Preseason NBA ATS Power Rankings
1: Milwaukee Bucks (52-28-2 ATS, 46-36 SU) - The Bucks were quietly one of the best teams in the NBA last year, and in spite of the fact that they had the second lowest scoring average of any team in the Top 10 teams in the ATS rankings, they were incredibly sneaky. With C Andrew Bogut coming back after injury last year and the prospects of G Michael Redd getting added to the fold again halfway through this season, this could be yet another great year. One thing is for certain, and that's that HC Scott Skiles isn't going to accept anything less than an incredibly gritty performance from his team night in and night out.
2: Utah Jazz (49-30-3 ATS, 53-29 SU) - The Jazz very quietly made one of the biggest moves of the offseason by acquiring F Al Jefferson from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The longest tenured coach in the NBA, HC Jerry Sloan is once again going to have a great squad that is expected to dominate in the Western Conference. No, we don't have the pleasure of seeing names like G Jeff Hornacek, F Karl Malone, and G John Stockton anymore, but don't discount G Deron Williams, as he might be a future Hall of Famer in his own right as well. Utah badly needs a shooting guard, which is going to be the only thing that could cost it this year.
3: Phoenix Suns (48-33-1 ATS, 54-28 SU) - The Suns are going to have a lot of cleaning up to do after losing F Amare Stoudemire via free agency to the New York Knicks. However, this is a team that might be even more prone to running up and down the court with the acquisition of F Hedo Turkoglu from the Toronto Raptors. The only problem for this club is the lack of an inside game. The oddsmakers are very much so down on this team this year, but G Steve Nash is never one to be counted out.
4: Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34 ATS, 50-32 SU) - The Thunder might be the best, young team in the NBA this year, but the oddsmakers have clearly gone crazy with their obsession. Oklahoma City isn't sneaking up on anyone anymore, and even though F Kevin Durant is legitimately going to be one of the best MVP candidates in the league, there is still a lot to prove to beat the NBA odds on a regular basis like it did last year. Don't forget about the rest of the depth on this team. One year after knocking at the door, the Thunder are probably going to beat it in.
5: Atlanta Hawks (48-34 ATS, 53-29 SU) - Holy moly! The Hawks won 53 games last year, kept the exact same team together, save their head coach, but they are clearly big time long shots in the Atlantic Division. Atlanta arguably made the coup of the offseason by resigning G Joe Johnson, making him the only major free agent to stay in his city, save G Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat. Former HC Mike Goodson was really hated in the Peach State, and the team clearly rebelled against him late in the season. With Goodson out, this could be a team that makes some real noise in 2010-11.
6: Golden State Warriors (47-34-1 ATS, 26-56 SU) - Good old Nelly Ball ran the Warriors up near the .500 mark last season, and it was a bit of a surprise to see him dismissed prior to this season. Still, there is no doubt that the combination of G Monta Ellis and G Stephen Curry is going to be running up and down the floor for the full 82 games this season. F David Lee was picked up from the New York Knicks to help solidify a game in the paint that simply didn't exist at times. This is a team that is going to be a real pest in the Western Conference this year and could cover a ton of NBA spreads once again.
7: Orlando Magic (46-34-2 ATS, 59-23 SU) - The Magic have posted the best ATS mark in the league over the last three seasons, and they are one of the only teams in the league to put together three straight ATS winning seasons as well. Was Orlando exposed in the playoffs last year, though? Yes, the team won its first eight games of the playoffs, but C Dwight Howard spent a lot of time on the bench dealing with tick tack foul problems. Will Superman be able to come back out of the phone booth and lead the Magic back to the Promised Land? If he ultimately has a great season, Howard has arguably the deepest team in the NFL around him to work with.
8: Portland Trail Blazers (44-36-2 ATS, 50-32 SU) - The Trail Blazers really didn't get into the playoffs by much last year, but we have to remember that this was a team that dealt with some major injury issues. G Brandon Roy shouldn't be dealing with a knee injury anymore, but the real key is going to be whether or not C Greg Oden can really prove that he belongs in this league and stays off of the injured list. There are some fantastic pieces to the puzzle in place here in Portland, but just like Oklahoma City, no one is taking this team for granted.
9: San Antonio Spurs (44-37-1 ATS, 50-32 SU) - Ho hum. It was another 50 win season for the Spurs in 2009-10, and this year probably won't be an exception. G Tony Parker is back in the saddle and should be healthy. He clearly has a lot to prove as well after being rumored to get kicked out of town in the offseason. G Manu Ginobili is still one of the best spark plugs in the league, while F Tim Duncan is doing the best that he can to groom C DeJuan Blair to take over when he is set to retire. Sound familiar? Duncan, as a young player, won a number of titles due to the tutelage of C David Robinson.
10: Charlotte Bobcats (44-37-1 ATS, 44-38 SU) - The Bobcats made the playoffs for the first time in team history last year, but it was a short stay in the second season thanks to the Orlando Magic. Though Charlotte has the pieces of the puzzle in place, it has the big problem that it is playing in the Southeast Division, which is arguably the toughest in the league. For a team that averaged just 93.8 points per game allowed though, the Bobcats are always a pain to opponents, especially as hefty underdogs. Don't be shocked if none of that changes this year.