1. Golden State Warriors (last year: 67-15)
“Lucky” or not, the NBA’s best backcourt and most wide-open system give the defending champs the top spot.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (53-29)
Kyrie Irving’s injury will be a factor early, but LeBron James and a weak East add up to many wins.
3. San Antonio Spurs (55-27)
LaMarcus Aldridge was the offseason’s biggest acquisition, but how long until the Big Three starts to show its collective age?
4. Houston Rockets (56-26)
Clint Capela gives James Harden an interior anchor even if Dwight Howard isn’t healthy.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (45-37)
Kevin Durant is back and Billy Donovan is here, but the championship window might be closing.
6. Los Angeles Clippers (56-26)
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin now have a bolstered (but volatile) bench, including Paul Pierce.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (55-27)
New year, same question: Does the league’s toughest team have firepower to advance in the West?
8. Chicago Bulls (50-32)
Derrick Rose’s health could dictate whether Fred Hoiberg’s up-tempo style goes boom or bust.
9. Miami Heat (37-45)
When Wade, Bosh and Co. are healthy, the Heat boast a starting five as good as any in the East.
10. Atlanta Hawks (60-22)
Team was built with Spurs’ blueprint, but last season’s 60 wins somehow feel like a flash in the pan.
11. New Orleans Pelicans (45-37)
Tyreke Evans’ injury costs the Pels a few spots, but this could be among the West’s most dangerous teams down the stretch.
12. Toronto Raptors (49-33)
Slimmed-down Kyle Lowry is due for a banner year, but there are sizable questions in the frontcourt.
13. Milwaukee Bucks (41-41)
Greg Monroe provides a post presence and scoring punch, but Bucks could use some shooters.
14. Washington Wizards (46-36)
Will Otto Porter step in and step up, or will the Wiz spend their season pining for Kevin Durant?
15. Utah Jazz (38-44)
Rudy Gobert anchors up-and-coming defense for a team that should contend for a playoff spot.
16. Boston Celtics (40-42)
Brad Stevens is one of the league’s best coaches, but he’s lacking star power.
17. Phoenix Suns (39-43)
Maybe the West’s greatest mystery, the retooled Suns could surge or sink.
18. Indiana Pacers (38-44)
Paul George is at power forward and Pacers are playing fast, but tested-tough identity is missing.
19. Sacramento Kings (29-53)
DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and George Karl certainly will make for must-see drama.
20. Dallas Mavericks (50-32)
If banged-up Wes Matthews, Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams are at their best, they may surprise.
21. Detroit Pistons (32-50)
Stan Van Gundy can play shooters around Andre Drummond, which is a style he favors.
22. Charlotte Hornets (33-49)
Went 6-21 without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who will miss the season after shoulder surgery.
23. Denver Nuggets (30-52)
They’ll be fun to watch and better than oddsmakers think, but Nuggets are a few years away.
24. Orlando Magic (25-57)
If Scott Skiles makes the Magic into playoff contenders, he’s well ahead of schedule.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-66)
Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns mean no team in the bottom 10 has a brighter future.
26. New York Knicks (17-65)
Can a healthy Carmelo Anthony get the Knicks on track, or might he be midseason trade bait?
27. Los Angeles Lakers (21-61)
The rookies look promising, but not enough to get Kobe Bryant back in the playoffs.
28. Brooklyn Nets (38-44)
With no first-round pick, no incentive to tank. But there’s not enough talent to be in the playoff hunt.
29. Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)
With so many personnel losses, Damian Lillard might average more points than the Blazers have wins.
30. Philadelphia 76ers (18-64)
At what point does this tankfest get relegated to the ACC?