The NBA season gets under way this week, beginning with an opening-night doubleheader on Tuesday. By next Monday, every team will have played at least twice and some three times.
Here are our NBA Power Rankings as the season gets under way:
30) Kings: As imagined, the preseason was hideous. Rebuilding is a sad thing when it’s obvious before the season begins.
29) Magic: Steve Clifford moves to the Humid Kingdom, trying to fix another broken franchise. Here’s to his health.
28) Hornets: Kemba Walker, the league’s biggest little man, is about all there is.
27) Hawks: Trae Young and a renovated Philips Arena are the beginning and end of the excitement.
26) Knicks: David Fizdale can coach. But there’s no timetable for Kristaps Porzingis’ return, so no timetable for meaningful games at the Garden.
25) Cavs: Their best player is Kevin Love. Who is No. 2? Rodney Hood? George Hill? Better enjoy those Larry Nance Jr. dunks.
24) Timberwolves: With the Jimmy Butler drama circling around them, this bunch is a complete and utter mess until proven otherwise.
23) Grizzlies: The potential for recovery, as always, hinges on whether Mike Conley can stay healthy? We’ll wait.
22) Nets: I like Spencer Dinwiddie mentality, Joe Harris’ shooting touch and not much about D’Angelo Russell.
21) Suns: They will be better because they have shooters around the baby beast that is Deandre Ayton.
20) Pistons: Dwane Casey, a very good coach, landed with a very mediocre squad.
19) Bulls: Intriguing young players. We like Wendell Carter Jr. A benefit of being in the East is that when Lauri Markkanen returns can they dream of the playoffs.
18) Heat: Erik Spoelstra will make spin occasional bits of magic from this mincemeat. Farewell, D-Wade.
17) Clippers: That 5-0 preseason record is a mirage. They’ll be just outside the playoffs. And Doc is on the clock.
16) Mavs: If this seems a bit too high it’s because DeAndre Jordan can make an impact and we refuse to underestimate Luka Doncic.
15) Pacers: Victor Oladipo busted out of the box last season. It’s your turn, Myles Turner. What do you have?
14) Blazers: Damian Lillard is legit. CJ McCollum is sweet. The only way they shake being swept from the playoffs is if Jusuf Nurkic shows up.
13) Spurs: The injuries are deflating, but Pop has a new toy in DeMar DeRozan. A reversal of fortune is needed to do better than an 8-seed.
12) Wizards: Still the team most likely to talk the talk and walk the . . . beaches of Cancun in May.
11) Thunder: This team could move into the top 5 -- once Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson are healthy. Until then, this is where they live.
10) Pelicans: We’re not fooled by that 0-5 preseason. As long as AD and Jrue are upright, these boys will be dangerous.
9) Lakers: They played decent D last season. Now the offense looks, um, challenging. That’s the LeBron Effect.
8) Bucks: Mike Budenholzer knows offense. He has Giannis Antetokounmpo. They’re a shooter away from at least a top-4 seed.
7) Nuggets: Missed the playoffs by a game last season. They’ll push for a top-4 seed this time around.
6) 76ers: Young, ambitious and plenty cheeky, they’d get schooled in the West. They’ll do some teaching in the East.
5) Jazz: Ignore the 5-0 preseason but not the 30.6-point win margin and the volley of 3s. And remember that no team in the league is less fun to play.
4) Raptors: Kawhi looks great. If Kyle Lowry gets out of his feelings, this deep squad can top last season’s 59 wins. Oh, the joys of being in the East.
3) Rockets: We’re not as high on the Carmelo addition as others. We’re not as high on the defense, either. But relentlessness is a virtue.
2) Celtics: The 3s didn’t drop in the preseason. They will, beginning this week. This is a team built to be good early and great later.
1) Warriors: Trash that 1-4 preseason record. If Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are ready, soon, expect a fast start.