4. Oklahoma City Thunder: In the three preseason games they all played together, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony both averaged more shots and points per 36 minutes than Russell Westbrook, who took 371 more shots and scored 202 more points than any other player in the league last season. Also worth noting from the preseason is that Anthony attempted as many 3-pointers (23) as mid-range shots (23), having never done anything close to that in his regular-season career. He has the highest scoring average among active players against two teams: the Magic (26.2) and the Knicks (29.9). For the first time in almost seven years, he’ll face New York on Thursday.
5. San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs have had the league’s best bench over the last few years and are 14-4 in the regular season without Kawhi Leonard over the last two. The Spurs don’t play one of the other top four teams in the West until the champs visit on Nov. 2. With Leonard out, there’s some additional playmaking burden on Dejounte Murray (as they also wait for Tony Parker to get back and Patty Mills retains his role off the bench), though LaMarcus Aldridge had a solid preseason as the go-to guy. I see Spurs in the top rankings for the rest of the year.
6. Boston Celtics: I know you probably looking like really the Celtics ranked 6th. The new addition to the roster is great, but the bench is still weak. The Celtics let go a lot of pieces for Kyrie Irving that were big factors in there success. Gordon Hayward went down with a scary ankle injury that sent shivers to the sports world. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes with all the pressure on Irving.