1. L.A. Lakers. Ron Artest is a bit odd and surely has kept many a general manager awake at night. With Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, though? Nothing to worry about.
2. Cleveland. Shaquille O'Neal can still play. Get him 11-13 shots per game, then keep your fingers crossed when he's at the free-throw line, and the Cavs will easily win 65-plus games.
3. Boston. Rajon Rondo's 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.8 assists in last year's playoffs were impressive. But how do those numbers fit with a healthy Kevin Garnett?
4. San Antonio. Richard Jefferson is a nice addition to a team that badly needs him. But don't overlook the impact Antonio McDyess could have off the bench.
5. Dallas. It's possible that the Mavs will have Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden and Jason Terry coming off the bench. All three would start for five or six NBA teams.
6. Portland. Andre Miller could be the piece the Blazers are missing to get this young bunch to championship level. But by the time the young pieces reach their prime, Miller might be too old.
7. Washington. Yes, we've got the Wiz very high in this poll. But Gilbert Arenas is healthy, and we challenge you to find a deeper bench in the league.
8. Orlando. Adding Vince Carter was the splashy move. But adding Brandon Bass, Jason Williams and Matt Barnes might be the moves that matter most for this roster.
9. Denver. Last year was a magical season for the Nuggets. But a lot of teams have learned that it's difficult to recapture a magical season the following year.
10. New Orleans. With players like Peja Stojakovic and Morris Peterson falling into disrepair, and with Chris Paul badly needing a quality backup, there is big-time pressure on Darren Collison, Marcus Thornton and (egads!) Julian Wright.
11. Toronto. Hedo Turkoglu should help the team fix a number of problems. But he probably can't get Andrea Bargnani to rebound.
12. Atlanta. Not quite sure what Mike Woodson has done to not deserve a new contract.
13. Utah. You might be worried about the Carlos Boozer situation. But I'd be a little more concerned with that 15-26 road record last season.
14. Phoenix. The Suns will be running and gunning again. But not with Mike D'Antoni at the helm or Shawn Marion on the floor or much of a bench to speak of.
15. Chicago. Something about the John Salmons-Luol Deng combo just has to make you think this bunch won't miss Ben Gordon that much.
PBT: San Antonio raced out to a 25-point lead at home, pushed back on Memphis’ big third-quarter run, shut down Zach Randolph and cruised to a 105-83 win.
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