These are not power rankings, Zach Lowe strongly advises. Instead, it’s more of fun compilation of “watchability scores derived from a formula etched into stone tablets unearthed during construction of Bill Simmons’ backyard swimming pool.”
Teams are ranked on Zeitgeist, Highlight potential, Style, League Pass minutiae, and Unintentional comedy.
So, Lowe has the Nets at No. 11, sandwiched between the Kings at No. 10 and the Warriors at No. 12.
Here’s what he writes...
A league-high 9.5 in the minutia category propels Brooklyn one or two spots too high. (We once adjusted by reducing their score under the Ian Eagle Corollary, but that didn’t feel appropriate here. These guys are entertaining. We docked that half-point to protest the YES Network ditching “Who Am I?”)
The gray court is a risk worth taking, and the accompanying jerseys -- with graffiti-style wordmark -- look great. Their home whites are underrated. The white shines against black lettering.
The Nets play fast and shoot 3s, and the combination of DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen should boost their dunk totals. Allen is fearless on defense. He has gone chin-to-chin with Giannis Antetokounmpo above the rim so many times -- some wins, some losses -- that they have a little rivalry brewing.
All three lead ball handlers offer something different. Irving brings shoulder-shaking flash, and ambidextrous spinny finishes at the rim. Caris LeVert’s herky-jerky rhythm wrong-foots defenders. (In a nice twist, LeVert told me last season he tried to improve his finishing by watching YouTube videos of Irving demonstrating how to use spin off the backboard.) Spencer Dinwiddie likes to pull the ball way out against switches, put his head down, and zoom in straight lines.
When David Nwaba played in Chicago, Stacey King, the Bulls’ analyst, nicknamed him “Demolition Man.” Perfect. Nwaba plays every second at full tilt. He sprints and dives and leaps from somewhere off your TV screen to try and block shots. You worry Nwaba is a risk to himself and others, but you can’t look away.
For the record, the 76ers are No. 1; the Wizards, No. 30. The Knicks? No. 18.
Meanwhile, Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated has the Nets a little lower at No. 14 in its Entertainment Rankings.
The Nets are a little difficult to figure out, but Kyrie Irving is still a maestro with an orange sphere in his hands. And if all else fails, his musings at least provide a talking point if not any genuine insight. Oh, and Kevin Durant has shown no signs of logging off. If anything, he’s going to be tweeting more this season. As someone who is addicted to Twitter, I unabashedly support KD on this.
- 2019-20 NBA League Pass Rankings - Zach Lowe
- 2019-20 NBA Entertainment Rankings: Which Teams Will Be the Most Fun? - Rohan Nadkarni - Sports Illustrated