NBA Power Rankings: Week Zero 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 and Adam Dyson. 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.

After the pre-season ranks:

1. Miami Heat – The reigning champs add more veteran firepower this off-season. The Ring-chasers Anonymous has ceased to hold meetings, and changed it’s 12-step program to a 1-step program(recruit at the Olympics). -CS

2. Los Angeles Lakers – A new “Big Three” rises in the West, as Kobe and new teammates Steve Nash and Dwight Howard appear to be the most formidable opponent to Conference Foe OKC. Don’t overlook the addition of SF Antawn Jamison, either. -AD

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – This will be a contract-type year for Harden, who has been steadily improving his game. The KD and Westbrook clashes are long gone, and the Thunder are on a mission. -CS

4. Boston Celtics – Boston will miss the production of Ray Allen, but with one of the better drafts of any team last June Boston enters this season with a good mix of veteran leadership, youth with upside, and a lot of depth. -AD

5. Los Angeles Clippers – Slowly but surely, the depth around Chris Paul is coming together. DeAndre Jordan has also been impressive in the pre-season, building a more complete game to compliment Blake, who is coming off a Summer injury. -CS

6. Indiana Pacers – The Pacers are loaded with talent, particularly in the front-court. All-Star Roy Hibbert needs to take his game to the next level in order for Indiana to take the next step. Free Agent Acquisition DJ Augustin is a nice piece off their bench that will keep the tempo high. -AD

7. Brooklyn Nets – The hype is there, can the Nets make their move a memorable one? Joe Johnson, starting with Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez slowly getting back into his game. -CS

8. Denver Nuggets – JaVale McGee appeared to mature under George Karl after he was traded to Denver last season. Denver will need him to continue improving, and will need new SG Andre Iguodala to gel quickly with a group that figures to be one of the best defenses in the league. -AD

9. Philadelphia 76ers – The loss of Iguodala might be one less distraction for Doug Collins and crew. While Iggy was the heart of this team, Turner has been steadily improving and impressive on his own. Along with new additions Andrew Bynum and Nick Young, once this team clicks, they’ll be a real threat. -CS

10. San Antonio Spurs – The original Big Three in the West are getting old, but they are still capable of competing with anyone under the direction of Greg Popovich. To move up in the rankings they’ll have to avoid the injury bug and see growth in young forward Kawhi Leonard. -AD

11. New York Knicks – Amar’e Stoudemire will begin the season rehabilitating along with Tyson Chandler. Lucky for them, Camby is the backup, and Melo and Smith like the spotlight. -CS

12. Chicago Bulls – Knowing they’ll be without Former MVP Derrick Rose for at least a majority of the season, the Bulls still figure to be a playoff team with Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. New PG acquisitions Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, and rookie Marquis Teague will need to play effectively while splitting time. -AD

13. Memphis Grizzlies – Adding Jerryd Bayless ponders the question, who will be running this offense by the end of the season? With a healthy front-court, the Grizz are back in the mix. -CS

14. Utah Jazz – After squeaking into the playoffs and being swept by top seed San Antonio last season, the Jazz bring back essentially the same roster. Utah’s in a tough spot, as they appear to be good enough to be in the playoff discussion, but not good enough to make noise in the playoffs, and not bad enough to get a top pick in the draft. -AD

15. Dallas Mavericks – While Dirk is recovering, Elton Brand should hold the fort down at the 4. The Mavs also added OJ Mayo, who could very well shine with the new scenery or under-perform. We’ll see. -CS

16. Milwaukee Bucks – With Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Milwaukee holds one of the highest scoring back-courts in the NBA. However, they also have one of the weakest back-courts in the league. -AD

17. Houston Rockets – The Rockets disappointed last year, with a solid Roster. This year they added Jeremy Lin, who will have the opportunity to prove his worth. The real question is, can this team fill Luis Scola’s void. -CS

18. Atlanta Hawks – Atlanta is a good team with good pieces, but they don’t have the one stellar player that can push them over the top. Perhaps Devin Harris and Al Horford can team-up to make this team better than the #5 seed in the East, but it doesn’t appear to be likely. -AD

19. Sacramento Kings – Another year for Cousins, another year for Evans. This team is one legit small forward away from being a dark horse. -CS

20. Detroit Pistons – Detroit finished 2 spots out of the playoffs last season, but only won 25 games. Their first round picks from the last two seasons (Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond) will have some growing pains. -AD

21. Portland TrailBlazers – Aside from Aldrige, the Blazers roster is filled with sleepers at each position. We wont know how good(or bad) this team is, until mid-season, and I expect it to be more bad than good. -CS

22. Minnesota Timberwolves – Minnesota will struggle climbing out of the hole created by the injuries of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio early in the season. -AD

23. Golden State Warriors – Does anyone have a good set of ankles they can donate to the Warriors? -CS

24. Toronto Raptors – Andre Bargnani needs to live up to the #1 Overall Pick status if this team is going to improve any time soon. -AD

25. Phoenix Suns – With Nash gone, welcome the new era Phoenix Suns. -CS

26. Cleveland Cavaliers – Cleveland is building a solid young nucleus, and could compete for the playoffs as early as 2013-14. -AD

27. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis is the real deal, but can all of these new faces fit together and start winning games? -CS

28. Washington Wizards – The Wizards were the 2nd worst team in the league last season. They figure to be in-line for a high pick again in next year’s draft. -AD

29. Orlando Magic – Losing Dwight is one thing, but teeter-tottering on the concepts of how to rebuild is another. We’ll see in the first few weeks if Orlando wants to salvage the roster, or tank. -CS

30. Charlotte Bobcats – Charlotte finished last season with the worst winning percentage in NBA History. With a good draft, they’re on the right track, but they’re still a few pieces short of a complete puzzle. -AD


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