1. Golden State Warriors – Even with three games lost in the last ten, the Warriors have ample cushion between them and the pack.
2. Chicago Bulls – Poor shooting cost the Bulls a win streak but they’re the only team beside the Hawks to go 9-1 in their last 10 games.
3. Atlanta Hawks – The only thing keeping this gem of a team down at three is that they’re beneficiaries of the fourth-easiest schedule this season.
4. Portland Trailblazers – It’s a strange day when Western powerhouses, like Portland, get their face rearranged by Eastern teams like the Hawks.
5. Dallas Mavericks – The Rondo parade continues.
6. Memphis Grizzlies – Marc Gasol is this year’s MVP so far and a big, rim-shaking, defense-anchoring reason why the Grizz are still contenders.
7. Toronto Raptors – The Raptors are on a skid made worse by their inability to snag big games.
8. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clips can play.
9. Houston Rockets – The Josh Smith experiment has yet to take off like the Rondo ride.
10. Phoenix Suns – They have some climbing to do but the Suns have now won eight of the last 10.
11. Washington Wizards – Contenders don’t lose three-straight games. Pretty good teams do.
12. San Antonio Spurs – There’s a new heartbreak hotel in SA. The Spurs cannot catch any breaks this season.
13. New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis, thank you very much.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – The Pelicans are proving a little harder to surmount than first expected. Luckily, the Thunder’s starting five are killing it right now.
15. Cleveland Cavaliers – Panic mode in Cleveland.
16. Milwaukee Bucks – This is whereabouts Milwaukee will stay all year.
17. Brooklyn Nets – They recently gave up a ‘L’ but they’re downgraded starting five is playing an upgraded game.
18. Utah Jazz – Very, very quietly, the Jazz are stringing together some beats, finally.
19. Miami Heat – Miami is in tatters.
20. Indiana Pacers – Indy has seen better times.
21. Detroit Pistons – After a five-game win streak, the Detroit boys are within striking distance of the playoffs.
22. Charlotte Hornets – Kemba!
23. Sacramento Kings – Boogie is none too pleased.
24. Denver Nuggets – They whooped the Grizzlies, which speaks to the level of talent on the squad. But they’re usually just whooping on themselves.
25. Boston Celtics – Two great organizations might soon have to get great at tanking.
26. Los Angeles Lakers – Some Kobe heroics stole them one against Indiana.
27. Orlando Magic – The Magic do defense OK, but everything else rather paltry.
28. Philadelphia 76ers – No longer the NBA’s worst team, they’re still far from being the best. Far, indeed.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves – The Wolves are neck-and-neck with the Knicks for longest active win streak. A battle no one really wins.
30. New York Knicks –Against all odds, the Knicks just keep one-upping themselves, extending their streak to 11 consecutive losses.
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