In case you missed the Eastern Conference Rankings post, here is a quick recap of the ranking criteria. Teams receive a ranking based on the premise that fans receive an invitation from the NBA to join a party which includes 82 NBA basketball games for one team, so naturally SportsChasers is here to help the fan decide which party to attend. Teams are marked with either the A-List, B-List, C-List, or the lowly, only friends attend label.
No one attends but friends
Phoenix Suns – Recently, this team started T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley, Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight, and Eric Bledsoe. Not many wins in the future for this team.
New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis is a star, but this team doesn’t have a ton of offensive firepower besides him. The three-point shooting is uh…not good. Jrue Holiday obviously has other concerns than basketball right now as his wife recovers from surgery.
Sacramento Kings – How many coaches and point guards has DeMarcus Cousins seen in Sacramento? Ty Lawson is not the answer.
Los Angeles Lakers – The good news is that the Lakers only A-List star, Kobe Bryant, thankfully retired as he clearly didn’t have it anymore; as a result, the young guys have a chance to actually play instead of watching Kobe go one versus five. This is also the bad news as who knows whether or not the young guys can really play.
Minnesota Timberwolves – This team is supposedly the blueprint to use for rebuilding an NBA team. They have Karl Anthony Towns, extraordinary dunking machine Zach Levine, Andrew Wiggins, and Gorgui Dieng (congratulations on the new contract, Gorgui). All that’s missing are the wins.
Denver Nuggets – Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic on the court together provides an interesting dynamic, even if the league is moving away from the “Twin Towers” lineup. The Nuggets have some solid players, but they will struggle to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki still has that jumper, but the Mavs will need more than that to contend in crowded Western Conference. On paper, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut provide skills NBA teams require; however, Bogut has trouble staying healthy and Barnes’ game seems to fade at the wrong time.
Utah Jazz – This team almost made the jump to the B-List. They’ve added George Hill, have a legitimate center in Rudy Gobert, and yes, Joe Johnson can take his place as one of the most fortunate players in history regarding the contracts he signed, but he still causes match up problems due to his size. Definite NBA League Pass team.
Memphis Grizzlies – One more ride before the sun sets on the basketball union of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Mike Conley – The Grit and Grind. Unfortunately, this team’s lack of outside shooting will still exist when defenses inevitably collapse on the inside scoring threats.
Portland Trail Blazers – Great backcourt duo with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Guess what creates problems for the Golden State Warriors (and any other NBA team)? Why, it’s point guards who whirlwind all over the basketball court, scoring buckets at all angles.
Houston Rockets – An apt name for a team that will produce dazzling fireworks offensively. The Rockets on defense, though, train wreck comes to mind.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook will play the disrespected A-List star who was discarded from a blockbuster role in favor of an inferior actor. Plus, the Thunder still have instigator Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, and plenty of talent to challenge the top teams in the Western Conference.
San Antonio Spurs – Gregg Popovich returns to coach Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (yet again). Sure, the retirement of Tim Duncan hurts, but Pau Gasol and LeMarcus Aldridge are pretty good options, and don’t forget about Kahwi Leonard, one of the game’s best two-way players.
Los Angeles Clippers – Injuries derailed the Clippers’ post season run last year. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan once again return to challenge for the title. Perhaps, they will stay healthy this year.
Golden State Warriors – The rich get richer, right? The team that had plenty of scoring added Kevin Durant, one of the purest shooters in the league. Yeah, they are an A-List team – they have two former MVP’s.