NBA Power Rankings: Week 1

By Power Sports - Covers Expert

It's certainly not a surprise that the Golden State Warriors sit atop our preseason NBA Power Rankings - they are a great team that got even better in the offseason - but there are a few eye-openers on the list.

NBA Power Rankings

Rank Last Week Change Team W-L (ATS) Power Rating Team Comments
1 same 0-0
-18 Golden State
A rare preseason odds-on-favorite to win the NBA Title (-150), the Warriors figure to be favored in every game this season and are projected for 66.5 wins. Expect them to be favored by 20 or more points multiple times.
2 same 0-0
-15 Cleveland
Last year's Finals was considered an upset for a reason. The defending champs open at No. 2, but are clear favorites to repeat in the East.
3 same 0-0
-14.5 San Antonio
The third and final team with title odds in the single digits (11/5). Though the Warriors will likely win fewer games than last year, expect the gap between them and the Spurs to be greater.
4 same 0-0
-12 L.A. Clippers
This feels like this team's final run. Can they finally make a Western Conference Finals? Depth remains a concern.
5 same 0-0
-11 Boston
The Celtics are now the consensus second best team in the East. We shall see how they handle the weight of expectations.
6 same 0-0
-10.9 Toronto
A decline from a franchise-record 56 wins is all but assured, but I can't see the Raptors finishing lower than third in the depth-shy East.
7 same 0-0
-9.5 Oklahoma City
No Kevin Durant, but they still have Russell Westbrook and will rebound the ball well. I feel the oddsmakers are being a bit too pessimistic.
8 same 0-0
-9.4 Utah
This is the in vogue pick to ascend to the upper echelon in the West. We shall see. They were definitely the best non-playoff team from a year ago. Gordon Hayward may miss the first 20 games.
9 same 0-0
-9.3 Portland
They've averaged 50.5 wins the last two seasons. In retrospect, it was insane that they were projected for fewer than 30 last year.
10 same 0-0
-9.2 Houston
Without Dwight Howard, the Rockets will be better. Mike D'Antoni will make this even more of an offensive juggernaut. Could be a very fun team to watch.
11 same 0-0
-8 Detroit
If Utah is the chic pick in the West, Detroit is the equivalent in the East. Many teams in the East will take a step back this year. Stan Van Gundy has a team on the rise.
12 same 0-0
-7.5 Indiana
It remains to be seen if replacing George Hill with Jeff Teague will be a value add.
13 same 0-0
-7.4 Washington
In a weak Southeast Division, I project the Wizards to finish first. They went 18-13 after the All-Star Break and have one of the better backcourts (Wall and Beal) in the East.
14 same 0-0
-7.3 Atlanta
The Hawks finished No. 2 in defensive efficiency last year. Don't expect them to finish that high this year, though, even though they bring in Dwight Howard.
15 same 0-0
-7.2 Charlotte
One interesting tidbit about the Hornets is that they went 5-0 in overtime games last year. There should be a bit of a decline in wins this year, but not by as much as the oddsmakers are calling for.
16 same 0-0
-5.5 Denver
This is an interesting young team. But I do not see them making the jump to the playoffs. They likely will not match last year's 10-5 record in games decided by three points or less.
17 same 0-0
-5.4 Milwaukee
Should be a bounce back year for the Bucks. They won 41 games two years ago and only 33 last year. Should be somewhere in between this year. They went 4-0 in OT games last year.
18 same 0-0
-5.3 New York
This is a very overrated team that I'll probably drop in the rankings at the first sign of trouble. Derrick Rose was not a great signing.
19 same 0-0
-5.2 Chicago
Similarly, Dwyane Wade was not a great signing by Rose's former team. Not a playoff team last year, the Bulls won't match last year's 10-4 SU record in games decided by three points or less.
20 same 0-0
-5.1 Minnesota
Expectations are a bit too high for this bunch. They won only 29 games last year. I have them finishing Under the projected 40.5-win total.
21 same 0-0
-5 Dallas
This is a team in decline. For the first time in 19 seasons (excluding lockout seasons), I have the Mavs finishing with fewer than 40 wins.
22 same 0-0
-4.5 Sacramento
Who knows with this team? How is it that DeMarcus Cousins doesn't know who Paul McCartney is?
23 same 0-0
-4.4 Memphis
A record 28 different players suited up for the Grizz last year and they were outscored by nearly three points per 100 possessions, worst among all playoff teams.
24 same 0-0
-4 New Orleans
Three starters could be out on Opening Night, including Anthony Davis.
25 same 0-0
-3.9 Miami
Tanking is a very real possibility here. The Big 3 are all gone as are Luol Deng and Joe Johnson.
26 same 0-0
-3.5 Orlando
Will this team ever get better? Free agent acquisitions Jeff Green and DJ Augustin won't help. They'll have a hard time matching last year's 45-36-1 ATS record.
27 same 0-0
-1.5 Phoenix
The Suns officially set last year. Their 23 wins were the fewest since the expansion season of 1968-69.
28 same 0-0
-0.7 Philadelphia
There is simply no way the Sixers won't improve upon last year's 10-win total. They were 1-52 SU vs. teams with a .500 or better record, but 0-6 in games decided by three points or less.
29 same 0-0
-0.5 L.A. Lakers
It's a new era without Kobe. The team's shooting percentage has to go up, right?
30 same 0-0
0 Brooklyn
My choice to be the worst team in the league.

Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.