It's finally here! The NBA season starts tomorrow, so it's time for the first power rankings of the 2004-05 season! Like always, feel free to post comments or your own power rankings if you wish. I'll update every Monday.
Let's get it started!
1) istons: - As the world champions, Detroit gets this spot by default to start the season. Will they be able to repeat with a completely revamped bench?
2) - The addition of Barry and the dismantling of the Lakers should be enough to push SA back to the NBA Finals. But they'll have to battle their likely WCF opponent first in...
3) - Minnesota played the Lakers tougher than any other Western Conference team last season, so now they should only have to get past the Spurs to make their first NBA Finals ever. Chemistry could be an issue, though, with Sprewell wanting out and the aging Cassell a concern.
4) - Shaq is baq in blaq...ahem...excuse me. Anyway, Shaq's move to Miami makes the East's top 3 legitimate title contenders this season. However, Miami will have to shore up some of the holes in their bench and hope for a lack of injuries to overlook their lack of depth. A loss of either Shaq or Wade would be devastating for this team.
5) acers: - I was poised to rank them #2, but the abundant rush of preseason injuries means Indy will likely take some lumps over the first couple of months, but still be back in plenty of time for the playoffs.
6) - Phoenix is poised to finally start living up to it's potential. This could be a darkhorse Finals candidate right here.
7) - Why wouldn't Memphis be any better this year? Everyone important is back, and a couple nice FA pickups should make the Grizz even stronger.
8) - Like Minnesota, this team's success will depend largely on it's chemistry. Denver will need Carmello to get his head on straight and keep it there if this team is going to make any noise this season.
9) - What's this? A fourth East team in the top 10? That's right. Despite the loss of Boozer, Cleveland's crew could make a push at both Detroit and Indiana in the Central if they can stay healthy.
10) - Despite some obvious deficiencies at the C and PG positions, the Kobe-Odom combo should be enough to tally 50 wins for the newly revamped Lakers this year.