NBA PReseason Rankings
NBA Preseason Power Rankings
1. Golden State Warriors
Just when you thought the dynasty was over, Stephen Curry and his squad break through to win another championship. We may in fact be on the cusp of another time when the Warriors win a few championships in the next few years. The main surprise last season was Jordan Poole, the former Michigan Wolverine, who averaged 19 points a game last season. He provided a new light to an organization that looked static for a period of time. They also have young potential down low with James Wiseman and Joanthan Kuminga who can explode to help the Warriors once again sit atop of the league. Once again, this team has a great chance at going back-to-back.
2. Phoenix Suns
Arguably the most complete team in the league, the starting lineup itself is a scary sight for opponents. The team fell short after falling in the western conference semi-finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Head coach Monty Williams has the team that can go and win the NBA finals. With Devin Booker and Cameron Payne finding their roles in the league along with veteran future hall of famer Chris Paul, the team knows that a title is at their fingertips and it is something the Phoenix fanbase has wanted. DeAndre Ayton has overcome injuries early in his career to become a force in the paint. They may as well be the best team in basketball this upcoming season.
3. Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to be the most versatile player in the NBA. His wingspan and length make him a headache to guard and a beats on the defensive end of the court.
Although he struggles from three, his counterpart Khris Middleton is a sharpshooting weapon knocking down 43 percent of shots from beyond the arc in this past year’s postseason. Bobby Portis did an incredible job at the center spot being a highly productive rebounder with 9 a game last season. MarJon Beauchamp is a dark horse rookie who can make an impact on a team who is already in clear contention for their second title in three years.
4. Boston Celtics
The Celtics look to defend their eastern conference title and this time bring home the NBA title for the 18th time in their history. Jayson Tatum comes off possibly his most impressive season averaging 27 points and 8 rebounds a game. Jaylen Brown continues to be a highly productive guard averaging 23 a game alongside reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. They have new discovered depth down low with Grant Williams having a great postseason and Al Horford still being a defensive monster down low. This team is once again in the title conversation for the 2022-23 season.
5. Miami Heat
The Heat remain heavy contenders in the east and look to stay at that level for the majority of the season. Jimmy Butler is coming off an unreal playoff performance last season averaging 27 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor. His counter parts include a still developing Tyler Herro who shows heavy promise scoring the basketball. Victor Oladipo missed a lot of time last season playing only eight games but should look to make an impact again now that he is fully healthy. A surprise from last season was shooting guard Max Strus who had an incredible shooting percentage from three at 41 percent. The Heat will look to get back to the finals to compete for another championship this season.
6. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are coming off a phenomenal year with the franchise’s fifth western conference finals appearance. Luka Doncic has proven himself to be the man in Dallas averaging 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists a game. He has the potential to become the best player in the world and have an MVP season as well. The free agency signing of Christian Wood is very intriguing as he found himself carrying the Houston Rockets through games last season and provides more interior depth at the “big man” positions along with the likes of Dorian Finney-Smith and JaVale McGee who still averages seven rebounds a game. This team can realistically dethrone Golden State for the western conference title.
7. Philadelphia 76ers
A team that is title ready but has Boston, Milwaukee, as well as Miami who bested them in last years’ playoffs, in their path. Joel Embiid had an MVP caliber season averaging 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game. Many felt he was more deserving than the reigning back-to-back MVP Jokić. His supporting cast is scary with young breakout guard Tyrese Maxey. The former Kentucky Wildcat had a spectacular year two nearing the 20 points a game mark. Pairing up with James Harden may be what the 76ers needed to go all the way. No matter what happens, this team is a shoo-in for a top ten team in the league.
8. Denver Nuggets
Much like other teams, Denver is in position to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy to Colorado. The reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokić is arguably the best big man in the game. Jamal Murray has improved his scoring significantly. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will help Murray in the frontcourt following signing an extension this offseason. Aaron Gordon was very productive with 15 points and 6 rebounds a game. The concern with the Nuggets is depth off the bench that other high profile teams may have. Although that may hurt them, can you really count out Jokić and Murray?
9. Los Angeles Clippers
When this team stays healthy, they are among the best in the league. Injuries plagued their season sidelining Kawhi Leonard from an ACL injury and Paul George from an elbow injury. The two should return to the court for this season and it is vital they do as the aging stars
know their window for a championship is closing. Reggie Jackson had a productive 2021 through the injury bug averaging 17 points and 5 assists a game. Tyronn Lue knows he has the pieces and if they can stay on the floor, the Clippers can be a contender for the title.
10. Brooklyn Nets
A dramatic offseason for the Nets saw Kevin Durant almost leave and even rumors before the year ended of Kyrie Irving wanting out. The addition of Ben Simmons in the trade with Philadelphia may have been some pull to stay for the two stars. TJ Warren will provide scoring for the team as he is averaged 15 points a game. Although is lack of playing time from last year is not as reliable for what they will do this year. Brooklyn is a big question mark among the elite teams in the league. Nonetheless, the tandem of Irving, Simmons, and Durant should allow them to be a top seed again heading into the playoffs.
11. Memphis Grizzlies
What a surprise from last season. Head coach Taylor Jenkins and his squad made it all the way to the western conference semi-finals before falling to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Ja Morant should continue to be one of the most exciting players in the league and could make an MVP push. His supporting cast is deep with Jaren Jackson Jr. being a talented scoring forward and Desmond Bane who had a breakout season. Brandon Clarke has impressed in the preseason and will be a player to look out for. Grind City should see a trip back to the playoffs and will once again attempt a deep run towards a title.
12. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls look to pick up right from where they left off last year. Despite the Bucks ending their season in the first round, the team is in a prime spot to be competitive among the top teams in the eastern conference. DeMar DeRozan’s career has been revitalized in the windy city since leaving San Antonio averaging a staggering 28 points per game last season. The backout is flooded with depth like Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, and Alex Caruso. Andre Drummond still is a productive rebounder as is Nikola Vucevic who averages 17 points a game as well. Chicago is looking to make a title push for their seventh championship this season.
13. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are now three years removed from an NBA title, but still have the talent to push for another. The 2022 rookie of the year Scottie Barnes had a highly productive season with 17 points a game and 8 rebounds a game. Pascal Siakam is one of the most highly skilled stretch bigs in the game coming off a year averaging 23 points a game. Fred Vanvleet is also taking over as Toronto’s main guard following the DeRozan-Lowry era. Nick Nurse has guys and knows how to use them; the Raptors will be a threatening team to deal with in the east.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
The rebuild in the buckeye state has gone smoother than one would expect. Darius Garland had a breakout season averaging 22 points and 9 assists per game. Alongside him is former Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell which makes for one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Evan Mobley was one of the best rookies last year as he averaged 15 points and 8 boards a game. He will play alongside fellow big man Jarrett Allen who averages a double-double a game. This team is ready to make the playoffs and possibly go deep into the later rounds.