Nets Rise in Power Rankings

July 13, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson , point guard Deron Williams , guard Joe Johnson and general manager Billy King pose for photos at a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

For the first time in a LONG time, the publication of Power Rankings is not an occasion of dread. John Schuhman of NBA.com has his post-free agency version of his rankings and lists the Nets at No. 10, just ahead of the Knicks. Meanwhile, his colleague David Aldridge ranks the Nets' off-season at No. 4.

"The Nets should be the most improved offensive team in the league with the additions of Joe Johnson, (a healthy) Brook Lopez and Mirza Teletovic," writes Schuhmann.. "But defense is still a big question, and where they stand in the Eastern Conference will depend a lot on how much Lopez improves on that end of the floor."

In his off-season rankings, Aldridge puts the Nets behind the Heat, 76ers (!) and Mavericks (!!). Of the Nets, he writes, "The Nets' new ceiling may not be as high as they'd hoped, but at least they'll move into their new digs with a lot more talent than when they left Newark last April."

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