Power Rankings 30-21 (Preseason)

Wild Prediction Season

30. Orlando Magic: Sad to see them fall from being an Eastern Conference Finals champ in 09 to being the worst team (on paper) entering the 2012 season. Arron Afflalo is good but when he’s your very best player, in a league full of superstars, well this is where you’ll dwell. Dwight Howard is laughing in Hollywood. The sad thing is that the Magic don’t even have a player who will draw fans/viewers. Even if they do exceed these #30 expectations, it won’t be by much. 18-64

29. Charlotte Bobcats: The only reason they don’t stay in last place, as they were all of last season is because of the addition of MKG. Will he turn around the franchise? I doubt it, at least not in a single season, but they’ll win more games. Also Ben Gordon gives them some sort of scoring, I think. All of that being said it will be another long season in Charlotte, word to MJ’s attire. 19-63

28. Houston Rockets: The Texas Big Three will be left shorthanded this season, as most teams will come into Houston without a fear in the world. Yes the Jeremy Lin signing was a big deal but there are many (myself included) who believe that they overpaid for his services. Outside of Lin and Kevin Martin there isn’t a single notable name on this roster. Just think about the division they’re in (OKC, SA, Dal, Mem) and you see why they won’t even sniff the playoffs. T-Mac didn’t go to China for this! 20-62

27. Sacramento Kings: The whole Swish Army is rooting for the Kings, as we have been for the past 3 or 4 years but they keep letting us down so they’ll occupy this spot for now. As much as I vouch for Boogie, he shoots 45% as a center, Tyreke is in and out of the starting lineup, Jimmer might have to go back to Utah or wherever the Mormons thrive, and Isiah Thomas is nice, but he’s not real. Sacramento is a team built off of potential and they haven’t shown any signs of tapping it. They’ll be fun to watch again but that’s really it. 22-60.

26. New Orleans Hornets: Adding AD, and getting a healthy Easy Gordon will make the Hornets intriguing in the West. But the West is always tough and full of veteran players that will make life difficult for the Hornets in 2012/2013. Add to this the fact that Austin Rivers didn’t have a good showing in the Summer League and this is pretty much the result. If AD can be all around great like he was at UK then it may be a slightly better story, he’s got to hit the weights before he can effectively do that though. 25-57

25. Golden State Warriors: Mark Jackson took over a team that¬†initially had some hope, now they’re a team that seems to be in the midst of rebuilding. Steph Curry has been hurt ever since he stepped on to an NBA court, Andrew Bogut is notorious for missing chunks of the regular season and they lost Dorrell Wright who had become one of their very best shooters. Klay Thompson is formidable at the two, they did sign Jarrett Jack who is more than capable of holding his own, but I just don’t see them being great, not yet anyway. 25-57

24. Detroit Pistons: I can’t tell if Detroit is moving in the right direction as of yet. On one hand they have one of the best big men in the game with Greg Monroe but on the other they signed Corey Maggette, who will ultimately take more shots than he should, and they are hanging on to Tayshaun Prince or maybe it’s the other way around. This is a team that could truly benefit from turning the keys over to GMonore and letting him lead Detroit to better years. Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight in the backcourt is questionable, only time will tell who well they work out together. 28-54

23. Portland Trail Blazers: I remember the hot start Portland got off to last season, they looked as good as anyone in the West, and then it all fell apart, from Ray Felton to Jamal Crawford to Coach McMillan, it went sour. Lamarcus Aldridge is without question amongst the top 5 pf in the league, Batum has begun to show signs of offensive talent to go along with his defense and Damian Lillard looked better than iight in the Summer League. But that lack of a vet point guard and a big man to help LA out will spell Portland’s demise this year. 31-51

22. Washington Wizards: Call me crazy but I think John Wall makes major improvements in his game as well as his approach to the game this year. If he can (as I expect him to) begin to knock down outside shots consistently DC will be a tough place to get wins. Add to the mix two vet big men in Nene and Okafor, Trevor Ariza to help bolster the defense and make outside shots and Washington improves a fair amount from the previous season. I am also high on 3rd overall pick Bradley Beal, the combination of Beal and Jordan Crawford’s outside shooting could go a long way for the Wizards. 34-48

21. Toronto Raptors: Quietly the Canadian team made some impressive moves to add depth to their roster this summer. Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields, the rookies Valanciunas, and Terence Ross, all while retaining Jose Calderon. Bargnani hasn’t played up to his number 1 pick billing but he’s a decent go to guy because he can play inside and out. Before Lowry got hurt last season he was playing at an All Star level in Houston, Landry Fields is hit or miss and they did put up a lot of money for him, and we’re still waiting on something more from Demar Derozan, hopefully he does what he should this year. They will be in the toughest division in the East so that hurts them but they will get a couple of head turning wins. 36-46

Swishhhh

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