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Oct 27, 2015
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‘Tis the season to go nuts on basketball again. The 2015-2016 National Basketball Association (NBA) season officially opens tomorrow, October 28 (Philippine time). That being said, we know how excited you are to watch the best hoopsters in the planet after months of basketball purgatory. You’re brimming with hope for your favorite team or player killing it this year. You're probably so hyped up you’ve read plenty of predictions and primers for the new season.

Well, FHM has its own preview, and we're certain you haven't seen anything like it.

If you’re looking for hardcore stats breakdowns, this is not the place. Instead, what you’re about to read is a service to fellow basketball nuts who have to go work in the morning, or when the NBA games are beaming live on the TV.

Image via Guardianlv.com

Every NBA week offers multiple games to choose from. This is your guide for the teams you should or shouldn’t spend time (or "sick leaves") on. We rigorously examined every NBA team, and rank them accordingly based on their watchability.

The ranking order is based on the following:

Substance: If a team is contending for the playoffs, their games are more significant but not necessarily more fun to watch. Still, it’s better than spending at least 48 minutes on a game with nothing on the line.

Style: Teams who play basketball like well-oiled machines score more style points. If it’s all dribbling and isolations, clearly you’d best steer clear from the TV. 

Star power: Some teams have more talented stars than others. We also count on-court comedic antics here as part of the equation. Because some players are stars of their own, not by the skills they showcase but by the entertainment value they bring.

Each team is given a maximum of 10 points per criteria, for a total of 30 points.

Now, if a match-up between two teams score more than 55 points, you should be glued to your chair and get your phone ready to record something special (also, make sure to come up with a believable alibi since it’ll definitely cost you your morning, at the very least).

However, if the cumulative score is less than 10, don’t even bother checking the score and highlights online.

Are you ready fellow basketball addicts? Below is FHM's NBA Watchability Ranking, arranged from highest to lowest, for the Western Conference.

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15. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Image via vibe.com

Substance: Spell rebuild. B-L-A-Z-E-R-S. Rebuild. The only one left in their starting lineup is Damian Lillard. He’ll have all the shots he wants. He’ll also get all the attention and hits on D. If you’re supporting cast is CJ McCollum and Meyers Leonard, your chances out West are toast.
Score: 2 points

Style: Coach Terry Stotts always has a fluid offense system and his flexible defensive schemes have proven effective. That will be tested this year, with lesser-known players, like Leonard and Mason Plumlee. You can bet on plenty of bricks from Lillard and McCollum, sandwiched by some clutch daggers if games are close.
Score: 4 points

Star power: Video Game Dame is the only guy worth watching here, although McCollum will look to surprise. With more usage, he’ll figure to have some hot games or stretches in the long season.
Score: 2 points

Total score: 8/30


14. DENVER NUGGETS

Image via Spacecityscoop.com

Substance: There will be no drama in Mile High City this year. There will be no chance of getting into the playoffs either, not in the murderous West. Not if their main guys are Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and rookie Emmanuel Mudiay. There are young tools to build on, but this team will be mediocre at best.
Score: 3 points

Style: They always run in Denver, taking advantage of the higher altitude they play in. New coach Mike Malone looks to put his athletic steeds to good use, with rookie Emmanuel Mudiay tasked to man the break. It’s a heavy responsibility for a rook, but the preseason pick for Rookie of the Year looks ready.
Score: 6 points

Star power: When he’s clicking, Gallo can torch nets. You can always count on the Manimal’s energy. And when Jusuf Nurkic gets back, expect some Balkan bullying that’s sure to please.
Score: 4 points

Total score: 13/30


13. LOS ANGELES LAKERS


Substance:
There are high hopes in the Lakers organization, relying on a healthy Kobe Bryant to carry a mix of energetic youngsters (Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russel, Julius Randle) and steady veterans (Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, Metta World Peace!). It looks like a solid team on paper, one that could possibly sneak in the 8th spot. But everything hangs on Kobe’s aging body.
Score: 5 points

Style: If you haven’t watched the Lakers last year, you won’t be blamed. Stylistically, they’re one of only two teams (the other one is the Charlotte Hornets) who actively spurn the three point shot, choosing to chuck more in the midrange area instead. With more decent paint protection and rebounding, they will have more second chance opportunities. If clankers and offensive boards are your standards for beautiful basketball, get your eye checked.
Score: 2 points

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Star power: Everything starts and ends with the Black Mamba. Every game should be must-watch for this might be his last year in purple and gold. You can also count on some hysterical Nick Young and World Peace moments.
Score: 8 points

Total score: 15/30


12. DALLAS MAVERICKS

Image via Bleacherreport.com

Substance: Never count out a team with a living legend in Dirk Nowitzki leading the charge, and a brilliant coach in Rick Carlisle on the sidelines. A properly motivated and healthy Deron Williams can also be instrumental to their success. Chandler Parsons and Wes Matthews will also provide deadly shooting. The biggest question mark for this team is their defense and the health of their stars. They’d try every night, but it’s hard to see them going deep in the playoffs. It’s doubtful they’d make it there in the first place.
Score: 5 points

Style: Carlisle’s fluid and flexible offense is a marvel to watch. Add exquisite post-passing from Zaza Pachulia in the mix, and Nowitzki and company will hit their sweet spots well. On defense is where it gets messy. They sorely lack some rim protection and on-ball defenders. It will get messy on that side, but the joys of their offense will balance things out for basketball purists.
Score: 5 points

Star power: Nowitzki is in a steady decline. But there is no question his one-legged fadeaway and high-post maneuvers are things you should try to appreciate even more at this stage of Dirk’s career. We don’t know what to make of D-Will at this point. You can only hope he can return to form, because when he was sizzling, he’s one of the top point guards of his time.

Score: 6 points

Total score: 16/30


11. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Image via Isports.com

Substance: The worst team in the West last year should have some more growing pains this season, because unless Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine, and Ricky Rubio learn to hit outside shots, opponents can choose to camp in the shaded lane and beat the Wolves easy. Then again, the defense looks respectable. And they will be a very motivated team, dedicating this season to their leader off the court who recently passed away, the brilliant Flip Saunders. RIP, Flip!
Score: 2 points

Style: Sam Mitchell steps in the head coaching position. And every Mitchell team is known for solid defense that looks to create opportunities in transition. With Rubio, Lavine, Wiggins, and super-rookie Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves are set to fly on the break. They can also play deliberate ball with savvy vets like Kevin Garnett and Kevin Martin ready to steady the halfcourt sets.
Score: 7 points

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Star power: Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns will satisfy all your dunk cravings. Rubio will quench your thirst for fancy passes. KG is always a joy to watch when he’s competing. And don’t forget about ‘Dre, we mean the Professor Andre Miller schooling some young bloods with heady point guard plays.
Score: 8 points

Total score: 17/30

 
10. UTAH JAZZ

Image via Sltrb.com 

Substance: The Jazz went on a tear late last season when it finally unleashed Rudy Gobert. They again bring a stingy defense thanks to the Stifle Tower, and rebounding should be the least of their worries with a Gobert-Derrick Favors frontline. The scoring load will be on Gordon Hayward, an underrated star, and slashers like Alec Burks, Trey Burke, and Rodney Hood will definitely feast on wide-open shots thanks to Hayward attacking the defense most of the time. Still, they might not look like an intimidating team, and that’s what makes this unit dangerous. You can’t easily score on them, though, that’s for sure. They’re the West’s darkhorse for that 8th spot.
Score: 6 points

Style: Not a lot of people watch Jazz games, but we should take notice this year. Their ball movement is quick and cutters will constantly confuse opposing defenses. Their main problem is they can’t play small ball well, and if they do, they lose their distinct advantage with their fearsome frontline. They like to play big, yes, but they can still be speedy on offense and defense.
Score: 6 points

Star power: Hayward is sneaky good. Just watch the many ways he can score from deep or in the paint and you’ll see he’s as complete a scorer as any of the league’s elites. The best show in Utah is the man in the middle, though. Watch him wreck the hopes of many poor players trying to dunk on him. And when he gets airborne, may the good Lord have mercy on the hapless soul trying to block him. Plus, his hair game is slick, too.
Score: 6 points

Total score: 18/30


9. PHOENIX SUNS

Image via Fansided.com

Substance: Here’s another fringe playoff team. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe can wreak terror on the backcourt. Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris bring a pick-your-poison dynamic on pick-and-rolls. The speed, shooting, and defensive toughness are there to make them compete every game.
Score: 7 points

Style: Ever since Jeff Hornacek took over, his team has been nothing but conventional. Heck, he toyed with a triple point guard lineup last year that almost worked. Chandler is the X-factor here as they’ve never had such a dangerous roll man to complement an already potent backcourt. It will be strange to watch at times, but it will definitely be good basketball on both ends of the court.
Score: 7 points

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Star power: Eric Bledsoe is a beast, no doubt. Pound for pound, he’s up there among the strongest, meanest point guards in the league. And Knight will either blow your mind with his quickness, his shooting, or his shot-blocking skills. Only two of those three things are accurate.
Score: 4 points

Total score: 18/30


8. SACRAMENTO KINGS

Image via Usatoday.com

Substance: An eighth seed here doesn’t necessarily mean SacTown is a playoff team. There are too many question marks. How will George Karl manage super-millennial DeMarcus Cousins? Which Rajon Rondo shows up every night? Can they defend well for 48 minutes? Where will the shooting come from? The only constant here is Rudy Gay will put up shots, for sure. And that’s not enough to guarantee regular season success.
Score: 4 points

Style: Karl’s teams always run hard and play stifling D. On paper, the Kings have some intriguing tools to do just that. But everything boils down to their stars’ mentality. If Karl can bring this eccentric group together, it will be a quick, dangerous team both on the halfcourt and on the break. That’s a huge “if” though.
Score: 6 points

Star power: Cousins is a double-double monster who can absolutely obliterate anyone who tries to guard him. For proof, check out what he did to Anthony Davis in the preseason. Mix in Rondo’s unpredictability and you have entertaining basketball every time the Kings play. You must watch every game for the highlights, and for the possibility of Karl’s head blowing off on a screamfest with Cousins and/or Rondo.
Score: 9 points

Total Score: 19/30


7. HOUSTON ROCKETS

Image via SI.com

Substance: This is a definitely a playoff team, and we’re slotting them too low after they went to the Conference Finals last season and got better this year with Ty Lawson running the point. Health issues for their bigs like Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, and Donatas Motiejunas are a concern now. But this is a contender, especially with MVP candidate James Harden at the forefront of their blitzing offense.
Score: 8 points

Style: Feast your eyes on plenty of drives and threes from the pioneering team of this system. The only valuable shots in Houston are in the paint or beyond the stripe. That’s also the reason why Harden, Lawson, Howard—actually all their players fit in quite well. These are greyhounds who like to push the pace as well. The only dent to their style is they take and miss a lot of free throws, which stalls the flow of the game (most of those on you, Dwight).
Score: 7 points

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Star power: When Harden is cooking, you park your butt on the couch and enjoy the sumptuous meal only he and his herky-jerky ways can make. You also cross your fingers that he won’t incur the curse of the Base God again. Lawson is also a speed demon who has hopefully found a home in Clutch City. Howard’s off-court antics are now more enticing than what he does in the game, though.
Score: 6 points

Total score: 21/30


6. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

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Substance: The Bad Bears of Memphis will once again grit and grind their way to the playoffs. After their lack of perimeter shooting was exposed last playoffs, the Grizzlies are bent on working on that glaring weakness—starting in the preseason with Marc Gasol already practicing his treys. If that doesn’t work, Zach Randolph will always battle for the offensive rebounds. And he’s arguably one of the best in the league at that. This is a battle-tested team that’s looking to capitalize on their win-now window.
Score: 8 points

Style: Memphis is a hard matchup for any team, especially those who want to play small ball. The Grizzlies impose their grinding style of play that opponents eventually adjust, or just sag off on Tony Allen and wish Jeff Green misses most of his shots. But the post passing from their smart bigs, the underrated brilliance of Mike Conley, and the rebounding battles are worth your while.
Score: 7 points

Star power: Tell us you’re not excited about Gasol, Z-Bo, and Grindfather Tony Allen whooping ass on the court. And we’ll tell you, “why you lyin?” And if they don’t win now, there’s a chance you might not see them all in one team again. So go ahead, appreciate the grind.
Score: 7 points

Total score: 22/30


5. SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Image via Usatoday.com

Substance: Their offseason haul alone—LaMarcus Aldridge and David West—guarantees their top contender status this year. With the core intact, and Twin Towers 2.0 in Aldridge and Tim Duncan, look for the Spurs to cruise through the regular season and go deep in the playoffs. A return to the Finals is very likely.
Score: 10 points

Style: Whoever believes the Spurs are still boring has not watched the NBA for the past three years. Coach Gregg Poppovich’s “Summertime” system is so effective, a lot of the teams in the NBA have copied it. This is the grand daddy of beautiful basketball. Let’s see if Aldridge meshes well here. Duncan and Kawhi Leonard will once again hold the fort on defense. Rim protection, though, is the chink in the Spurs’ armor.
Score: 9 points

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Star power: The Spurs are loaded with less-heralded stars that don’t end up on highlight shows often. They will have crisp ball movement sessions that will drop jaws. You won’t see a lot of fancy aerobatics here, though.
Score: 7 points

Total score: 26/30


4. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Substance: No matter what talk you hear about OKC’s deep roster, or new coach Billy Donovan energizing their offense, all discussions will always end with the league’s deadliest duo—Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. With those two healthy, the Thunder is a legit championship contender. If one of them goes down, they’ll be a fringe playoff team at best.
Score: 9 points

Style: Donovan is the big unknown here. What system he’ll bring to the table, how will he handle Durant’s minutes throughout the season, and how he’ll intend to use  Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter in the frontcourt. With Durant around, though, Ibaka is more useful and efficient. His developing range can help space the floor some more for Westbrook and Durant. It’s hard to be pessimistic about a unit as potent as the Thunder's, though. These guys know how to play and win.
Score:  8 points



Star power: Westbrook is a highlight juggernaut. Ibaka is a behemoth on defense. But the best part is this: Kevin Durant who’s entering a contract year. He’ll be playing big all year, guaranteed.
Score: 10 points

Total Score: 27/30


3. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

Image via Bleacherreport.com

 Substance: After a breakout year, the Pelicans are looking to take the leap to top contender status. They have banged up starters now in Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday. But there’s a certain 22-year-old center named Anthony Davis who can really carry this team to the playoffs if he continues to develop the way he has. Combine that with good shooters like Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, and this team is all set.
Score: 8 points

Style: There’s no question new Coach Alvin Gentry will work wonders for their offense. And assistant coach Darren Erman is known as a defensive genius, too. So you have a run-and-gun system that helped teams like Phoenix and Golden State blossom on one end, and a stifling defense that Chicago and Boston imposed on the other. Every Pelicans game is going to be a thrilling 48-minute match.
Score: 9 points

Star power: Fear the Brow, everybody. If you think Davis was scary last year, wait until you see him expand his wings even more. And yes, he is only 22.
Score: 10 points

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2. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Image via Usatoday.com

Substance: After an exhausting first round battle with the Spurs last year, the Clips ran out of gas in the second round. So they deepened their bench, with postseason killers like Paul Pierce and Josh Smith. They have ugly jerseys but the present looks really good for Lob City.
Score: 10 points

Style: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Those three already guarantee plenty of highlights. But a lesser emphasized point about the Clippers is their ball movement and execution. Coach Doc Rivers is a way better coach than a team president. And he’s become better at the latter too with his offseason acquisitions. JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford all but guarantee the spacing to operate for their high flying bigs.
Score: 9 points

Star power: It’s Lob City, so of course there will be lots of Internet-breaking moments. A lot of them. Plus, Lance Stephenson takes care of all the buffoonery.
Score: 10 points

Total score: 29/30


1. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

 

Substance: Lucky. They went against banged up teams en route to the championship last year. At least, that’s what other players and commentators are saying about the Warriors’ golden, historic run last season. And the Dubs are already taking notice. They play with massive chips on their shoulders each night. This just adds fuel to an already consuming fire. Their core is intact, their young guns are still developing—this is the team to beat, no doubt about that. 
Score:
10 points

Style: No team is more pleasing to the eye than the Warriors. They can play up-tempo, small, big, methodical—any style, to an elite level. Their wings and bigs, led by Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, offer no mercy on defense as well. This team is scary good that we don’t understand where the doubts are coming from, frankly.
Score: 10 points

Star power: You just read two paragraphs about the Warriors without mention of their biggest star. That’s how great this team is. Because Steph Curry is insane, video game insane. Expect an unbelievable highlight almost every game, like that preseason gem he unleashed a few weeks ago. And remember Klay Thompson’s 37-point quarter last year, right? When the Dubs play, cancel everything.
Score: 10 points

Total score: 30/30


For the Eastern Conference edition of our preview, click here.

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