Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot going for them. Jrue Holiday is officially on board, Eric Gordon can score at will—when healthy—and Anthony Davis has one of the highest ceilings of all up-and-coming big men.
The jury is still out on how good they can be right away, but as soon as they can jell as a unit, they’ll become an extremely entertaining group night in and night out.
Portland Trail Blazers
During the 2012-13 campaign, the Portland Trail Blazers had the highest-scoring starting lineup of any team in the league, per HoopsStats.com. Their bench was as awful as can be, but the acquisitions they made during the offseason—Mo Williams, C.J. McCollum, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright, Allen Crabbe—should change that immediately.
It’s true that with a better bench, the starters will score fewer points. However, the lineup is still led by All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, do-it-all swingman Nicolas Batum and reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
If this were the 2012-13 season, the Denver Nuggets would be near the top of this list. They scored a league-leading 106.1 points per game, and they played at the second-fastest pace, according to ESPN’s Hollinger Stats.
Unfortunately for the Nuggets, nobody quite knows what to expect following the losses of George Karl and Andre Iguodala—not to mention the continued absence of Danilo Gallinari. They still merit a mention based on their history, but only time will tell if they deserve a higher spot moving forward.