2014-2015 NBA Power Rankings

By Evan Caulfield on August 25, 2014

2014-2015 NBA Power Rankings

With the free agency period nearing its end, checkout where every NBA team currently stands in our annual conference power rankings.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

  • 15. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Apparently the 76ers are fighting against the NBA’s newly proposed lottery format, which would even out the odds of landing the top pick. I wonder why?
  • 14. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Adding Jabari Parker and Kendall Marshall were nice additions for this team, as they’ll surely help improve their offense which ranked 3rd worst in points per game last season. Other than that, be prepared for another ugly year.
  • 13. Boston Celtics
  • There’s literally a log jam at every position on this roster.
  • 12. Orlando Magic
  • The additions of Ben Gordon and Channing Frye will surely help Orlando’s three point shooting woes. However, even if their offense  improves dramatically, the lack of proven talent still holds them back from making a playoff push anytime soon.
  • 11. Detroit Pistons
  • Good luck Stan Van Gundy, you have your work cut out for you.
  • 10. New York Knicks
  • Offloading Raymond Felton was definitely a step in the right direction, however the loss of Tyson Chandler will surely hurt their already shaky defense. If Cleanthony Early can blossom quickly and Tim Hardaway Jr continues to improve at a rapid rate, we could be looking at one of the biggest surprises of the season.
  • 9. Indiana Pacers 
  • Replacing Lance Stephenson with Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles is a recipe for disaster. Unless Roy Hibbert can return to an All-Star level and Paul George’s leg magically heals, this season will definitely be a tough one to watch.
  • 8. Brooklyn Nets
  • The loss of Paul Pierce will be a major blow for this Nets team, as they will now have to rely on Andrei Kirilenko and Sergey Karasev to produce heavily.
  • 7. Atlanta Hawks
  • Once again, no marquee free agents even considered joining the Hawks this summer. Get ready for another mediocre season!
  • 6. Miami Heat 
  • Losing the best player in the world is by no means an easy thing to overcome, but the additions of Josh McRoberts, Luol Deng and Danny Granger will surely keep Miami in the postseason hunt.
  • 5. Charlotte Hornets
  • Signing Stephenson was by far one of the best moves the Hornets made this offseason. Signing Marvin Williams to a $14 million deal… well that’s a different story.
  • 4. Toronto Raptors
  • Retaining Kyle Lowry and their cast of role players means the Raptors have secured their postseason odds for years to come. Hopefully their core can continually improve, or else they could wind up morphing into the Atlanta Hawks (too good for the lottery, but not good enough to make a title run).
  • 3. Washington Wizards
  • Bringing in Paul Pierce to mentor many of the team’s young guns was a great move by the Wizards. With a starting 5 of Wall-Beal-Pierce-Nene-Gortat, we could be looking at one of the more elite teams in the east that has the potential to make a finals run as early as this year.
  • 2. Chicago Bulls
  • The Bulls success all lies on the health of Derrick Rose, who will either make or break their title odds this season.
  • 1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • The return of LeBron James and the addition of Kevin Love guarantees Cleveland will be in the hunt for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference. On another note, Cavs legend Zydrunas Ilgauskas is attempting a comeback.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

  • 15. Utah Jazz
  • Will a backcourt of Trey Burke and Dante Exum actually mesh well? If not, the Jazz could be in for an even longer rebuild.
  • 14. Sacramento Kings
  • Does anyone really know what’s going on with this team? Drafting a player at the same position for 2 years in a row is one thing, but replacing Isaiah Thomas with Darren Collison makes no sense at all.
  • 13. Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Even though the Kevin Love era is officially over,  Minnesota still has a decent crop of young talent that could eventually produce at least one star in the next few years. On another note, Shabazz Muhammad’s chances of reviving his NBA career just got even harder.
  • 12. Los Angeles Lakers
  • A trio of Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant and Carlos Boozer won’t be making the playoffs anytime soon.
  • 11. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Health will be a huge factor for this team’s success, as their core of Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis missed a combined 151 games last season.
  • 10. Denver Nuggets
  • Will Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee be 100% healthy? Can Arron Afflalo be the go-to guy on offense like he was in Orlando? On paper this team looks like a playoff contender, but the deep strength of the Western Conference could end up holding them back.
  • 9. Phoenix Suns
  • The loss of Channing Frye could be a huge blow for Phoenix if Markieff Morris fails to produce efficiently as a starter. I’m calling it right now, if Eric Bledsoe stays, Isaiah Thomas will win Sixth Man of the Year.
  • 8. Memphis Grizzlies
  • After an agonizing 2 years of starting Tayshaun Prince at small forward, the Grizzlies finally found their answer by signing free agent Vince Carter.
  • 7. Houston Rockets
  • Houston was by far one of the biggest losers in free agency, forfeiting both Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin for nothing. Unless Trevor Ariza morphs into the team’s third superstar, expect the Rockets to take a big step backwards this season.
  • 6. Portland Trailblazers
  • The Blazers are basically the same team when compared to last season. One player I’d watch out for on this roster is sophomore C.J. McCollum, who could emerge as the team’s designated sixth man.
  • 5. Golden State Warriors
  • It’s hard to imagine new coach Steve Kerr screwing this up, as the rosters only improved heading into this season. If their frontcourt of David Lee and Andrew Bogut can remain fully healthy, this team has a chance to be legitimate title contenders in the West.
  • 4. Dallas Mavericks
  • Acquiring Chandler Parsons only strengthens the Maverick’s nearly impeccable offense, which ranked 8th in points per game last season. Hopefully Tyson Chandler can return to full form with Dallas, or else they may still struggle defensively.
  • 3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Can Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka alone power their way past the elites in the Western Conference? If not, the Durant to Washington rumors will only continue to swirl.
  • 2. Los Angeles Clippers
  • Signing a versatile big man like Spencer Hawes was just what the Clippers needed, as they’ll now have a legitimate backup for both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
  • 1. San Antonio Spurs
  • As usual the Spurs had a relatively quiet offseason, resigning Patty Mills, Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner. There’s no question these guys are the favorites for the title after their impressive run last year.

Agree or disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @fieldhoops!

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