NBA Power Rankings

Rankings are updated every Monday of the NBA season.

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Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Golden State Warriors Golden State Warriors 0-0
The Dubs are the unquestioned favorites to claim their second NBA championship in three years. Golden State has arguably the best starting lineup in all of basketball with the addition 2014 MVP Kevin Durant. The Warriors won’t set the wins record again, but they could go coast-to-coast as the top team in these rankings for a second consecutive season.
2 Cleveland Cavaliers Cleveland Cavaliers 0-0
▲ 2
The Cavs should reach the NBA Finals for a third straight year. Cleveland kept its core together after finally re-signing shooting guard J.R. Smith 10 days ago. The Cavaliers have nine players over the age of 30, so don’t be surprised if they don’t finish with the best record in Eastern Conference, as they plan to rest LeBron James more often.
3 Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers 0-0
▲ 2
Will the Clips finally fulfill their potential and challenge for an NBA title? Los Angeles has earned a top-five seed in the Western Conference five consecutive years. But the Clippers have yet to reach a conference finals, despite having the same core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan throughout the stretch.
4 Toronto Raptors Toronto Raptors 0-0
▼ 1
Can the Raps take the next step this year? Toronto has improved its record in each of the past three seasons, reaching the Eastern Finals for first time in franchise history last year. Health of center Jonas Valanciunas and forward DeMarre Carroll could offset the fact the Raptors didn’t do much this offseason except bring in power forward Jared Sullinger, who is slated to miss an extended period of time after undergoing foot surgery.
5 San Antonio Spurs San Antonio Spurs 0-0
▼ 3
The Spurs are now Kawhi Leonard’s team. And while the two-time Defensive Player of the Year is likely up to the challenge, expect the team to take a few steps back this season. San Antonio did a pretty good job replacing the retired Tim Duncan with Pau Gasol and David Lee while also trying to get younger this offseason. Sharpshooter Danny Green is expected to miss the first three weeks of the season with a strained quad.
6 Boston Celtics Boston Celtics 0-0
▲ 2
The C’s had high hopes of bringing in a couple of big-name free agents this offseason. And while they failed to reach that goal, Boston did improve its roster significantly with the additions of Al Horford, Gerald Green and rookie Jaylen Brown. Point guard Marcus Smart may miss the start of the regular season with an ankle injury.
7 Portland Trail Blazers Portland Trail Blazers 0-0
▲ 6
The Blazers are looking to build off the momentum of last year’s surprising campaign. Portland kept its young core together -- re-signing Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe and Moe Harkless -- and added veteran role players in Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli. The big question is: Did the Trail Blazers do enough to contend for a top-five seed in the Western Conference?
8 Utah Jazz Utah Jazz 0-0
▲ 7
The Jazz have been a budding team for the past three years, but injuries have kept them from realizing their full potential. Utah did a fantastic job adding veterans Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw and George Hill to complement its young core. But Gordon Hayward is already going to be out through mid-November with a fractured left ring finger.
9 Indiana Pacers Indiana Pacers 0-0
▲ 1
The Pacers have several new faces and a new coach in Nate McMillan. One thing is for sure: Indiana will be better offensively after adding Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson in the offseason.
10 Detroit Pistons Detroit Pistons 0-0
▲ 2
The Pistons won 40 games and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09 last season. Andre Drummond is arguably the best big man in the league. The big question is how big of a leap Stanley Johnson made in his development.
11 Memphis Grizzlies Memphis Grizzlies 0-0
▲ 5
The Griz are an aging team with major health concerns. The key once again will be Marc Gasol’s health. Memphis will be looking to push the ball more often this year under new coach Dave Fizdale.
12 Washington Wizards Washington Wizards 0-0
▲ 7
The Wiz could have one of the top scoring backcourts with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Trey Burke. Washington will be a playoff team if Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre take another step in their development. Free-agent pickup Andrew Nicholson was impressive in training camp, which is a good sign with backup center Ian Mahinmi expected out until December.
13 Houston Rockets Houston Rockets 0-0
▲ 5
Will it be addition by subtraction attraction? Dwight Howard is now in Atlanta, so if Houston is going to make a playoff run, James Harden has to do even more of the heavy lifting. It hurts that guard Patrick Beverley will miss the first 20 or so games.
14 Atlanta Hawks Atlanta Hawks 0-0
▼ 7
Will the Hawks extend their streak to 10 straight years in the playoffs after losing two starters in the offseason? It will depend on whether Dwight Howard can become a franchise-type center once again. Atlanta’s depth has already taken a hit with Tiago Splitter scheduled to miss the first couple weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury.
15 Charlotte Hornets Charlotte Hornets 0-0
▼ 4
The Hornets should be one of the best defensive teams, as has been the case under Steve Clifford. The biggest obstacle facing Charlotte is scoring. This problem could be more pronounced if Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams are limited in the early part of the season.
16 Oklahoma City Thunder Oklahoma City Thunder 0-0
▼ 10
One thing is clear is: The Thunder are Russell Westbrook’s team. Not only is Durant gone, but so is Serge Ibaka. The performances of newcomers Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and rookie Domantas Sabonis could be the difference in the Thunder making the playoffs or not.
17 Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves 0-0
▲ 5
Is Tom Thibodeau the right man to lead the Wolves? Minnesota has a bunch of young talented players and could be in the mix for a playoff spot this year. The biggest question: Who will be the on-floor and locker room leader with the loss of Kevin Garnett (retirement) and Nikola Pekovic (out for the year with injury)?
18 New York Knicks New York Knicks 0-0
▲ 7
Can Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah return to All-Star form? If they can, the Knicks may be playoff bound for the first time since 2012-13.
19 Dallas Mavericks Dallas Mavericks 0-0
▼ 5
For some reason, the Mavs can’t seem to attract top-tier free agents. Dallas did add veterans Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Seth Curry and Quincy Acy. The Mavericks should be in the mix for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.
20 Chicago Bulls Chicago Bulls 0-0
▼ 3
The Bulls have made some interesting moves this offseason, signing Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and trading for Michael Carter-Williams. It’s not clear what any of these moves mean for the team moving forward. The continued development of Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis could bode well for the future
21 Orlando Magic Orlando Magic 0-0
▼ 1
The Magic were one of the most active teams this offseason, obtaining big men Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka. The key to the season may be how well D.J. Augustin, Jodie Meeks and C.J. Watson fit into new coach Frank Vogel’s system as a backup guards.
22 Sacramento Kings Sacramento Kings 0-0
▲ 2
The Kings want to end their playoff drought this year, and they do have the talent to compete. If they get off to a slow start, the most interesting storyline will be how quickly Rudy Gay and/or DeMarcus Cousins will be traded. Starting point guard Darren Collison is suspended the first eight games.
23 Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks 0-0
The Bucks are suffering a big loss with Khris Middleton’s injury. Greg Monroe has been on the trading block all summer, but will something actually happen? Tony Snell, Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are players to watch.
24 New Orleans Pelicans New Orleans Pelicans 0-0
▲ 2
The Pelicans have Anthony Davis, but can the Brow stay healthy? Rookie Buddy Hield will likely be counted on heavily with Jrue Holiday out for an extended time to be with his family. New Orleans also will be without Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter to begin the season.
25 Miami Heat Miami Heat 0-0
▼ 16
It is in Miami’s best interest to resolve its issue with Chris Bosh, and soon. Whether it is to trade him, waive him or convince him to retire, they can’t really do anything until that situation is settled.
26 Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets 0-0
▼ 5
It is time for the Nuggets to reap the dividends from drafting so well the past three years—they’ve got Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris. The key will be the health and performance of Danilo Gallinari as well as Kenneth Faried. They have not made the playoffs in the last three seasons.
27 Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns 0-0
The Suns are in a similar situation as the Lakers, as they also have a nice group of youngsters. Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Alex Len appear to be the team’s future. It will be interesting to see if Phoenix will look to trade or see what they can get T.J.Warren and/or Brandon Knight.
28 Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Lakers 0-0
▲ 1
How much better will the Lakers be this year? It’s one of the biggest questions in the NBA. Los Angeles has a nice young core of youngsters in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle.
29 Brooklyn Nets Brooklyn Nets 0-0
▼ 1
No one is sure what the Nets are doing. It is going to be a long season with the most intriguing storyline centered around whether star center Brook Lopez will be shipped out of town.
30 Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia 76ers 0-0
The Sixers can’t catch a break, as No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons could miss the entire season after suffering a foot injury. Also, Nerlens Noel and newcomer Jerryd Bayless will miss some time during the early portion of the season. Philadelphia should be better this season, though the 76ers need to find a quality starting point guard.


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