Heisler’s Preseason NBA Power Rankings

There’s a reason I’m billing this the World’s Greatest NBA Rankings, beyond mere chutzpah. Or cojones, if you know more Spanish than Yiddish. Or, if you don’t understand either, bal–, ah, forget it.

I not only rank the NBA teams, according to some rational/intuitive system even I don’t understand, I tell you what it all means.


Well, not quite nothing, hopefully, or I’m wasting a lot more time doing these than you are reading them.

As an exercise, it’s so labor intensive for me, I start counting down to my last one at the All-Star break. However, when I no longer had to do them, I found I missed them so much, I asked Chris Sheridan if I could continue.

“October,” he told me. Cuz he had already taken September’s ranks.

Not that I take the actual rankings too seriously. They’re more or less a compromise between what a team is doing at the moment and what I think it will do in the future.

Of course, we’re arguing about something that will be addressed in the NBA’s playoffs, which by convention, settles the matter of who’s best.

(Actually, the NBA season starts in April after six months of preliminaries to eliminate 14 teams, 11 or 12 of which we could name now, while separating you and your fellow fans from the maximum number of your dollars).

So, in the meantime, who cares which team I, or Marc Stein, or 500,000 guys on Bleacher Report think is the best on Nov. 1?

Oh, that’s right. You do. That’s why we’re here.

OK, but then there’s the fact that we’re at the beginning, which is as far from the end as we can get—so most of what appears to be self-evident won’t be in a month, let alone six months.

I’ve always thought of the NBA season as a kaleidoscope. Every day you turn it one notch, and the entire picture changes.

Now all we have to do is turn it 180 times and we’ll know what the picture really looks like. Until then, my ranking of teams before they even play a game!  Hey, with enough opinions, in the sure knowledge that most of them won’t turn out worth having, anything is possible!


  1. trueheatfan says

    OKC number 1 over Miami?? i guess thi sguy didnt watch last years finals. LBJ is the greatest player on the planet. Add Allen and Lewis to this team and they spread the floor on offence even more. The raptors are going to suprise a lot of teams. Coach casey has these guys playing solid D. Valencuiness is going to be a monster – dont forget, he’s only 21. Kyle Lowry is a steal for Toronto – he may have also made Calderone the best backup PG in the NBA. Evereyone needs to stop hatin on Canada and recognize this team as a future playoff threat.

  2. says

    The Bulls brought in “only Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli.” Tell that to Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed, and Vladamir Radmanovic. Not that those are huge signings, but they’re all at least better than Bellinelli.

  3. @fishkzor says

    Sorry, I hate to be one of those people, but theres a few mistakes in this:

    Lillard was drafted number 6, not 13.

    Andre Drummond was drafted 9th, not 6th.

    Who is “Kone”, under the Clippers forecast?

    Lastly, no way the Bucks finish with the 12th best record.

    • Ugh says

      Power Rankings aren’t previews of finishing spots, they’re rankings of who’s hot right now.
      Having said that, listing the Bucks five spots higher than the Nets is totally insane. The smallest backcourt in the league is stinking it up in pre-season.


  1. […] Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops: Rallied from last season’s 4-20 start to finish 21-21 with Greg Monroe, their new hope, and Rodney Stuckey moving to shooting guard alongside Brandon Knight. The key to moving up further is Andre Drummond, the 6-10 rookie who fell to them at No. 9 and is promising but raw. […]

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