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2016-17 NBA Power Rankings: Preseason week three edition

Basketball experts expected Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors to take some time to gel, but that hasn’t been the case over the last month. This squad is clicking on all cylinders already and that could be trouble for the rest of the league.

With a 4-1 record and the firepower this franchise has on the offensive end of the court, Golden State will enter the regular season on top of the power rankings and the team to beat as they look to make a third straight trip to the finals.

Cleveland won the championship last year and the news that J.R. Smith is set to return, gives the Cavaliers a good shot at repeating. Despite a 2-3 record during the preseason, LeBron James and company will be ready with the opening tip-off and the top team in the east as the year begins, but with the moves made this summer, they could have some stiff competition.

Boston is clearly the franchise in the Eastern Conference that could have the biggest improvement over last year. The Celtics added center Al Horford and with one of the best and deepest back courts in the NBA, this franchise is on the verge of something special.

Danny Ainge has assembled a good mix of youth and experience and experts are projecting a second seed in the playoffs, but if this squad plays just that ten percent better than expected, the Cavs’ could have a scrap on their hands for the best overall record in the east.

San Antonio, despite the retirement of Tim Duncan, are still third in the power rankings as the regular season approaches. The addition of Pau Gasol was big and his role should give the Spurs the experience they need in the paint, but this franchise will need to start adding some youth, especially in the back court or they risk becoming an afterthought as a playoff contender in the near future.

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