The 2014-15 season could shape up a whole lot differently due to LeBron in Cleveland, Lance Stephenson in Charlotte, and the NBA Champion Spurs being dominant again. Here are the Power Rankings for the 2014-15 season.
1. Chicago Bulls
A healthy Derrick Rose, newly signed Pau Gasol, and rookie Doug McDermott might have this team return to its glory days. Rose, after having played just 4 games in the last 2 seasons, should be better than ever. A championship is no guarantee, but they will probably end up at the top of the East.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Reigning MVP Kevin Durant will be accompanied by a healthy Russell Westbrook, which means that they will have an easy road across the West. This might just be the season where OKC conquers the NBA
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James shocked not just Miami and Cleveland, but the whole world by coming home to Cleveland. His supporting cast is young, which guarantees that players around him will lay long-term, but a championship is a long ways to go.
4. Miami Heat
Seriously? Miami? Number 4? Yes! They may have lost LeBron James, but D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and most of the team has re-signed. New additions Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger are huge additions who certainly fits well in an offense known for scoring big. Miami could make a surprise run through the playoffs, but representing the East in The Finals might be a year or 2 away.
5. Dallas Mavericks
If only Rick Carlisle had a plan to beat the Spurs, then the Spurs wouldn’t have been the champions. Dirk has re-signed, Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler are big pickups, which makes them the biggest threat to all Western Conference teams. They will make a big splash come playoffs time.
6. San Antonio Spurs
The defending champs are looking to defend their title, but all I wanna say is this: “OKC ARE THE KINGS OF THE WEST!” Sorry Spurs fans…
7. Los Angeles Clippers
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the new owner of the Clippers, but the roster is still the same. Doc Rivers will carry his team to the 4th seed in the West, and possibly to the Western Conference Finals.
8. Golden State Warriors
Golden State has a nearly identical roster as last year, but Steve Kerr is the new addition. Kerr will take them to the playoffs, but getting past Round 1 is a 0% chance.
9. New York Knicks
Phil Jackson has done great. He has got ‘Melo back, hired Derek Fisher, and Jackson will help out Fisher in implementing the Triangle Offense to the New York system. Amar’e Stoudemire will become an elite scorer again, and Panda Friend (formerly Metta World Peace/Ron Artest) will help out with the Triangle Offense. The Atlantic Division will belong to them once again.
10. Washington Wizards
Paul Pierce came to Washington for some weird reason no one knows. If that reason is winning, DC isn’t exactly for you. Sure, they didn’t take it easy on teams like Chicago and Indiana, but they aren’t the same team.
11. Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard and Terry Stotts have this team covered. They are ready to put on a show in the NBA.
12. Indiana Pacers
Frank Vogel had a rough year last year, and with the loss of Lance Stephenson, the road only gets rougher.
13. Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry re-signed immediately on Day 1 of Free Agency, and ever since last year, Toronto has become one of the more dangerous teams out there.
14. Houston Rockets
James Harden. Dwight Howard. No ‘Melo. No LeBron. It has been a big blow for Houston this year. This coming season might not be so different.
15. Brooklyn Nets
Brook Lopez is now healthy. Deron Williams is now healthy. Joe Johnson is now healthy. KG is now healthy. Jarrett Jack and new coach Lionel Hollins have come. Paul Pierce and new Bucks coach Jason Kidd have gone. This will be an odd season for Brooklyn.
16. Charlotte Hornets
Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker are the stars, but the main headline despite a new team name and new look will be the fact that Lance Stephenson has come to Charlotte. This will improve their defense, but I doubt it’ll help them become contenders.
17. Phoenix Suns
Phoenix was the most exciting team to watch last season, and that will not change. They will get to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
18. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis has had ups and downs lately, and now, it’ll go downward.
19. Atlanta Hawks
Last year, the Hawks soared to the playoffs. This year, the Hawks won’t be allowed to soar.
20. Boston Celtics
The Celtics will have Rondo healthy, and rookies Marcus Smart and James Young, who are players with tons of potential. Though the Celtics will probably be in the lotto again, the good news for Celtics fans is that they will be contending and winning titles in a few seasons (3+ seasons).
21. New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis put on a show last year, as he was a contender for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Jrue Holiday should also help with making this team fun to watch, if not a winning team.
22. Orlando Magic
Elfrid Payton from Louisiana-Lafayette and Aaron Gordon from Arizona were the 2 biggest surprise picks of the draft, and during this Summer League, they have shown potential. Orlando should end with a better record than last year.
23. Denver Nuggets
Denver missed the playoffs last year, and this year will continue this playoff drought.
24. Sacramento Kings
Sacramento will have Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins healthy, and the biggest NBA player (Sim Bhullar from India, 360 lbs), but they aren’t good enough to get this team to the playoffs.
25. Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, the Number 6 pick in last year’s draft, will make his debut this coming season.
26. Los Angeles Lakers
Julius Randle was a good pick, Kobe will not retire yet, but they will be near the bottom of the West again.
27. Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, the Number 2 pick in this year’s draft, will be a definite Rookie of the Year candidate.
28. Detroit Pistons
Josh Smith is on the verge of being traded, meaning Brandon Jennings, Rodney Stuckey, and Greg Monroe have to lead this team. This coming year will not be much different than last year.
29. Utah Jazz
Derrick Favors was decent last year, Gordon Hayward’s future is iffy, and Dante Exum isn’t a good enough rookie to be able to lead a team.
30. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love is a Cav, and the rest of the team is pretty discombobulated. They will have the highest chance of winning the lottery this year.