ESPN recently released their power rankings for the first time post draft and free agency, and the reactions on NBA Twitter were wild.
After an exhilarating end to the postseason, fans were visibly disappointed with the lack of NBA basketball over the next couple of months. They were in for a treat, however.
The offseason began with a bang when the NBA draft and free agency kicked off a flurry of deals around the league. Big names including Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry were now on the move, and fans were left wondering what more to expect.
The buzz is back on the clock with full steam as ESPN recently posting their power rankings and they have some interesting predictions, to say the least.
The top of the ladder remained pretty consistent with the usual suspects, Nets, Bucks, and Lakers rounding out the 3 prime positions. The rankings do get a little murky as we go down the list, however.
While we have great rosters such as the Suns, Jazz, Nuggets, Heat, Hawks, and Clippers inside the top 10, the decision to exclude the Warriors seemed to be unpopular amongst fans. The inclusion of 76ers with the ongoing Ben Simmons fiasco was not acceptable for NBA Twitter as well.
The Mavericks, Celtics, and the Warriors with Steph Curry did not make ESPN’s power rankings top 10
ESPN writers do have their reasons for the glaring omission of the Warriors, however. Apparently, Klay Thompson is not expected to be back until Christmas, and the star’s absence will mean a struggle for his team during the first 2 months of the schedule. The analysts are also a little skeptical about the effect of the 2-year injury break on Klay and have evidently taken a safer choice here.
Outrage also sparked over the ranking of the new-look Bulls, who had an eventful off-season. Despite the additions of Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso, ESPN ranked the team 19th on their list, which was deemed unacceptable by a lot of fans.
@espn power rankings is a joke
— Phil (@pduh10) August 23, 2021
While a lot of moves are still to be made, the power rankings have surely helped us get an idea of the landscape of the league next year. We have to also keep in mind that these rankings are just reflective of how the teams look currently, and the list will keep updating as the season progresses.