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NBA Power Poll

 
Tony Mejia continues his coverage on VegasInsider.com this pro basketball season as a regular contributor. Each week throughout the 2014-15 campaign, users can view his weekly Division Rankings, Playoff Projections, NBA Finals Prediction and Power Poll.


Division Rankings

Between the Texas trio, Memphis and improving New Orleans, the deepest, most talented and competitive division in the NBA isn't up for debate. The Southwest would be the Group of Death at the World Cup. It's a beast. Spots 2-4 can certainly be argued, so it wouldn't be surprising to see these divisions jockey for superiority all season. The Clippers, Warriors and Suns carry the flag for the Pacific to get the nod at the second spot, especially when considering the Lakers provide an intriguing story line early and Sacramento is likely to be better. The Eastern Conference's top two teams reside in the Central, so though that division is undeniably top-heavy, it sneaks ahead of the Kevin Durant-less Northwest. There are a number of quality teams in the Southeast, giving it a decisive edge over the Atlantic in the race to stay out of the cellar in these rankings.

1) Southwest
2) Pacific
3) Central
4) Northwest
5) Southeast
6) Atlantic

First Team All-NBA
F- LeBron James, Cleveland
F- Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
C- Dwight Howard, Houston
G- Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
G- Stephen Curry, Golden State

Second Team All-NBA
F- Carmelo Anthony, New York
F- LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
C- Marc Gasol, Memphis
G- Tony Parker, San Antonio
G- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

Third Team All-NBA
F- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
F- Kevin Love, Cleveland
C- Joakim Noah, Chicago
G- Damian Lillard, Portland
G- James Harden, Houston

2014-15 NBA Finals Prediction

San Antonio over Chicago - Presuming every key figure remains healthy throughout the postseason, we'll see the Spurs remain basketball's best team. Their projected opponent will open some eyebrows, but I'd agree with Lebron James that the Cavaliers do indeed have a long way to go before they have the goods to win it all. The Bulls will be more disciplined defensively, have solid depth and a deep, smart, unselfish frontcourt that will get their hands dirty and be a force on both ends of the floor come May and June. Derrick Rose will hopefully be bouncing around running the show, providing the requisite hunger necessary to extend Cleveland's championship drought at least another season. Of course, the Cavs won't go quietly, giving San Antonio's repeat bid a major boost.


Power Rankings
Rank Team Betting Notes (2014 Record) Last Year
1 San Antonio Spurs (62-20 SU, 46-36 ATS) 1
2 Los Angeles Clippers (57-25 SU, 45-36-1 ATS) 3
3 Chicago Bulls (48-34 SU, 42-40 ATS) 11
4 Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49 SU, 40-42 ATS) 21
5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28 SU, 45-37 ATS) 5
6 Houston Rockets (54-28 SU, 40-40-2 ATS) 6
7 Golden State Warriors (51-31 SU, 41-39-2 ATS) 9
8 Dallas Mavericks (49-33 SU, 44-38 ATS) 10
9 Memphis Grizzlies (50-32 SU, 36-43-3 ATS) 7
10 Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23 SU, 43-38-1 ATS) 2
11 Phoenix Suns (48-34 SU, 52-28-2 ATS) 14
12 Miami Heat (54-28 SU, 37-43-2 ATS) 4
13 Toronto Raptors (48-34 SU, 46-35-1 ATS) 13
14 Washington Wizards (44-38, 42-38-2 ATS) 16
15 Charlotte Bobcats (43-39 SU, 46-34-2 ATS) 15
16 Denver Nuggets (36-46 SU, 39-42-1 ATS) 20
17 New Orleans Pelicans (34-48 SU, 36-41-5 ATS) 22
18 Atlanta Hawks (38-44 SU, 38-43-1 ATS) 17
19 Brooklyn Nets (44-38 SU, 43-39 ATS) 12
20 Indiana Pacers (56-26 SU, 38-43-1 ATS) 8
21 Detroit Pistons (29-53 SU, 36-46 ATS) 23
22 New York Knicks (37-45 SU, 38-44 ATS) 19
23 Sacramento Kings (28-54 SU, 37-42-3 ATS) 24
24 Los Angeles Lakers (27-55 SU, 40-40-2 ATS) 25
25 Orlando Magic (23-59 SU, 34-45-3 ATS) 28
26 Boston Celtics (25-57 SU, 38-43-1 ATS) 27
27 Minnesota Timberwolves (40-42 SU, 39-43 ATS) 18
28 Utah Jazz (25-57 SU, 34-44-4 ATS) 26
29 Milwaukee Bucks (15-67 SU, 37-44-1 ATS) 30
30 Philadelphia 76ers (19-63 SU, 35-47 ATS) 29
Updated Thu, Oct. 30, 10:00 AM ET
  
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