I recently saw a NBA Rankings poll come out and I couldn’t believe where some of the teams were ranked at. I figure I would help those guys out and give a ranking system that is more true to form. My rankings are based on the talent that each team has. Now if that team decides to use that talent or not, is up to them. Some of my high ranking teams might have poor records to this point, but they could be a lot better with coaching or choosing which players to play or not. So let’s start with the top teams and work our way down.
1. Atlanta Hawks – Clearly the most talented team in the NBA. While Joe Johnson might seem like the star player in Atlanta, he is actually tied for the 8th spot with Zaza Pachulia and the Atlanta Hawks have 7 other guys that can play better than Joe Johnson. They might not score better, but when you factor in defense and the ability to hustle, you can name 7 guys on the team better than Joe Johnson. (Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Al Horford, Josh Childress, Salim Stoudamire, Acie Law, and Solomon Jones) If the coaching staff would stop trying to save face with high draft picks (Shelden Williams) and a questionable trade with Phoenix (Joe Johnson) and just work with those 7 top guys. You would see the most athletic team in the NBA and Joe and Zaza would give valuable minutes off the bench.
2. Phoenix Suns – A team led by Steve Nash automatically puts you in the top 10 on any ranking countdown. When you have guys like Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudamire, Grant Hill and the Brazilian Blur, it’s easy to see this team running and gunning with any team in the land. The Atlanta Hawks beat them in their only match up this year so far, so the Hawks get the nod over the Suns here. This should make a great finals this year, but don’t be surprise if the Lakers find a way to the finals in 2008! Most likely 2008 NBA Finals would be the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns.
3. Dallas Mavericks – The sports world might be intrigued with all the teams around the New England area doing good (Celtics, Patriots, B.C. Eagles, Red Sox) but the next best place on the planet might be in the BIG D. The Dallas Cowboys and the Mavericks basketball team which is loaded with talent. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the top players in the NBA and Josh Howard might be one of the least rated superstars in the game today. This is a Michael and Scottie thing going on in Dallas and add a few quality veterans to the mix like Michael Finley and Jason Terry and a little youth in Devin Harris and the Mavericks can score with the best of them. The trouble in Dallas is the D and if that was to ever get big or a concern of theirs, you could see the Mavericks winning a lot of games. There talent depth makes them the 3rd team on the power rankings.
4. Detroit Pistons – Team basketball at it’s finest. Only one other team has this team chemistry and they are ranked 5th on the Power Rankings List. You have to love a team where all 5 guys work together and that’s what they do in Detroit. Rasheed Wallace has the biggest heart of any NBA player out there and his will to win basketball games, with the likes of Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and the underrated Jason Maxill is what makes the Pistons so good. A Ben Wallace could make them champions once again, but this is no doubt one of the toughest teams to beat in the NBA, because you really are playing against 5 players.
5. San Antonio Spurs – You can never say enough about the big fundamentalist that roams the lane in San Antoine. Tim Duncan continues to prove year end and year out that he’s one of the best quality big man in our game today. A little Manu and Tony working the backcourt and soon you find a team like the Detroit Pistons. It’s no wonder why these 2 teams end up in the finals every year and it’s because most teams play with one or two guys trying to take on 5 and the Pistons and Spurs play 5 guys against you. Don’t forget about the defensive pressence of Bruce Bowen who is one of the most well-liked guys in the league by opposing coaches and gms. The player he is usually defending would have a far different view on the defense specialist.
6. Boston Celtics – Hey wait……..doesn’t this team have the best record? Shouldn’t they be number 1? Well the other guys list for power rankings had them listed as 2, so I guess your actual record doesn’t count. My rankings are based on talent and the big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and the slightly overrated Paul Pierce (which Kenny Smith declared him a top 5 player in the NBA a couple of years ago) is all the talent you need in the NBA these days. They play against a lot of teams that don’t even use 3 players on the floor, so their 3 will beat another teams 1 or 2 players on most nights. This is a great situation in Boston and if they stop aging, you could see a lot of records broken when Ray Allen and KG get through playing.
7. Denver Nuggets – Another team loaded with talent out the gazoo. Carmelo Anythony and Allen Iverson are the Batman and Robin of the team, but Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby are just as valuable. Throw in the athletic ability of J.R. Smith and you have one of the funniest teams in the league to watch. It’s amazing they don’t win more games than what they do, but this is one Western Confernce team you would not want to play come playoff time. They might figure out a way to play 4 or 5 man team basketball and if that happens, look out NBA! Kudos to the coaching staff for all the lobs they throw for Carmelo and company; it’s a safe and high percentage way to get 2 points, not to mention it breaks the will of the opposing teams.
8. Los Angeles Lakers – It never hurts to have the best player in the game on your team and if that player is the best to ever step on the basketball court then you have a lot to gain by that. Yes, Kobe Bryant is the best to ever play the game! MJ didn’t have the ability Kobe does and Kobe doesn’t have the rings like MJ has, yet! He’s got 3, so he’s half way to the thrown of Michael Jordan and why this is a case of 1 on 5 or how many the other team wants to play with, but Kobe can over come it on most nights. A nice partner to have in Lamar Odom and there’s a few more scrubs on that team that have a little B-Ball skills. I think the Lakers are deserving of a 8th spot on the power ranking and the other power ranking had the Lakers listed at 8 too. So I guess the Los Angeles Lakers are truly an 8th place team on the power rankings!
9. Houston Rockets – The 2nd best player in the league is on the Rockets. Yep, he’s a little better than King Lebron! Tracy McGrady is a baller and he can ball with the best of them. Give him a 10 foot player from China and the quality of role players that are in Houston and the Rockets are a solid team in the NBA. I liked them better with Jeff Van Gundy in charge, but the Rockets are a sure bet for the playoffs in 2008. Too bad teams run against them, and takes away the effectiveness of Yao Ming, but they are a team to fear if you meet up with them in a 7 game series.
10. New Jersey Nets – Jason Kidd could have stirred the Titantic from sinking. He’s that good! His skill set is slightly better than Steve Nash, but he doesn’t have the “it” factor like Nash does. He is right there and his ability to lead a team is amazing. He’s been doing the PG role since the California Bears days and if this guy could shoot as good as he runs a team, he would be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan. Give him the highest leaper that the game has ever seen in Vince Carter and the Nets squeak into the top 10 on my power rankings list.
11. Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard is obviously the first thing you think about when you are studying the team from central Florida. His game improves each day and soon he will have his team in the top 5 power rankings for a long time. It wasn’t too long ago when the Magic had Shaq in their paint and to have a guy like Dwight Howard speaks volumes on their luck in the draft. The Magic still need to add a quality player or two around him and it’s really suprising they haven’t brung Stephon Marbuy to help with the load. Marbury on this team, would give them a chance to compete with the high flyers from Hotlanta for the finals in 2008.
12. Toronto Raptors – Chris Bosh is good but have you seen T.J. Ford play? The guy can scoot, shoot, and woot all over you! He’s a pesky player on both ends of the floor and his ability to get his team involved is amazing. One of the most valuable point guards in the league and Toronto believe it or not would like to have Marbury too! The Raptors are trying for a Marbury and Joe Johnson backcourt, which would have T.J. Ford playing in Atlanta. The injury to T.J. in Atlanta the other day might have post-poned the trade for now, but don’t be surprise to see T.J. Ford in Atlanta and Joe Johnson teaming up with the other sharp shooters in Canada. Marbury is key for the Raptors, so they can’t make the move unless Toronto gets Marbuy on their team first.
13. Miami Heat – The Heat have loads of talent and can play with any team in the league. D Wade is a bit over rated and really isn’t as good as we thought he was. His absence and Shaq not given much effort has sent this team to cellar dwellers in the East. Since my rankings are based on talent, I give them the high and lucky mark of 13. Don’t look for them to be much of a factor, as most of the veterans have given up, but if something was to spark this team, then look out!
14. Portland Trail Blazers – It’s pretty scary when my ranking has this team at 14 and the other ranking has them at 18, when you consider how young they are. The whole NBA community might have to fear this team for the next decade once they grow up a bit more. Aldridge and Roy are two solid guys on this team and Webster can shoot as good as anybody in the NBA. Not this year Trail Blazer fans, but your time is coming very soon. Probably the best young team in the NBA!
15. Golden State Warriors – Ask the Mavericks how good the Warriors are. This team can run and do a little gunning too. I like their make up and it was a great trade last year with Indiana to acquire the super veterans of Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. They might not be like adding a Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett to your team, but they are the poor man’s version of that. Baron Davis fills up the stat sheet every night getting his team involvoed and even shoots the Warriors for wins every now and then. These Warriors are a fun team to watch, but they will have to keep winning playoff series before these guys from Oakland can get any love.
16. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ok Cav Fans, you can quit scrolling down now. Here is your team! Ok, let’s see you have LeBron James and what else? A couple of guys here and there with a little game, but LeBron’s basically your team. The MJ days of winning games are nearing to an end as teams like the Pistons and Spurs are becoming a better way to play the game. LeBron isn’t the best player in the league and his attitude on the court doesn’t make much sense with the ability he does have. He needs to look at the scoreboard more often, before he starts taunting after one of his rim rocking dunks. He might bring you a slam dunk title to Ohio, but last year was the closest he will ever come to bringing you a title in Cleveland. Lebron James will never play in the finals again as a Cleveland Cavalier!
17. Chicago Bulls – The addition of Ben Wallace and the ability of this team to draft well come late June makes them contenders in the near future. A fun team to watch with a lot of guys that know how to play the game. They are the future Detroit Pistons, but we might not see it until 2010 or 2011. This should be a fun team to watch in a few years and MJ’s glory might be at stake if all of these guys stick together. The Bulls could win 6 straight championships and it’s their youth that could provide this for the folks in the Windy City of Chicago. Bears, Cubs and White Sox might be on their way out, but you guys will have a bright future on the hardcourt!
18. Seattle Supersonics – Kevin Durant and Jeff Green are a future Batman and Robin tandem. The hard work that Chris Wilcox provides every night gives them a nice little thing going on in the place where the rain falls from the sky constantly. It’s too bad this team will be in Oklahoma City playing, when they start making the playoffs, but I’m sure the good folks in Seattle will still be tuning in to this team they have put their blood and sweat in for so long. I think the future here will be just as bright when Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp was just on the verge of winning it all so many years ago. The Sonics really rocked then and it will happen like that again soon!
19. Milwaukee Bucks – My hats off to the guys in Wisconsin that stood by their draft choice in Yi Jianlian and made him play for you. Who exactly do the Chinese think they are? Great job Milwaukee! You guys have some great talent in Redd, Mason, Bogut, Williams, and that Chinese dude that it won’t be long until you will be fielding a competitive starting 5. The bench still needs more players but by the time the youth is catching up to ya, I’m sure your organization will have 8 or 9 players you can play on a nightly basis for big time production. Sonics and Bucks could be in the finals as soon as the 2012 season rolls around.
20. Charlotte Bobcats – They are positioning their self with great young talent. I would fully expect Larry Bird to have this team in the playoffs in the near future. I really like Okafor and Felton on this team and factor in a few more high draft picks and the Bobcats have a nice little future in their sights. I believe Adam Morrison will eventually learn how to play defense and this should put the Bobcats on a playoff bound team for many years to come. Bird will name his self head coach as soon as this team becomes good.
21. Philadelphia 76ers – A new A.I. is dazzling the folks in Philly now. Andre Igoudila is a treat to watch. He has a lot of ability and I can see his game rounding off each day. Philly is in the rebuilding mode, but a lot of great young players are starting to surface in the city of brotherly love and Philadelphia is going to be one of the teams that will make you put down the remote control and sit back and watch in the near future. Just stay from the Chris Webber’s of the world and let your team develop through the draft.
22. Sacramento Kings – Kevin Martin is the best superstar in the game today that no one knows about. If your team has dreams of adding this guy to your roster, you better be willing to trade your best two players for him. Many don’t give him the credit he deserves, but he doesn one thing better than just about anybody in the league. He can shoot the rock! That might seem like a useless skill in a league where defense has became the main focus for so many, but remember the winner is determined by who scores the most points and my money is on Kevin Martin to win that stat. He’s a future scoring champ in this league someday. Artest has the 2nd strongest will in the league to win and he’s right behind Rasheed Wallace for that honor. The Kings need that 3rd super player to mix in with Artest and Martin and the Kings would truly be the kings of something.
23. Los Angeles Clippers – If healthy this team is good. Brand and Cassell are a fearsome two and Shaun Livingston is going to be a great point guard in this league as well. Sam is getting old, the young phoenom is out right now, so the Clips are low on my list, but get healthy and gel the guys you have now and the Clippers could be in the top 15 of a power rankings list.
24. Utah Jazz – Hey Jazz fans, you can now stop scrolling down. Here is your team on my power ranking list. No, I didn’t forget about you guys and you might not deserve to even be 24 on the list. It really begins to look ugly at this point on the power rankings and you guys might be the prettiest out of the ugly? One thing your team has forgot about is athleticism and you have none. You can’t win games without that in the NBA. You need guys that can run fast and jump high and there just isn’t any in Utah. Ronnie Brewer is a start, but your going to need a whole lot more of that to be successful. Boozer is descent, but you know his health will go south soon and he’s your excuse in the hole. Deron Williams just doesn’t have the physical skill to be good in the NBA. His mental game is good, but he’s not as young as the other rookies that came out in his class. His physical abilities are at their peak this year and he’s on the way down. Too bad Williams doesn’t take more pride in his work outs during the offseason. AK47 has already played his best games in the NBA and the Utah Jazz are real close to the bottom falling out and this might just be happening now. Jazz are the most over rated team in any sport and one of the most boring to watch too. Sorry…….I know the truth hurts.
25. Washington Wizards – I will give you guys the last spot on my rankings. I feel no need to seperate the bad teams in the league, so my expert posting ends here. Arenas is good and Caron Butler always seems to amaze me in one way or another. I’m just not sure how good Butler is or will be. He’s the wild card and there just isn’t a lot to get excited about after Arenas and Butler. Jarvis Hayes is solid, but this guy really should be a starter and I can’t give you guys credit for having a strong bench, because you don’t start your 5 best players.
I won’t bother going through the other teams, but for the N.Y. Knicks to have the highest salary in basketball, I think they are the worse franchise in the NBA. David Stearn should seriously step in and get Isiah Thomas out of basketball. This criminal has no idea on how to treat people or organize a group of young men for a game of basketball. The Knicks and their loud mouth fan Stephen A. Smith should really think about taking up another sport or something. Stephen A. Smith and Isiah Thomas are the two worse people associated with the NBA game today.
2008 NBA Finals will be the Atlanta Hawks .vs. Phoenix Suns. The Hawks will win the series in 5 games and T.J. Ford will be named MVP of the series!
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