As we get closer and closer to actual, real-life basketball season I’ve found myself checking google news like a manic obsessive, waiting for all the last minute tidbits and signings and getting ready for that first underwhelming preseason game. Yup, I’m even excited for the preseason. So excited that I decided to do my own little season preview, ranking each NBA franchise and giving you what to look out for this season.

I’m borrowing from USA Today’s Watchability rankings, which order franchises by how exciting they may be to the average viewer in the upcoming 2014-2015 season. I gotta say I like this a lot more than a simple power rankings, which pretty much reveals what everyone already knew. The Spurs are good. The Thunder are good. The Cavs just got good. And so on, and so on.

Watchability opens a whole new conversation on pace, play style, new acquisitions, and the possibility of terrific, spectacular failure. It gives credence to teams desperately mortgaging their futures for the postseason and players who have advocated for fighting mid-game. And mostly, it takes into account that while fanbases of the 29 other non-championship teams can hate the winners, the winners are still pretty goddamn fun to watch.

I’ve tweaked the USA Today idea a little bit, by introducing the wrinkle of League Pass. For those who don’t know, NBA League Pass is a fairly overpriced cable package that allows you to pick any 5 teams in the League and receive all of their games, regardless of where you live. So, while the list does count the teams down in a serial order from 30 to 1, I’ve also grouped them into tiers of 5, in which the last group you’ll see are my own personal League Pass and the first 5 sorrows are teams you would have to pay me pretty generously to consider struggling through on a nightly basis.

Go ahead and check out the list. Starting with this article, each page will have a link to the next team at the very bottom above the comments, allowing you to follow the arrows from #30 all the way down to the league’s most exciting ball club. Or of course you can skip around and go straight to your own squad by clicking “League Pass Rankings” under the “Categories” drop-down and looking for their name and picture.

Please feel free to comment or write in if you think any team has been ranked unfairly, or to give me your own personal League Pass 5. Just three more weeks to go guys.

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