The cream of the crop of the NBA (like the Celtics, Warriors, and Rockets) is starting to rise to the top, and a lot of teams that looked good early (Clippers, Grizzlies, and Magic) are starting to fall. Some teams are still trying to figure things out, namely the Thunder and the Cavaliers, but there is still a lot of basketball left to be played this season.
- Boston Celtics (15-2): The Celtics are now on a 15 game win streak and it doesn’t look like they’re gonna slow down anytime soon. They might just have the longest winning streak for the season.
- Golden State Warriors (13-4): The Warriors have worked their way back to the number two spot. I bumped them up after they won 9 out of their last 10.
- Houston Rockets (13-4): Although the Rockets and the Warriors have the same record, the Rockets haven’t played as well over the last ten games. These two teams might be flipping back and forth all season.
- Detroit Pistons (11-5): It might be time to buy in on the Pistons being the second best team in the East. I had no idea that they would keep this up through four weeks.
- Toronto Raptors (11-5): The Raptors are right there with the best teams in the East as well. It’ll be interesting to see how the top 3 teams in the East shake up.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (10-6): Minnesota is in first place in the Northwest division after winning 7 out of their last 10. Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d write about.
- San Antonio Spurs (10-6): I bumped the Spurs down to number seven after losing four of their more recent games. San Antonio is still a team I think could win it all if they can get healthy.
- Portland Trailblazers (9-7): These last three teams could all be interchangeable, but I think Portland is the team heading in the right direction. I’ve said it before, could this be the year they make a playoff push?
- Washington Wizards (9-7): Keeping John Wall healthy will be the biggest key for this team. The guard play for Washington is extremely dangerous and hard to guard when healthy.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (9-7): Last but not least, the Cavaliers are back in the top 10 as they round out my list. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep winning, or if their early season struggles will continue.
- Boston Celtics (15-2): The Celtics are on the brink of breaking into the list of the NBA’s longest winning streaks. A win against Dallas tonight would tie them for the 22nd longest streak in NBA history, which is no easy feat. Oh, and they beat the Warriors on Thursday. That’s kind of a big deal.
- Golden State Warriors (13-4): Outside of dropping the one game to the Celtics in Boston, the Warriors are still rolling. Kevin Durant is currently out with a sprained ankle, but he is “likely” to play against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. He better hope he can go for his sake.
- Houston Rockets (13-4): Chris Paul is finally back in the lineup, and the Rockets are still rolling over teams. This team is scary.
- Toronto Raptors (11-5): The Raptors have won six of their last seven, and the one loss was by a single point to the Celtics in Boston. Toronto is looking more and more like a serious contender in the East.
- San Antonio Spurs (10-6): No Kawhi? No problem. The Spurs are doing just fine without him. A 23-point comeback win over the Thunder on Friday proved that Greg Poppovich is still the best in the game.
- Detroit Pistons (11-5): The Pistons have been challenged lately, losing close games to the Pacers and the Bucks, but a win against Minnesota that came down to the wire last night was a nice way to cap their week.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (10-6): The Wolves are still working some kinks out, and they just narrowly lost to Detroit lost night, but they have every right to be enthusiastic. No doubt will they continue make noise in the West.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (9-7): They haven’t figured it all out, but the Cavs are on the right track. Cleveland was 3-5 at one point, but they have won four in a row, and Lebron is having one of the best seasons of his long career.
- Portland Trail Blazers (9-7): The Blazers have yet to do much to prove themselves, but they’re winning more than they’re losing, so there’s that. They definitely have the potential to challenge some of the league’s top teams, but they need to show it first.
- Denver Nuggets (9-7): Denver seems to be a bit of a head case. They beat the Pelicans by 32 points on Friday night, but then they lost to the Lakers by 18 last night.
3 to Watch
- Orlando Magic (8-8): Everyone might’ve bought into the the Magic hype a little too early. After a tough couple of weeks they are no longer worthy of a top ten spot.
- New Orleans Pelicans (8-8): DeMarcus Cousins has been tearing it up. Having a healthy Anthony Davis might help take this team to the next level.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (7-8): I’m currently wondering when this team will finally break over .500 on the year. Keep an eye on OKC as they play both the Warriors and the Pistons this week.
- Philadelphia 76ers (8-7): The Process is showing some glimpses of success. They have won seven of their last 10, and two of those three losses have come against the Warriors. The 76ers might break into the Top 10 next week.
- Indiana Pacers (9-8): Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis are doing things they never did in Oklahoma City, and the Pacers are on a three-game win streak.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (7-8): Giving up a 23-point lead agains the Spurs is unforgivable, but if the Thunder can squeak out some wins this week with a tough schedule that features the Pelicans in New Orleans tonight, the Warriors in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, and the Pistons at home on Friday, they could find themselves back in the Top 10.
- Dallas Mavericks (3-14): With 14 losses on the season, the Mavericks are now the undisputed worst team in the NBA. Don’t worry Mavs fans, your lottery pick in the draft is only eight months away.
- Atlanta Hawks (3-13): If the Mavericks are the worst team in the league, the Hawks are right behind them. A bad season was expected, but I’m not sure it was supposed to be this bad.
- Chicago Bulls (3-11): The Bulls come in at third-worst. Only because they have fewer losses than the Mavericks and Hawks. However, they’re just as bad as the rest.
- Sacramento Kings (4-12): The Kings picked up another win from last week. A few more and they might just work their way out of the bottom five.
- Brooklyn Nets (6-10): My newest team in the bottom 5 is the Brooklyn Nets. They replaced the Suns after Phoenix put together a series of wins. The Nets are now the most likely team to work their way out of the bottom five.
- Chicago Bulls (3-11): Same story, different week. The Bulls picked up a win against Charlotte, who is also struggling, but they have yet to show any sign of real improvement. On a positive note, Lauri Markkanen looks like he has a bright future.
- Sacramento Kings (4-12): The Kings got destroyed by the Hawks, but they beat the Blazers at home…who then beat them in Portland the following night.
- Atlanta Hawks (3-13): The Hawks picked up a 46-point win against Sacramento in Atlanta, but they’re still struggling to find any rhythm.
- Dallas Mavericks (3-14): The Mavericks blew out the Bucks in Dallas on Saturday, so that was nice for the home crowd, but between injuries and their youth, they are simply not built to win games.
- Los Angeles Clippers (5-10): The Clippers make their first appearance of the season in the Bottom 5, and rightfully so. After starting off the season 4-0, Los Angeles has lost 10 of its last 11, and that one win came against the Mavericks.
Article written by Craig Hofeld and Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.