NBA Power Rankings 2020: What ‘Toy Story’ Can Tell Us About Lakers, Clippers, and Any Other Bubble Team
Basketball is back, which means it’s time for a special restart edition of Sporting News’ NBA Power Rankings.
Since the remaining 22 teams will be playing at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, why not add a little Disney Pixar spin to the list? We will split the entire field with layouts based on characters from the animated masterpiece ‘Toy Story’. (If you don’t agree, it’s a masterpiece, stop here. It’s just not going to work between us.)
Important Note Before We Dive In: These power rankings are meant to be a fun exercise, so don’t worry about your team placement. NBA players have been free for a few months now, so this is going to be a bit of a guessing game.
Now let’s go through the rankings. To infinity and beyond!
MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Restarting the NBA
NBA power rankings
Buzz Lightyear and Woody Division
These are the main characters in the hunt for this season’s championship, the teams that will drive the central plot forward.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
6. Philadelphia 76ers
- The Clippers are slightly below the Bucks and Lakers due to concerns about the stability of their selection. (Hopefully, because of Doc Rivers, Lou Williams won’t need a trip to Magic City anymore, which offers a completely different package than Magic Kingdom.) Still, the clips do have … the claaaaaaw.
- While the Bucks are to be considered the favorites in the East, the Celtics and Raptors cannot be ignored. Toronto in particular is ahead with its championship experience and a coach who wants to do everything to win, even if it is a high school defense. It would be unwise to throw the Raptors away if garage sale fodder.
- And then there are the 76ers, a maddeningly inconsistent yet incredibly talented group. Philadelphia is going to be terrifying, but sometimes they are just don’t feel it! Maybe a new starting five with Ben Simmons will bring this team to the next level.
Potato Head and Rex Division
These are compelling, entertaining supporting characters, but they are not going to carry the movie.
8. Houston Rockets
9. Miami Heat
Oklahoma City Thunder
11. Dallas Mavericks
14. Memphis Grizzlies
15. Pelicans from New Orleans
Portland Trail Blazers
- Don’t you like to see Nikola Jokic pick and roll walk with Bol Bol? You uncultured pigs. (But seriously, the Nuggets need consistent production from someone other than Jokic in the playoffs.)
- You have to wonder if we watch the last run for this version of the Rockets. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that Houston will not re-sign Mike D’Antoni if the Rockets can’t find a way to reach the NBA Finals. One minute you are 3-2 on the Warriors … and suddenly you find yourself Suck off Darjeeling with Marie Antoinette and her little sister.
- The Heat and Thunder have a seriously disrupted playoff bracket potential. Both teams feature seasoned stars (Jimmy Butler and Chris Paul) and emerging talents (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Bam Adebayo). They can be responsible delay a contender’s encounter with Star Command.
- Yes Morant and Zion Williamson don’t fly to the edge. They just fall with style.
These teams can be extremely disturbing and make you scream in horror.
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Sacramento Kings
20. Phoenix Suns
21. Brooklyn Nets
- There must be a snake in the boots of the nets and wizards. Both squadrons have lost so many great contributors.
- If you expect a lot from these teams, you are a sad, strange little man and you feel sorry. Goodbye.