Power Rankings: Heat start off on top with West trio not far behind

Updated: September 29, 2006, 2:37 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
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You survived 163 days without a fresh batch of NBA Power Rankings.

NBA

You can exhale now and soak in our annual training camp edition, with two-a-days commencing over the weekend for the four teams bound for Europe and on Tuesday for everyone else.

For the purposes of review, allow me to share my usual reminder that this set of rankings is a barometer of each team's standing heading into camp. How good a team is projected to be is only part of the equation at this early stage. How good its summer was factors in as well, along with a dash of totally subjective whim. For example: Sacramento, Memphis and Philadelphia have better talent than their rankings suggest but all took a big tumble because of their offseasons.

The next set of rankings will appear on Oct. 30, one day before Opening Night, after all 30 teams have a month to impress us. The rankings will then continue every Monday through the regular season. Click here to comment on the first helping.

Editor's note: Last Week and Record categories are from the final Power Rankings of the 2005-06 regular season.

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