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2012-13 NBA Preview

Preseason Power Rankings

Click team name for a more in-depth preview

Serge Ibaka – Oklahoma City Thunder

Joe Johnson – Brooklyn Nets

Brandon Jennings – Milwaukee Bucks

Eric Gordon – New Orleans Hornets

DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings

1. Miami Heat The reigning champions kept their core and added some new pieces.

2. Los Angeles Lakers Great teams don’t rebuild, they reload and with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash now in the fold the Lakers are top contenders.

3. San Antonio Spurs If history has showed you anything it is don’t bet against Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich

4. Oklahoma City Thunder Even without James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins are a young team still able to contend.

5. Boston Celtics Ray Allen is gone but they still have a big three, it just includes Rajon Rondo now. Now the Celtics have much needed youth and plenty of depth.

6. Indiana Pacers The young squad took the Heat to the brink in the playoffs last year and with maturity and experience they should be a major player again.

7. Chicago Bulls Last season the Bulls were without Derrick Rose for extended periods of time and were still one of the best teams in the league. With their top-notch defense expect more of the same.

8. New York Knicks Even if it takes more time for Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudamire to figure out how to play together the Knicks have enough talent to be a top team in the Eastern Conference.

9. Denver Nuggets While they are a no-name team lacking a super star they are loaded with second-level players capable of coming up with some big games.

10. Brooklyn Nets The addition of Joe Johnson and the return of Brook Lopez will take some pressure off of Deron Williams, allowing him to be more of the facilitator role he thrives so much in.

11. Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin and Chris Paul lived up to the hype last season but with significant upgrades on the bench they can stay fresh longer, especially down the stretch in a full season.

12. Atlanta Hawks If their outside shooters sink shots Josh Smith and Al Horford and dominate inside despite the appearance that the team has been gutted for salary cap savings.

13. Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph is one of the best low-post players in the league and Rudy Gay is right up there at an All-Star level capable of leading the Grizzlies to the playoffs.

14. Dallas Mavericks The championship squad is almost completely gone but they added plenty of young players to help out an aging Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, both on the downside of their careers.

15. Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are going to be fun duo watch once they start gelling but the additions of Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla will significantly upgrade their 22nd ranks defense than haunted them last year.

16. Golden State Warriors Their downslide last year was largely due to injuries to Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut but with those guys back and the maturity of an overall young team the Warriors could sneak into the playoffs.

17. Utah Jazz This all depends which Mo and Marvin Williams signed up to play in Utah. If they get the playmakers it could be a fun year, if not then it could be a long season.

18. Philadelphia 76ers Andrew Bynum was a phenomenal addition that will make a difference inside with Spencer Hawes while Jrue Holiday is on his way to being a very good point guard.

19. Phoenix Suns Offense won’t a problems but until somebody steps up and shows they can defend this team will struggle to make the playoffs.

20. Toronto Raptors Andrea Bargnani has finally turned the corner and DeMar DeRozan is a definite play-maker capable of being a part of a playoff team contender but unless their teammates step up it will have to be in a few seasons.

21. Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight are the future of this season but they’ll need some more guys to step up their game.

22. New Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers are a very promising, young core of players but the young Hornets will need some seasoning before they start contending.

23. Portland Trail Blazers LaMarcus Alridge and Nicolas Batum are a very good front court duo and Wesley Matthews can hit shots from any distance it seems but everything really depends on rookie point guard Damian Lillard.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves Enduring the beginning of the season without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio will be a very tough thing to do but once they get back they should be a dangerous team.

25. Houston Rockets The Rockets have their future with Jeremy Lin and James Harden but the rest of the squad is filled with place-holders it seems.

26. Sacramento Kings Purely based on talent and potential the Kings are one of the top teams in the NBA but they are so young and in need of guidance that Keith Smart has his work cut out for him.

27. Washington Wizards John Wall has a lot of ability and while this roster needs a lot of work Bradley Beal, Nene, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor make up the most talented supporting cast he has had.

28. Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving is a future superstar and Anderson Verejao is a very underrated center but they need more experience before they can be a major player.

29. Orlando Magic Jameer Nelson is worth a few wins on his own but that is all they really look like they have after the way that Dwight Howard mess ended.

30. Charlotte Bobcats They’ll do better than seven wins but only because they’ll have way more games to play this season.

Projections

Team Previews

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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