NBA Power Rankings Update: The LeBron James Effect

We compare our opening 2018-19 power rankings to our closing 2017-18 edition. Needless to say, LeBron James makes a big impact.

The NBA standings do not always tell the whole story when it comes to determining which teams are truly playing the best brand of basketball.

Simple win-loss records don't factor in things like strength of schedule, efficiency, average margin of victory, and so on. That's where our power rankings come in.

Using our proprietary metric, nERD -- a ranking on a scale from 0 to 100, with 50 as the league average, which is predictive of a team's ultimate winning percentage based on its efficiency -- we put teams in order of how well they've actually been performing this season, regardless of their number of wins and losses.

The idea is that this list will give you a better picture of how things are likely to shake out by season's end than the traditional standings would.

Since we're only a couple days into the 2018-19 NBA season, the comparison point for this week's risers and fallers will be based on their final position last year. Starting next week, we'll be looking at weekly movement within the ranks.

Without further ado, let's count down the teams from worst to best.