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NBA League Pass Rankings: Part One

Your guide to who to watch this season and why.


Greetings members of the Sonics Rising community! My name is Mitchell Northam (you can call me Mitch) and I have joined the staff of Sonics Rising. Some of you may know me from the comments as I have frequented the blog since it joined SB Nation earlier this year and it has since become one of my favorite blogs on the Internet. I'm a student at Salisbury University, located in the great state of Maryland. I also write for Black and Red United, DMV Elite, and the Student Newspaper at SU. Anyways, I'll be writing about the NBA and college hoops here. I hope you enjoy!

With the NBA regular season upon us it's time to decide who to watch this season, who not to watch this season, and what teams you'll want to watch every night. That's where I come in, giving you my League Pass rankings for the upcoming season. Who are the most watchable teams in the NBA? Let's find out...

PART ONE: 30-21

30. Philadelphia 76ers

Why you should watch:

You really shouldn't watch this team. No really, please don't watch the 76ers this season. Nerlens Noel is likely done for the year, all-star Jrue Holliday is gone, and this team will struggle to win eight games. It'll be interesting to see how Brett Brown does in his first head coaching gig, but trotting out a lineup where Evan Turner will be your leading scorer, passer, and rebounder sounds like it will be set up to fail. Yes, I have forgotten about Thaddeus Young.

Big Question: Evan Turner is the 76ers right now; can he average a double -double?

29. Utah Jazz

Why you should watch:

Trey Burke is an early favorite for rookie of the year, but he'll likely miss a handful of games in the beginning of the season due to injury. Gordon Hayward will shoot threes and continue to grow as one of the best "damn, that white boy can ball" guys in the league. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are no longer around which means we'll see more minutes from Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, which could be fun. Also, Ty Corbin will be the first head coach fired.

Big Question: Can Derrick Favors play at an all-star level this year?

28. Phoenix Suns

Why you should watch:

Eric Bledsoe finally gets to run his own team; time to see what the young guard has learned from CP3. Bledsoe paired with Goran Dragic in the backcourt could be fun, but outside of those two and big man Marcin Gortat, what does this team have to offer the NBA fan flipping through channels? "Oh! Alex Len is in!" will be what I say the only time I stop and watch Suns' games. Oh, and Channing Frye is back!

Big Question: If Marcin Gortat gets traded, will Alex Len start? Will he be successful?

27. Toronto Raptors

Why you should watch:

If you like bad shots from Rudy Gay, screen curls, the occasional dunk, lots of standing around, and 3-D logos on the court, then this is the team for you (3-D things give me headaches; the Raptors also give me headaches. This team isn't for me). The "Rudy Gay trade watch" will be fun to keep track of this season. Outside of that, Terrence Ross will be dunking and Tyler Hansbrough will be doing Tyler Hansbrough things. If Jonas Valančiūnas continues his solid play, I'll tune in. Other than that? No thanks, Raptors.

Big Question: Jonas Valančiūnas was good at the end of last season and great in summer league play (averaging a double-double). Can he keep it up?

26. Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets?)

Why you should watch:

Kemba Walker improved a lot last year from his rookie campaign, increasing his per game averages of points, assists, and steals; as well as starting 82 games and improving his field goal percentage. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has proven to be a solid defender and has proven that I have a better jump shot than he does. Kemba and MKG will be paired with new front court mates in Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller. Big Al Jeff has the opportunity to score a lot of points this season if someone on the Bobcats can step up and free him of double teams. And yes, Bismack Biyombo is still in the league at age 60.

Big Question: Can Big Al Jeff and Cody Zeller form a successful high-low tandem?

25. Orlando Magic

Why you should watch:

Victor Oladipo (like Trey Burke) is a favorite to win ROY. Moe Harkless continues to grow in the Andre Iguodola mold as a Swiss-army knife on both ends of the floor. Andrew Nicholson has added a three point shot to his arsenal, Tobias Harris will continue to grow, and Nic Vucevic is a double-double machine. All in all, this will be a fun team to watch, but they will lose their fair share of games.

Big Question: Can Victor Oladipo play point guard? Who starts at power forward for this team?

24. Atlanta Hawks

Why you should watch:

I'd like to welcome you all to the Al Horford show, co-starring shooters of all kinds. This season, Horford will be paired with the likes of Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, John Jenkins, Kyle Korver, and Lou Williams. A combination of any of those guys on the court at one time will be tough to defend. Problem is, they will have a tough time defending other teams.

Big Question: Will this roster look completely different after the trade deadline?

23. Los Angeles Lakers

Why you should watch:

The Lakers will be one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, so if you hate defense this team is for you. Kobe Bryant is a machine and he will be back sooner than people think, but let's look at who Kobe is surrounded with this season, shall we?

Steve Nash (39 years old), Nick Young, Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol (until the deadline anyways), Wesley Johnson, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, and Jordan Farmar.

This "tank-mode" roster will turn Kobe Bryant into 2005-2008 Kobe Bryant. You know, the Kobe that shoots more than he should but puts up 30 plus ppg. That is why you should watch the Lakers, to watch an old Kobe score his ass off this season. If you're hoping for anything more than that out of this Lakers team this season then I'm sorry.

Big Question: Can 35 year old Kobe score 30 plus points per game this year?

22. Dallas Mavericks

Why you should watch:

MONTA BALL. All Monta Ellis wants to do is shoot, all he will do is shoot, and there is nothing you can do about it. Dirk Nowitzki has missed his fair share of games the last two seasons and I'm thinking he is due for a comeback; don't forget about Dirk. This team also sports an aging Vincent Carter, so look for lots of flops, injuries, and the occasional dunk.

Big Question: Can Dirk average 23-7 and play 70 games? Will Vince Carter retire this season? Will Rick Carlisle drag Monta Ellis off the court for taking bad shots over and over again?

21. Milwaukee Bucks

Why you should watch:

(This will be the only time I write this guy's name. From now on, his name is G-Po and that's it.) Giannis Antetokounmpo is pretty fun to watch. If you're flipping through channels and G-Po is on the court then you need to stop and watch. The Bucks went out this off-season and retooled their back court adding heat-check guy Gary Neal, the young and still improving Brandon Knight, veteran forward Caron Butler, and a guy that has potential to light up a stat sheet when he gets hot in OJ Mayo. Also, Larry Sanders is a human eraser.

Big Question: Will the Bucks' broadcasters call Giannis Antetokounmpo by his real name, or will they call him G-Po? I hope they call him G-Po. #FreeGPo.

Update: Sadly, G-Po might not crack the Bucks' rotation.

Look for Part II tomorrow! Teams 20-11. Hit the poll!