Power Rankings: Welcome back!
Friday, September 25
You did it again. You survived the long, hot, barren, Power Rankings-less summer to make it to the start of a new season.
Four NBA teams (Boston, Charlotte, Orlando and the Los Angeles Clippers) are holding their annual media day on this magical Friday. The league's other 26 clubs all open for business Monday. The 2015-16 campaign is thus officially underway, 101 days since the last dribble of the NBA Finals ... and 165 days since the last edition of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings.
This is the 14th successive season of operation for your trusty Power Rankings Committee of One, which naturally has the reigning champions from Golden State atop this camp edition of our power poll, upholding our long-standing tradition that dictates that the No. 1 spot is the least that the defending champs deserve.
But you could actually make a case for two other teams up there, as worthy as the young, potent and nearly intact Warriors are, given Cleveland's status as the biggest Eastern Conference favorite in recent memory, along with the landslide fashion in which San Antonio won the summer.
Friendly reminder: Our maiden edition of the rankings every season, on top of employing the usual calculations, always gives significant weight to a team's personnel successes (or failures) from the summer -- as well as any injuries -- when sorting the 1-to-30 ladder. More background on the order will be available, as always, on Stein Line Live, but the offseason scorecard factor is why the Clippers, for example, are all the way up at No. 4. It's also why the Portland Trail Blazers, who obviously endured a rougher summer than any team on the NBA map, have tumbled all the way down to No. 29.
We'll meet up back here every Monday during the regular season to take the pulse of all 30 teams, ranking them by weighing what's happening in the present against that team's big-picture outlook for the season, while always allowing for a dash of subjective whim.
The next edition of the rankings hits Oct. 26, on the eve of opening night, giving us a month of fresh data to consider. You can comment below on the rankings, which are compiled with the usual helpful dishing from ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau.
Editor's note: The "Record" category reflects how each team finished last season.