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(NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

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  • (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

    More hype for the upcoming season...

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/29/nba-post-free-agency-power-rankings-who-is-closing-in-on-miami/



    This summer saw Dwight Howard find a new home, the Clippers and Pacers add depth, and a few other teams making bold moves to get better (or, in some cases, worse intentionally). So how did all this impact the PBT Power Rankings? Glad you asked. Here is where things stand this summer (the number in parenthesis is the squad’s record last season).
    1. Heat (66-16). They are the two-time defending NBA champions and they won 66 games last season, including 27 in a row at one point. Yes, we all saw cracks in the armor in the playoffs, but until someone knocks them off the top of the mountain they get to hold this spot in off-season rankings.

    2. Thunder (60-22). I think the Westbrook injury lulled people into looking past this team. Did they lose Kevin Martin? Yes. But remember this: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both just 25 — they are still ascending, getting better every season.


    3. Pacers (49-32). They pushed Miami to seven games then they get Danny Granger back. That means their bench (the weak spot last season) will have Lance Stephenson, C.J. Watson, Luis Scola and Chris Copeland. They should be better and more dangerous.

    4. Clippers (56-26). They keep Chris Paul and with the additions of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, this could well be the best offense in the NBA next season. Can Doc Rivers get them to defend? And with that, can DeAndre Jordan step up as defensive anchor? They will go as far as their defense takes them.


    5. Spurs (58-24). This is probably too low for the Spurs, a team that was just a made free throw or a rebound away from winning the NBA title. They are going to be very good, but can they stay healthy and have things break for them again?


    6. Bulls (45-37). They get Derrick Rose back, remember the last two seasons they had him healthy they won 62 games and were on a 62 win pace (if the lockout season had been 82 games). They will defend, but can Tom Thibodeau back off the gas at times and bring Luol Dengand Joakim Noah in fully healthy for the playoffs.


    7. Rockets (45-37). This postseason’s big winners, they landed Dwight Howard and that makes them instant contenders. There are questions, like will Howard play to his pick-and-roll strengths (he fought against that in L.A.) and not just try to be a post up guy. I think this could be a growing together season for the Rockets with 2014-15 being the season they explode.


    8. Nets (49-33). Another big off-season winner — Mikhail Prokhorov laughs in the face of your puny luxury tax. Still we have big questions: Can Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett stay healthy? CanDeron Williams return to his Utah form? Can Jason Kidd coach?


    9. Warriors (47-35). Last season’s playoff darlings make a bold move and add Andre Iguodala. They are going to be improved, but how many games they win and how far they go in the playoffs could hinge on how healthy Andrew Bogut is in the middle for them.


    10. Grizzlies (56-26). This is a team with so much size teams struggle to deal with them, plus they have one of the best defenses in the NBA. But they didn’t address their need for floor-spacing shooters, unless you think Mike Miller is going to stay healthy all season.


    11. Knicks (54-28). They had the third best offense in the NBA last season (in points per possession) but were 17th in defense. Can the addition of Metta World Peace and a healthyIman Shumpert improve their defense enough? It feels like the top of the East got better and they stood largely pat.


    12. Nuggets (57-25). It feels like they took a step back this summer — big changes in the front office and the loss of Andre Iguodala. Still some real talent on the roster, but they need JaVale McGee to take a big step forward if they want to remain top four in a deep West.


    13. Timberwolves (31-51). Last season should have been a breakout year for them, injuries robbed them of that. This season Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio will lead them to a playoff spot in the West, and they will be fun to watch getting there.


    14. Lakers (45-37). They still have Kobe Bryant, but he will not be quite the same player. They still have Steve Nash, if he can stay healthy. They still have Pau Gasol, at least until they find a good trading partner. The Lakers could get a lower playoff spot, but this is mostly a placeholder season for the Lakers looking ahead to free agency.


    15. Mavericks (41-41). A combination of Dirk Nowitzki (finally healthy), Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon might make this a playoff team in the West, but it will be a bottom seed. Still the big goal in Dallas is to bring in another elite player.


    16. Hawks (44-38). No Josh Smith anymore, but they have Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the back court, Elton Brand and Paul Millsap in the front court with Al Horford. I think they remain pretty similar to last season in terms of wins.


    17. Wizards (29-53). With a healthy John Wall playing like an $80 million guy — meaning his jump shot is falling like it did at the end of last season — to go with a more mature Bradley Bealand a healthy Nene, I think this is a playoff team out East.


    18. Cavaliers (24-58). Andrew Bynum, with the way the contract was structured, was a good risk. But whether or not they get anything for Drew, with a healthy Kyrie Irving the Cavaliers will be back in the playoffs.

    v

    19. Trail Blazers (33-49). LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum… shouldn’t this team be better than it showed last season? I like the Robin Lopez addition, moving Aldridge to the four, but they need to make big strides in a deep West to make the playoffs.


    20. Pelicans (27-55). This was an aggressive team this off-season and I think they made great moves adding Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans. This is a young team on the rise, they will look a lot better the second half of the season and they could slip into a bottom playoff spot if things come together.


    21. Raptors (34-48). With Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and an improved Jonas Valanciunas the Raptors have a shot at the playoffs in the East. But they need to get back to playing defense like they did a couple years ago for Dwane Casey to have a chance.



    22. Pistons (29-53). They added Josh Smith this offseason, and combined with Andre Drummond (who looked great at Summer League) and Greg Monroe they should have a fantastic front line. But do they have the balance and depth to make the postseason?


    23. Kings (28-51). They have DeMarcus Cousins plus an interesting backcourt with Greivis Vasquez and Ben McLemore. If Cousins will play consistent defense they become very interesting, but that’s a big “if.”


    24. Celtics (41-40). They have started the rebuilding process and the most-asked question around them this season will be is Rajon Rondo still with the team after the trade deadline?


    25. Bucks (38-44). They scraped their way into the postseason, but now with a backcourt of O.J. Mayo and maybe Brandon Jennings (his situation is still up in the air) they take a step back. I like Larry Sanders and John Henson up front, though.


    26. Bobcats (21-61). Adding Al Jefferson in the paint makes them less bad this coming season, but they are not going to be good. Cody Zeller looked good at Summer League and could be a surprisingly good rookie.


    27. Jazz (43-39). Trey Burke, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter could be part of a good team in a few years, but this season they will learn some hard lessons. Burke is going to be a lot of people’s call for Rookie of the Year.


    28. Suns (24-56). They got a nice piece for the future in Eric Bledsoe and they have three first round picks next season. That is how you rebuild. It won’t be pretty this season but I like the direction the team is going long term.


    29. Magic (20-62). The team with the worst record in the NBA last season will be in the running for it again. Victor Oladipo could have a good rookie year and now they get a whole season ofTobias Harris.


    30. 76ers (34-48). The Bynum trade misfired, so they are rebuilding from the ground up by shipping out Jrue Holiday and starting over. The Sixers will be back but should have a pick near the top of the draft next season. Which is the new goal.

  • #2
    Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

    SB Nation has us 4th, behind Miami, OKC, and the Spurs, and just ahead of the Clippers.

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/7/3...on-heat-sixers

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

      Am I the only guy that thinks OKC doesn't have a chance at coming out of the west this year?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

        Originally posted by Goyle View Post
        Am I the only guy that thinks OKC doesn't have a chance at coming out of the west this year?
        Maybe not but I am not sure what in the world would make you think that.
        "I had to take her down like Chris Brown."

        -Lance Stephenson

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

          Yeah, Westbrook and Durant is still the best duo in that conference.

          I feel like last year was San Antonio's last gasp much like Boston's last gasp came two years ago against Miami too in a game 7.

          The Clippers are still the damn Clippers and Chris is still a maniacal control freak with a serious Napoleon complex. I see him and Doc Rivers trading blows around game 10 if Doc tried to do that with Rondo I can only imagine what he'll do when CP3 inevitably tries to take over the locker room.

          Houston has got the best offensive specialist in basketball, but unfortunately this is a two way sport, and then their other star is a guy who would probably play for the Raptors for the rest of his life winning ten games a year if he was assured people would love him because "dinosaurs".

          Personally I think the top of the East is much stronger. I think Miami, IND, and assuming a healthy CHI would all be better than anything the West has to offer.


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

            OKC's roster is pretty thin, imo. Obviously they'll still be good but I like us, Miami, and LAC at the least over them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

              Yeah I don't understand how Memphis can't still address the need for a shooter, Miller is not going to do it.
              @WhatTheFFacts: Studies show that sarcasm enhances the ability of the human mind to solve complex problems!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                Originally posted by Trader Joe View Post
                Yeah, Westbrook and Durant is still the best duo in that conference.

                I feel like last year was San Antonio's last gasp much like Boston's last gasp came two years ago against Miami too in a game 7.

                The Clippers are still the damn Clippers and Chris is still a maniacal control freak with a serious Napoleon complex. I see him and Doc Rivers trading blows around game 10 if Doc tried to do that with Rondo I can only imagine what he'll do when CP3 inevitably tries to take over the locker room.

                Houston has got the best offensive specialist in basketball, but unfortunately this is a two way sport, and then their other star is a guy who would probably play for the Raptors for the rest of his life winning ten games a year if he was assured people would love him because "dinosaurs".

                Personally I think the top of the East is much stronger. I think Miami, IND, and assuming a healthy CHI would all be better than anything the West has to offer.
                The 2013 Spurs and 2012 Celtics seems like a perfect comparison to me. Just like the 2012 Celtics caught a break with the Rose injury, the 2013 Spurs obviously were fortunate that Westbrook went down. Their road to the Finals was leaps and bounds easier than the road that other Western teams had taken in previous years. Their first round opponent, the Lakers, were obviously a complete joke. Mamba was out and the prima donna Howard clearly didn't want to be there. The Warriors were a tough and talented team, but they were playoff virgins who weren't ready to take that next step. The Grizzlies are solid, but they obviously aren't as good as the Thunder with a healthy Westbrook. Yeah, the Spurs' road to the Finals was pretty easy. Compare that to the road Dallas took in 2011: Blazers, two time defending champ Lakers, and super talented Thunder.

                I agree with you about Doc and CP3 too. For all of the talk about Rondo's attitude, him and Doc and managed to co-exist for seven years and enjoyed a ton of success together. Doc clearly got along with Rondo well enough for a long time. We'll see if that happens with CP3.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                  Originally posted by vnzla81 View Post
                  Yeah I don't understand how Memphis can't still address the need for a shooter, Miller is not going to do it.
                  Oh I'm sure Hollinger has some advanced metric that tells him that per (whatever min.) Miller is the answer. He'll be wrong mind you but he will have it.


                  Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                    Originally posted by Peck View Post
                    Oh I'm sure Hollinger has some advanced metric that tells him that per (whatever min.) Miller is the answer. He'll be wrong mind you but he will have it.
                    Lol no doubt, I still remember the arguments I had with Rudy Gay haters(in twitter) telling me that because his metrics his per36 or whatever were not that great Prince was the answer at SF, I loved it when those people had to pretty much shut up when they got eliminated by San Antonio
                    @WhatTheFFacts: Studies show that sarcasm enhances the ability of the human mind to solve complex problems!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                      1-10 are all GREAT teams. Should be a very fun season. My rankings..

                      1. Pacers
                      2. Bulls
                      3. Heat
                      4. Thunder
                      5. Spurs
                      6. Clippers
                      7. Grizzlies
                      8. Warriors
                      9. Rockets
                      10. Nets

                      11. Knicks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                        Originally posted by Peck View Post
                        Oh I'm sure Hollinger has some advanced metric that tells him that per (whatever min.) Miller is the answer. He'll be wrong mind you but he will have it.
                        Mike Miller would be the answer for them if he didn't pull a muscle every time he removes his warmups.
                        Time for a new sig.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                          Originally posted by vnzla81 View Post
                          Lol no doubt, I still remember the arguments I had with Rudy Gay haters(in twitter) telling me that because his metrics his per36 or whatever were not that great Prince was the answer at SF, I loved it when those people had to pretty much shut up when they got eliminated by San Antonio
                          If they still had Gay then they probably would lose to the Clippers like they did last year.
                          People who try to win arguments are the worst. The point of an argument isn't to find a winner, it is to find the truth.

                          Originally posted by IrishPacer
                          Empty vessels make the most noise.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                            Ranked #3 in the entire NBA? Wow. It seems like yesterday that JOb graced our presence and destroyed our hopes. Frank should be feeling like a young Red Auerbach about now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: (NBC Sports) NBA post free agency Power Rankings: Who is closing in on Miami?

                              I still don't see it for the Clippers in the post-season. Blake and DeAndre are a huge liability out there come playoff time, that's still the same, and like TJ said, I think Chris Paul and Doc Rivers could be very volatile. They'll be top 4 in west, but if they could've gotten KG for Jordan, they would be #2 in the west imo, behind OKC.
                              "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

                              ----------------- Reggie Miller

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