Power Rankings for the Week of October 24th: NBA BACK Edition

Hi everybody! Did you miss me? I missed you ❤

Programming note for this season: I will be publishing the Power Rankings weekly on Sunday night/Monday morning.  My Power Rankings are usually more about the opening than they are a team-by-team breakdown, there are far smarter people doing this far better than I could ever imagine.  In addition, I am planning on doing a weekly NBA podcast on Tuesday nights (no particular reason, it just fits in my current schedule) that will sort of be an “NBA Week in Review” where I can talk about topics that I find most interesting that I haven’t or am unable to properly explore in written format.  You can subscribe to that podcast here.  In addition, you can find my work at the fantastic Silver Screen and Roll and follow me on Twitter @DamanR.  Thank you as always for your support, never hesitate to reach out to me for either criticism, feedback, requests, etc – the only thing I ever want to accomplish is to be better today than I was yesterday.

Vacation over, let’s go, onto this season!

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Power Rankings for the Week of December 14

(Previous week’s Power Rankings can be found here)

One of my favorite things about being a fan of a team for so long is that with the rare exception of organizations like the San Antonio Spurs that cheat and bribe their way to being good forever is living through the valleys and enjoying the peaks.  I became a bigger Lakers fan after living through the immediate seasons after Shaquille O’Neal.  It makes you appreciate “the process” [now a phrase ruined by Sam Hinkie] of team-building.  It also can be painfully frustrating if you’re losing AND not really building towards something as the Lakers had been early on this season, most notably with the benching of D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.  Remarkably, that turned around in the Lakers loss to Minnesota on December 9th with Kobe sitting in the 4th of a close game to let the kids do their thing.  Now, even though they lost every game this week, it has been SO much more enjoyable to watch.  Wins and losses aren’t the only thing that matter, it’s why I hate the “championship or failure” (#RINGZ) mentality of the way we evaluate some careers, it’s also about enjoying the journey to get there.

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Power Rankings for the week of December 7th

I love this Warriors team.  I know that’s obvious, who wouldn’t love a 22-0 team? But there’s a purity to watching them play and rooting for them that I don’t think I’ve ever really had as a sports fan only because the circumstances have aligned so well.  As a Lakers fan, if my team had any expectations, I would still be excited about the Warriors but I would also kind of dislike the fact that I knew my team wasn’t good enough to beat them (nobody is, this year).  It’s been a joy to watch a transcendent superstar in Steph Curry exceed expectations somehow after winning the MVP.  It’s been amazing to watch the strength of an organization that was able to withstand the absence of Steve Kerr, the architect of the championship squad last season.  As the league gets more competitive, teams get smarter, differentiating yourself as an organization becomes more difficult.  The Warriors are being run like a Fortune 500 company, with a strong culture of accountability and selflessness, they truly stand for something.

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