5. New Orleans Pelicans
Watching the New Orleans Pelicans play this season guarantees exciting, unpredictable games that have their share of ups and downs. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a Zion Williamson windmill or one of those dirty Jose Alvarado pickpocket moments.
After their surprising run toward the end of last season, expectations are higher for the now-healthy Pelicans. So far, they’ve beaten the Golden State Warriors and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime. So yes, the road to the playoffs is going to be a fun and bumpy ride. Best to strap in and tune in.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers will be making a lot of lists this season. Whether it’s a League Pass Power Rankings or Teams Most Likely to Blow It Up By February. That’s partly the result of having LeBron James on your roster but mostly it’s because of the Russell Westbrook effect.
Westbrook is most certainly at the crossroads of his career, having gone from a triple-double guzzling MVP monster to an unwilling Sixth Man of the Year candidate. All things Westbrook is must-watch League Pass this season. Plus, you’ll never know when you’ll get another serving of a Matt Ryan clutch 3 at the buzzer.
3. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are off to a rocky, injury-filled start. They lost LaMelo Ball before the season even started, then missed Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward due to injuries. But that only means the worst is soon to be behind them.
Ball is expected to return to action this week, which—even if you’re one of the most casual of basketball fans—means that Hornets will be entertaining again. Ball just has that unique blend of style and substance that make his moves instant highlights. He’s got to be itching to make up for three weeks’ worth of lost basketball.
2. New York Knicks
The New York Knicks were back. Then they weren’t. Now, they’re back-ish? Julius Randle looks to be a better version of whatever he was last season and RJ Barrett is scoring at will, still.
But what makes the Knicks move up the League Pass power rankings is their new point guard slash savior: Jalen Brunson. Brunson has been consistently spectacular for the Knicks, keeping the ship steady that has seen oh so many rough seas. Isaiah Hartenstein, another fresh pick-up, has also been impressive so far and is set to take over the starting C spot with Mitchell Robinson’s injury.
The Knicks are currently at 4-5 but they have a bounce in their step that would put Clyde Frazier’s rhymes to good use.
1. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have only won three of their first eight games. Yet, they’ve become an exciting watch, thanks to one De’Aaron Fox. The keys have been handed to Fox—as expected—and he’s made the current Kings’ ride the most interesting one as of late. Check the last few seconds of their recent game versus the Orlando Magic for reference.
On paper, the Kings have a roster that reeks of firepower—from Domantas Sabonis to Keegan Murray to Harrison Barnes to Kevin Huerter. Add a bit of Malik Monk’s lukewarm hand and what you’ve got is a Sacramento team with upset potential. For a team with fringe playoff hopes and League Pass watchability, that’s all you could really ask for.