The NBA is back! Preseason games kicked off a week ago and we have seen most, yet not all of our favorite players scoring, dishing and dunking (we see you, John Collins). NBA teams have played anywhere from one to three games, with some squads like the Cleveland Cavaliers playing a somewhat normal rotation and others like the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks letting the back-end guys run the show.
This week’s Power Rankings will reflect some of the more standout preseason results, but any movement from last week’s rankings is more a function of injury news about players that we have received clarity on in the past week. If something significant happened in the preseason we will touch on it, but for the most part, we will wait until more teams have played a similar number of games and we have seen more teams play something akin to a normal rotation.
The NBA is back! This week’s Power Rankings pivot to looking ahead at the season to come and how teams are developing for the future
With the season still over a week away, we’ll take this week to examine another aspect of teams. Last week we looked back at the offseason; now we look at teams and their young cores. What does the future hold for each team in the league? Teams at the bottom will devote all of their playing time to their young cores, while contenders are gunning for wins. How do teams in the middle balance development and competitiveness?
In that vein, we will spotlight one breakout candidate for each team. Which players are poised to take a major leap forward and become difference-makers on their teams and in the league? Let’s identify which players to watch in the preseason and the start of the year. We will attempt to avoid rookies whenever possible, as they are not so much “breakout out” but “leaping in” to the league.
As will likely be the case for most of the season, let’s start things off in Orlando.