NBA Power Rankings: Clippers #1, Warriors Still Near the Top, Rockets Crack Top 10

1LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 19.9% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 67% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 55 Wins

With their massive move to get Kawhi and PG the Clippers are now #1 in the West with nearly 55 wins per simulation. This assumes Kawhi sits around 15 games as part of load management. Their championship percentage leads the league. They have a 75.3% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 49.1% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the West is 30.3%. They have 19.9% chance of winning the championship. Their 48 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +5.6 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went better than expected. They exceeded expectations on both the road and at home. They went 22-19 on the road and were expected to win 17.8. Their 63.4% home win percentage was better than expected (60%).

2LOS ANGELES LAKERS 18.7% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 67% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 54 Wins

The Anthony Davis trade vaulted them to the top of the West. But Utah's bold moves and Kawhi's move to the Clippers put them back to #3. By acquiring Danny Green and re-signing Javale McGee they should be a solid defensive team and managed to hold onto the 2nd spot in the West. They have a 71.9% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 46.1% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the West is 27.9%. They have 18.7% chance of winning the championship. The regular season went worse than expected. They won 37 games vs an expected win total of 38.9. They met expectations at home, it was on the road that they struggled. They went 15-26 on the road and were expected to win 17.3. They won 22 at home and were expected to win 21.6.

3MILWAUKEE BUCKS 14% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 63% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 54 Wins

They were up 2-0 against the eventual champ. They kept Middleton and Lopez but by losing Malcolm Brogden to a division rival resulting in their slipping to #2 in the East. With Kawhi leaving Toronto they are back on top. They have a 76.5% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 49.1% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the East is 30.3%. They have 14% chance of winning the championship. Their 60 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +3.2 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went better than expected. They exceeded expectations on both the road and at home. They won 65.9% on the road which was better than expected (62.3%). They won 33 at home and were expected to win 31.2.

If you are looking for the best NBA picks and fantasy advice visit Sportsline.com where you get both objective computer simulation based picks and ones made by the industry's top handicappers.

4PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 10.7% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 62% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 53 Wins

Philadelphia was projected to be a 55 win team if they were able to bring back their roster from last season. Without Redick and Jimmy Butler they slip to a 50 win team. By getting Al Horford they move back up to a 53 win team. Not as good as they could have been but a lot better than they were for a few minutes. They have a 74.5% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 43.2% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the East is 23%. They have 10.7% chance of winning the championship. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 49.5 wins. Their 51 actual wins was above expectation. Their strength was at home. Their 75.6% home win percentage was better than expected (70.1%). They won 48.8% on the road which was as expected (50.5%).

5INDIANA PACERS 7% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 58% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 52 Wins

It looked like Ricky Rubio was going to go to Indiana immediately after Darren Collison retired. Our projection for the Pacers dropped from 50 to 48 wins because Rubio cannot shoot. By getting Brogden (and Jeremy Lamb) instead they improved to nearly 51+ wins despite losing Thaddeus Young and not retaining Bogdanovic. They are a great long-shot value to win the Championship. They have a 67% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 36.2% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the East is 19%. They have 7% chance of winning the championship. The regular season went better than expected. They won 48 games vs an expected win total of 45.5. They exceeded expectations at home. They went 19-22 on the road and were expected to win 19.2. They won 29 at home and were expected to win 26.3.

6GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 6.7% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 63% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 48 Wins

The Warriors are only projected to win 47 games with the injury to Klay Thompson, the losses of key veterans and the addition of new pieces like D'Angelo Russell. But come March 2020 they should be back on solid footing and despite being 6th in projected record they have the 3rd highest chance of winning the Championship in the West. They have a 50.4% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 25.3% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the West is 11.2%. They have 6.7% chance of winning the championship. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 60.9 wins. Their 57 actual wins was below expectation. Home court was not an advantage, at least not in terms of meeting expectations. They were OK on the road. They went 27-14 on the road and were expected to win 27.7. Their 73.2% home win percentage was worse than expected (81%).

7BOSTON CELTICS 6.4% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 58% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 49 Wins

Without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford their projected win total dropped significantly from 51 down to 44. With Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter and improved chemistry they are back up to a 49 win projection. They have a 59.7% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 30.7% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the East is 15.7%. They have 6.4% chance of winning the championship. Their 49 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -3.1 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went worse than expected. They came up short at home and on the road. Their 68.3% home win percentage was worse than expected (70.9%). They won 51.2% on the road which was worse than expected (56.3%).

8DENVER NUGGETS 4.9% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 59% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 49 Wins

By keeping Paul Millsap the Nuggets will look to build on their success last season. With the moves that the Clippers, Lakers and Jazz made they are only projected to finish 4th in the West next season. They have a 45% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 21.3% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the West is 9.7%. They have 4.9% chance of winning the championship. Their 54 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +3.4 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went better than expected. They exceeded expectations at home. They went 20-21 on the road and were expected to win 21.2. They won 34 at home and were expected to win 29.4.

9HOUSTON ROCKETS 3.7% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 59% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 49 Wins

The Rockets would have been wise to get over their chemistry issues from last season and just try to win in '19-20 with the same core. But clearly the Harden-Paul relationship was broken. The Rockets had the best record when Paul was healthy for the past 2 seasons. To think that Russell Westbrook would be a better POINT GUARD is crazy. They went from 50 wins to 48 wins after the trade and a lower chance of winning the West. They have a 46.6% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 20% chance of getting past round 2. Their chances of then winning the West is 7.9%. They have 3.7% chance of winning the championship. Their 53 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +0.9 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went as expected. They exceeded expectations at home. They went 22-19 on the road and were expected to win 23.2. They won 31 at home and were expected to win 29.

10UTAH JAZZ 3.5% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 59% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 50 Wins

The Jazz jumped from a projected 7th best conference record to the best after upgrading to Mike Conley. However, with the Clippers, Lakers and other major moves out West the Jazz are currently in a virtual tie for the #3 seed in the West. Their ability to be a Top 2 Seed will largely hinge on Mike Conley staying healthy, how much the Clippers and Lakers rest their stars, and how well Westbrook fits in with Houston. They have a 48.2% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 18.8% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 7.5%. They have 3.5% chance of winning the championship. The regular season went worse than expected. They won 50 games vs an expected win total of 53.7. They didn't meet expectations on the road and at home. They won 51.2% on the road which was worse than expected (57%). They won 29 at home and were expected to win 30.4.

11TORONTO RAPTORS 1.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 54% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 46 Wins

Without Kawhi Leonard the Raptors dropped to under 47 wins per simulation and the 5th spot in the East. Their chance of repeating were right around 14 percent with Kawhi Leonard. That dropped by nearly 13 percentage points after Kawhi left. They have a 34.5% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 12.7% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the East is 4.1%. They have 1.1% chance of winning the championship. Their 58 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +2.8 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went better than expected. They won more games than expected at home and on the road. They won 63.4% on the road which was better than expected (59.6%). They won 32 at home and were expected to win 30.8.

12PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 1.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 56% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 45 Wins

Portland has dropped from a projected 4 Seed immediately at the end of the last season to a 8 seed as the Clippers, Lakers, Jazz have leap frogged them. They have a 26.7% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 9% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 2.8%. They have 1.1% chance of winning the championship. The regular season went better than expected. They won 53 games vs an expected win total of 46.9. Their strength was at home. Their 78% home win percentage was much better than expected (64.8%). They won 51.2% on the road which was as expected (49.5%).

13SAN ANTONIO SPURS 0.6% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 54% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 44 Wins

San Antonio has not made any major moves but should get key young players back healthy. But with OKC rebuilding the Spurs are projected to win 44 games which is #8 in the West. They have a 20% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 6.4% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 1.8%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The regular season went better than expected. They won 48 games vs an expected win total of 45.5. They exceeded expectations at home. They won 39% on the road which was much worse than expected (46.8%). They won 32 at home and were expected to win 26.3.

14BROOKLYN NETS 0.4% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 50% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 45 Wins

They were projected to regress next year with D'Angelo Russell and win 38 games. With Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan they are looking at 45+ wins and when Kevin Durant comes back next season they are at 50+ wins and an elite team in the East. They have a 28.9% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 9.7% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the East is 2.4%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The regular season went much better than expected. They won 42 games vs an expected win total of 36.4. Their strength was in road games. Their 56.1% home win percentage was better than expected (52.6%). They won 46.3% on the road which was much better than expected (36.2%).

15DETROIT PISTONS 0.4% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 50% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 42 Wins

While no one would consider them a contender the Detroit Pistons are projected for 45 wins which is 6th best in the East and a very high 86% chance to make the playoffs. While it's highly unlikely, they are technically a good betting value to win the championship. They have a 21.6% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 7.3% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the East is 2.4%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. Their 41 regular season wins exceeded expectations. It was +0.4 above what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went as expected. They exceeded expectations at home. They went 15-26 on the road and were expected to win 16.5. Their 63.4% home win percentage was better than expected (58.9%).

16MIAMI HEAT 0.4% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 49% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 42 Wins

Goran Dragic WAS a good player but at this point he is a subpar inefficient lead combo guard. By moving on from him and getting Jimmy Butler the Heat went from a #9 in the East to #7 in the East projection. They have a 19.6% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 6.3% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the East is 1.9%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. Their 39 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -1.6 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went worse than expected. They met expectations on the road. It was at home where they came up short. They went 20-21 on the road and were expected to win 17. Their 46.3% home win percentage was much worse than expected (57.6%).

17ORLANDO MAGIC 0.2% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 49% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 41 Wins

If they did not keep Vucevic the Magic would have slipped to being a 35 win team and not in the playoff picture. They have a 16.4% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 4.7% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the East is 1.2%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The regular season went better than expected. They won 42 games vs an expected win total of 36.8. They exceeded expectations on both the road and at home. Their 61% home win percentage was better than expected (53.3%). They won 41.5% on the road which was better than expected (36.6%).

18DALLAS MAVERICKS 0.2% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 50% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 40 Wins

The subtle, smart moves the Mavericks made have helped them increase their projected wins to 40+. In the West, that is still only 10th best and the Mavs still only have a 34% chance of making the playoffs, but they are trending in the right direction. They have a 6.5% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 1.6% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 0.5%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 34.9 wins. Their 33 actual wins was below expectation. They met expectations at home, it was on the road that they struggled. They won 22% on the road which was much worse than expected (32.6%). They won 24 at home and were expected to win 21.6.

19OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 49% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 40 Wins

The Thunder were projected to win 49 and be one of 7 potential teams with a legit shot to win the West. With Paul George heading to the Clippers the Thunder dropped to a projected #9 in the West with just 41 wins. They are currently at 40 wins based on the 'mystery' around Chris Paul's status with the team. They have a 5.2% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 1.3% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 0.2%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 51.2 wins. Their 49 actual wins was below expectation. Home court was not an advantage, at least not in terms of meeting expectations. They were OK on the road. Their 65.9% home win percentage was worse than expected (70.6%). They won 53.7% on the road which was as expected (54.4%).

20NEW ORLEANS PELICANS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 47% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 38 Wins

Adding Zion Williamson had a massive impact on their projected win total. Before the draft they were projected for just 25 wins. But even a 9 win improvement only improved them from 14th best in the conference to 13th. By adding one of the best pure shooters in the league in JJ Redick they jumped 4 more wins. It comes down to Zion Williamson. If he is a 18 pt, 9 reb "very good" rookie they win 38. But if he is an instant 23 pt, 10 reb, all defense player as a rookie they could definitely be in the playoffs. They have a 2.6% chance of getting past the first round of the playoffs. They have a 0.8% chance of getting past round 2. If they do manage to beat the odds and advance past round 2, their chances of winning the West is 0.1%. While not mathematically eliminated they are winning the championship in under 0.1% of simulations. The regular season went much worse than expected. They won 33 games vs an expected win total of 37.4. They came up short at home and on the road. They went 14-27 on the road and were expected to win 15.7. Their 46.3% home win percentage was much worse than expected (52.8%).

21MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 47% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 36 Wins

If they had combined Mike Conley and Ja Morant they were projected for nearly 37 wins. Without both before the draft they were projected for 30 wins. Morant delivered a big improvement. We do not project them to be a playoff team in '19-20. Their 33 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -0.5 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went as expected. They exceeded expectations at home. Their 51.2% home win percentage was better than expected (48.6%). They won 29.3% on the road which was much worse than expected (33.1%).

22ATLANTA HAWKS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 40% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 33 Wins

De'Andre Hunter is a perfect fit for the Hawks and they are projected to make a significant +5 to 7 win improvement from last season. Our simulations give them a very slim chance of making the playoffs. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 25.6 wins. Their 29 actual wins was above expectation. They exceeded expectations on the road. They won 29.3% on the road which was much better than expected (23.4%). They won 17 at home and were expected to win 16.

23WASHINGTON WIZARDS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 39% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 33 Wins

We do not project them to be a playoff team in '19-20. Their 32 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -6.3 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went much worse than expected. They came up short on the road. They were OK at home. Their 53.7% home win percentage was as expected (55.3%). They won 24.4% on the road which was much worse than expected (38.1%).

24SACRAMENTO KINGS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 45% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 36 Wins

If Harrison Barnes was able to make wide open shots in clutch situations the Warriors would have never lost to the Cavaliers and probably would not have signed KD and who knows how the world would look today. The Kings were projected to win 37 games without Harrison Barnes. Our simulations give them a very slim chance of making the playoffs. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 35.6 wins. Their 39 actual wins was above expectation. They exceeded expectations at home. Their 58.5% home win percentage was better than expected (51.1%). They won 36.6% on the road which was as expected (35.7%).

25PHOENIX SUNS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 33% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 25 Wins

Ricky Rubio is a fine defender and a great passer but not a person thought Utah's great defense or inconsistent offense would be any worse when it was clear they were moving on from Ricky Rubio. It is one thing to shoot 31% from three point range. That is bad, but when it comes on wide open looks that average guards would make 42% of the time it's even worse. The Suns did improve after dumping Josh Jackson. They are not playoff contenders based on our latest simulations. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 22.4 wins. Their 19 actual wins was below expectation. They didn't meet expectations on the road and at home. Their 29.3% home win percentage was much worse than expected (33.7%). They won 17.1% on the road which was much worse than expected (20.9%).

26NEW YORK KNICKS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 34% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 26 Wins

RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Bobby Portis are all individually talented forwards and who wouldn't want to be rich, young and in New York City? They also added Taj Gibson and at the end of the day the Knicks improved a ton (from 18 to 26 wins) but are still an afterthought with 0% chance of making the playoffs. We do not project them to be a playoff team in '19-20. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 22.3 wins. Their 17 actual wins was below expectation. They didn't meet expectations on the road and at home. Their 22% home win percentage was much worse than expected (32.3%). They won 19.5% on the road which was much worse than expected (22.1%).

27MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 36% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 28 Wins

With all the moves being made in the West the Timberwolves are only projected to win 28 games and are only ahead of Phoenix in the West. Our simulations give them a very slim chance of making the playoffs. The sum of all of their regular season money line implied probabilities (adjusted for the juice) projects to 38 wins. Their 36 actual wins was below expectation. They came up short on the road. They were OK at home. They went 11-30 on the road and were expected to win 16.1. Their 61% home win percentage was better than expected (53.6%).

28CLEVELAND CAVALIERS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 32% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 25 Wins

While not a playoff contender their projected win total did improve by nearly 3 wins from before and after the draft. In a shooters' league they drafted quality shooting. We do not project them to be a playoff team in '19-20. Their 19 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -1.8 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went worse than expected. They came up short on the road. They were OK at home. Their 31.7% home win percentage was as expected (31.8%). They won 14.6% on the road which was much worse than expected (19%).

29CHICAGO BULLS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 31% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 24 Wins

While still projected to be one of the worst teams in the league they did improve their projected win total with Satoransky and Thaddeus Young. But other bottom ranked teams, namely the Knicks, improved enough to keep the Bulls at #15 in the East. We do not project them to be a playoff team in '19-20. The regular season went much worse than expected. They won 22 games vs an expected win total of 25. Home court was not an advantage, at least not in terms of meeting expectations. They were OK on the road. Their 22% home win percentage was much worse than expected (36.2%). They won 31.7% on the road which was much better than expected (24.7%).

30CHARLOTTE HORNETS <0.1% Chance of Winning Championship
Win 36% of Neutral Court Sims and Projected for 28 Wins

While Kemba Walker did not help the Celtics win that many more games his departure did cost Charlotte 4 wins and replacing him with Terry Rozier did not help at all. After all the other moves around the league the Hornets are proejcted for a 10 win drop in '19-20 They are not playoff contenders based on our latest simulations. Their 39 regular season wins did not meet expectations. It was -1.4 below what oddsmakers' money line projected. The season went worse than expected. They met expectations at home, it was on the road that they struggled. Their 61% home win percentage was as expected (59.8%). They won 34.1% on the road which was much worse than expected (38.9%).