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Power Rankings: Nets Start at #25

John Schuhmann and Marc Stein are out with the very first power rankings of the season. They agree the Nets will be better than last season but not much.  Both have the Nets at #25, only two spots higher than  where they had been in April. Both rank the Nets' first opponents, the Pistons, lower. Stein has Detroit last. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports has the Nets lower, at #28.

Schuhmann offers some hope after watching preseason: "Brook Lopez was at times dominant in the post, Devin Harris was more efficient and New Jersey ranked seventh in 3-point percentage." Stein thinks the Nets' fortunes are tied to their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, which could lead to another star disappointment.  "It's going to be way harder to get over their near-trade for Melo unraveling just as camps were starting," he writes.

Meanwhile, in the first rookie rankings, Drew Packham of ranks Derrick Favors at #6, behind two players drafted ahead of him, DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Johnson, and ahead of Tiago Splitter, who's six years older. "The Nets are taking a patient approach with Favors, but he also has the potential to contribute right away," he writes.