Power Rankings: Champs still No. 1

Updated: September 26, 2014, 2:42 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Friday, September 26
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With training camps about to open all over the NBA map, ESPN.com's NBA Power Rankings and your faithful Power Rankings committee (of one) are back.

The San Antonio Spurs return to work Friday with media day as our automatic No. 1, thanks to the longstanding tradition in this cyberspace to reserve the top spot for the reigning champs. Yet we have to admit that the Cleveland Cavaliers -- after reacquiring LeBron James and trading for Kevin Love in what has to be regarded as one of the greatest offseasons ever -- sure gave us something to think about and nearly forced a break from tradition. Nearly.

We'll meet up back here every Monday during the regular season to take the pulse of all 30 teams, relying on our trusted formula, sorting them by weighing what's happening in the present in conjunction with that team's big-picture outlook for the season . . . while always allowing for a dash of subjective whim.

Friendly reminder, though: Our preseason edition of the rankings, on top of the grand-scheme stuff, always gives significant weight to a team's personnel successes (or failures) from the summer, as well as any injuries, when making our calculations. Further background on how we established this week's order can be found on Stein Line Live.

The next edition of the rankings is scheduled for Oct. 27, on the eve of opening night, and we'll take the next month to get a better feel for all these teams during exhibition play. You can comment below on the rankings, which are compiled with the usual helpful dishing from ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau.

Editor's note: The "Record" category reflects how each team finished last season.

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