Power Rankings: Heat, Thunder the class of the NBA
It has been 15 years since the NBA Finals featured a rematch. Are we finally destined for a championship grudge match this season?
For the first time all year, the Heat and Thunder are 1-2 in the Power Rankings. Neither squad has strayed too far from the top the past few months, but spirited challenges from the Spurs, Clippers and other contenders have kept the two from simultaneously occupying the top two spots.
It should come as little surprise that Miami and Oklahoma City are the class of the league. While the Thunder broke up last year's Finals core by trading James Harden, they replaced him with a highly capable and even more efficient scorer in Kevin Martin. The Heat, meanwhile, only got better by adding Ray Allen and watching LeBron James, winner of three of the last four MVP awards, accomplish what seemed impossible for the superstar: further improvement.
Both teams, of course, have plenty of work to do to set up the first Finals rematch since the Bulls and Jazz met in 1997 and '98. There's little to suggest anyone can stop LeBron and Co. in the East, but the Thunder face a daunting path back to the championship series with a slew of possible spoilers standing in their way.
With the two best teams from last season back on top, here's where all 30 teams stand in this week's Power Rankings.