Tha Sports Junkies 101

NBA Power Rankings #1-10

nba, Power rankings, Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors


The season is almost here, it’s time for the Top 10


Oh my goodness can you believe it? The season is so close and my excitement is beginning to get the best of me. I haven’t been this excited for a season since….. well, last season, but things are different now. KD and Russ are enemies, the Cavs are world champs, 7-footers are starting at point guard, this will truly be the most exciting season in some time. Let’s finish these rankings though, shall we?


1. Golden State Warriors – Last season (73-9)

How they can improve: n/a

Whelp, KD is a Warrior. Although how can you blame him? He makes a 73 win team even better and I’m not sure that’s legal considering all the murders some teams will have to endure. I don’t expect this team to go for 74 wins and I think they’ll occasionally rest players but they’ll be in the Finals come June. This is on a different level than Miami’s Big 3 in 2010, get ready folks.


2. Cleveland Cavaliers – Last season (57-25)

How they can improve: Create carbon copies of Lebron

The Cavaliers will enter this season as the defending NBA champions, something I was truly beginning to think I would never be able to say. This team is expected to make it back to the Finals and some added role players have only helped that expectation. The East will have some competition at the top and the standings will be tight but the talent in Cleveland and a guy named Lebron James will be too much for everyone else.


3. San Antonio Spurs – Last season (67-15)

How they can improve: Aldridge improves efficiency

The retirement of future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan is a huge hit to the locker room and fanbase but not so much in productivity. Tim Duncan may be the best power forward of all time but playing the majority of last season at the age of 39, he wasn’t anything close to the Timmy we’re use to, especially in the playoffs. The Spurs still have Kawhi Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge which is why they are at the top of this list. Manu Ginobili decided against retirement and will join Tony Parker on what will be another great Popovich coached Spurs team.


4. Los Angeles Clippers – Last season (53-29)

How they can improve: Make the Conference Finals

If you put aside their lack of recent postseason success, the Clippers have a fantastic core and a great coach. Chris Paul is a top 3 point guard, Blake Griffin is a top 3 power forward, Deandre Jordan is a top 5 center, J.J. Redick is a top 5 shooter and the Clips have won 50+ games over the past 4 seasons. Unfortunately, you have to win when it counts and the Clippers just haven’t been able to accomplish that, having never been able to reach the Western Conference Finals in team history (However, they did beat the defending champion Spurs in the first round of 2014 only to lose to the Rockets in the next round after blowing a 3-1 lead). This team will be at the top of the West once again where they will be closely watched when the playoffs start.


5. Boston Celtics – Last season (48-34)

How they can improve:  Create a nickname for their pesky backcourt

Al Horford should be the only thing I have to say to justify this ranking but I’ll expand a little. 4-time All star Al Horford will join a rapidly developing Celtics team coached by the brilliant Brad Stevens, making them into a competitor in the East. The Celtics are an incredibly balanced team with good shooting, defense, and rebounding. They even picked up Jaylen Brown with the number 3 pick in last years draft. With Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart in the backcourt, this team will wear the opponent down and let their talent finish them off.


6. Toronto Raptors – Last season (56-26)

How they can improve: Hope that Lowry/Derozan have yet to peak

The Raptors are a team I’m still very skeptical about and I’m not sure why. They have done very well in the past few seasons but they haven’t seemed to “wow” me and their current roster just doesn’t have the proper matchups to beat Cleveland in a 7 game series. I place them this high because they will win over 50 games again this season and the Lowry/Derozan backcourt can put up some serious points, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder if that duo has reached their ceiling. Lowry is already 30 and Demar “he thinks he’s Kobe” Derozan refuses to shoot 3’s instead of long 2’s. They have a good supporting cast but this team goes as far as Lowry and Derozan will take them. Was Lowry’s poor play in the playoffs and Olympics a sign of his declining play? Raptors fans better hope so.


7. Indiana Pacers – Last season (45-37)

How they can improve: Myles Turner makes a huge leap in production

I’ve already written a piece covering this Indiana Pacers team so I’ll try to keep this simple. Paul George will be looking to make a run for MVP and this team will be fighting to make the Eastern Conference Finals which doesn’t sound as far fetched if I had said this last year. The loss of head coach Frank Vogel will hurt, he is a brilliant defensive coach but his replacement, Nate McMillan, should have no problem moving from assistant to head coach. The Pacers will take last year’s 45 win team and use the additions of Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson to improve upon that win total. This team can shoot from anywhere, space the floor and defend all areas. Myles Turner will only continue to improve in his second season and consistent scoring from Ellis, Teague, Miles and Stuckey will only benefit this team.


8. Utah Jazz – Last season (40-42)

How they can improve: Stay healthy

If everyone can stay healthy, this will be one hell of a team. SO much young talent: Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert are all 26 and under and they all have great potential to become NBA all stars. This team can do just about everything and the addition of George Hill will only help this offense flow. Rodney Hood is my dark horse (would he even be considered a dark horse?) for MIP and a healthy Alec Burks will make this team dangerous from all areas of the court.


9. Atlanta Hawks – Last season (48-34)

How they can improve: Reincarnate 2009 Dwight Howard

Let’s call them the new look Hawks cause why not? Dwight Howard, a guy I wouldn’t say is my favorite player, joins the Hawks to try and revitalize his career. Filling the void that Al Horford left will be a great opportunity for Dwight to show us he’s still got it, luckily for Dwight he’s got 3-time all star Paul Millsap as his running mate. Dennis Schroder was given the reigns after the Hawks traded Jeff Teague to the Pacers, if he can live up to the mini-Rondo nickname and play like the Rondo of 2009 rather than the 2015 version, the Hawks should be near the top of the East. Kyle Korver will have to “recover” (I say recover because instead of shooting 49% (!!!) from 3 like he did in 2014, he only shot 40% last season) from last year’s down season too.


10. Portland Trail Blazers – Last season (44-38)

How they can improve: Self-proclaiming that they are underrated (It worked the last 2 years)

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will most likely be the second best shooting backcourt in the league, behind the Splash Bros., and I’m sure the Blazers will find SOME reason for them to have a “chip on their shoulder”. I will admit that Dame does always exceed my expectations and even though he’ll have another inexperienced (bad) frontcourt, he and CJ will manage to will themselves to a lot of wins in a West Conference that is up for grabs (well, after the first three spots that is). #HotTake alert. Portland’s head coach, Terry Stotts, is a top 3 coach in the NBA.


Recap of #1-10

1. Warriors
2. Cavaliers
3. Spurs
4. Clippers
5. Celtics
6. Raptors
7. Pacers
8. Jazz
9. Hawks
10. Trail Blazers


(Stats via and