Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Nov. 19

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. . Previous: . Milwaukee Bucks. 12. team. 89

I think we all overvalued the hot start for the 2014-15 Milwaukee Bucks. They came out of nowhere to make the Eastern Conference Playoffs after winning only 15 games the year before. However, since they traded PG Brandon Knight to Phoenix and effectively replaced him with Michael Carter-Williams, the Bucks haven’t been nearly as good.

Offense is still very much a work in progress in Milwaukee, but the defense seems to have taken a step back as well. Milwaukee isn’t sneaking up on anybody anymore in 2015-16. It’s up to HC Jason Kidd to get his immensely talented young corps back to playing like a playoff basketball team here shortly.

170. . . Previous: . Charlotte Hornets. 11. team

Charlotte is interesting because their offense couldn’t possibly be any worse than it was last year. Shooting the basketball remains a major concern for this team, but I still like their HC Steve Clifford’s ability to carry out great defensive strategies.

Their bench seems a little deeper than last year’s which helps, but their starting five isn’t exactly what I would consider playoff bound. For Charlotte to get there, somebody has to emerge as a top-notch player of C Al Jefferson‘s caliber.

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27. . . Previous: . New York Knicks. 10. team

It’s all about Kristaps Porzingis at MSG! From being booed off the stage during draft night to being the biggest and best revelation to hit the Knicks since Lin-sanity, Porzingis can really play some basketball. I wouldn’t say that he’s the superstar that the Knicks need, but any team would love to have him as centerpiece to build a club around.

Porzingis and Robin Lopez were two great additions for this long dysfunctional basketball organization and should bode well for them going forward. However, the Knicks need to get something for Carmelo Anthony while he still has significant trade value. The Knicks aren’t bad, but may come up a tad short of a playoff berth in 2016.

Next: Tier III: Likely First Round Exit