Power rankings by SI's Chris Mannix. We all know the five teams at the top of the list but I'm a little surprised with the order.
Who are your top five teams?
My thoughts on Mannix's top five
5. Magic. (EDITED) Any questions the sports world has about Dwight Howard should be answered this season. I'm not saying they will, I'm saying they should. Howard needs to prove that he is more than an athletic freak of nature. They let Turkey-Glue walk but traded for Carter. Carter is a better player but Hedo is a better team mate. Also, the Magic traded away valuable depth in Alston and C. Lee for Carter. They did create a solid starting lineup with the addition of Carter but who do they have on the bench? Past Bass and Gortat their fornt court is weak and they might as well hold walk-on tryouts for the back court. Magic fans need to pray their starters stay healthy. I expect this team to dive into mid-season salary dumps.
4. Celtics. A rich man's Spurs. This title-contender was bought instead of built but results are results. This is a great team that solidifed their bench (front court is scary) and will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. If you ignore the looming age and health issues (their "window" is smaller than the Spurs), the finals should easily be Celtics - Lakers/Spurs. Celtics/Spurs should tie for #2.
3. Lakers. Really? 3 spot? Regardless of what people think of the Artest signing (Yes, he can accept a #3 role in LA), I don't think you can knock the 08-09 champions off the top of the list. And I really don't like how they're behind Mannix's #2 team... a team with questionable depth, the current albatross of title hope's, and a super nova prima donna whose pros can't seem to outweight his cons.
2. Cavaliers. This team should be ranked fourth. The team made a flurry of offseason moves with Anthony Parker (easily the best move), Jamario Moon (athletic and versatile), and Leon Powe. However, the aquisiton of Snaq throws a wrench into the gameplan/play style/chemistry of this team. Also, who is going to come in to play while the Big Cuyahoga gets a breather and tweet time? Z? Powe? Watkins? This team is loaded with good/great players at the 1, 2, and 3 but lacks a compatible front court.
1. Yay, Spurs love.
I don't like it.
I prefer the usual "Yeah, they're great but..." from the media. There are also quite a few questions with this team. Health, chemistry, backcourt depth, matchups, etc., etc., etc... everything we've already talked about.
On paper? Phenomenal. On the court? Its going to take a bit before we (hopefully) see Holt's vision of Frankenstein's monster.
(Pesonal) Four things I prefer with the Spurs: Little bit behind at half time (they tend to cough up half time leads but come out on fire when behind), finish #1 in the division, #2 in the conference, and ignored by mainstream sports media.
So... I have it:
2. Celtics/Spurs (I can't decide)