourt to watch. Luis Scola is terrific. Yao Ming is back, but limited to maybe 24 minutes per game, and it remains to be seen if he'll ever be as impactful as he was in the past. Solid squad here.

nba power rankings 14) Milwaukee Bucks (46-36) - Andrew Bogut returns from injury, but may not be 100 percent early on and even deep into the season. Brandon Jennings rocked last year, though his shooting quickly fell off. The Bucks got better over the summer. They overachieved a bit last season, so we're not sure if their record will improve.

nba power rankings 15) Phoenix Suns (54-28) - Amar'e Stoudemire is gone. Steve Nash and Grant Hill are old, and Jason Richardson is getting up there. The addition of Hedo Turkoglu should help -- this is the perfect team for him to bounce back from last season's disappointment.

nba power rankings 16) New Orleans Hornets (37-45) - Darren Collison is gone. Trevor Ariza is here and can step in for aging Peja Stojakovic. So it's Chris Paul, David West and Ariza, supported by Emeka Okafor, Marco Belinelli and Marcus Thornton. The Hornets should be pretty good, especially as CP3 makes fans remember he's as good or better than Deron Williams.

nba power rankings 17) Memphis Grizzlies (40-42) - A young, fun team. Rudy Gay has a max contract to live up to, but that doesn't mean he'll magically step up. O.J. Mayo is skilled and will keep improving. Marc Gasol makes teammates better. Zach Randolph has stepped up. Did the team overachieve a bit last season?

nba power rankings 18) Charlotte Bobcats (44-38) - Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are a respectable but unspectacular core, and they don't have a lot of help behind them. Limited potential here, though Larry Brown's Bobcats will play tough every night.

nba power rankings 19) Washington Wizards (26-56) - John Wall is a stud. He and Gilbert Arenas should have fans excited. Up front, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee have nice potential. Yi Jianlian will try to be taken seriously. Josh Howard, still hurt, looks to make a comeback.

nba power rankings 20) New York Knicks (29-53) - It's a new team in New York. The core is Amar'e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari, supported by Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and more. Can these guys squeeze into the East playoff picture?

nba power rankings 21) Philadelphia 76ers (27-55) - Last season was a disaster. Sam Dalembert is gone. Andre Iguodala is very good. Elton Brand needs to bounce back from a few years of disappointment. Evan Turner looked lousy in both summer league and preseason. Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and others must keep rising.

nba power rankings 22) LA Clippers (29-53) - Blake Griffin is technically still a rookie since he missed last season, and he should flirt with 20-10 most nights. Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman can ball. Baron Davis has to prove he's still worth taking seriously.

nba power rankings 23) Indiana Pacers (32-50) - The Pacers finally made a deal! They traded for Darren Collison, who showed great flashes last season and should be nice alongside Danny Granger. Roy Hibbert may be ready to bust out. The team's best power forward is the hot-dog guy.

nba power rankings 24) Golden State Warriors (26-56) - A core worth keeping an eye on, as Monta Ellis tries to win back fans, Stephen Curry keeps rolling, new addition David Lee provides rebounding, and... that's about it.

nba power rankings 25) Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21) - Even with that LeBron guy gone, the Cavs should be able to compete most nights with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao and Ramon Sessions playing for pride. Hickson especially has all the room in the world to bust out and make a real name for himself.

nba power rankings 26) New Jersey Nets (12-70) - After playing like a bad D-League squad last season, the Nets improved on paper this summer. Derrick Favors is too young and raw to count on just yet, but Troy Murphy, Anthony Morrow and a few others can help a bit. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez are a decent core, but only a true team effort can raise the win total in dramatic fashion.

nba power rankings 27) Detroit Pistons (27-55) - Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince fell off last season, while Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and others all disappointed. Greg Monroe has potential. We lack faith in Tracy McGrady at this point.

nba power rankings 28) Toronto Raptors (40-42) - With Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu gone, this team's core is now Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack, Amir Johnsoon and Leandro Barbosa. The upside is limited.

nba power rankings 29) Sacramento Kings (25-57) - They're still too young to take seriously, though it'll be fun watching Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins learn to play together. As a rookie, Cousins could put up something like 16 or 17 points, 12 rebounds and a couple of blocks per game.

nba power rankings 30) Minnesota Timberwolves (15-67) - The Wolves are an NBA team, and don't you forget it.

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