Bucks, Clippers and Lakers sit atop ESPN's power rankings ahead of NBA's restart
Dominance only wanes if it is challenged, and even before the NBA shut down in March, the league's top three teams were clear.
ESPN released its power rankings ahead of the NBA's restart, which is slated to begin July 30 in Orlando, Florida. The top three teams on the rankings are the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.
The rest of the top five consists of the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets.
The Bucks and Lakers have the top two records in the league, respectively. The Raptors and Clippers rank third and fourth in the NBA, respectively.
Milwaukee has reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo at the helm, and he has continued his ascent as one of the world's best players. Antetokounmpo is having another elite season, scoring a career-high 29.6 points per game and grabbing a career-high 13.7 rebounds a game.
The Clippers have the deepest team in the league. Aside from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers boast a plethora of scoring options in Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams and Marcus Morris.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis arguably the best combo in the league, the Lakers can compete with any team. Losing a valuable defender in Avery Bradley is key, though. Bradley said he won't come to Orlando because of family reasons, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Raptors are the reigning champs, and with Pascal Siakam continuing to improve, Toronto has a legitimate shot at going back to the Finals.
The Rockets are only team in the top five that's debatable. It's hard to say they're indisputably better than the Boston Celtics, which boast the best collection of wings in the league. The Celtics are ranked sixth in the power rankings.
Houston's value stems from primarily Russell Westbrook and James Harden. As two of the league's best playmakers and shot creators, Westbrook and Harden make up one of the league's best backcourts.
The Bucks, Lakers and Clippers are the top teams, and it's hard to see anyone besides the Raptors and Celtics challenging them.
The Rockets have an outside chance, but so much of their offense depends on making 3-pointers at a very high clip.
The first two games of the season resumption will be between the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans as well as a showdown between the Clippers and Lakers.