/NBA power rankings: Finalists at top until they get knocked off

NBA power rankings: Finalists at top until they get knocked off

For our preseason power rankings, we’re breaking down each team by focusing on the X factor to their success.

1. Golden State Warriors: The defending champions are heading into this season looking as dominant as they did last season. However, in order to defend their title in the dangerous West, Stephen Curry and company can’t lose a step.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Once again led by the best player on the planet, the Cavaliers figure to be around in late May. But contrary to popular belief, LeBron James can’t do it all. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have to be in top form if the Cavs want a spot in the Finals.

3. San Antonio Spurs: As if the most dominant team of the past 20 years wasn’t good enough … adding LaMarcus Aldridge to accompany future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan in the frontcourt will be a nightmare for the NBA’s other teams. Nothing suggests that Aldridge and Duncan won’t mesh perfectly in the Gregg Popovich scheme, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

4. Houston Rockets: With…

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