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The Hoop Doctors

Summer 2009 NBA Power Rankings

Anklesnap July 21, 2009 Blogs, Power Rankings 58 Comments

The Hoop Doctors NBA Power Rankings

July 21, 2009 – Matt Anaya

Matt graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in May of 2007 majoring in TV Production. Matt is currently a writer at StaticMultimedia.com, TheBleacherReport.com, NationalSportsNation.com, SportsMixed.com, FanFever.com, Filmcatcher.com, and TheHoopDoctors.com. Matt will provide you with insightful wit and an eager eye for sports.

Although there are still plenty of free agents available and trades to be made, there has been enough player movement to gauge what teams will be contenders and pretenders next season.

The Detroit Pistons made the biggest splash by signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to lucrative long-term contracts. The Rockets and the Lakers seemingly traded Ron Artest for Trevor Ariza. The Mavericks got better by adding Shawn Marion and the Orlando Magic are clearly trying to win now by adding Vince Carter and Brandon Bass.

Do these moves make your favorite teams better or is your team still at the bottom of the barrel?

Let’s take a look.

NBA Power Rankings - San Antonio Spurs1. San Antonio Spurs
The best team in the NBA will undoubtedly be the San Antonio Spurs. They will hopefully have a healthy Big 3 and added much needed athleticism by acquiring Richard Jefferson. San Antonio now boasts the best starting five in the NBA (Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, McDyess, Duncan).

NBA Power Rankings2. Orlando Magic
The Magic started the off-season with a bang by pulling Vince Carter out of their hat (lame magic joke). They now have frontcourt depth as they signed free agent PF Brandon Bass and re-signed Polish big man Marcin Gortat. GM Otis Smith has invested all of his money in the next two years and the Magic are legitimate contenders for the NBA title next season.

NBA Power Rankings3. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers may be in some trouble if they lose Lamar Odom, as he was vital to their championship run. He did the dirty work the rest of the team refused to do and if the Lakers lose him, they will not win the title next season. They still have 24 and Pau Gasol but their role players (Artest, Luke Walton, Andrew Bynum, Sasha Vujacic, Adam Morrison) will need to make much more of an impact next season if they want to repeat.

NBA Power Rankings4. Cleveland Cavaliers
It was between Boston and Cleveland and I wanted to pick Boston due to their veteran presence and the Rasheed Wallace signing. It was a tough decision but when I thought about how upset LeBron James is after last season and how hard he is probably working this off-season, I had to give the advantage to Cleveland. The Cavs added veterans Shaquille O’Neal and Anthony Parker to help take the pressure off of their young superstar.

NBA Power Rankings5. Boston Celtics
The big question about Boston is how good will Kevin Garnett be this season? He is no longer The Big Ticket but is the consummate teammate and makes those around him better. Boston will be better than last season and this is likely the last season with KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen.

NBA Power Rankings6. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs already had an impressive roster and added another element to their fast break game as they acquired Shawn Marion. Marion excels in the fast break and the Mavericks have the best fast breaking PG of all time in Jason Kidd. Kidd may not be able to do what he used to be able to do but he can still run the break. Even though the Mavs are old and will play minimal defense I think they will be one of the better teams in the NBA next season and wonderful to watch.

NBA Power Rankings7. Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are the best team in the second tier of teams. They had the Lakers on the ropes last season and blew their best chance to win a championship and will likely not see a chance like that for a long time. If the Nuggets want to contend they need Carmelo Anthony to average nearly 30 PPG.

NBA Power Rankings8. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks were a solid team last season as they rallied around Olympian Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby. The kids (Marvin Williams, Al Horford, and Josh Smith) are finally growing up and the Hawks added sharp shooter Jamal Crawford to the mix. They are deep and very talented and may be able to reach the 50-win plateau this season.

NBA Power Rankings9. Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose will lead the Bulls for the foreseeable future and the rest of the NBA is jealous. Already a top ten NBA talent Rose’s numbers will only ascend as he and the Bulls do the same. After a mediocre 2009 campaign, 2010 will be Chicago’s first step to a long prosperous future.

NBA Power Rankings10. Los Angeles Clippers
That is not a misprint and yes, I do watch the NBA. I think the Clips are one of the most talented teams in the NBA and may be more talented than their LA counterparts. Their starting lineup was injured throughout last season and if they can stay healthy in 2010 they will be a contender for the Western Conference crown. Oh yeah, they drafted some kid named Blake Griffin. I can hear my college roommate already, “Clips 500-1? Take it.”

NBA Power Rankings11. Portland Trail Blazers
Brandon Roy is not the greatest athlete in the world but the future Olympian still finds himself in the top ten NBA players. It should be the Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge show all season long and that will be hard for opponents to stop. If they get anything from Greg Oden besides 5 fouls in 4 minutes, the win total will only increase.

NBA Power Rankings12. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz will most likely be without stud PF Carlos Boozer but should be able to get some decent players in return. They resigned double double machine Paul Milsap and will likely build around him, Deron Williams, and whomever they get in the Boozer trade. Right now the Jazz are a good team but without Boozer they will slide a few spots.

NBA Power Rankings13. Washington Wizards
After nearly a two-year hiatus the Wizards are finally getting a completely healthy Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is likely to average over 25 PPG and the Wizards have a very nice supporting cast. Washington held onto Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison during last season’s trade deadline for this very season and they acquired Randy Foye and Mike Miller on draft day. The Wiz will have a much better 2010 and will likely be the most improved team.

NBA Power Rankings14. New Orleans Hornets
Throughout last year all I heard was how bad the Hornets were and how bad they were struggling. Well, they nearly won 50 games and starting Center Tyson Chandler was injured last season. Currently, the Hornets are a good team with a lot of stilly contracts and because of those silly contracts (i.e. Peja Stojakovic, Morris Peterson, and James Posey) the team is in dire financial trouble. They will likely unload one of those players for close to nothing and the talent level will go down in New Orleans. This will be an interesting year in New Orleans and Chris Paul will be unhappy by season’s end.

NBA Power Rankings15. Toronto Raptors
The only good thing that happened to Toronto last season was the development of former number one pick Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors rewarded Bargnani with a lucrative long term deal and also signed stud SF Hedo Turkoglu. Turkoglu and Bargnani will take a lot of the pressure off of their best player Chris Bosh and the Raptors are in for a fine season. With Turkoglu, Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, and Andrea Bargnani the Raptors have a nice starting lineup.

NBA Power Rankings16. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers should be thanking the rest of the NBA because for some reason Danny Granger fell all the way to the 17th pick of the 2005 NBA draft. Without Danny Granger this team has no chance to make the playoffs but with him and the surrounding nucleus they have a decent chance. Troy Murphy is going to do his double double thing and the team will be even better if Mike Dunleavy can stay healthy.

NBA Power Rankings17. Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers had high hopes last season but Elton Brand’s injuries derailed those expectations. The roster is still talented but they will likely lose starting PG Andre Miller and may have to depend on a young PG. Brand’s career may be starting to descend but that only means more opportunity for young studs Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams, and Marreese Speights. The Sixers have a bright future and may struggle to make the playoffs this season.

NBA Power Rankings18. Oklahoma City Thunder
This will be the last season the Thunder are not in the playoffs. The team is loaded up and down with young talent and Kevin Durant has already supplanted himself as one of the best players in the NBA. He may win the scoring title next season as a 21 year old and the supporting cast is also very talented. The Thunder are the future of the NBA.

NBA Power Rankings19. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have what every NBA team wants: a top ten NBA player. Dwyane Wade can lead a team to the highest of levels but cannot with this roster. Jermaine O’Neal is not very good anymore and the second best player on the team does not currently start and cannot legally drink (Beasley). If the Heat acquire Carlos Boozer and Lamar Odom, they easily become one of the best teams in the NBA.

NBA Power Rankings20. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are one of the most talented teams in the NBA and if you look at this roster 20 years you will say, “Wow. Nearly all those players made an impact at the NBA level.” Head Coach Don Nelson is enigmatic and rotates lineups at his discretion. Golden State has a plethora of SGs and G/Fs but none can run the point. This will be another fun Warrior team to watch but the lack of defensive intensity will inevitably be their demise.

NBA Power Rankings21. Charlotte Bobcats
Like most NBA teams, the Bobcats are a superstar away from being a contender. They move the ball, play defense, but lack a go to scorer with the game on the line. Charlotte is a good team and will likely battle for the 8th spot with Indiana, Philly, Miami and Detroit.

NBA Power Rankings22. Minnesota Timberwolves
The T’Wolves were finally playing well last season when their big man Al Jefferson went down with a torn ACL. They fired their coach and reacted well to Kevin McHale. It has been an eventful off-season for Minny as they did not retain McHale as coach, drafted three point guards, and are involved in an international soap opera with Ricky Rubio. I am not so sure they will be any higher in the ranking if Rubio plays but they will be a lot more fun to watch.

NBA Power Rankings23. Phoenix Suns
The Suns have been descending the last two seasons and it started with the Shaq trade. Their future is not very bright with this current collection and they will be looking to unload anyone and everyone. Phoenix should be able to get a king’s ransom for Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, and Amar’e Stoudemire and if GM Steve Kerr plays his cards right the Suns should be good again after he is fired.

NBA Power Rankings24. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons made all the headlines as they stole Ben Gordon from their perpetual rival Chicago Bulls. Detroit also signed Charlie Villanueva and still have some remaining cap room this season and next. The problem with the Pistons roster is the lack of an interior presence and nobody plays defense on this team other than Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. I do not think Detroit is done making moves and I think GM Joe Dumars knows this is not a very good roster right now.

NBA Power Rankings25. Memphis Grizzlies
The Griz have a nice young team and when they decide to play some defense this team will take off like Rudy Gay with an open lane. Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, and Gay is one of the best young cores in the NBA and rookie Center Hasheem Thabeet will only help their defense. GM Chris Wallace better hope PG Mike Conley is a great PG since they passed on phenom Ricky Rubio.

NBA Power Rankings26. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are a team in transition. Former GM Larry Harris did not put Milwaukee in a good position and they are currently paying for it. Michael Redd will likely be traded this season as the Bucks go into a youth movement. Rookie PG Brandon Jennings looks great in Summer League and they may have a nice combo with Center Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings. The Bucks are a few years away from the playoffs.

NBA Power Rankings27. Houston Rockets
Understatement of the Year: The Houston Rockets were dealt a tough blow when Center Yao Ming went down for the season months before the 2010 season even started. They will be actively trying to trade Tracy McGrady who seems more interested in promoting his new movie than winning playoff games. Houston signed everyone’s favorite role player Trevor Ariza to a long-term deal but he will not make much of an impact. The T-Mac and Yao project has come to an end and the Rockets are rebuilding.

NBA Power Rankings28. New Jersey Nets
The Nets traded Vince Carter in order to clear cap space for the Summer of 2010! (Coming to a theater near you). New Jersey now has close to $40 million in cap space and their owner, Jay-Z, is a good friend with LeBron James. Olympian hopefuls Devin Harris and Brook Lopez will carry this team to the NBA Lottery. Imagine their next off-season, possibly the number one pick and LeBron James. Wow.

NBA Power Rankings29. Sacramento Kings
The Kings have a nice future but this year will be a learning lesson for the kids. Tyreke Evans will learn how to run the PG position and he will make plays for the young Kings but there will be a learning curve. Lucky for Evans he does have good players around him they are just young. Spencer Hawes will be a nice player in a few years and Jason Thompson as well. Kevin Martin will score close to 25 PPG and the Kings will be a very nice team in two years.

NBA Power Rankings30. New York Knicks
It is going to be a bad basketball season in New York metropolitan area. The Nets are bad and the Knicks are terrible. Their roster is loaded with over paid idiots who play no defense and do not care about winning. They are trying to trade Chris Duhon for Andre Miller but the Sixers think that trade is hilarious and they are botching the David Lee contract situation. GM Donnie Walsh has done a good job of cleaning up Isaiah Thomas’ mess but there is still a lot of work to do.

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  • Curtis

    My rankings go like this…you’ll notice the East and West each have 4 teams listed, and I’ll be shocked if at least 6 of the 8 teams aren’t in the second round of the play-offs. Lakers, Spurs, Celtics, Magic, Cavs, Nuggets, Blazers, and Hawks. Blazers and Hawks are both young and improving with age. Spurs and Celtics are both most vulnerable to injury, but they each have a key addition and no real deductions, so even if they lose one of their Big 4, they should make the second round. Plus Rondo and his triple doubles would say the Celtics have a Top 5 equal to the Lakers. Speaking of the Lakers, Fisher is a rock, and great distributor for the talent around him; Artest is way better than Ariza too. If the defending champs re-sign Lamar Odem, they must be the faves. Magic, Cavs and Nuggets are all one solid player short of scaring the Lakers, Spurs, or Celtics, as long as those top 3 teams are healthy come play-offs. And Shaq and Vince Carter are too old to put them over the top – ask Steve Kerr about that.

    Matt, your list isn’t bad at all, but I think you’re losing people with your predictions of the Bulls and Clippers. The bulls impressed against the Celtics w/o KG, then lost their most clutch scorer; but if Rose can develop an average jumper they should make the play-offs comfortably with Deng back, but not advance to round 2. The Clippers do not have more talent than the Lakers! Team talent is only influenced by your top 8 players; no one cares about the bottom of the bench. At least people can name a bench player for the Lakers, same can’t be said for the Clippers. But the Clippers have had some talent f or years, and have under achieved for years; you can’t assume 2009-10 will be different. And for the record, “Top 10 players” should be ranked as if there was a draft at the start of the year, AND you could only sign 1-year contracts. Who’s with me?

  • Jake

    No offense Matt,
    But you really couldn’t have much knowledge on the nba, or basketball for that matter if you think the pistons “suck” and are an 8 at best. CV is an underated played who never got consistent starter minutes, same with wilcox, when they did they both produced. They will add Big Ben Wallace and trade rip for a decent big man at the least. 5 seed, maybe 4 with a good aquisition and Kuester turns out to be half the coach that hack Curry was, just watch

  • Danny

    HMMM I’M NOT SO SHURE ABOUT THIS LIST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE CLIPPERS AT NUMBER 10 IN FRONT OF THE BLAZZERS????? ALTHOUGH I DO AGREE THEY HAVE SOME TALENT ( BARON DAVIS ERIC GORDON BLAKE GRIFFIN MARCUS CAMBY AND CHRIS KAMAN ) N IF HEALTHY I SAY A 38 – 42 WIN TEAM BUT NOT BETTER THAN THE BLAZZERS. EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THE LAKERS MAGIC CELTICS SPURS CAVALIERS BUT WATCH OUT FOR THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZZERS NEXT YEAR THEY GOT A CORE OF TALENTED PLAYERS AND IF GREG ODEN STEPS UP N AVERAGES ABOUT 13 11 AND 3 WATCH OUT FOR THE BLAZZERS TO CONTEND WITH THE LAKERS N SPURS NEXT YEAR. EVEN THOUGH HUSTON BASICALLY LOST YAO AND ARTEST I DONT THINK THEY’RE AT 27 I SAY 13 BECAUSE THEY HAVE PROVEN THAT THEY SOMETIMES ARE BETTER WITHOUT YAO N MCGRADY I SAY THEY’RE A 45 WIN TEAM NEXT SEASON. AND AS FAR AS THE BULLS BEING 9 LISTEN I’M A CHICAGO BULLS FAN FOR ABOUT 3 YEAR KNOW EVER SINCE I STARTED WATCHING THE NBA AND EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT ROSE I DONT THINK THEY’RE AT NUMBER 9 BECAUSE TEAMS LIKE THE CAVS CELTS AND MAGIC HELL EVEN ATLANTA ARE GOING TO BEAT UP ON THEM AND WITH THE LOSS OF THEIR CLUTCH SHOOTER BEN GORDON THEY’RE NOT AS GOOD BUT HEY MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT THEY’RE A YOUNG ENERGETIC TEAM THAT CAME FRESH OUT OF A VERY TIGHT ENJOYING TO WATCH 7 GAME SERIES WITH THE DEFENDING CHAMPS AND I BELIVE THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE TYRUS’ BREAK OFF SEASON WERE HES GOIN TO AVERAGE 16 8 N 2 SO AT BEST IN THE EAST I SAY A 5TH OR 6TH SEED UNLESS MIAMI GETS BOOZER N ODOM WHIC WILL PORBABLY LOWER THEM TO 7 OR THE WORST 8 BUT THEY WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS NEXT SEASON.

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  • nicco

    So, the Clippers are a more talented team than the team that made it to the NBA Finals twice in the past two years. Interesting. I mean, I may be a Bryant fan but even I don’t think that he is so good that he could carry all that dead weight to the NBA Finals.

    I hear what you are saying with Vujacic, but Bynum was as good as any given center before the knee injury, and if you are willing give two-thirds of the battered, aging, and balding Spurs’ big 3 the benefit of the doubt, then you have to give it up to Bynum who is only going to improve. Or are you really saying that the Clippers could not take a dude that scored 42 point against them last season?

    I hear what you are saying with Walton, but Brown is extremely athletic. Check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2zyWVieESg . That is a PG with his head above the rim.

    , Walton is the team’s best passer and came big off the bench against Orlando; as for Brown, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2zyWVieEg –yes, that is a PG with his head above the basket.

  • Matt Anaya

    Guys good to hear from all of you. I have not checked this in awhile but I am back, so lets chat.

    The Clippers roster is stacked and Brandon Roy is the man. I love the Blazers and think they will have a fantastic year but I also think the Clips will have a fantastic season and will be better than the Blazers. Sorry we disagree, but please do not call me names or insult my intelligence because I think the Clippers roster is filthy.

    I think Rudy Fernandez is a novelty act and everyone loves him because he is white and can jump.

    No offense Jake but the Pistons suck. Not like Detroit Lions bad but they will give up close to 110 ppg, fact. Have fun with Ben Gordon he is very exciting because you have no idea what he is going to do. The Pistons will not make the playoffs this season with that roster. They need to make another move, perhaps Boozer.

    I understand Jordan Farmar can dunk, in fact I saw he does yoga in the off season to help his athleticism so I picked up Yoga for a day. I did notice it does not help my basketball skills though. Bummer, Farmar is a bum and so is Shannon “4 Teams in 4 Years” Brown.

    The Lakers are awesome because 24 and the best frontcourt in the NBA not their pathetic role players only backcourt.

    Derrick Rose has an above average jumper and he is not yet 21. How many 20 year olds outside my boy Durant have a good jumper? … (crickets).

    If I forgot anyone I will take a look in the near future.

    THANKS FOR READING!!

    Twitter.com/shmattshmanaya

  • babosch

    LMFAO at the I hate Tim Duncan guy… haha hey you POS its just a game no need to wish death on anyone. Makes me wonder why you hate TD so much…? He’s a winner and a stand up guy from what I’ve seen. My guess is Mommy didn’t really love your or daddy touched you. Anyhow just wait if the Spurs stay healthy they have a good chances. BTW Jefferson has the right personality and talent to fit in with SA. The Celtics if KG comes back strong and the addition of Wallace have a great chance at aonther championship. Its tough to say with the Magic, Lakers and Cavs. Theyll all be good but hard to say who will be the best with all the roster changes.

  • Bango

    December 25th, 2009 is knocking on the door… and these “Power Rankings” down.
    Matt, you gave it a good shot and all, but Bulls, Clippers, Suns, Rockets, Wizards, Hornets, Raptors, Bucks, Spurs (some predictions will be wrong even from the best of them, but that’s simply too much)… shouldn’t have said definitely Matt, you just shouldn’t have said it!!!