NBA Power Rankings: Week One of the 2012-13 Season

Power Rankings are not a prediction of who will win the most games, or make it the furthest in the playoffs. Power rankings are the trends of who we regard as the NBA’s current best teams.

The CCS Writers break down the league, with commentary from regulars, Chris Snow , Adam Dyson, and Joey Minutillo. Our rankings are so legit, that Superbowl Betting hinges entirely on our rankings for the NFL. We’ll see if that will transfer over the NBA. There is betting you can view now if interested. Also check out how our power rankings match up with those of ESPN.

Week Zero.

Biggest changes: Sacramento Kings drop 7 spots, while the San Antonio Spurs pick up 6 spots.

Week 1 regular-season ranks:

Team Last Change
1. Miami Heat 1  The rest of the NBA better hope LeBron gets cramps in every single game, because he, Wade, and company made short work of Boston on opening night. New guns Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen looked sharp during their time off the bench. When those two get acclimated with their teammates – watch out. The East is theirs to lose. -JM


2. Oklahoma City Thunder 3 +1  OKC lost a heart-breaker at the buzzer against San Antonio, but as Kevin Martin gets acclimated to the offense it’s fair to expect OKC to be one of the best teams in the NBA going forward. -AD


3. Boston Celtics 4 +1  Depth and firepower? Ainge has been trying to supplement his bench for the last few years, and now it looks like he finally has one. -CS


4. San Antonio Spurs 10 +6   It took a Tony Parker buzzer-beater to knock off the defending Western conference champs, but the Spurs are off to a 2-0 start. I wouldn’t expect Tim Duncan to be quite that dominant all the time, especially on back-to-back nights, but we know they’ll be there come May. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle a tough November schedule. -JM


5. Los Angeles Lakers 2 -3  The Lakers look exactly like several thought they would early on as they struggle to find their identity. The temporary loss of PG Steve Nash is going to temper expectations in the near-future, but this team still has to be considered a title-contender. -AD


6. Los Angeles Clippers 5 -1 It may be too soon to say, but it looks like Crawford has finally found a perfect fit and role for his style of play. -CS


7. Indiana Pacers 6 -1  With Danny Granger out, the Pacers will look to Roy Hibbert to earn some of that $60 million extension he signed in the off-season. It took a monster fourth quarter to squeak out a win against Toronto. Their depth is impressive, and it seems like Gerald Green can finally grasp his full potential. The Pacers could take another step forward towards a title this year. -JM


8. Brooklyn Nets 7 -1  After their stadium-opening game against the Knicks was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, the Nets look tip-off their season on Saturday at Toronto. -AD


9. Denver Nuggets 8 -1  George Karl’s doghouse has turned into an early season match of egos. Don’t expect it to last for long. -CS


10. Philadelphia 76ers 9 -1  Saying Andrew Bynum is the wild card would be the understatement of the century. Spencer Hawes continues to look impressive as he gets more playing time, but will the maturation of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner be enough time offset the absence of Iggy? -JM


11. Chicago Bulls 12 +1  Chicago won their opener against Sacramento, but it wasn’t the prettiest of games. Given Rose’s injury, Chicago will have to lean on their pass-oriented offense and team defense to compete with the best of the East all season. -AD


12. Memphis Grizzlies 13 +1  Randolph is back to padding his stats, but some chemistry at the point might cover that up nicely. -CS


13. New York Knicks 11 -2  It’ll be quite the scene tonight at MSG as the Knicks open up their season in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Knicks look to continue developing the defensive mindset implemented by coach Mike Woodson. New additions Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby should help, but will they be able to score enough points to compete with the East’s elite? -JM


14. Utah Jazz 14  Utah started their season out with an impressive win against Dallas to open the season, scoring 113 points. In their 2nd game against a mediocre New Orleans team, they scored 70 in a loss. It’s Jeckyll-and-Hyde performances like these that should keep them in the middle of the power rankings most of the season. -AD


15. Dallas Mavericks 15 Unless Dirk returns to his title season form, Dallas will be fighting around the .500 mark this year. -CS


16. Milwaukee Bucks 16  The backcourt tandem of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis can score, no doubt. But can they defend? With Andrew Bogut two timezones away, who will fill their void in the middle? And do they have enough depth to steal one of the last playoff spots in the East? -JM


17. Atlanta Hawks 18 +1  The Hawks lost their season opener to the Houston Harde….err…Rockets, and life begins without Joe Johnson. They sure miss his scoring. -AD


18. Houston Rockets 17 -1  Lin might be one of those players that just finds ways to win, even if it’s behind Harden’s explosive 37 point debut. -CS


19. Minnesota Timberwolves 22 +3  Coach Rick Adelman will have to lean on an extremely young roster to keep his Wolves afloat during the absence of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Are Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic for real? With all of the new additions (Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, among others), expectations for David Kahn’s brain child have never been higher. -JM


20. Portland Trail Blazers 21 -1  After beating the Lakers up and down the court in their opener, Portland dropped a game against OKC they were never really in. Watch out for PG Damien Lillard though. The kid can play. -AD


21. Detroit Pistons 20 -1  Where is the leadership at Guard? This team still has some growing up to do, with the most mature players, being the youngest. -CS


22. Phoenix Suns 25 +3  It’s hard to put a finger on who’ll lead this Suns team in the post-Steve Nash era. Goran Dragic certainly isn’t a superstar. Ditto for Marcin Gortat. Michael Beasley hasn’t transformed into the 25-point monster he was projected coming out of K-State and the rest of the roster is nothing bur complimentary parts. It may be a long year in Phoenix. -JM


23. Golden State Warriors 23  Steph Curry got paid, then promptly went out and went 0-6 from the field. The Warriors got a win in their first game, but it wasn’t pretty. -AD


24. Toronto Raptors 24  Very close to beating the Pacers the other night. Almost doesn’t count. -CS


25. New Orleans Hornets 27 +2  He’s taken plenty of “browbeating” for his look, but Anthony Davis is for real. A 21-point, 7-rebound debut against the greatest power forward of all-time is quite the statement. Make no mistake, this is Davis’ team. The shaky knee of Eric Gordon will hurt them, but in due time, this Hornets team will excite fans all over the NBA. -JM


26. Sacramento Kings 19 -7  This team has a lot of individual talent, but it appears the parts are greater than the sum. – AD


27. Cleveland Cavaliers 26 -1  Varejao is back and healthy. Boy did Cleveland miss him. 23 boards to start the season in a win over the dysfunctional Zards. But a total loss of identity against the Bulls. -CS


28. Orlando Magic 29 +1  The Lakers should be arrest for larceny, because this Magic roster is barren of talent. Keep trying to convince me that Al Harrington and Aaron Afflalo are the “prizes” of that heist. It’s certainly rebuild mode in Orlando, but I’m not seeing a direction quite yet. Maybe a trip to the lottery will help ease the pain.-JM


29. Washington Wizards 28 -1  Washington is going to spend the entire season trying to figure out “who they are.” They may already be hitting a Wall. -AD


30. Charlotte Bobcats 30  When Jordan is still the big headline from Charlotte, you know they have problems. -CS



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Chris Snow

Chris Snow is a writer for ChiCitySports. Born and raised inside the city of Chicago, he has been following the NBA for 30 years. Chris is an active participant on this site's forums, where you can feel free to talk shop and express yourself.

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