Early 2011-12 NBA Power Rankings

1) Miami Heat (58-24)                                                                     Key Additions: Shane Battier, Eddy Curry                                       Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Lebron James

Big Question: Just whose team is this!?

2) Dallas Mavericks (57-25)                                                           Key Additions: Brandon Wright, Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, Delonte West                                                                                             Key Losses: Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, J.J Barea, Corey Brewer, Peja Stojakovic

Player to watch: Lamar Odom

Big Question: Will the Mavericks gains (Odom, Carter, West) outweigh their losses (Chandler, Barea, Butler)?

3) Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27)                                              Key Additions: Reggie Jackson                                                            Key Losses: Byron Mullens

Player to watch: James Harden

Big Question: Will last years playoff experience help vault the Thunder to the finals this season?

4) Chicago Bulls (62-20)                                                                   Key Additions: Richard Hamilton                                                       Key Losses: Keith Bogans, Jannero Pargo

Player to watch: Carlos Boozer

Big Question: Is Richard Hamilton the Bulls answer at shooting guard?

5) Los Angeles Lakers (57-25)                                                        Key Additions: Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts    Key Losses: Lamar Odom

Player to watch: Pau Gasol

Big Question: Just how much will the Lakers miss Lamar Odom?

6) New York Knicks (42-40)                                                            Key Additions: Tyson Chandler, Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, Iman Shumpert                                                                                                    Key Losses: Chauncey Billups, Andy Rautins, Ronny Turiaf

Player to watch: Carmelo Anthony

Big Question: Are Tyson Chandler and assistant coach Mike Woodson the saving grace for the Knicks defensive woes?

7) Memphis Grizzlies (46-36)                                                          Key Additions: Brian Skinner                                                                Key Losses: Darrel Arthur (injury)

Player to watch: Marc Gasol

Big Question: Will the return of Rudy Gay put this team over the top?

8. San Antonio Spurs                                                                   Key Additions: Kawhi Leonard, T.J Ford                                              Key Losses: Antonio McDyess

Player to watch: Tim Duncan

Big Question: Do the San Antonio Spurs have one big playoff run left in them?

9) Boston Celtics (56-26)                                                                Key Additions: Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox, Keyon Dooling           Key Losses: Glen Davis, Von Wafer, Jeff Green(injury)

Player to watch: Brandon Bass

Big Question:With Jeff Green out for the year, are the Celtics deep enough to get their own “Big Three” some valuable rest?

10) Los Angeles Clippers (32-50)                                                  Key Additions: Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Reggie Evans                                                                                            Key Losses: Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Craig Smith

Player to watch: Blake Griffin

Big Question: Dare I ask, but could the Clippers REALLY be better than their Los Angeles counterparts?

11) Portland Trail Blazers (48-34)                                                 Key Additions: Kurt Thomas, Jamal Crawford, Craig Smith        Key Losses: Brandon Roy (retirement), Greg Oden (injury)

Player to watch: LaMarcus Aldridge

Big Question: Can Jamal Crawford be a suitable replacement for the now retired Brandon Roy?

12) Orlando Magic (52-30)                                                               Key Additions: Glen Davis, Von Wafer, Larry Hughes                    Key Losses: Brandon Bass, Gilbert Arenas

Player to watch: Dwight Howard

Big Question: Not if, but when is Dwight Howard going to be traded?

13) Indiana Pacers (37-45)                                                               Key Additions: Jeff Pendergraph, David West, Louis Amundson    Key Losses: James Posey, Brandon Rush

Player to watch: Paul George

Big Question: Is David West the best free-agent bargain of the year?

14) Houston Rockets (43-39)                                                          Key Additions: Marcus Morris                                                              Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Luis Scola

Big Question: Just how badly does Rockets ownership want to ring the neck of David Stern right now?

15) Philadelphia 76ers (41-41)                                                        Key Additions: Nikola Vucevic                                                              Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Thaddeus Young

Big Question: Will Evan Turner emerge from the shadows of obscurity?

16) Atlanta Hawks (44-38)                                                              Key Additions: Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic, Jerry Stackhouse, Jannero Pargo                                                                    Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Jeff Teague

Big Question: With a core of Johnson, Williams, Horford and Smith, will the Atlanta Hawks ever be anything more then 2nd-round fodder in the playoffs?

17) Denver Nuggets (50-32)                                                            Key Additions: Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton, Rudy Fernandez, Corey Brewer                                                                     Key Losses: Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, J.R Smith (in China until March)

Player to watch: Aaron Afflalo

Big Question: Can March just come already?

18) New Jersey Nets (24-58)                                                           Key Additions: MarShon Brooks, Ime Udoka, Sheldon Williams, Shawne Williams                                                                                     Key Losses: Travis Outlaw

Player to watch: Brook Lopez

Big Question: If Dwight Howard doesn’t come through the door, then how long is it before Deron Williams finally snaps?

19) Milwaukee Bucks (35-47)                                                         Key Additions: Stephen Jackson, Mike Dunleavy, Tobias Harris    Key Losses: Keyon Dooling

Player to watch: Brandon Jennings

Big Question: Will Brandon Jennings begin to show more substance than flash in 2011-12?

20) Golden State Warriors (36-46)                                             Key Additions: Kwame Brown, Brandon Rush, Dominic McGuire  Key Losses: Louis Amundson, Jeremy Lin, Reggie Williams, Charlie Bell

Player to watch: Dorell Wright

Big Question: Can rookie Head Coach Mark Jackson get the most out of a Ellis/Curry back-court?

21) Phoenix Suns(40-42)                                                                  Key Additions: Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair, Ronnie Price     Key Losses: Vince Carter, Zabian Dowdell

Player to watch: Shannon Brown

Big Question: Don’t you agree that Steve Nash deserves better than this?

22) New Orleans Hornets (46-36)                                              Key Additions: Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu        Key Losses: Chris Paul, David West

Player to watch: Jarrett Jack

Big Question: Can Eric Gordon be a franchise player in the NBA?

23) Minnesota Timberwolves (17-65)                                        Key Additions: Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio, J.J Barea            Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Ricky Rubio

Big Question: Is the trio of Williams, Love and Rubio good enough to build your team around?

24) Sacramento Kings (24-58)                                                       Key Additions: Jimmer Fredette, Travis Outlaw, Isiah Thomas       Key Losses: Marquis Daniels

Player to watch: Jimmer Fredette

Big Question: Will the Jimmer fever be the NBA equivalent of Tebow-Mania?

25) Washington Wizards (23-59)                                                  Key Additions: Jan Vesely, Shelvin Mack, Roger Mason, Ronny Turiaf                                                                                                         Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: John Wall

Big Question: How long is it before we start hearing the “John Wall wants out of town” rumors?

26) Utah Jazz (39-43)                                                                       Key Additions: Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, Jamaal Tinsley, Josh Howard                                                                                                      Key Losses: N/A

Player to watch: Derrick Favors

Big Question: With Kanter, Favors, Jefferson, Milsap and Okur all on the roster, who is out the door first?

27) Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63)                                                   Key Additions: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson                             Key Losses: Baron Davis, Joey Graham

Player to watch: Kyrie Irving

Big Question: Will Tristan Thompson justify his #4 pick?

28) Detroit Pistons (30-52)                                                              Key Additions: Brandon Knight, Jake Voskhul, Damien Wilkins     Key Losses: Richard Hamilton

Player to watch: Austin Daye

Big Question: If the team wants to rebuild and get back to the playoffs, then why on earth did they pay Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince to stay?

29) Toronto Raptors (19-63)                                                           Key Additions: Jamaal Magloire, Rasual Butler, Gary Forbes, Anthony Carter, Aaron Gray                                                                  Key Losses: Reggie Evans

Player to watch: Ed Davis

Big Question: Can even Dwayne Casey save the Raptors from being a defensive disaster?

30) Charlotte Bobcats (34-48)                                                        Key Additions: Kemba Walker, Corey Maggette, Reggie Williams, Byron Mullens                                                                                           Key Losses: Stephen Jackson

Player to watch: Kemba Walker

Big Question: Does entering the year with Corey Maggette as your number 1 scoring option just make you want to cry?

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