Welcome to our first edition of On Point’s NBA Team Rankings for 2016-17.
This is a combined rankings from Ayden and Carl. Conference, Division and strength of schedule do not impact on these rankings. It is based on who we think is the strongest team the NBA which includes coaching, tactics, rotation and injuries.
Let’s get into it!
1. CLE – The defending champs get the top spot until someone else shows us they’re better.
2. SAS – The Spurs actually upgraded this offseason by saying goodbye to Timmy D (I know) and signing an inform Pau Gasol. Expect much of the same this season.
3. GSW – Sure, they added Durant but will the awesome foursome mesh? Did they lose too much depth? Only time will tell.
4. LAC -They still need a starting small forward as The Truth is too old if truth be told. But Blake is back with DeAndre having a great Olympics campaign.
5. BOS – The Celtics had a great season last year and added the #3 overall pick in Jaylen Brown and one of the top big men in free agency in Al Horford…all things considered they should get better, right?
6. TOR – A couple of changes up front but should be much of the same for the Raptors. A really good team that just can’t make it into the top group.
7. DET – A quietly solid offseason has most fans in the motor city very optimistic and rightfully so. SVG has molded this team to his liking and it’s really starting to take shape.
8. POR – Will Evan Turner fit into this roster? Stotts has proven he can work with guys not highly rated but will do a job for their team.
9. UTA – The young Jazz have potentially one of the better and deepest teams in the league and with Durant leaving for the Bay area, the division is wide open.
10. IND – Great offseason from the Pacers, they upgrade Ian Mahimi and Jordan Hill for Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson to really add some scoring on the inside. With a healthy Paul George, a high upside Myles Turner and a reliable Point Guard in Jeff Teague they should lock in a spot in the East.
11. OKC – People are already writing the Thunder off but doubt Russell Westbrook at your own risk.
12. MIN – One of the best young units with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Add Kris Dunn toughness and mix in some proven veterans to compete in the West.
13. CHA – A healthy MKG should help improve Charlottes already solid defense and getting Batum back was great for them. The center position is still a huge worry though.
14. WAS – If Wall and Beal can sort out their differences to go along with an underrated frontcourt in Markieff Morris and Gortat, the Wizards should improve on a dismal 2015-16 season. Scott Brooks remains a question mark though.
15. MEM – The Grizz are always dangerous when healthy but which Chandler Parsons did they sign? The solid guy from Houston or the nearly-invisible Maverick version?
16. ATL – Not too long ago the Hawks were leading the East. Now they are losing their direction and core players have moved on.
17. HOU – A team coached by Mike D’Antoni with a bunch of players that don’t exactly like to run…ok then.
18. NOP – The most important people on this team? Answer: The medical staff. Injuries have ruined the Pelicans in recent years, surely more luck will come their way this season.
19. NYK – Derrick Rose needs to stop making bold claims and concentrate on staying healthy and making an impact for the Knicks. Their long-suffering fans deserve it.
20. DAL – We know that Dirk is still the man but he needs a consistent roster around him. Barnes has lot to prove now that he will take on a bigger workload.
21. MIL – Outside shooting is still a question mark and Jason Terry won’t fix that himself. If Giannis has developed an outside shot though, look out NBA.
22. CHI – How will this non 3 point shooting backcourt work? Drafting Valentine makes sense though.
23. MIA – The loss of D-Wade and question marks surrounding Chris Boshs’ health put Miami down here. Dragic should improve but does Winslow have an offensive game? Time to find out.
24. SAC – A lot of veterans join the ranks of the Kings hoping to compliment the great but notoriously difficult DeMarcus Cousins. They will need to find consistency in their lineups quickly.
25. ORL – New coach Frank Vogel will have these guys playing hard but a very-crowded frontcourt and questionable backcourt depth means Orlando have a ways to go yet.
26. DEN – Flying under the radar once again will suit the Nuggets fine, as they are still rebuilding since Melo left a few years ago now.
27. PHX – This is a team that just doesn’t mesh. Devin Booker is gonna be good though.
28. LAL – Mozgov $16 million a year?? We all know the Lakers splash the cash but this was a crazy move to kick off Free Agency.
29. PHI – Five words…Jerryd Bayless, starting point guard.
30. BKN – Worst roster in the league, Sean Marks has the toughest GM job in the NBA. Trying to turn these guys into wins on the board.
Keep a look out fortnightly throughout the NBA season for our Rankings and who is moving up and down the list.