Here is the ESPN power ranking
1 - Miami Heat
The Heat, with zero financial flexibility, have spruced up the roster as much as they feasibly could have by adding Oden and Beasley. It says here they'll cope just fine with LeBron's looming free agency, too. The real issue is going to be getting out of the East, which is going to be way harder.
2 - Indiana Pacers
I'm super high on Indy and for once it has nothing to do with thoughts of the inimitable shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo's. Sprinkle in Danny Granger and Luis Scola from an upgraded bench with the freshly maxed-out Paul George and playoffs Roy Hibbert and you've got a legit title-contending mix.
3 - Brooklyn Nets
Can J-Kidd coach? Can J-Kidd, with zero experience and facing championship expectations, coach a team that will spend nearly $190 million in salary and luxury taxes this season? I know this much: I've seen J-Kidd, at age 38, guard Kobe and Durant in the playoffs. So I know he won't be scared.
4 - Los Angeles Clippers
The opportunity is there to do something far more significant than worry about the unwinnable battle for L.A. bragging rights with the Lakers. You'd obviously like the Clips' chances better if KG and Pierce arrived in tow with Doc Rivers, but they've got a team now that can win the whole West.
5 - San Antonio Spurs
I've said it a zillion times: Let somebody else write the Spurs off. Yet like everyone else, I do wonder about how they'll bounce back mentally and how they'll physically handle another nine-month grind. Don't forget these guys have actually endured two successive heartbreaking postseasons.
6 - Houston Rockets
Houston won the summer ... or, at worst, shares Best Offseason honors with Brooklyn. They probably need one season together before we really see the Rockets threatening to win the West, but they are also never really done making moves. So stay tuned to see what they get for Asik.
7 - Oklahoma City Thunder
Leaguewide appreciation for Russell Westbrook after the injury misfortune that knocked him out of the playoffs is at an all-time peak. The team outlook, though, seems gloomier than ever since the Thunder landed in OKC, thanks to the limitations of the cast around Durant, Ibaka and Russ.
8 - Chicago Bulls
The respect (fear?) Las Vegas has for Derrick Rose always impresses me. The Bulls' visit to Miami on opening night will mark Rose's first game in 549 days, but you won't find Chicago lower than third or fourth in the Sin City sports books when it comes to ranking 2013-14 championship odds.
9 - Memphis Grizzlies
Of the whopping 13 new coaches in this league, other than Jason Kidd, no one faces more immediate pressure than Dave Joerger. Will be interesting to see how many times Memphis, with the untested Joerger in Lionel Hollins' seat, gets to No. 1 here after topping ESPN's franchise standings.
10 - Golden State Warriors
Yup: I'm one of those worriers who fear the Dubs surrendered too much of their crucial chemistry when they sacrificed Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry to make room for Andre Iguodala. The easiest way for them to shut me up: Andrew Bogut and David Lee making splashy returns from injury.
11 - New York Knicks
Who thinks they're going to win 54 games again? Not I. The top half of the East is significantly more competitive, which means that the Knicks better get something out of Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani -- as well as Metta World Peace and a full-strength Iman Shumpert -- to keep up.
12 - Atlanta Hawks
For all our giddiness about how good the upper crust of the East can be this season, let's not get carried away. The East's No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 seeds are up for grabs and the Hawks, just by signing Paul Millsap and Elton Brand on bargain deals to flank Al Horford, should still be a playoff team.
13 - Minnesota Timberwolves
Fearlessly predicting Love, Rubio and Pekovic will log more than the 13 minutes of court time they shared as a trio last season. With Adelman back and Kev Martin/C. Brewer coming in, you'd go ahead and call this a playoff team, too, if you knew the Wolves could finally stay reasonably healthy.
14 - Dallas Mavericks
One of the toughest teams on the board to forecast. For all the justifiable hand-wringing over what Dallas didn't get done in free agency for a second straight summer, you can't ignore that this team went 41-41 last season with Dirk missing 29 games. And the new roster is undeniably stronger.
15 - Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers insist Lillard, Batum and Aldridge are their core trio. Speculation persists it'll eventually be Lillard, Batum and whatever they get back in an Aldridge trade. What matters most for now is whether they have enough depth around those three to crack the West's top eight. We shall see.
16 - Denver Nuggets
When rankings season ended last April, Denver had been so hot for so long in the spring that it finished a lofty No. 3. You can scarcely recognize this team now with no George Karl, no Andre Iguodala, no Masai Ujiri ... and a roster seemingly destined for the bottom half of the rankings this term.
17 - Washington Wizards
Camp hasn't even started in the nation's capital and already there's an injury (Emeka Okafor's neck) to fill the air with gloom. Maybe John Wall and Bradley Beal can lift it if they start fast and keep blossoming as a tandem, but you can't halt a run of five straight non-playoff seasons without size.
18 - Detroit Pistons
The Pistons only add to that East-is-more-intriguing vibe after importing J-Smoove and B-Jennings to team up with Monroe and Drummond. Just not sure locals who remember the glory days will be satisfied with League Pass Darlings status. Or a coach (Mo Cheeks) no one else was pursuing.
19 - Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs take a fascinating assemblage of talent into their fourth season post-LeBron. But this is another team that really needs (deserves?) some extended health so we actually get to see how it looks with Kyrie, Waiters, Bennett, T. Thompson, Varejao and Bynum on the same squad.
20 - New Orleans Hornets
The committee (of one) has indeed reached the point where we instinctively say and write Pelicans. Not there yet, though, when it comes to proclaiming New Orleans playoff material. The pieces are undeniably promising but The Unibrow, Jrue, Tyreke & Co. still have a lot of meshing to do.