Power Rankings: Welcome back

Updated: November 1, 2013, 3:41 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, Oct. 28

Here's some secret insight into the world of power-rankers:

Between the Training Camp Edition of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings and the annual installment that appears on the eve of the regular season, generally only injuries can cause a real shakeup at the top.

And that's what we have here as we await Bulls at Heat on Tuesday night to launch the 2013-14 season in earnest. Indiana has lost projected super sub Danny Granger for the first three weeks of the season to rehab a strained left calf. Deron Williams' nagging ankle woes kept him off the floor for much of Brooklyn's preseason preparations. And Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook isn't expected back before December after needing some follow-up surgery on his problematic right knee.

Those are the developments that had the greatest impact on our latest rankings batch, which naturally features the two-time reigning champs in their rightful spot at No. 1. The aforementioned health issues, meanwhile, have dropped Indy from No. 2 to No. 6, Brooklyn from No. 3 to No. 7 and OKC from No. 7 to a very uncharacteristic No. 10 since we last did this exercise in late September. Moving up behind Miami, by contrast, are the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls, who have climbed from No. 8 to No. 4 on the strength of Derrick Rose's very positive (so far) return from more than a year out after knee surgery.

Check back every Monday for the rest of the regular season for our 1-to-30 pulse take of the league, which as always is computed by your trusty committee (of one) by weighing what we're seeing in the present in equal measure with each team's big-picture outlook ... as well as dash of subjective whim.

The rankings are also compiled with the ever-helpful assisting that comes from ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias sports Bureau.


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