The season wouldn't be properly anticipated for if I didn't put out a Regent's Rankings of Power before it all began. Although not much has changed since the last edition, preseason has happened. As we are all aware, preseason counts.
Last night I was watching Intervention, the reality tv show about drug addicts and their families and how they attempt to get their family member into rehab. This was the first time that I have ever watched the show and I was treated to a back to back, double dose of it. After two episodes I knew the show's structure like the back of my hand (because everyone knows the back of their hand perfectly). The first 55 minutes of the show introduces you to the addict and their families by taking you on a tour of the addict's life. The last five minutes is the "intervention" where each member of the family reads (either in monotone voice or sobbing, no in-between) their individual pleas to the addict to save their own life and go into rehab. The addict will storm out, calm down, then come back into the room with the family and camera crew and a bald wannabe psychologist with a white mustache that sticks out about 2 inches from his face. Large mustache man then asks the addict if they will choose the drugs or their family... the addict will think about whether they want to go into rehab and stare at a nasty mustache for 6 months or not, then they usually say no and leave. the end.
The NBA preseason is similar to the format of this show, minus nasty mustaches (in modern NBA atleast) and minus drugs (I assume). Teams play preseason to gel and get familiar with one another, moderately competitively. Just like in intervention where the first part is getting to know the people involved. What happens in preseason really doesn't have any bearing on the regular season. When it comes right down to it, the regular season is where games that matter can be seen. On intervention, really only the end part of the show matters whether the addict goes into rehab or not. I understand that there is a stat about playoff teams related to their preseason record, but still, it's preseason. In short, my wife sums it up best when she says: "preseason is like wearing socks while you wear sandals... it's just retarded"... well said. Preseason counts as much as this guy's music video does to MTV.
Either way, the rankings of power have to do with recent success, just like ESPN's rankings claim to do. Since all I have to go off of is the preseason, these rankings will seem to be wildly out of order. However, I will stick to my guns and do these rankings the way the should be done... that is, based on current record and recent success/failure.
And here they are:
1. Orlando (7-0) : The magic had a point differential of +25.0 pts. They not only won every game, they destroyed every game.
2. Memphis (8-0): That's right, The griz went undefeated... maybe that Rudy Gay max contract is worth every penny.... just kidding.
3. Utah (8-0): This was an interesting undefeated preseason because the jazz didn't just beat european teams the whole time, I know they beat the lakers once or twice even...??
4. Boston (7-1): This team is crazy, who woulda thought a team of Shaq, KG, Pierce, Allen and Rondo would or could be formed?
5. Cleveland (6-2): Wow, is this team better without lebron?... nope
6. Minnesota (6-2): I still love the fact that David Kahn told the press that Beasley smoked too much weed in Miami.
7. Denver (5-3): I have nothing to say about the nugs.
8. OKC (4-3): interesting fact: this was the only winning team with a negative point differential.
9. San Antonio (4-3): I hate the spurs.
10.Chicago (4-4): This is one of the most intriguing teams in the league, if anything preseason showed us that Thibodeau can and will work his defensive magic with this team.
11. Toronto (4-4): This is the most frustrating thing... ESPN has Toronto ranked as one of the worst teams in the league, then after preseason they adjust some teams based on their play but they leave the raptors at the bottom.. If you are paid to analyze the NBA, maybe watch some games other than the lakers, heat and celtics games. Want proof? look here. One of the best dunks of all preseason and it was excluded from the top ten.
12. Houston (4-4): I'm glad Yao ming defended his home court on those games in china.
13. Charlotte (4-4): T-wah hates the bobcats.
14. Los Angeles (4-4): Some NBA analysts were talking about how hardly any teams have one guy to just slow down other teams' superstars and how hard it will be to slow down two.. Well, LA is probably the only team that has two hard nosed defensive wings.
15. Dallas (4-4): This team is about as intriguing as the Bulls, they have incredible depth and the perfect guy (Beaubois) to take over for kidd when he slows down.
16. Portland (3-4): Apparently there are starting to be chemistry problems with the blaze, Fernandez, B-roy and the front office..
17. Miami (3-4): I still cant wait to see all three play... How can you not be excited to watch these guys play even if you hate them?
18. Sacramento (3-4): Why does this team always have players that are so easy to dislike? Cousins looks like an overgrown baby.
19. Indiana (3-4): I hate the pacers for getting the point guard that the raptors should have gotten.
20. Washington (3-4): I for some reason always find myself watching the highlights from these guys to see how wall and arenas are together.. They are one of those teams that you can't help but be interested in.
21. New York (3-5): These guys sucked defensively... or toronto is good offensively... you decide.
22. Golden State (3-5): I can't help but think that this team is going to suck... How is David Lee going to make them any better?
23. Detroit (3-5): We should bet money on whether this team is going to be worse than last year or not.. I bet worse. Especially without Ed davis (who Bill Simmons seems to think was drafted by Detroit... not Toronto... listen to his over/under podcast)
24. Milwaukee (3-5): I saw some of a bulls/bucks game and rose vs jennings was fun to watch. This year we can look forward to rose vs. jennings vs. collison vs. rondo vs. wall vs. harris in the east.
25. New Jersey (3-5): this is a weird team.. even more weird with carmelo
26. Philadelphia (2-5): I watched the raps play the sixers and I remember thinking before the game.. "these teams are pretty even" .. I was right.. the game went in to triple overtime.
27. Atlanta (2-5): Bottom of the east.. Take that ESPN, your beloved hawks are the bottom.. not the raptors
28. Phoenix (2-6): I think this is it for the suns.. I hate to write them off but one guy can only do so much with 500 small forwards.
29. New Orleans (1-7): Chris Paul wanted new running mates, somehow Ariza and Belinelli was enough to convince him to stay... seriously??? Belinelli was at the end of the bench in toronto, in front of only Patrick O'bryant and Marcus Banks.
30. Clippers (1-7): Happy to see Griffin back, that guy is a beast. Check this out. He reminds me of Dwight Howard only with a solid jumper and post moves.
There you have it, the preseason rankings..
I promised I would mention why Lebron should be MVP this year again (whether he wins it or not is another story) but I thought it would be better as an article all on its own. So that will be what I write next. Until then, enjoy the Regent's Rankings of Power.