The ESPN Future Power Rankings are out-Celtics at number two

No need for suspense. You already know what team is number one, the Golden State Warriors. Here are the top seven teams with their overall ratings:
Golden State Warriors: 86.3
Boston Celtics: 76.0
Houston Rockets: 70.0
San Antonio Spurs: 67.1
Minnesota Timberwolves: 57.7
Philadelphia 76'ers: 57.5
Cleveland Cavaliers: 57.3

These ratings take into consideration five factors: players, management, money, market and draft. The overall scores serve as a prediction of the teams' performance over the next three seasons. ESPN Insider Analysts Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton commented on how they arrived at these numbers:

We determined that the most important category is a team's current roster and the future potential of those players -- that category accounts for more than 50 percent of each NBA team's overall Future Power Rating.

At the same time, we looked at many other factors, such as management, ownership, coaching, a team's spending habits, its cap situation, the reputation of the city and the franchise, and what kind of draft picks we expect the team to have in the future.

We will look at Golden State and Boston, and let's start with the player ratings. Boston gets an 80 to GS's 100. Hard to argue with that. The Dubs have the best talent in the league. Oh, the Warriors are called the Dubs, according to Word Counter, because Warriors was shortened to the W's-and then the dub-a-u's- and finally just the Dubs. I didn't know that.

For management, the Celts get 87.5 and GS gets 97.5. I can see Boston overtaking the Warriors in this category in a couple of years. They may be there now. See why I think that way in the next couple of paragraphs. Money-wise, the teams are close. Boston's 30.0 to the Dubs 27.5. Neither team has a good salary cap situation. In terms of market, the Celts have a 60.0 to Golden State's 90.0. What's up with that? The above Marks/Pelton quote cites "the reputation of the city and the franchise" as primary factors here.

Still laughing at the ESPN Boston Market score 

We have a great, winning franchise with a wonderful reputation in a terrific city. I don't see anything in the above quote citing climate as part of the market factor. A 30-point difference needs to be disputed. Cold, snowy winters shouldn't drop us 30 points. Universities, hospitals, history and 17 championship banners! Recent memory always intrudes on ratings. If you want to be MVP, have a terrific end-of-season.

Now to future draft picks. Boston gets an 87.5 to Golden State's 26.0. Unless I am mistaken (am I starting to sound a bit snotty), Boston's large lead in this category is mostly due to strong, stable management making correct decisions. And I was under the impression that these were future ratings, meaning what does the team have now and what will happen in the next three years.

Apologies. Flat-version photo not available
Jerry West was (key word there) a major player in GS management that drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Jerry was also the guy that convinced Kevin Durant to head West. I think this all happened in the past, although it may have happened in the future in another dimension. It's an earth/gravity/space-time thing. I'll ask Kyrie. I like this guy more and more.

Anyway, Jerry West is gone from the Dubs and is now with the Clippers. So I feel Golden State's present management score is too high, and Boston's is too low. The Clips are rated at #13 with a management score of 50. Here are ESPN's Bobby Marks' comments on Clipper Management:

With coach Doc Rivers taking a backseat on personnel decisions, lead executive Lawrence Frank and consultant Jerry West have shown this summer that a roster can be overhauled and remain a playoff team.

Now a quick look at the Oklahoma City Thunder who just acquired Carmelo Anthony. They were rated at #15 with a player rating of 52.5. I am going to boost that player rating to an 80, the same as the Celts. I can do that. This is my article. The five factors (players, management, etc.) all have differing percentage values, and I will get those to any fellow-nerds out there if you want them. Anyway, doing the math, Oklahoma City gets a new overall score of 65.2. That now puts the Thunder at number five, replacing the Timberwolves at that spot and pushing Minnesota to number six.

Now that I moved Oklahoma City into fifth place and bumped Minnesota to sixth, that puts Philly into seventh, and I have an issue with that. It has to do with a poor NBA history of big men with fragile feet. That is another matter, and this article has gone on too long. Give me your thoughts on the ratings. By 11:00 PM, LDT (Lunar Daylight Time), please. Kidding.

Round earth photo credit: NASA
Top photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Laughing management photo via Darren McCollester/Getty Images