These rankings are a comprehensive list based off both regular season performance, roster strength, and path to the championship. For each team we will give their season and post season outlook. Which includes performance, roster strength, and path to championship.
The Playoff Format is:
(1) Los Angeles
(3) New York
1 Los Angeles
Performance: A- (91) They underachieved early which forced a roster revamp in which they got the DPOY in Melvin Davis off Seattle, on top of adding Liangelo Ball. This has been huge for LA as it has allowed them to play their style while still getting rim protection. Their early season wasn’t the greatest start which forced us to rank them low week after week, but after a 4-game win streak to end the year is enough to give them a slight A.
Roster Strength: A (96) Lamelo Ball, Liangelo Ball, Niles Malone, Greg Floyd Jr, Melvin Davis is the best starting 5 in the JBA, then they have high flyers coming off the bench who are perfect pieces to put around Gelo and Melo to give them easy assists. Melo Averaged a 40, 14, and 11 Triple-Double, Gelo is averaging over 50 Points a game, while Niles Malone and Greg Floyd Jr would be absolute stars on their own squads. Don’t forget the Defensive Player of the Year either.
Path to Championship: They get to play Philly in the first round, but the schedule could not have turned out worse for them after that. Not only does Seattle have a good shot of being their JBA Finals opponent. But they must play the winner of Atlanta and Dallas in the second round which is a possible overachieving team with a decent roster or a good team that lost their juice after suffering their first loss of the season to this LA squad. If Jordan Ray is healthy and Atlanta finds a way to overcome a red-hot Dallas squad this could be a very interesting matchup. Los Angeles will also have tough fought games if New York or Houston find their way past Seattle. Having lost to NY once, and winning close nail biting games against Houston and Seattle (who was on their second night of a back to back) this LA squad has potential for a let down especially in one game elimination, but their roster is very good.
Title Odds: 79%
Performance: A- (90) They got better the second half of the year also riding a 4-game win streak into the playoffs much like LA, but their performance rating comes from both the grit having fought back from a 1-3 start to finish the year as the 2 seed. With Melvin Davis being removed mid-season I was worried, but the added offensive boost from Capri Uzan was exactly what Seattle needed to create the 2nd best 3-guard lineup in the JBA. Je’Rell Springer is an MVP candidate that will just fall short to LAmelo ball but ended up finishing the year #2 in our MVP rankings.
Roster Strength: B+ (87) Je’Rell Springer, Capri Uzan, Jamicahel Morgan, Cameron Clark, Julius Mischke, Devin Mitchell, Anthony Carmon. I named more than their starting 5 because they have a deep team with a lot of talent and potential. They may have lost DPOY Melvin Davis, but they added Clark who is similar in style and build to Julius Randle, which completes what is a good 3-person big man rotation.They also have 3 standout guards with the addition of Uzan and that isn’t including the Player of the Game in their final game of the year Anthony Carmon.
Path to Championship: They have a much easier path to the championship than LA, with Chicago their first opponent we expect them to move on from that matchup. If they can manage to get New York over Houston in the second round they’d be even more fortunate but considering, we believe Houston upsets New York Seattle Plays a formidable team in the second round who has underachieved and will be looking to prove it.So, their second-round matchup is interesting as well, but we expect them to get the finals where they most likely face Los Angeles whom they have played close once on the season.
Title Odds: 13%
Performance: B (85) I’m giving them such a high grade because they overachieved with a less talented roster. Something they don’t lack though is hustle, grit, and defense, expect them to make every game a contest and keep the scores lower than league average. They had a rocky start when Massey tried do a little too much for his ball club and cost them a few games, once he found his role within the team Dallas came alive as an athletic club that hustles. Winning 3 straight games to end the season is also a good way to turn season around with what isn’t the best roster in the JBA, but don’t tell them that.
Roster Strength: C+ (79) They get a high grade for their performance in the second half of the season, but they will need to prove themselves further in a contest against Atlanta again in the first round of the playoffs. Nyang Wek and Caleal Walker are breakout players of the year and they’ve had major contributions defensively from Morris, Massey, and Peterson giving them a team ready to muck it up and slow down the pace of a very fast paced JBA league.
Path to Championship: They may have the hardest playoff outlook out of anyone not named Philadelphia, drawing Atlanta in the first round isn’t good for Dallas, but with Jordan Ray most likely sidelined for that game they’ll have an additional chance to take advantage of good health. If they do manage to beat Atlanta, they’ll have to face Los Angles which will be their real test. But after a win over LA before they improved after midseason acquisitions of Elijah Foster and Nyang Wek they have reason to believe they can still compete with Los Angles regardless of their talent level. This hasn’t even gotten us to the finals yet where they will most likely face Seattle or Houston.
Title Odds: 1.5%
Performance: D+ (69) They are one of the 4 best team’s talents wise in the JBA and I still believe that. They aren’t someone you want to face in the playoffs even with a 3-5 record, they have a real chance to upset a few teams along the way If they can make a deep playoff run and that’s why you see their power ranking much higher than it should be. They didn’t end the season well, but do you think New York is happy they have Houston in the first round because I don’t. Their team gets such a low grade for performance because they underachieved with a good talent level.
Roster Strength: B- (81) Williams, Myers, Hollis, Ross, and Lovelace is easily the third best starting 5 in the league, the problem is they have gotten in to foul trouble often. Not to mention Hollis has started to decline in efficiency right as Myers is really finding his game, if Hollis and Ross can both get hot while Williams takes care of the ball this Houston team has the third best shot to win the title at this point.
Path to Championship: Their path to the JBA finals is much easier than Dallas playing an undersized New York team that they will matchup well against and then will play a Seattle team they already lost a very close game too. They have the team if they can stay available and playing their game to make a deeper run than their seeding would suggest, this was a short regular season after all and maybe now they’ll finally find a way to bring it home at the end of games when everything is on the line.
Title Odds: 3.4%
5 New York
Performance: B+ (88) Their grade for the season is based off finding a way to go 5-1 after an 0-2 start including a victory over Los Angeles. They did open the season with two blowout losses to Los Angeles and Houston but after adding a few more guards they’ve got a deeper team but is still rather weak as their tallest player is Calvin Brown at 6’6. Being able to win games again and again despite their disadvantage has been impressive to watch, almost as impressive as Calvin Brown shooting over 55% on the season.
Roster Strength: C (76) IRBY and Kirkham were good midseason pickups that have directly led to more wins as each have had big games for this New York team. Killing and Camara are also two of my favorite guards to watch on New York’s squad. However, they are lacking big men and while it has worked out through 8 games as Calvin Brown is shooting a high percentage in the paint they aren’t going to be able to stop a team with high scoring big men.
Path to Championship: Playing Houston in their first matchup plays against their strengths, as they’ve already been blowout once against Houston in what looked like a preview of the JBA dunk contest (August 3rd). Nick Lovelace is a problem for this New York squad and this is just speaking facts, but if the manage to beat Houston they’ll have to face Seattle and then what will most likely be Los Angeles. Their path to the championship is beating all 3 teams they’ve lost too on the season (split with LA).
Title Odds: 1.6%
Performance: C (75) To start the year they were becoming favorites and gaining hype for their two all-star guards. The issue was once they lost to LA they haven’t been able to regain their luster and confidence. With the first ever post-season on the horizon and Jordan Ray’s health in question the season came to a disappointing end. Hopefully they can find a way to make a surprise playoff run now that they are being overlooked again, and the pressure has started to fade.
Roster Strength: B+ (88) With Jordan Ray* Nigel Chaney and Isom Butler will have to take over a ton of ball handling duties if Jordan Ray is gone all post season. Chaney was the favorite to win the MVP before a 3 game in skid in which he had his first bad game of the year, that didn’t stop him from hitting a 3-point dagger at the buzzer to force OT. They’ll need to utilize Corey Boyd more and try exploit the mismatches he can create in the half court and even running the fast break. Hall will get opportunities to step up big in Ray’s absence, not sure if Atlanta will get any last-minute call ups due to Jordan’s injury.
Path to Championship: They must play a gritty defensive team that will make hard for them to get their 3-point shots off as well as exploit any mismatches with Corey Boyd. This first game will be a very defensive matchup as Atlanta has lost some scoring punch and both teams have great defenders. If they manage to get past Dallas who has been on a hot streak lately they will have to face Los Angeles who started their losing streak. This doesn’t bode well for their title odds going into the postseason.
Title Odds: 1.0%
Performance: D- (61) They ended the year losing 5 straight games, and it wasn’t a pretty site for the Chicago team after they lost hometown hero Kezo Brown (who joined France). They do still have a good roster but are now missing the piece that I felt gave them life, and it kind of hurt them for the rest of the year. They need to come together around their team and find a way to win one game a time, or else this season post-season will end early for Chicago.
Roster Strength: C (74) This is hard to judge, they have a DPOY candidate in Montrell Dixson and have had great performances from Lenell Watson and Deon Lyle but will need to see more out of Ingram and Rieger in these playoffs if they want any chance of making a deep run.
Path to Championship: Their path to a championship isn’t looking good as they’d have to play Seattle, Houston, and Los Angeles if our predictions our right everywhere else. Those are all teams that Chicago can’t really keep up with, even though they did keep a game against LA close it isn’t likely they can win any of these matchups let alone all 3 especially with their roster and having multiple questions marks on their roster.
Title Odds: 0.4%
Performance: F (55) Philly lost a game in which they had a huge lead against Atlanta and haven’t been able to protect one all season. Playing in multiple close games all season long they have just not found a way to win.
Roster Strength: C (74) They also have a solid roster on paper, that at many times we were excited to see more of. The more we saw however we saw a team with talent that doesn’t have it together yet as a team. Devin Haid, Jaylen Nixon, Marquis Johnson and Brandon Stacy are all players we’ve written about on the year that will need to play at an extremely high level to have any sort of chance. Jaylen Nixon said he wasn’t getting the respect he deserves in this league, if he wants it it’ll start in the postseason.
Path to Championship: I’d give them a better shot if their first game wasn’t a team that scored 170 points on them. They don’t have an answer for Melo or Gelo Ball and while they can score at a high clip, it won’t be enough to keep up with LA. If they can manage a David vs goliath type victory than they’ll have to play Dallas/Atlanta and then Seattle/Houston which doesn’t bode well for their championship outlook.
Title Odds: 0.1%