The NBA resumes in just a couple of days now, which makes it a perfect time to provide our Power Rankings list. Here, we provide our top 10 teams that will be competing in the bubble, ranking them in order of their chances of winning the title.
NBA Restart Power Rankings
1. Los Angeles Lakers (49-14)
The Lakers are on top of just about everyone’s list and for good reason. They boast two of the top five players in the league and have plenty of championship winning experience on their roster. The loss of Avery Bradley will hurt a touch in the backcourt, but the acquisition of JR Smith will wallpaper over some of the cracks his absence leaves. The Lakers are the equal favorites with the bookies to win it all this season and are deserving of the #1 spot on our list.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (53-12)
Second on the list has to go to the team with the best record in the league for second straight league in the Bucks. Led by the soon to be back to back MVP in the Greek Freak, the Bucks were on their way to their best regular season record in franchise history. They’ve clearly been the best team in the East all season and are the deserving favorites to make it to the NBA Finals this season.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (44-20)
The Clippers have been one of the favorites to win this season’s championship since the very start. The signing’s of superstar duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the offseason were massive, particularly the former in Leonard who is a 2x Finals MVP and who has clearly proven himself on the biggest stage time and time again. The Clippers are arguably the most stacked roster in the league, which sometimes acts as a negative with guys not getting their usual high volume of shots. Regardless, they’ll be one of the teams to beat when stakes are at their highest and deserve to be a top 3 chance.
4. Boston Celtics (43-21)
The Celtics overachieved a couple of seasons ago when their young core made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, eventually losing to the Cavaliers. The Celtics took a couple of steps back last year with the Kyrie Irving experiment, but look in a much better space in 2019-20. Kemba Walker is a fantastic fit for this team and will hopefully be back to his normal self after the hiatus, now that he’s had time to get back to full fitness. They probably lack a true superstar to get them over the line on the big stage, but they certainly look over the odds in this unprecedented season.
5. Toronto Raptors (46-18)
A lot of experts predicted the Raptors to get shuffled back into the pack without Kawhi Leonard on the roster this season, but last year’s champs are in with a chance again this season. Pascal Siakam has taken the next step in his development and Fred Van Vleet has relished an increased role on offense. There’s still question marks about their ability to knock off the best teams in a playoff environment without Kawhi, but they’re more than deserving of a top 5 spot on our list.
6. Houston Rockets (40-24)
The Rocks switched to the ultra small-ball line-up and we haven’t really seen it work enough to give them a top 5 spot on their list. You just feel that an Anthony Davis or a Giannis Antetokounmpo would be too hard for them to stop inside.
7. Philadelphia 76ers (39-26)
The “Simmons and Embiid can’t win together” theory is yet to be disproven and we just couldn’t have them higher on our list. They also hold a 10-24 road record this season. Being at home in the Wells Fargo Centre seems to be a real comfort for them so we aren’t super confident in their ability to play well when they aren’t at home every second night. Joel Embiid is super temperamental so if something doesn’t go his way in the hub we could see a blow-up.
8. Dallas Mavericks (40-27)
The Mavericks are still a couple of years away from being legit contenders, but the key posts are there. Interestingly, they’ve performed better on the road (21-12) compared to at home (19-15) this season, so they won’t mind being away in the bubble.
9. Denver Nuggets (43-22)
Like the Mavs, the Nuggets are a year or two and probably a piece or two away from being serious contenders. The super slim Nikola Jokic will be interesting to watch when play resumes but we just can’t see them making too many waves when the playoffs eventually kick off, especially with a likely Round 2 matchup against the Lakers or Clippers.
10. Utah Jazz (41-23)
The Jazz round out our top 10 list of title fancies. They have a fantastic defense which allows them to stay in games, but their inability to put up a big score will cost them in crucial playoff games.
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