NBA Preseason Power 16 - Week 1

1

Golden State Warriors (3-0) (Last week: 1)

The champs have done nothing to dethrone them from the No. 1 spot. In fact, they don’t appear to have missed a beat. Curry dropping 53 vs. the Pelicans is just nasty.

2

Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0) (Last week: 3)

Orlando exposed some OKC defensive issues, but regardless, the Thunder found a way to win the game. They’ll need to address those issues with a tough stretch of schedule coming up, including two back-to-backs, against Denver, at Houston, Toronto, and at Chicago.

3

Los Angeles Clippers (3-0) (Last week: 5)

Clippers are handling their business early in the year, although their wins have come only against the Kings (twice) and the Mavs. They’ve pretty much moved up by default, but there’s no denying that this team is much deeper than they were last year.

4

Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1) (Last week: 2)

Cleveland has opened with a tough schedule, with their loss coming by 2 on the road at Chicago opening night. They followed that up with a 30-point victory at Memphis. This team doesn’t even have Kyrie Irving back yet...look out!

5

San Antonio Spurs (2-1) (Last week: 4)

The Spurs have looked mostly sharp, with their only loss being at OKC in a game in which the Spurs played well. If they can keep winning while Aldridge is still figuring things out, they’ll be in great shape come 2016.

6

Toronto Raptors (3-0) (Last week: 9)

I mentioned last week how high I am on the Raptors this year, and nothing has changed. They’re winning games by an average of 12 points thus far, granted, those wins have come against the Pacers, Celtics and Bucks. Their first true test will be at Oklahoma City this Wednesday, which should be loads of fun.

7

Chicago Bulls (3-1) (Last week: 8)

Derrick Rose will likely never be the Derrick Rose of old. But if the Bulls can keep winning at a 75% clip while Rose gains more confidence, they will be dangerous come Playoff time.

8

Detroit Pistons (3-0) (Last week: NR)

Whoa. Who saw this coming!? The Pistons have one of the best early resumes in the league this season with wins vs. the Jazz, Bulls, and at Atlanta.

9

Atlanta Hawks (3-1) (Last week: 12)

I may have had the Hawks’ preseason rank (12) a bit too low. They’re still the Hawks. They still play the same brand of unselfish basketball. They should coast to 50 wins. But they’re still lacking that superstar.

10

Miami Heat (2-1) (Last week: 11)

The Heat were down by 19 at half vs. Houston and won the game by 20 points, allowing just 26 points in the second half. Yikes.

11

Memphis Grizzlies (2-1) (Last week: 6)

I don’t know what to think of Memphis. They got blown out by Cleveland by 30 at home on their opening night, but followed it up with 2 wins vs. bad teams.

12

Washington Wizards (2-1) (Last week: 10)

The Wiz lost to the Knicks at home. They must be punished. Plus, they haven’t been all that impressive in their wins, either.

13

New York Knicks (2-1) (Last week: NR)

Am I doing this? I’m doing this. The Knicks have impressive road wins, at Washington by 7, and at Milwaukee by 25, and their only loss is to the Hawks. There’s no doubt they’re better than last year, but can they keep this up?

14

Utah Jazz (2-1) (Last week: NR)

Utah is averaging 24.5 points more than their opponents in their wins, both coming on the road. The most points they’ve allowed all year is 92 points, and they have the best Defensive Efficiency rating in the league by a mile (85.5).

15

Houston Rockets (0-3) (Last week: 7)

Houston has the 2nd worse Offensive Efficiency rating in the league. What the hell?

16

Phoenix Suns (2-1) (Last week: 15)

I still like the Suns as an under-the-radar 7 or 8 seed out West.

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