They’re back: take a look at SI.com’s first set of 2015–16 NBA Power Rankings.
All aboard the banana boat! Welcome back to another year of NBA Power Rankings. After being traded for Luke Ridnour this summer, I’m honored to be inheriting this space from SI.com's NBA editor Matt Dollinger, who is passing on the torch, seeking help for his League Pass addiction and returning to civilization cleanly-shaven for the first time in three years.
The objective of this column goes unchanged: we’re here to provide a subjective ranking of all 30 teams and figure out the league’s pecking order after each week of action. Quick disclaimer: before you scroll down and ask how team X could be ranked so high or low, just keep in mind that the preseason is far and away the most dubious time to try to do this neatly. And also remember, I hate your favorite team.
For example, try to decide exactly how many teams are better than the Blazers, who won 51 games last season but lost four starters this summer. Do Damian Lillard, Mason Plumlee and Meyers Leonard make Portland discernibly better than antique Kobe Bryant and the somewhat-improved 21-win Lakers? These are the types of questions we’re trying to answer before anyone has had time to throw a meaningful pass off Roy Hibbert’s hands. It’s tough.
In the past few months, a lot of players changed teams, a lot more money changed hands, and some pretty weird stuff entertained us in the meantime (Emojis! Hoverboards! The Sacramento Kings!) But when the games start, the results will start to speak the loudest. And then the real fun begins.
With all that in mind, here’s SI.com’s first set of 2015–16 NBA Power Rankings.