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Old 10-10-2001, 06:49 PM   #1
Marc
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Question Preseason NBA power rankings - How is your team doing?

Excitement is starting to build in regards to the upcoming NBA season. We all know I wanted Jordan to stay retired, but he has looked good so far and I think my Hornets will have a good season (if we could only trade Coleman). Take a look at the power rankings below and post your thoughts - do you agree/disagree with your team? I will post my thoughts on the Hornets in the coming days.

Below is the first SportsLine.com Power Rankings of the season, with last year's final regular season ranking in parenthesis:

1. Los Angeles Lakers (2): Kudos to general manager Mitch Kupchak for making the champs even more explosive than last season with his moves. A slow start seems likely again, but it won't matter by spring. Shaq and Kobe are just too good.

2. San Antonio Spurs (1): The Spurs were embarrassed by the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, but retaliation by David Robinson and Tim Duncan, adding defensive wiz Bruce Bowen and zone defenses might make it impossible to score inside against them.

3. Sacramento Kings (4): The Kings re-signed Chris Webber and Doug Christie and added Mike Bibby for Jason Williams. Those three moves, plus the improvement of Hedo Turkoglu and Peja Stojakovic, make them still the most explosive offensive team in the NBA.

4. Philadelphia 76ers (3): They're not going to start 10-0 again this season, but having been to the Finals will cement their confidence. Provided Larry Brown and Allen Iverson get along, they'll battle for the Eastern crown again because of defense, and Speedy Claxton will help Iverson.

5. Toronto Raptors (12): Having defeated the Knicks in the playoffs and nearly knocking off the Sixers in the second round will do wonders for their confidence. Re-signing Vince Carter and adding Hakeem Olajuwon to start at center will mean even more.

6. Dallas Mavericks (6): The Mavs are just beginning to figure out how good they are, and should Steve Nash stay healthy, they'll battle for home court in the West. The clock is ticking on Don Nelson, entering his 24th year as coach, the longest in history to never coach in the NBA Finals.

7. Milwaukee Bucks (5): Everyone is waiting for the Bucks to sign free agent Anthony Mason, and if they do, they'll jump a couple of spots because he fits in perfectly at power forward. If not, the Bucks still have a hole there and at point guard after trading Lindsey Hunter for Greg Foster.

8. Utah Jazz (8): It's tough to know where to put the Jazz and their aging duo of John Stockton (39) and Karl Malone (38), but Donyell Marshall will fit in that much better along with Bryon Russell, and Greg Ostertag is serviceable enough at center that they'll still win 50 games or so.

9. Orlando Magic (15): Tracy McGrady became a superstar last season, and assuming Grant Hill is completely healthy, his addition, plus veterans Patrick Ewing and Horace Grant, make them legitimate contenders in the East. They should move up the rankings quickly.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (10): Nobody knows what to make of these guys coming into this season. They lost 17 of their last 25 last season, replaced Mike Dunleavy with Mo Cheeks and are counting on Shawn Kemp to bounce back from cocaine rehab and replace retired Arvydas Sabonis.

11. Charlotte Hornets (18): The way the Hornets blew out the Heat in the playoffs and challenged the Bucks in the second round proved the maturity of Jamal Mashburn and hinted greatness in point guard Baron Davis. Derrick Coleman is even in good shape. Now if they can just find a new home.

12. Phoenix Suns (7): Penny Hardaway. Two practices into training camp, and he's rehabbing his knee again already. He played eight games last season and has averaged 34 games the past four seasons. It's a shame with the blossoming of Shawn Marion and the acquisition of Stephon Marbury.

13. New York Knicks (13): It's tough to get a read with Glen Rice, Luc Longley and Larry Johnson gone, with Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson and Clarence Weatherspoon in return. More important is the growth of Marcus Camby and Latrell Sprewell, and how Allan Houston plays.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (11): The additions of Joe Smith, Gary Trent and Loren Woods might help up front. But they need Will Avery and Chauncey Billups to grow up and contribute consistently as Terrell Brandon's ankle looks more and more like a Pete Maravich sweat sock.

15. Miami Heat (9): This season will be Pat Riley's greatest challenge, perhaps more than the 42-40 season when he took over the Heat in 1995. Considering the kidney disease of Alonzo Mourning and the lack of quality depth on the roster, they could be on the playoff bubble.

16. Seattle SuperSonics (16): Gary Payton is still here, which means they're better than if he had gotten dealt, and Calvin Booth might help inside. And despite all the bluster about youngsters Rashard Lewis and Desmond Mason, success still will be predicated by the approach of Vin Baker.

17. Houston Rockets (14):Letting go of Olajuwon, plus losing Mo Taylor to a torn Achilles' tendon shortly thereafter cripples their front court. Presuming the Warriors don't match the Marc Jackson offer sheet, he'll help in the middle, but they are still very light up front in a forwards' conference.

18. Atlanta Hawks (24): Theo Ratliff, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Toni Kukoc make this one of the best front courts in the East. Jason Terry is a great scoring guard, and Nazr Mohammed and DerMarr Johnson are quality young talents. They could be a surprise team in the East this season.

19. Denver Nuggets (19): The Nuggets are a bubble team again, and despite all the personnel decisions being lifted from Dan Issel, he still will struggle getting anyone besides Antonio McDyess to play well enough to actually make it to the playoffs. They still can't win on the road.

20. Indiana Pacers (17): It's difficult to figure out what to make of the Pacers. They are very young, with just Reggie Miller and Derrick McKey left of the old guys. Jalen Rose still is changing positions, and the young guys remain questionable.

21. Los Angeles Clippers (21): The Clippers are so young and so talented, it's tough to get a read on how they'll be this season. But adding Elton Brand was a master stroke, and everybody will be that much better. It's probably a year early for the playoffs, but kids are so unpredictable.

22. Boston Celtics (20): The Celtics are one of the most athletic teams in the NBA but are lacking any sort of power game. Maybe they can trap their way to the playoffs, but they'll need help at power forward and center before they can really be taken seriously.

23. New Jersey Nets (25): Rod Thorn has remade this team around the acquisitions of Jason Kidd and Todd MacCulloch to complement Keith Van Horn and Kenyon Martin. Kerry Kittles is allegedly back and playing well. This could be another surprise team the way things look.

24. Washington Wizards (27): Picking up Michael Jordan for the minimum is a joke, and new coach Doug Collins will be coaching in riddles all season around Jordan, Christian Laettner and a crew of unproven youngsters. Jordan could pick the team up or be battered into a quick third retirement.

25. Detroit Pistons (22): This is a tough job for first time head coach Rick Carlisle, who must get through to Jerry Stackhouse and prove there are teammates. With Ben Wallace, Corliss Williamson and rookie Rodney White, he and prez Joe Dumars are hoping for a rebirth of the Bad Boys.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (23): The Cavs will be competitive, but the overall talent level of this team remains questionable enough that you have to wonder if they can win to win with any consistency. Andre Miller is good, but not that good.

27. Golden State Warriors (28): The Warriors have had more injuries the last two seasons than any other two teams combined. Antawn Jamison could be a big star, but will Larry Hughes make the transition to point guard and Danny Fortson play an entire season?

28. Chicago Bulls (29): Yes, you are awake and we are starting off the exhibition season with the Bulls out of the cellar. Adding veterans Charles Oakley and Greg Anthony will make them far more competitive than the previous three seasons. Not close to good, but at least better.

29. Memphis Grizzlies (26): Moving thousands of miles from Vancouver can't hide one indubitable fact ... the Grizzlies still are a horrible team, and that's why the franchise failed in Vancouver. And they traded their two best players -- Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby. Keep playin' them blues.
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Old 10-10-2001, 07:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Preseason NBA power rankings - How is your team doing?

Quote:
Originally posted by mjames

22. Boston Celtics (20): The Celtics are one of the most athletic teams in the NBA but are lacking any sort of power game. Maybe they can trap their way to the playoffs, but they'll need help at power forward and center before they can really be taken seriously.

Help at PF?! The Celts have one of the most talented PF's in the Eastern Conference -- Antoine Walker. How can they even entertain the thought of us needing help at the 4 spot. That's ridiculous.
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Old 10-10-2001, 10:38 PM   #3
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20! Ouch! Hard to believe my Pacers were in the finals just 2 years ago, getting jipped by the Lackers.
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Old 10-11-2001, 12:19 AM   #4
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I think my Warriors should go up in those Power Rankings.

We beat the Lakers by 10 and by 25 points the last 2 games.

Just kidding, hehe. It's the preseason and Shaq didn't play in those games.
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Old 10-11-2001, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spike
It's the preseason and Shaq didn't play in those games.
Exactly.... I don't think these rankings are accurate AT ALL.

...but the Raps are at #5 right now... they haven't played great in the preseason, but haven't played that bad either.
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