Quite a month it was, eh?
Remember back on July 1 when the moratorium began, there was hope in Lakerland, Metta World Peace was not contemplating another name change and the Bobcats were doomed to hold down the No. 30 spot in these rankings for all eternity?
Yes, things have changed. And they will keep changing in August … and then in September when we can get rolling on all the Rajon Rondo and Pau Gasol trade rumors that will keep us occupied until mid-February, after which we can look forward to The Decision II after LeBron James opts out of his contract.
There will be a whole bunch of basketball games played in the interim (the NBA schedule will be out on Tuesday), and people will care less and less about each and every one of those games until the Finals roll around. It has gotten to the point where rumors and player movement possibilities rule the basketball journalism world — sort of akin to the way doping scandals have usurped the coverage of the competition in cycling and baseball.
But since those games must be played, and since next season will be known as Tankapalooza among the have-nots, it is time to proceed with out first set of 2013-14 Power Rankings, where it is just as important to be No. 30 as it is to be No. 1. If you are last, you have the best chance at Andrew Wiggins. If you are first through fourth or fifth, you have a legitimate chance of preventing the Miami Heat from three-peating.
So without further ado, we bring July to a close and begin August with these ranks. Enjoy … and let’s see how they hold up over the course of the next 10 months.