Mavericks, Pelicans among (very) early surprises, Nuggets stay ahead of Celtics at No. 1

As humans, it’s almost impossible to go into any new situation with a truly clean slate. Our past experiences and preconceived notions color our judgment and expectations, sometimes leading us to make decisions that we look back on with regret. Let’s all try to avoid that as we begin the 2023-24 NBA season.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr always says during the postseason that every game is different, every series is different. Well, if that’s the case, then it’s certainly true that every NBA season is different. So while we might believe in our minds that the Nuggets, Celtics, Bucks and Suns (in some order) are the league’s four best teams, we have to look at how they’re actually performing.

With that in mind, the first edition of the Power Rankings is full of relative surprises. The New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks all find themselves in the top-six by virtue of their undefeated records. Will they be there next week? Next month? Next season? Nobody can know, which is why it’s best to live in the moment and enjoy the ride.

After that whole spiel, the Nuggets and Celtics are still the top two teams, looking as good on the court as they do on paper. At the bottom, we have the winless Trail Blazers, Rockets, Grizzlies and Nets trying to fight their way out of the cellar. The best part about these lists is that we do a new one each week, so you can expect plenty of changes along the way.

Here is the first edition of the 2023-24 NBA Power Rankings. It will be fun to compare these to how things look in six months.

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