Basketball

Jason Jones: Ranking the League


▪ 1. San Antonio Spurs (1-1, last week 1):

Too early to drop the champs as Kawhi Leonard returns from an eye infection.


▪ 2. Los Angeles Clippers (2-0, LW 2):

Pacific Division favorites have looked shaky against inferior foes.


▪ 3. Golden State Warriors (1-0, LW 3):

Klay Thompson signs a max four-year extension because of his offense and defense.


▪ 4. Houston Rockets (2-0, LW 5):

Rockets easily beat overmatched Lakers and Jazz.


▪ 5. Memphis Grizzlies (2-0, LW 8):

Marc Gasol is playing his way into another big payday.


▪ 6. Portland Trail Blazers (1-1, LW 4):

LaMarcus Aldridge’s turnaround jumper is almost unstoppable.


▪ 7. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-1, LW 9):

A day after the LeBron hoopla, the Cavs knocked off Chicago in overtime.


▪ 8. Chicago Bulls (1-1, LW 6):

Derrick Rose sprained his ankle, providing his first injury scare of the season.


▪ 9. Dallas Mavericks (1-1, LW 10):

2011 Championship hero J.J. Barea is back with the Mavs.


▪ 10. Toronto Raptors (1-0, LW 12):

Raptors want to improve their defense this season.


▪ 11. Phoenix Suns (2-0, LW 13):

Isaiah Thomas will be in contention for Sixth Man of the Year.


▪ 12. Miami Heat (1-0, LW 15):

Chris Bosh will remind everyone how good he is as a top-two option.


▪ 13. Washington Wizards: (1-1, LW 11):

Bradley Beal’s broken wrist will keep the Wizards from being at their best.


▪ 14. Charlotte Hornets (1-0, LW 17 ):

Michael Jordan on Twitter is almost as big a deal as Kemba Walker’s contract extension.


▪ 15. New Orleans Pelicans (1-0, LW 18):

A healthy Ryan Anderson could help the Pelicans make the playoffs.


▪ 16. Brooklyn Nets (0-1, LW 14):

The season opened with a thud in a blowout loss to Boston.


▪ 17. Atlanta Hawks (0-1, LW 16):

Kyle Korver should get more open looks with Al Horford in the post.


▪ 18. Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2, LW 7):

It would be tough enough without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but those aren’t the only injured players.


▪ 19. Indiana Pacers (1-1, LW 19):

Roy Hibbert spent the offseason being tutored by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


▪ 20. New York Knicks (1-1, LW 21):

Derek Fisher’s first win as coach spoiled LeBron’s homecoming.


▪ 21. Denver Nuggets (1-0, LW 22):

Danilo Gallinari was missed greatly last season because of injury.


▪ 22. Kings (1-1, LW 23):

Darren Collison’s first two games have been solid.


▪ 23. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1, LW 26):

Ricky Rubio’s contract extension eliminates a possible distraction.


▪ 24. Boston Celtics (1-0, LW 27):

Rajon Rondo can still break defenses down and find teammates for assists.


▪ 25. Los Angeles Lakers (0-3, LW 20):

The Julius Randle injury was the latest bad news.


▪ 26. Orlando Magic (0-2, LW 24):

Elfrid Payton could be a dark-horse Rookie of the Year.


▪ 27. Milwaukee Bucks (1-1, LW 29):

Brandon Knight should learn a lot as a point guard playing for Jason Kidd.


▪ 28. Detroit Pistons (0-2, LW 25):

Josh Smith did not like Kenneth Faried saying his jump shooting hurts Detroit.


▪ 29. Utah Jazz (0-2, LW 28):

Jazz likes Alec Burks enough to sign him to a contract extension; no such luck for Enes Kanter.


▪ 30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-2, LW 30):

Nerlens Noel is a player to watch on this team, but there’s not much else right now.

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