By: Alex Golden (Creator of The Up & Under)
Each week we will breakdown the NBA by Power Ranking all 30 teams in the NBA. To keep things short and sweet, we will use just one sentence to describe why each team was selected for their ranking.
30. Atlanta Hawks - This team will be a League Pass must watch for sure, but the amount of wins they rack up will be minimal.
29. Sacramento Kings - With no picks to tank for, the Kings will look to develop their young talent once again in a loaded Western Conference.
28. New York Knicks - Without Porzingis for the first half of the season, I see another franchise looking to develop their young players while they patiently wait for the 2019 free agency period.
27. Phoenix Suns - Hoping to overcome their losing woes, the Suns (via trade and free agency) have acquired veterans to help steer this young team into a different direction.
26. Orlando Magic - The Magic are full of tweeners with no legitimate point guard, and have a heavy loaded front court with not enough minutes to delegate.
25. Cleveland Cavaliers - LeBron has left this team with overpaid veterans and a young point guard who will learn the ways of the NBA in his Rookie season.
24. Brooklyn Nets - Sean Marks has acquired solid veterans to place around this young core, looking to develop a solid foundation for their first, 1st round draft pick since the epic Celtics-Nets trade.
23. Chicago Bulls - The low risk, high reward contract for Jabari Parker will be fascinating to watch, but will the Bulls regret overpaying for Zach LaVine?
22. Los Angeles Clippers - Los Angeles has assembled a team of solid role players, while hoping to be players in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes for 2019.
21. Dallas Mavericks - The Mavericks have gotten significantly better this season, but in a loaded Western Conference, they won't have enough talent to sneak into the playoffs.
20. Charlotte Hornets - Tony Parker is here to help James Borrego establish a winning culture in Charlotte, as the Hornets look to return to the playoffs with a healthy roster.
19. Detroit Pistons - Acquiring Blake Griffin last season was ridiculed by many in the media, but Dwane Casey is here to remind everyone why he was voted Coach of the Year as he pushes the Pistons back into the playoffs.
18. Memphis Grizzlies - As long as Conley and Gasol stay healthy, the Grizzlies will be a problem for opposing teams on a nightly basis, but it just won't be enough to get them into the playoffs in the loaded West.
17. Miami Heat - We all know that Spolstra will get this team into the playoffs, but it is only a matter of time until we see Pat Riley look to upgrade this mediocre team.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves - A Timberwolves playoff appearance isn't impossible to me, but with Jimmy Butler's trade request, this team's potential will be hard to gauge.
15. Washington Wizards - Washington will be the roller coaster team of the season as they will show flashes of excellence, followed with extreme disappointment on a night to night basis.
14. Portland Trailblazers - As talented as this back court is, the remaining pieces just don't get it done in the Western Conference.
13. Milwaukee Bucks - With LeBron no longer in the East, Giannis is the best individual talent, who hopes to have a much improved roster and season.
12. New Orleans Pelicans - Anthony Davis is too dominate of a player in this league to not make the playoffs, but he will need another stellar season from Jrue Holiday.
11. Denver Nuggets - The Nuggets are making the playoffs this year, thanks to an outstanding season by the 2019 Most Improved Player of the Year, Jamal Murray.
10. San Antonio Spurs - No more headaches for Coach Pop, just an All-Star guard in DeRozan, who is ready to overcome his playoff woes with the best coach in the game.
9. Toronto Raptors - Toronto has the talent to win the Eastern Conference this season, but with so many unknowns heading into the season, I am hesitant to place them any higher than the 4th best team in the East (for now).
8. Indiana Pacers - The Pacers have upgraded the talent on their bench significantly from last season, hoping to turn last years' sparks, into a constant flame.
7. Utah Jazz - With an elite rim protector, a top ten head coach and a future top ten player in the league, Utah will be amongst the elite in the Western Conference for years to come.
6. Los Angeles Lakers - Laker/LeBron haters will pick this ranking apart, but LeBron James has yet to finish less than a 4th seed since 2005.
5. Philadelphia 76ers - The 76ers will overcome their lackluster off-season by claiming the 2nd seed in East, highlighted by Joel Embiid's MVP season.
4. Houston Rockets - Carmelo Anthony will play better in this system, but the loss of Ariza and Mbah Moute will hurt this teams ability to defend at an elite level.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder - Although Westbrook is dealing with a hand injury, resigning Paul George, trading Melo for Schroeder and bringing back a healthy Andre Roberson, makes this team the biggest threat to Golden State in the Western Conference.
2. Boston Celtics - There is no doubt in my mind, that if Boston stays healthy all season long, they will be the representatives of the Eastern Conference come June.
1. Golden State Warriors - DeMarcus Cousins will bring fire midway through the season, but this team still would've been the hands down favorite to win their third straight title without the luxurious signing.
Alex Golden is the creator and founder of UpAndUnder.net. Throughout the season, Alex Golden will breakdown what's going on in the association. Make sure to checkout his weekly Power Rankings (in the Power Rankings page) during the season as well.