The NBA playoffs have finally arrived, which means it’s time to say goodbye to the Power Rankings for the year, but not before one final playoff edition.
The NBA playoffs have finally arrived, meaning it’s time to say goodbye to the Power Rankings for the year, but not before one final playoff edition.
All 30 teams now have 82 games in the books, which should be more than enough for us to decipher the contenders from the pretenders. Winning streaks and losing skids have come and gone, No. 1’s have been crowned and dethroned and hot takes have proven scolding and cold.
But now that the postseason is here, it’s time to answer one final question. Who is the favorite going into the 2015 playoffs? None other than the San Antonio Spurs.
Golden State has sat atop these rankings for most of the season, but San Antonio has been the title favorite all along. The Spurs began the year at No. 1 and they’ll finish it there as well. So why am I ditching the Warriors at the altar?
[daily_cut]San Antonio is 46-18 with Kawhi Leonard in the lineup and held an 11-game winning streak as recently as last week. They have unparalleled postseason success, winning the title last year and five in the Duncan-Popovich Era. They also have experienced the pain of deep postseason defeat, two things the Warriors cannot claim.
Maybe I’ve been burned by the Spurs too many times to fall victim to the San Antonio snub again, but the defending champs are my favorite heading into the 2015 playoffs. We all know what Gregg Popovich thinks of the regular season, which is why we shouldn’t base our postseason projections entirely on the last 82 games. We also know what a well-paced Spurs team is capable of during the postseason.
Without further ado, SI.com’s NBA playoff power rankings:
(All stats and records through end of regular season)