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NBA Core's Official 2009-2010 Western Power Rankings

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NBA Core's Official 2009-2010 Western Power Rankings

This is an official NBA Core article, please visit www.nbacore.com for more and to join our NBA community!

So, those were the rankings given my our fellow Core members, followed with an explanation by me. Please leave a comment on what you think because this takes time, and if you are a guest, please register on www.nbacore.com so that you can participate on our polls, debates, discussions, and games. We are looking to grow and if you sign up, you will definitely contribute to our site. Hope you all enjoy.

For each team I will display the depth charts (going strictly off ESPN - link) and will give a summary about each team. I will go from bottom up, hope you enjoy, remember this is the Core's consensus.

The 15th ranked team in the WC: Sacramento Kings

PG: Beno Udrih..........Sergio Rodriguez 
SG: Kevin Martin........Tyreke Evans 
SF: Francisco Garcia...Andres Nocioni......Desmond Mason....Omri Casspi 
PF: Jason Thompson...Donte Greene.......Sean May...........Kenny Thomas 
C: Spencer Hawes......Jon Brockman 

Summary: Looking at the depth chart, the team has some future. They have Hawes and Thompson as their big men and they came off some pretty good seasons. Kevin Martin is one of the top scorers if you go directly off stats, but ideally, he is the only legit option on this team, which is a huge weakness, and this is why they are last in the West. There is lots of potential though, if each player, starter especially, can stay healthy and give it their all, this team can probably go as high as 12 on the West. Beno Udrith will have to take care of the ball better, he's the one running this team. Garcia is a good shooter, and as I mentioned before, Hawes and Thompson had a decent season. Their bench can certainly use a push as Nocioni is their only proven option, but we have to see how Evans does and those other young players. I'm surprised to see Mason as a third string as I'm personally a fan but maybe he can help this team if dedicated. Speaking of dedicated, Sean May made 100K from the Kings just for losing weight, let's see if he can stay healthy now.

The 14th ranked team in the WC: Minnesota Timberwolves

PG: Ramon Sessions......Jonny Flynn.........Antonio Daniels 
SG: Damien Wilkins.......Wayne Ellington....Sasha Pavlovic 
SF: Ryan Gomes............Corey Brewer 
PF: Kevin Love..............Oleksiy Pecherov....Brian Cardinal 
C: Al Jefferson..............Ryan Hollins...........Mark Blount 

Summary: This is another team with potential, but with more potential than the Kings, that is why they are slighty higher at 14. They got a decent signing in Sessions, whom I think they were lucky to get. Sessions is pretty young and is capable of going on a scoring riot. If he becomes a consistent player, watch out. The SG position is pretty weak, Wilkins has had 5 years in the NBA and really hasn't done anything significant, maybe Sasha will come up with something but meanwhile he is the 3rd stringer. There is lots of potential at SF, Gomes had a decent season and Brewer will keep on improving. I think Love will be a key to this team. He was the rookie with most double-doubles, and he is entering his second year now with some experience. I really like the front court of this team, with Al Jeff obviously being the man, went 23/11 last season, which was pretty sick. The young players will depend on the success of this team, but they will go no higher than 11th in the West. Too many "ifs", which is okay for a young team, but not okay to contend ATM (at the moment).

The 13th ranked team in the WC: Memphis Grizzlies

PG: Mike Conley......Allen Iverson........Marcus Williams 
SG: O.J. Mayo.........Marko Jaric 
SF: Rudy Gay..........DeMarre Carroll......Sam Young........Trey Gilder 
PF: Zach Randolph...Darrell Arthur.........Steven Hunter 
C: Marc Gasol.........Hasheem Thabeet.....Hamed Haddadi 

Summary: This team can either go very well or it can be the total opposite. Why it can go very well, they have a handful of scorers. Iverson, OJ, Gay, Zach, young Gasol! That is a pretty sick offensive team. Then they have Conley who is learning at a decent pace and Thabeet who is expected to really compete with Gasol for that starting position,which equals to more production. What can go wrong? The chemistry. Chemistry is a killer, it can get you 66-70 wins in a season with a decent team (Cavs) or it can really upset fan expectations. Reports say Mayo doesn't really like to pass, but wait, AI is used to dropping 30 a game, and let's not even go through Zach, although I think he has matured a bit (I hope so). Right now they have 5 guys who are capable of scoring 20 PPG, which is pretty impressive, but how will they work combined? So the insecurity of this team and the defense (is Thabeet the only defender?) is why this team is at #13, however if things go right they can even be fighting for the playoffs. By the way I'm surprised to see AI behind Conley in this chart.

The 12th ranked team in the WC: Oklahoma City Thunder

PG: Russell Westbrook......Shaun Livingston...Kevin Ollie 
SG: Thabo Sefolosha........James Harden.......Kyle Weaver 
SF: Kevin Durant 
PF: Jeff Green.................Nick Collison.........D.J. White......Serge Ibaka 
C: Nenad Krstic..............Etan Thomas..........B.J. Mullens 

Summary: They have a nice potential big 3 on the works. Westbrook had an impressive first season, opened many eyes. Durant was amazing and Green definitely improved. Those three will get some all-star consideration soon, Durant being a superstar perhaps, depending on their success. Sefolosha is a pretty weak starter so this hurts the team overall. I expect Harden to impress the coach and fans to eventually end up as the starting SG. Krstic a few years ago was on his way to becoming a top C but after his huge injury he has only been decent, went 9/5 last season which is okay. However this team is not ranked higher because they lack some toughness at their big positions, and if you don't have a decent inside game you won't get too far. Also, as good as Durant is, he needs a back-up, try trading one of those big men for an original back-up SF. This team can probably go as high as 9 (yes I think the Grizzlies can get passed them) but it really depends on what is on stock in the coach's playbook.

The 11th ranked team in the WC: Golden State Warriors

PG: Stephen Curry........C.J. Watson........Acie Law.....Speedy Claxton 
SG: Monta Ellis.............Anthony Morrow 
SF: Stephen Jackson.....Corey Maggette......Kelenna Azubuike.....Devean George 
PF: Anthony Randolph....Brandan Wright......Mikki Moore 
C: Andris Biedrins..........Ronny Turiaf 

Summary: This team has a problem, everyone wants to go. Well, not everyone, but the so called 'leaders' in Jackson and Ellis. Jackson has demanded a trade twice and Ellis doesn't feel comfortable especially now with Curry there. This team has a great amount of talent and that it why they are higher than the other teams, but I really don't see them going higher than 11th, they might go lower in fact with those chemistry problems. They have to do something about that SF position, 3 legit starters in that slot. However, if a miracle happens and this team glues together, they can make the playoffs and upset any team, but right now, with all this baby news, it seems unlikely. Curry is a favorite for the ROY by the way. I really hope Law can do something this year, seems like a bust so far.

The 10th ranked team in the WC: Los Angeles Clippers

PG: Baron Davis......Sebastian Telfair 
SG: Eric Gordon.......Rasual Butler........Mardy Collins 
SF: Al Thornton........Ricky Davis..........Steve Novak 
PF: Blake Griffin.......Craig Smith..........Brian Skinner 
C: Chris Kaman........Marcus Camby.....DeAndre Jordan 

Summary: This team is stacked, the only reason they are this low is because we really haven't seen them together since the key players were injured for most of the last season. First of all, it was a good move to trade Randolph to open up the spot for the #1 pick, Griffin. Ranking #1 on each mock draft, Griffin is the best rookie by a great difference, but we just have to see how he does in the NBA, which is totally different (not that I've been there). Anyway, this team is set from 1-5. 4 of the starters are capable of putting up 20 points any night. If Kaman plays how he did 2 seasons ago, this team is dangerous. It basically all depends on the two most important positions, PG and C, they both need to stay healthy. They also have a decent bench as well, this team can go as high as 7 maybe, but 10th a a respectable rank since they are mostly young and inexperienced. Come back in a year though, then we're talking. Sad to see DeAndre as a third-string C especially after the Dwight Howard comparisons.

The 9th ranked team in the WC: Houston Rockets

PG: Aaron Brooks........Kyle Lowry 
SG: Tracy McGrady......Brent Barry......Jermaine Taylor 
SF: Trevor Ariza..........Shane Battier....Chase Budinger 
PF: Luis Scola.............Carl Landry.......Chuck Hayes.....Brian Cook......Joey Dorsey 
C: David Andersen......Pops Mensah-Bonsu......Yao Ming 

Summary: This team is lucky to be this high, because with those potential teams ranked behind them, they can easily end up last. IF they each play their "A" game, then they can actually end up 9th. Yao's out for the whole season...who is that guy taking over? Scola was a great combo with Yao, but Yao's out. Artest is also gone. Personally I see this team go downhill, they don't have anywhere as near the potential of the teams behind them, they are just this high because they have some experience and T-Mac, who will mostly likely will end up traded. Hopefully he stays healthy though. Brooks and Ariza will really need to step up for this team to succeed...a little. At least the defense is decent. 

The 8th ranked team in the WC: Phoenix Suns

PG: Steve Nash..............Goran Dragic 
SG: Jason Richardson......Leandro Barbosa 
SF: Grant Hill...................Jared Dudley.........Alando Tucker.......Taylor Griffin 
PF: Amare Stoudemire.....Louis Amundson......Earl Clark 
C: Channing Frye.............Robin Lopez 

Summary: Good news, this team can run again. Trading Shaq (as big as a fan I am of him) was a great move, he slowed things sown for this running team and now they can probably compete. Frye probably is a great substitute for him and can end up having a good season. Earl Clark will enter his rookie year with high expectations, maybe sooner or later he can start at SF because how much longer can Hill run? Bad news, this team can tank if things don't go their way. They already shed some salary and it seems as if they are trying to save every penny, so some big moves can be made near the trade deadline. Why would they rebuild? Amare can walk out on them, that's #1, and #2, they have been running for years and they never got too far in the playoffs. On a side note, hopefully Robin can get as good as his twin brother. I don't see this team going higher than 7th.

The 7th ranked team in the WC: Utah Jazz

PG: Deron Williams.........Ronnie Price.......Eric Maynor 
SG: Ronnie Brewer.........Kyle Korver 
SF: Andrei Kirilenko........C.J. Miles........Matt Harpring 
PP: Carlos Boozer..........Paul Millsap 
C: Mehmet Okur.............Kosta Koufos....Kyrylo Fesenko

Summary: This team's success will depend on how healthy they stay and the Boozer situation. There already have been conflicts about Boozer and Millsap on who will start to that can end up hurting the team's chemistry and Deron looks like he wants to rely on his tough big men. Looks like AK is going to start again after being mentioned 6th man of the year a couple of time and also after gaining, what was it, 20 pounds (?) during the summer. My suggestion though is that Boozer gets traded for a true SG and then this team is set from 1-5 with Millsap taking over his spot. However, this team itself can can up getting far in the playoffs, since they have a top 3 PG and a decent squad, and the highest they can go in my opinion is at #5. Again though, they need to stay healthy because if not they won't make the playoffs with the Clippers, Grizzlies, and Thunder fighting a young war.

The 6th ranked team in the WC: New Orleans Hornets

PG: Chris Paul..............Darren Collison...........Bobby Brown 
SG: Morris Peterson.......Devin Brown.............Marcus Thornton 
SF: Peja Stojakovic........James Posey............Julian Wright 
PF: David West.............Darius Songaila.........Ike Diogu.............Sean Marks 
C: Emeka Okafor..........Hilton Armstrong 

Summary: Great move with the Okafor trade. Chandler was more of a running C, and now they have Okafor who perfectly fits into their system. Ironically, perhaps, the team with the best PG is the team that averages the least possessions each game, so Okafor will help big time with that. They also needed a true downlow player and West doesn't really fill that need, but now we can say that their big man combo is a great one. This team can use an upgrade on the wings but they really don't have pieces to acquire ATM, so they will have to stay with the aging Peterson and Peja, they can be nasty shooters though so watch out, but the success of this team really depends on them because they are set at the 1, 4, and 5. This team can make the finals, but they can also end up 8th if their wings don't function properly.

The 5th ranked team in the WC: Portland Trailblazers

PG: Andre Miller............Steve Blake.........Jerryd Bayless 
SG: Brandon Roy..........Rudy Fernandez 
SF: Nicolas Batum.........Travis Outlaw.......Martell Webster 
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge....Juwan Howard......Dante Cunningham.....Jeff Pendergraph 
C: Greg Oden................Joel Przybilla 

Summary: This team is perhaps in the best situation when it comes to present and future. They can go far enough to win the title, especially after signing Andre Miller. That was an A+ move. Blake is a decent PG but now they have a truly respected PG in Miller. The bench players are even decent starters in this team, the Blazers are a team to fear and are perhaps somewhat underrated. I expect Outlaw to win the SF battle, since he has more experience and game. Roy will continue to beast, and Aldridge will soon be a star. The only reason why this team isn't ranked higher is because of Oden. However, if this team makes it to the top, it's going to be because of Oden, see what I mean. Center is the most important position in the NBA and if Oden can live up to expectations this team has nothing to worry about. I really don't see them going lower than #5, and probably can go as high as #2. 

The 4th ranked team in the WC: Denver Nuggets

PG: Chauncey Billups..............Anthony Carter..........Ty Lawson 
SG: J.R. Smith.......................Arron Afflalo 
SF: Carmelo Anthony.............Renaldo Balkman........James White 
PF: Kenyon Martin.................Malik Allen 
C: Nene Hilario.....................Chris Andersen............Johan Petro 

Summary: They gave the Lakers a scare in the WCF but couldn't come out on top of them. This team has a great combination of defense and offense, the only reason why they are at #4 is because the Mavericks and the Spurs made excellent moves this offseason whule the Nuggets were somewhat silent. I think they can afford to stay silent, but they did lose Kleiza who was a key bench player. I think another full year of a healthy K-Mart though can make that up and bring this team over the top. The guy to fear is Billups, former Piston, and let's not forget Nene had the highest FG%. The bench can use some help though so I'd say the highest this team can go is #3. 

The 3rd ranked in the WC: Dallas Mavericks

PG: Jason Kidd.............Jose Juan Barea........Rodrigue Beaubois 
SG: Josh Howard..........Jason Terry........Quinton Ross......Matt Carroll....Greg Buckner 
SF: Shawn Marion.........Shawne Williams 
PF: Dirk Nowitzki...........Drew Gooden......Tim Thomas......Kris Humphries 
C: Erick Dampier...........Nathan Jawai 

Summary: GREAT move getting Marion, this team is now sick from 1-4. HOF PG running the team, and 3 stars complementing him, oh my goodness. 6th man of the year Terry backing them up, and other very respectable bench players. Dirk is an MVP caliber player, I think this team really has a shot at the title this year, and Kidd is really hungry for one. The defense and offense are both excellent in this team. However the only weakness still remains: their center. Dampier is a respectable C who really doesn't need to be great since he has those teammates but what if the Mavs would have had a down low scoring C? They would be unstoppable, so that is their weak area, the downlow points. This team can go as high as #2 in my opinion and as low as 4. 

The 2nd ranked team in the WC: San Antonio Spurs

PG: Tony Parker...........George Hill 
SG: Roger Mason........Manu Ginobili.......Keith Bogans........Malik Hairston 
SF: Richard Jefferson...Michael Finley......Marcus Williams 
PF: Antonio McDyess....Matt Bonner.........DeJuan Blair........Marcus Haislip 
C: Tim Duncan............Theo Ratliff...........Ian Mahinmi 

Summary: This team is good every year, and now they get even better by getting RJ for free basically. They have the top big man Duncan, top PG in Parker, clutch star in Ginobili (not sure why he's on the bench here) and now they have star Richard Jefferson. Those 4 can put up 20 PPG any time. Then when you look at their bench, it is also great. The only slight weakness they have is a PF, won't hurt them much, but they are thin at that area. The other thing is that Spurs don't win titles on even years, let's see if they can break that now. This team can go as high as #1 and as low as #3, if the Mavs have an even better year.

The best ranked team in the WC: Los Angeles Lakers

PG: Derek Fisher........Jordan Farmar 
SG: Kobe Bryant........Sasha Vujacic.........Shannon Brown 
SF: Ron Artest...........Luke Walton............Adam Morrison 
PF: Pau Gasol...........Lamar Odom............Josh Powell 
C: Andrew Bynum......D.J. Mbenga 

Summary: These guys will be looking for a repeat, maybe even a three-peat. Where should I start? Oh yeah, Kobe. He's a monster in the playoffs, and he will be hard to guard. The team now picked up even more defense in Artest, and this guy is badddd, he's hungry for a title. Gasol will continue to dominate with his good shooting and his style, and Bynum will be even better. Then they have Odom who is star-worthy as the 6th man. Aside from that though, their bench can use some help. There are also concerns on the role Artest accepts in this team. However, the only way this team will not make the finals is if they just get outplayed by one of the other top western teams in the playoffs in 7 games, because those teams are not too far off. I'd say that rankings 1-3 are pretty much interchangable. I think the Lakers can go lowest at #2 and obviously as high as #1 which is where they are ranked.

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