Jul. 31, 2020
NBA Restart Power Rankings
Opening day is upon us and the road to the 2019-2020 title starts now.
Before a champion is crowned I'm here to reveal my top 5 teams going into the resumption of the NBA season at the bubble in Orlando Fl:
5. Los Angeles Clippers-
Injuries, load management, and chemistry issues have the Clippers at the 5th spot.
Losing 3 out of 4 games before the season pause, the Clippers face some problems going into the restart. Lou Williams will miss the first 2 games due to a mandatory self-quarantine, and both Patrick Beverly and Montrezl Harrell have yet to join the team in Orlando after leaving the bubble for personal reasons.
Can Kawhi Leonard lead another franchise to an NBA title? Will Paul George's injured shoulder become a factor? We'll have to wait and see.
4. Houston Rockets-
Many of us laughed at the new "small ball" lineup that Houston developed at the trade deadline, but they have found ways to win regardless.
Russell Westbrook was on an absolute tear before the shutdown, putting up 33.4 PPG on 54% field goal shooting and 40% from 3PT for the months of February and March. James Harden was brilliant in his own right averaging 30.0 PPG in February and March while the Rockets seemed to finally find an identity.
3. Toronto Raptors-
Owning the 3rd best record in the NBA going into Orlando, The Raptors look to defend their title in the bubble.
Injuries plagued Toronto throughout the season, but the Raptors are finally at full strength with a year of championship experience under their belt.
2. Milwaukee Bucks-
Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury in March that resulted in the Bucks losing 3 straight games and 4 out of 6 for the month.
After watching the league scrimmage games his knee doesn't seem to be an issue and and the reigning league MVP is looking to continue his reign of terror on the league. Milwaukee is loaded with a versatile cast of shooters and perimeter defenders, but the big question is who will step up and become the 2nd option that their star player needs.
Eric Bledsoe and Kris Middelton have both been disappointing in the playoffs, and Giannis has yet to shine on the big stage, but if the regular season is a reflection of the playoffs then the league is in trouble.
1. Los Angeles Lakers-
Arguably the hottest team in the league going into the shutdown, The Lakers take the top spot.
Winners of 11 out of 14 games which included back to back wins against the Bucks and Clippers, LeBron James has his troops in a championship mindset. The losses of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley will definitely hurt LA on the defensive end, but they are the best interior defensive team in the and are virtually impossible to score in around the rim.
Dion Waiters and J.R Smith look like their going to be key additions to the Lakers who struggled from three-point range this season, but Kyle Kuzma is going to have to step up to the 3rd scoring option that they anticipate him to be in order for Tinseltown to bring home the gold.
James and Anthony Davis are a lethal duo that many teams don't have an answer for, which is why I pick them to win it all.