ESPN NBA power rankings

sunsfn

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This is on regular ESPN http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking?season=2006&week=0
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Created On: October 28, 2005 ESPN.com
Power Rankings: Suns stay in top 10; Bulls, Celts crash
The first big NBA Power Rankings debate of the season: How far to drop the Phoenix Suns after the loss of Amare Stoudemire?

The ruling from ESPN.com's NBA Power Rankings committee (of one): Not that far.

The Suns have dropped only five spots, from No. 3 to No. 8, in Marc Stein's latest rankings, which serve as a barometer of each team's readiness for a fast-approaching Opening Night. As seen in the Suns' Daily Dime preview
earlier in the week, Stein is still picking the Suns to win the Pacific Division even with Stoudemire sidelined by a knee injury until at least the All-Star break.
The Power Rankings move to their usual Monday slot on Nov. 7 and will then continue weekly through the regular season. Click here to comment on the latest batch.

Editor's note: The Record category shows the team's 2004-05 regular season record. The Last Week category shows the team's ranking in Marc Stein's Training Camp Edition of the Power Rankings .

SportsNation: Rank them yourself!

2005-06 Power Rankings: PreseasonRANK (LAST WK)TEAMREC.COMMENT


1 (1)Spurs59-23We repeat: Spurs won't win 70 because they generally start slow and because Pop won't waste energy letting them chase a number. But make no mistake: This is S.A.'s deepest team ever.


2 (4)Pacers44-38Still struggling to believe that Penthouse is going with Artest on its cover, but at least you can tell your wife or girlfriend (for once) that you're buying it to read it.


3 (2)Pistons54-28This risk was avoided last season thanks to Indiana's suspension-induced drop, but the Pistons -- not the biggest fans of the regular season -- would be wise to remember that finishing second in the division means you can't be seeded higher than No. 4.


4 (6)Rockets51-31Houstonians are obviously hurting right now, but there are worse playoff fates than getting swept in the championship round. T-Mac knows that all too well . . . but has never been better positioned to change his postseason fortunes.


5 (5)Heat59-23Sounds like there's someone else (besides us) for Heat fans to hate. Says 'Sheed: ''With a team like that, I wouldn't have changed nothing. They took us to a Game 7, I mean, why change that team?''


6 (7)Nuggets49-33'Melo insists he'll be an All-Star this February. If Denver lives up to all these lofty expectations, he's a lock.


7 (8)Mavericks58-24If it's basically the same team as last season, as previously noted in this cyberspace, something else hasn't changed. Dirk is always Dirk, but Dallas still isn't sure what it'll get at PG and C.

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8 (3)Suns62-20No, not a misprint: I'm still picking Phoenix to win the Pacific, even without Amare. But his absence means that the Spurs will now run virtually unopposed in the West.


9 (12)Nets42-40Did You Know time: Nets were 29-10 when Krstic scored at least 10. More evidence that the young center, who's expected to bump up that ppg, might be the real key here.


10 (9)Cavaliers42-40Everyone knows they'll be better. Question is, how much better will Cavs be on the road? For their sake, hopefully much, much better than 12-29.


11 (10)Kings50-32Adelman's under some pressure, as always, but so is Petrie (to a degree). The GM who's banking on Bonzi and Reef has to convince Peja (contract year) to stay.


12 (11)Grizzlies45-37Except for Toronto, perhaps no team took the Magloire trade harder than Memphis. Jerry West, by all accounts, wanted the big man badly.


13 (15)Bucks30-52Without Magloire, Simmons has to play lots of PF. With Magloire, Simmons as a four is now just for occasional small ball change-ups, which is a better way to use him.


14 (14)Wizards45-37That first-round comeback over Chicago obviously made an impression. Several of our pundits expect the Bulls to take a backward step and the Wiz to maintain their playoff status.


15 (16)Lakers34-48The 24/7 focus is naturally on Phil and Kobe. But a successful season probably depends more on Phil reaching Kwame and Kwame not folding when Kobe chides him.


16 (13)Warriors34-48Excellent points from my man Bucher. Everyone comparing the Warriors to last season's Suns overlooks the fact that Phoenix had better shooters and more athletic bigs.


17 (18)SuperSonics52-30As great as Ray was in '04-05, Seattle's frontcourt rotation was a huge key last season. Evans and Collison are still there, but James is gone and Fortson and Radmanovic don't sound happy.


18 (19)Timberwolves44-38If the Wolves want to shame experts who dare to suggest that KG will miss the playoffs two years in a row, they can start by doing a little better than 0-3 on the road against Hawks, Bobcats and Raps, as seen in '04-05.


19 (22)76ers43-39Iverson and Webber really could have used a smooth start and haven't had one. As a fan of both, I'm still rooting for them to surprise us.


20 (17)Knicks33-49Upon reflection . . . maybe the bottom of the East's playoff ladder isn't any more wide open that the bottom of the West's. I see at least seven teams definitely ahead of Larry's Knicks. At least seven.



21 (20)Bulls47-35It doesn't help Chicago's cause that the toughest division in basketball -- yes, tougher even than the Southwest -- just got tougher with Milwaukee swindling Magloire from New Orleans.


22 (23)Jazz26-56Golden State is getting lots of Sleeper O' The West pub, but perhaps that team will wind up being Utah. There are major questions at PG, true, but the frontcourt still catches your eye when you read the names: Kirilenko, Boozer, Okur.


23 (21)Celtics45-37The challenge with Boston, at least for us, is coming up with comments that don't mention the possibility of a Pierce trade. So far, we're 0-for-2.


24 (25)Clippers37-45Major downer. Livingston is the Clipper we wanted to watch most and now you have to start wondering whether he'll always be dealing with injuries.


25 (24)Magic36-46Grant Hill has the right attitude -- ''It's better than three to six months or three to six years,'' he says -- but hearing he needs another surgery (of any kind) makes our stomachs hurt.


26 (28)Bobcats18-64Felton, a rookie, has guaranteed a playoff berth. Sorry, kid. Only legit guarantee we can see is that Bobcats will be playing in a better (new) building.


27 (27)Hawks13-69The committee can't stop thinking about the late Collier . . . and the wife and daughter who have to carry on without him. If we can't stop thinking about him, imagine how it must be for Hawks.


28 (26)Trail Blazers27-55This won't be like last fall, when a rocky preseason couldn't stop Nate's team from enjoying a storybook season. Nate's new team is far, far greener and will struggle as much as the latest projections suggest.


29 (29)Hornets18-64Let's just say that trading big for small -- and for a draft pick that probably won't even be in the lottery now -- is not how I'd want to start the season. Especially when the big is a recent former All-Star.


30 (30)Raptors33-49Raps' outlook isn't that bleak. Most staffers agree that they'd rank as high as second if we did power rankings for the Israeli league.
 

elindholm

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I HATE the way he tries to pass himself off as a group of people, when even the introduction to the rankings acknowledges that he is a "committee of one."

And can someone please tell me what the difference is between "Power Rankings" and "Rankings"? Why is the word "Power" there? To make them sound cooler? Why not call them "Tomahawk Rankings" or "Whoop-ass Rankings"?

These idiotic rankings are probably my least favorite part of any NBA season. It almost makes me not want the season to start.
 

ASUCHRIS

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elindholm said:
I HATE the way he tries to pass himself off as a group of people, when even the introduction to the rankings acknowledges that he is a "committee of one."

And can someone please tell me what the difference is between "Power Rankings" and "Rankings"? Why is the word "Power" there? To make them sound cooler? Why not call them "Tomahawk Rankings" or "Whoop-ass Rankings"?

These idiotic rankings are probably my least favorite part of any NBA season. It almost makes me not want the season to start.


Feeling ranty?
 

elindholm

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Feeling ranty?

I wasn't...

Maybe they should be called "Rant Rankings."
 

reader

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, he is still picking the Suns to win the Pacific. Stein has a lot of faith in Nash. The team does seem to be improving and they did finish with a 6-2 preseason record vs last year 7-1. In fact they won their last four games, even with Nash being turnover happy last night. Could be OK, as long as there are no injuries......
 

George O'Brien

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My suspicion is that people like Stein and Barkley have improved their ranking on the Suns after finally paying attention to who they've added and not just who they lost.
 

Errntknght

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I think it's worse than that George - they're paying attention to the W-L record in the preseason games! They'd never admit it, of course...
 

Arizona's Finest

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Errntknght said:
I think it's worse than that George - they're paying attention to the W-L record in the preseason games! They'd never admit it, of course...

Your right it does mean nothing....

BUT i remember watching the preseason last year where we finished 7-1, and during the Kings game i started to see what would make this team so great in the regular season. If you really paid attentin to those games, you saw the fruits of what essentially turned out to be a 62 win team. I'm not seeing the same thing for this seaosn but i was surprised how good some of these players looked and i now look forward to see how it translates into the season.

Ok i know i keep saying this but just one more time....I watched the 4th Quarter of the Lakers/Kings game. Unbelivable....I still maintain that the Lakers will be our main comp in the division and get a fifth seed. But i will take it a step further....Kobe Bryant will be MVP this year....i really really believe it. I have felt this way about his game for awhile and seeing those GM rankings further solidified my thoughts on his game. KB is the best perimeter player since Jordan and the closest thing i have seen. In fact from what i remember, he plays the way and attacks the basket like MJ did in 89, 90, and 91 before he won the championships. Kobe might be posed to step into that same pantheon on play.....

Lakers are scary a couple seasons down the road too because form what i saw out of Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum....well the Lakers are going to hit the jackpot with one of the two...the Suns did a similar move on the perimeter this offseason by taking buy low/sell high risks with Diaw and Jones...The Lakers did a similar thing with these two, as physically they are both pretty insane....we will see if Phil gets it out of the two of them but they have the tools to work with....

Ok im done ranting....Im thinking our boys with a healthy Amare are STILL better (and now i actually think we are better than the Spurs this season)....its all about when Amare comes back and how he feels.......screw the Lakers....
 

Chaz

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Kobe is a great player but don't judge him by what he does against the Kings in preseason.

They Kings have looked awful on defense so far. The Suns built 20 point leads pretty easily on them in both games.
 

JCSunsfan

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Just a few things with Steins rankings.

Spurs. What he said. I agree.

Houston. Swept in the title round? Is that a reference to the Astros? What does that have to do with Houston being ranked as a much better team than they were last year?

Dallas. Same team as last year? How does gaining Finley make the Spurs much better, but losing Finley means nothing to the Mavs? I tend to believe just the opposite. The Mavs will miss Finley more than the Spurs will benefit from him.

I think the Cavs and Kings will be better than the Mavs and Rockets. Also, the Warriors will not end up ranked below the Bucks, Wizards, Lakers, and Griz.

As for the big trade between the Griz and Miami--it won't end up being a win-win. Someone is going to be the big-time loser out of that trade. Its likely the Griz, but it could be Miami. They won't both be better.
 

greensborohill

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Mavs take

JCSunsfan said:
Dallas. Same team as last year? How does gaining Finley make the Spurs much better, but losing Finley means nothing to the Mavs? I tend to believe just the opposite. The Mavs will miss Finley more than the Spurs will benefit from him.

Here's the deal. . . most people around the Mavs & most fans feel that losing Finley is addition by subtraction. . he played heavy minutes for us before last year & is not the player he once was. We have 4 guys, two of which are still young & getting better, & two more who are arguably just as good at Fin if not better at most things then he is at this point (except three point shooting).

I think the Spurs will benefit from Fin more than we will be hurt b/c Fin now can do what he does best (and can get away with only doing that one thing) spot up shooting. He can play off Duncan & knock down open shots.

Dallas wanted him to penetrate, they wanted him to play D. And he really pouted (for lack of a better word) last season when he was challeneged to do the above. He was basically just starting out of respect for his years of service. By the end of last season Stack was by far the better player & more aggresive player.

In SA Fin's poor D will be masked by Timmy & Nazi. He will be great in short minutes & will be a fine asset.

If he was in Dallas he would be thrown under the bus for what he can no longer do.

Forgot to add. . . leadership may be the one area he is missed. . but as stated above, by the end of last season. . he wasn't displaying many of those great leadership qualities he once was know for around Mavs town. . .
 
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George O'Brien

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I was concerned that Fin might be a problem if he joined the Suns because he'd be the only guy who might cause a real stink over minutes. Bell and Jones can shoot, play defense, and aren't former all stars who would ge upset if Leandro, Diaw, Jackson or House got some minutes.
 

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