With the 2019/20 regular season around the corner, ESPN’s Zach Lowe is back with one of his most entertaining annual columns, his NBA League Pass Rankings.
In the first and second parts of the rankings, Lowe lists the NBA teams from No. 30 to No. 1 based on how watchable he expects each club to be during the upcoming season. As he explains, several factors are incorporated into his rankings, including a team’s popularity, highlight potential, playing style, and – of course – unintentional comedy.
After several years of the Warriors finishing at – or near – the top of Lowe’s rankings, Golden State has slipped all the way down to No. 13 for the 2019/20 season, opening the door for some new-look rosters to take center stage.
Of course, the Los Angeles teams and their newly-formed superstar pairings are near the top of the list, with the Lakers coming in at No. 2 and the Clippers coming in at No. 4. But there are plenty of other unexpected teams in the top 10, including the up-and-coming Kings sneaking in at No. 10, while the Bulls land at No. 8.
Zion Williamson‘s arrival in New Orleans helps boost the Pelicans to No. 9, while the tantalizing star power of the Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis duo in Dallas ensures that the Mavericks come in at No. 6. A pair of somewhat under-the-radar Western Conference title contenders – the Nuggets and Jazz – rank at No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, while reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are at No. 3.
This year’s top League Pass team, according to Lowe? The Sixers, who feature one of the biggest starting lineups in history, including a 6’10” point guard (Ben Simmons) and a frontcourt that features Joel Embiid and Al Horford. Lowe describes the 76ers as “weird, big, goofy and loaded with personality,” noting that he has a ton of questions about how the unusual mix of players will actually look on the court together.
Outside of your favorite team(s), which clubs are you most looking forward to watching in 2019/20? Do you agree with Lowe’s top tier or are there other teams that intrigue you more? Which club’s games are you most likely to seek out during the coming season?
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