Rankings are updated every Monday of the NBA season.

Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 San Antonio Spurs San Antonio Spurs 62-20
The Spurs have the coach, the experience and the hunger. But let’s see how they fare against younger legs in a seven-game series. The Spurs went 0-8 against the Thunder and Rockets this season.
2 Oklahoma City Thunder Oklahoma City Thunder 59-23
Kevin Durant is your MVP, but can he lead the Thunder back to the Finals after a one-year absence? If not, then this season was a disappointment.
3 Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers 57-25
The Clippers were the top-scoring team in the league this season, but Doc Rivers is defense-first. Los Angeles, which finished 14th in that department, must be better to get where it wants to go.
4 Indiana Pacers Indiana Pacers 56-26
After all that drama, the Pacers got what they wanted all along – the No. 1 seed in the East. Now they just have to do something about it.
5 Miami Heat Miami Heat 54-28
The Heat are the team to beat until someone beats them, but this doesn’t feel like the slam dunk it was last year. And Miami struggled even then.
6 Houston Rockets Houston Rockets 54-28
With James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets can beat any team in basketball, but that defense – 23rd in the league – must improve if they hope to get past (potentially) the Spurs and Thunder.
7 Chicago Bulls Chicago Bulls 48-34
Has there ever been a team with less talent that nobody wanted to play? The Bulls will get past Washington on grit alone – and yes, they will challenge the Pacers.
8 Golden State Warriors Golden State Warriors 51-31
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, anything is possible. But losing Andrew Bogut means a first-round exit is likely.
9 Brooklyn Nets Brooklyn Nets 44-38
Once 10-21, Brooklyn is 34-17 since New Year’s and should “upset” Toronto. As for the Heat, the Nets went 4-0 against Miami during the regular season. Win or lose, they won’t be afraid.
10 Portland Trail Blazers Portland Trail Blazers 54-28
Portland had a better season than anybody could have expected. Even better? The Trail Blazers won nine of 10 to close the season.
11 Memphis Grizzlies Memphis Grizzlies 50-32
▲ 2
Last year, the Grizzlies made the Western Conference Finals as a 5-seed. Now, let’s see what they can do as a 7.
12 Dallas Mavericks Dallas Mavericks 49-33
▼ 1
Losing the regular-season finale to Memphis really hurts. Why? Because the Mavs have lost nine straight games to San Antonio, their first-round foe.
13 Toronto Raptors Toronto Raptors 48-34
▼ 1
If Kyle Lowry isn’t the most under-appreciated player in basketball, he’s a close second to Al Jefferson. Winning a playoff series would be the icing on the cake for what has been a truly phenomenal season.
14 Washington Wizards Washington Wizards 44-38
▲ 1
With identical home and road records – 22-19 – Washington can win, or lose, anywhere.
15 Charlotte Hornets Charlotte Hornets 43-39
▲ 1
The Bobcats, which finished fourth in the league in scoring defense, won eight of nine to close the season. Charlotte is a poor man’s Chicago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a prayer against Miami.
16 Atlanta Hawks Atlanta Hawks 38-44
▲ 2
One of the least impressive teams to ever make the playoffs, Atlanta went 13-23 down the stretch.
17 Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns 48-34
▼ 3
No NBA team had a more surprising season than Phoenix, which missed the playoffs by one game. Just imagine what Jeff Hornacek will do with actual talent.
18 Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves 40-42
▼ 1
At 40-39, the Timberwolves had a great chance to finish with a winning record for the first since 2004-05. Three losses later, the streak of consecutive losing seasons reached nine. Next year, it’s playoffs or bust.
19 New York Knicks New York Knicks 37-45
▲ 1
New York missed the playoffs by one game, but either way, this is not a contender. Phil is going to have his hands full.
20 Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets 36-46
▼ 1
From 3-seed to the lottery. Ouch.
21 New Orleans Pelicans New Orleans Pelicans 34-48
Anthony Davis (20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks) looks like a star; now he just needs more pieces around him.
22 Cleveland Cavaliers Cleveland Cavaliers 33-49
Sadly, this was far and away the Cavs’ best year in the post-LeBron era, during which they are 97-215 (.311).
23 Detroit Pistons Detroit Pistons 29-53
Forget .500. The Pistons haven’t won more than 30 games in five years.
24 Sacramento Kings Sacramento Kings 28-54
Seven straight losing seasons. The saddest thing of all? This was Sacramento’s best year since 2007-08.
25 Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Lakers 27-55
With Kobe, next year’s team has a chance – yes, a chance – of making the playoffs. Without any (noteworthy) free agents, however, this team is destined for a one-and-done playoff exit.
26 Boston Celtics Boston Celtics 25-57
Boston got off to a shaky 12-14 start – and then the wheels really fell off, as the Celtics went 13-43 the rest of the way. But have faith in Brad Stevens. I know I do.
27 Utah Jazz Utah Jazz 25-57
The 25 wins were the franchise’s fewest since 1981-82.
28 Orlando Magic Orlando Magic 23-59
It’s mind-boggling how a team goes 19-22 at home and 4-37 on the road. Everyone – from the owner right on down to the ball boys – deserves blame for that. (Okay, maybe not the ball boys).
29 Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia 76ers 19-63
▲ 1
If things go the 76ers’ way, their worst season since 1995-96 will result in the No. 1 pick in the draft. Anybody remember who the Sixers took first overall that year? That would be Allen Iverson.
30 Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Bucks 15-67
▼ 1
When a team with a 26-game losing streak still finishes ahead than you, that’s when you know you’re bad. In fact, you should probably consider folding.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,194 other followers