There are two sides to every NBA Power Ranking: the Fanalytical and the Fanatical. As a Miami HEAT blogger living on the east coast, MHI plays the fan for the Western Conference. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, Mrs. NBA plays the fanalyst. The roles are reversed for the Eastern Conference.
1. San Antonio Spurs: Perhaps, I could put OKC at the top spot, but without seeing the team play a game or two without James Harden, I’m hesitant. Everyone will still doubt the Spurs until they land the #1 seed come April. They have a nice mix of stability, while bringing in some youth. I never bet against Gregg Popovich.
MHI: You love the Nasty. The Harden trade made 1 thing obvious: Sam Presti just wanted Duncan and Pop to have another run at the title. Once a Spur, always a Spur.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Dwight Howard + Steve Nash + Kobe Byrant + Pau Gasol + a lean Metta World Peace = HOLY SHIT Unless, Dwight Howard bones Vanessa, then they’ll be a top team in the Western Conference
MHI: The Lakers’ problem is their bench. It’s so bad that they’ll have to play their old and injured starters extended minutes and risk injury or lose close games in the regular season to save Dwight, Kobe and Nash for the playoffs. Either way, they won’t end up with the #2 seed in the West.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder certainly received something back for James Harden, but with Harden you knew what you had. Kevin Martin will bring the points, but it’s uncertain what else Martin and Jeremy Lamb can bring.
MHI: I’m not even sure Kevin Martin will bring the points. He’s had more than 50% of his shots assisted every season of his career. OKC ranked last in the NBA last season. I don’t think it’s a guarantee that he’ll put up 17 a game like Harden did. And there’s a good chance he gets suspended for flopping this season, too.
4. Denver Nuggets: ANDRE IGUODALA! Also, the abundance of youth, athleticism, and skill; Nuggets are poised for a 50+ win season.
MHI: *Yawn* The important question for the Nuggets is this: Why does George Karl have wooden teeth?
5. Los Angeles Clippers: Clippers could, arguably, have the deepest bench in the league, however, will that translate to more wins this season?
MHI: You have GOT to be shitting me. Nothing about their bench impresses me. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. You’re just impressed because they beat the shit out of the Nuggets in the preseason.
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Z-Bo’s health will be important for this team, and the sixth position seems a good starting spot for the team.
MHI: This is the most boring playoff team in the Western Conference. Wake me when the new owners break up this squad to avoid paying the luxury tax.
7. Utah Jazz: HELLO, ENES KANTER! He had a beautiful preseason and thanks to Kevin Love and Dirk’s injuries, they earn a spot in my rankings.
MHI: They should’ve been in your preseason rankings. It’s not that I’m psychic, I just know.
8. Houston Rockets: I KNOW! I KNOW!! I DON’T KNOW!!! I DON’T KNOW!!! Somehow, I chose Houston over Minny and Dallas. So sue me.
MHI: You are SUCH a dick rider caught up in the hype. How the hell are they gonna make the playoffs with Jeremy Lin playing more like the guy Golden State cut and less like the player that turned around the Knicks season last year? GTFOHWTBS!