Top 10 NBA Season Preview 2021-2022 Team Rankings
Ranking the best basketball teams for the upcoming 2021-2022 NBA Season
The 2020-2021 NBA Season delivered a ton of excitement, drama and a new NBA Champion that looks composed for another run during the upcoming 2021-22 NBA Season. As the Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo head into the season for many as the team to beat, it is hard to declare them the best team in 2021 as many teams around the NBA have been busy during this offseason adding key weapons to their rosters through free agency and via the 2021 NBA Draft.
For teams like the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers adding key pieces to their roster to make a run while teams like the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls retool with key playmakers to make them a contender. With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 NBA Teams of 2021.
Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks & Atlanta Hawks
These three teams could have easily slid into the top 10 power rankings but fell just off the list in the end. For the Atlanta Hawks they were busy extending Trae Young, John Collins and Clint Capela while also acquiring Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng to provide depth. Meanwhile the New York Knicks are coming off a solid 2020-21 NBA Season added to their depth by signing Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to add to a team that included Julius Randle and Derrick Rose. Lastly the Los Angeles Clippers are as good as almost any team in the west but age and lack of ability to make moves handcuffed them during the offseason but acquiring Eric Bledsoe gives the team a solid guard option to team up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. All three of these teams have the talent to compete in 2020-21.
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Top 10 NBA Teams
Coming in at number ten on the Top 10 NBA Teams of 2021, is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards who are led by All-Star Bradley Beal were very active this off-season including making a key trade with the Los Angeles Lakers to ship Russell Westbrook out west while acquiring Kyle Kuzma and other players. While Westbrook and Beal were productive, the two were not built to play together. Along with Kuzma, the Wizards added key veterans Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell to build a solid foundation for the team. The team also added Spencer Dinwiddie to give the team another scoring threat to team up with Beal. With new head coach Wes Unseld Jr bringing his style from the Denver Nuggets this team should be interesting to watch.
For the Dallas Mavericks the team has the star to be the face of the NBA but the overall roster lacks the depth to truly compete in the Western Conference. However, as long as Luka Doncic is healthy the Mavericks are a good team and one fun team to watch in the NBA. Doncic who showcased his abilities during the Summer Olympics is a game changer and one that takes over the game at any point. During the offseason the team added Reggie Bullock, Sterling Brown, and Moses Brown to polish out a roster that includes guys like Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr and Boban Marjanovic. Like the Warriors, if the team can stay healthy including Porzingis they have the talent to be a contender in the NBA Western Conference.
Golden State Warriors
Now the one team that could be much higher on this list is the Golden State Warriors but question marks with Klay Thompson's health is concerning for everyone heading into the season. In addition, the up and down play of Draymond Green leaves the team lacking the young threesome they had during their success just a few NBA Seasons ago. However, the team will return All-Star Steph Curry who is as good as any player in the NBA. If Thompson is healthy this gives the team two of the best shooters in the league. Add in the potential of James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins the team is good to go. In addition the team added the likes of Otto Porter Jr and former Warrior Andre Iguodala to give depth to the team to make a run. The success of the Warriors runs through the health of their stars.
A team that has crept up into the Top 10 NBA Teams in 2021 is the Chicago Bulls who have reshaped their entire lineup this offseason. Leading the reshaping, the Bulls added Lonzo Ball to take over the point guard duties while also adding former All-Star DeMar DeRozan to help give them a third option to pair with Ball as well as the team's star Zach LaVine. Lavine is coming off his best season of his career averaging 27.4 points a game to go with 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contests while earning his first All-Star appearance. The last key piece given the team some shooting depth was Alex Caruso who can shoot from behind the arc while also running the team's offense off the bench.
After an amazing 2020-21 NBA run that saw the Phoenix Suns fall in the NBA Finals, the team will look to take home the NBA Championship this season. While the Suns are the reigning NBA Western Conference Champions, question marks surrounding the team including can Chris Paul remain healthy make them a difficult team to put high on the list of the Top 10 NBA Teams in 2021. For the Suns they were busy this offseason resigning Paul who put together an amazing 2020-21 NBA Season. In addition to Paul the team has talent with Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to compete while offseason acquisitions Cameron Payne, JaVale McGee and Landry Shamet add depth the team needs for the late season push.
One team that might get overlooked after a quiet offseason is the Utah Jazz who have a great all around team that can help them win night and night out. For the Jazz their key move this off-season was resigning their own star Mike Conley while keeping him Utah for the years to come. Conley along with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert give the team a solid team from top to bottom. The team also added Hassan Whiteside to give the team a dynamic big man tandem with Gobert. Other additions include veteran former All-Star Rudy Gay and Eric Paschall to round out their lineup.
For some the Miami Heat might not be looked at as much as some of the other top teams but the team was very solid this offseason adding some key players to help take their success deeper during the 2021-22 NBA Season. A team that is led by Jimmy Butler added an All-Star point guard in Kyle Lowry who can control the offense while also adding key veterans P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris who both have playoff experience and have very versatile basketball IQ’s to take off the pressure Butler put on his shoulders last season. While the team lost a few key players such as Goran Dragic, his injury status has hurt the team over the years while Lowry provides them with a guard to set up Butler.
While the 2021-22 NBA Season is the Milwaukee Bucks to lose as they enter the season as the defending NBA Champions, the team just didn’t do enough during the 2021 NBA off-season to slot them atop as the best team in the NBA. That said, the Bucks will still have Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton holding down the core as they look to repeat. As long as the Bucks have the Greek Freak, they should be a team to watch in the NBA and the NBA Eastern Conference. The team did add a few key pieces in the likes of Rodney Hook, Grayson Allen and George Hill.
Los Angeles Lakers
As the Brooklyn Nets were busy building a championship caliber team, out west the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to do the same thing. However, the Lakers possibly made one of the biggest off-season moves sending multiple players to the Washington Wizards while adding Russell Westbrook to anchor the point guard duties in LA. Add in a healthy off season for Anthony Davis and LeBron James, this team has their own big three to compete with the Nets as well as the Milwaukee Bucks. In addition to landing Westbrook, the team added veterans Deandre Jordan, James' good friend Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington. If the Lakers can stay healthy, they should be the team to beat in the NBA Western Conference.
It is hard to look past the reigning champs as the top team but with a quiet off season and the key additions the Brooklyn Nets made, they are the team to watch and perhaps the one team every team in the NBA will be looking to chase in 2021-22. After assembling the big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden over the past few seasons, the Nets were busy this offseason adding key pieces around them including the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, James Johnson and Patty Mills. If Aldridge and Millsap can be solid role players to compliment the big three, the Nets will be fun to watch in 2021-22.
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