Tha Sports Junkies 101

NBA Power Rankings #21-30

nba, Power rankings, Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors


My very accurate NBA power rankings


The time is drawing near. The NBA season begins in 18 days from the day I am writing this article (October 7th). Which is only 432 hours away. Or 25,920 minutes. Or like 850 episodes of The Office.

Preseason basketball has already started, so what better time to feed you hungry little fanatics some delicious power rankings than right now?

Normally when I tell my friends how good I think a team is they call me “dumb” and say that I “know basketball as well as Trump knows politics”, but now that my thoughts will be posted to anyone smart enough to click, I will be able to see STRANGERS comment/tweet the exact same, hateful things towards me. Which is better somehow.

The power rankings will be split up into 3 separate portions with teams #21-30 being posted first, then #11-20 and finishing with #1-10. I will be updating these weekly once the season starts with much shorter explanations for each team’s respective movement in the rankings. Let’s get to it.


21. Washington Wizards – (Last season 41-41)

How they can improve: Chemistry/healthy Brad Beal

What is to be made of this team? John Wall is the bonafide leader of this team and his lack of consistent perimeter shooting is hardly the issue with this team. A big question is Bradley Beal’s health and whether or not he can stay active long enough to build some solid chemistry with 3-time all star John Wall. The Wizards were a .500 team all of last season and it seemed like things just never clicked like they had in the two seasons before last. The departure of an aging Nene shouldn’t be too big of a hit. Recent signee Ian Mahinmi should fill the void he left behind. The development of their young wing players, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Otto Porter will be essential if the Wizards want to threaten the top of the East yet again. Fortunately, the Wiz hired Scott Brooks to take over at head coach, a guy who is known for developing young talent (i.e. Durant/Westbrook) but his inability to make deep playoff runs might raise some concerns for this teams long term success. The Wizards will have to first learn to play together if they want to progress.


22. Phoenix Suns – (Last season 23-59)

How they can improve: Trade Brandon Knight

The Phoenix “Kentucky” Suns are in a bit of a situation in the backcourt. They have 3 excellent guards in Booker, Knight and Bledsoe but only 2 starting positions. Rumor has it either Bledsoe or Knight will be traded, and until that happens, this team will have a hard time sharing the ball with so many ball handlers/playmakers. The bright side is this team has some great young rookies like Bender, Chriss and Ulis along with veteran Tyson Chandler who is a force down low. Trading Knight and whatever else they throw in with him will hopefully give the Suns some pieces that will help them win sooner rather than later. If Bledsoe can stay healthy and Booker continues to improve, this will be a deadly Suns backcourt, but without much else to contribute, they won’t see too many wins this year. This team WILL be good down the road, they just need time to develop.


23. New York Knicks – (Last season 32-50)

How they can improve: Time machine

The super team has arrived, apparently… Derrick Rose must have lost his mind, I’ve never seen a super team that only has one super star. Porzingis is a star in the making and more of a star than Rose/Joakim Noah currently are. Other than Melo and Porzingis, this team has very little to offer and nothing about them says playoff team. 5 years ago, even if Porzingis was 16, this team would be lethal and near the top of the East, but now the Knicks don’t really seem to have a plan going forward.


24. Minnesota Timberwolves – (Last season 29-53)

How they can improve: Continued development

Here’s your sleeper team, folks. KAT, Rubio, Wiggins, LaVine, Dieng and Dunn create a team with a core built to compete in the West for the long run, but I don’t see why they can’t make the playoffs this year. I rank them this low initially because we haven’t seen THIS team play yet. Sure, it’s very similar to last years team but drafting Kris Dunn, hiring Tom Thibodeau and of course having KAT, who could make the All Star team this year, changes the entire dynamic of this team. Will I be surprised if they only win 30-35 games this year? No. Will I be surprised if they finish over .500? No. This team’s success hinges on constant development throughout the season and they have the perfect coach to get the most out of each player. This will be the team I am most excited to watch and they should be yours too.


25. Milwaukee Bucks – (Last season 33-49)

How they can improve: Let Giannis work/trade Monroe if possible

If any team needs reevaluate it’s plans going forward, its the Bucks. Khris Middleton, their second best player and best scoring option, will miss most of the season with a hamstring injury on team that only won 33 games last season. The Bucks don’t seem to have an identity and the addition of Greg Monroe doesn’t seem to be panning out the way it should have. Jason Kidd moving him to the bench only exemplifies this. The lone bright spot this season will be Giannis Antetokounmpo, the athletic “Greek Freak” will have the green light to do literally anything he wants, and when the Bucks plan to start Delly and Michael Beasley, Giannis should be allowed to do whatever he wants, when he wants. Giannis’ numbers will be insane next season, but with not much else to contribute and some questionable coaching decisions, the Bucks will hover around the bottom of the standings throughout the season.


26. Sacramento Kings – (Last season 33-49)

How they can improve: Start over

The Kings will have a bit more hype around them this season with new head coach Dave Joerger, but will it transfer into wins? The short answer is no, at least not this year. Demarcus Cousins will undoubtedly be a monster yet again this season (if he isn’t traded), putting the weight of an entire offense on his shoulders. There is some young talent on this team but none of them have yet to prove that they deserve spots in the NBA. A very mediocre backcourt will be trying to get the ball to Boogie as quick as possible. Boogie will have one of the highest usage rates yet again this season but a lack of team defense and only one other consistent score (Darren Collison), will only get them so far, which in this case will be somewhere near the bottom.


27. New Orleans Pelican – (Last season 30-52)

How they can improve: Provide Anthony Davis some damn help

You gotta feel bad for Anthony Davis, he’s a HOF type talent but has yet to be on a team that can help him make some noise. This year won’t be any different considering rookie Buddy Hield will come in as arguably the third best player, joining Jrue Holiday in the backcourt. If Davis and Holiday can stay healthy all year this team will have some exciting moments, but until they make some serious upgrades to the roster, Davis, who has averaged 24/10 along with 2.5 BPG over the past two seasons, will have to continue rough it out by himself.


28. Los Angeles Lakers – (last season 17-65)

How they can improve: Patience

Kobe is officially retired, now the Lakers can actually begin to rebuild, although signing Timofey Mozgov, a guy who has averaged 6PPG/7RPG over his 6 year career, to a 4yr/$64mil deal (all guaranteed) is still the biggest waste of money I have ever seen. Besides the brain-fart that is the Mozgov contact, this team has the potential to bring the Lakers back to national prominence. The young talents of Ingram, Randle, Russell, Clarkson, Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown create an excellent core for the future and first year head coach Luke Walton will be itching to get this team heading in the right direction. Lakers fans will have to suffer through at least one more season of losing 50+ games but the future is bright in LA. If the young guys can handle the spotlight of playing in LA, this team will be fine going forward. 


29. Philadelphia 76ers – (Last season 10-72)

How they can improve: Place all young talent in impenetrable bubble

Good news, Sixers fans, you aren’t last! Bad news, Sixers fans, Ben Simmons is going be out a with a foot injury that could potentially end his season, depending on how cautious the Sixers are with him (they’ll probably be pretty cautious). Now enter the Joel Embiid era, we finally get to watch Embiid play basketball again while also getting some excellent Rihanna-based tweets at the same time. Sixers fans shouldn’t expect many wins, but they should expect a fun very and exciting team that might make them pull their hair out. The potential is there for this team to be very good in a few years. Until then, you just gotta trust the Process.


30. Brooklyn Nets – (Last season 21-61)

How they can improve: Michael Jordan’s “secret stuff”

Coming in at last and most certainly least are the Brooklyn Nets. There isn’t much to say about this squad except that I’m not sure the front office has a timetable regarding their success (or lack of) over the next 5-10 years. A healthy Brook Lopez is without a doubt their best player but after that it’s primarily D-leaguers. Jeremy Lin, Randy Foye, Trevor Booker, Greivis Vazquez and Luis Scola will ALL be clocking significant minutes and if my calculations are correct, that is not good if you want to win games in 2016. Their hope for the future is Bojan Bogdanovic increasing his productivity along with second-year player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and whether or not he will be able to develop into a go-to defender while also developing his offensive game from nonexistent to hopefully hitting one 3-pointer a game. The Nets will have the ability to sign some high profile free agents in the future but finishing last in the NBA standings is hardly appealing.


Here’s a quick recap of #21-30 

21. Wizards
22. Suns
23. Knicks
24. Timberwolves
25. Bucks
26. Kings
27. Pelicans
28. Lakers
29. Sixers
30. Nets


Want to tell me why all of these are wrong? Go to my Twitter, @ZackGeoghegan, and fight with me over there.


(Stats via and