1. Cleveland Cavaliers (38-11)- The Cavs look pretty much unstoppable as they are even blowing out the red hot Grizzlies right now. Their last 3 wins have all been blowouts by 14 or more points.
2. Los Angeles Lakers (37-12)- Kobe did it again. The Celtics gave him the opportunity to show off on ABC and he did, drilling a game winning jumper vs. the Lakers biggest rival. Their loss to the Grizzlies was overshadowed by Kobe passing Jerry West as the all time Lakers scoring leader. Congrats “Black Mamba.”
3. Denver Nuggets (33-15)- Denver still managed to pull off a big road win vs the Spurs even though they were Melo- less once again. The Nuggets just continue to impress and will surely be tested this week with matchups against the Suns, Lakers, and Jazz.
4. Orlando Magic (32-16)-Orlando has played superb defense as of late, and that is mainly due to the elevated play of Dwight Howard. The Magic proved how the NBA is all about match ups by going to 3-0 vs. the Hawks, exposing their undersized center.
5. Atlanta Hawks (30-16)- The Hawks officially own the Celtics (sweeping the season series 4-0), but still can’t figure out the Magic. They better find out soon if they want to win the division and have a shot in the second round of the playoffs.
6. Utah Jazz (29-18)- The Jazz have erupted for 6 straight wins, including their latest big one vs. the Mavs. The Jazz just keep climbing the ladder, and have moved in to the top 6 for the first time all season. Can they top the Nuggets and jump even further this week?
7. Dallas Mavericks (30-16)- Dallas really struggled this week, going 0-3. Their last one was the biggest as it was against conference rival Utah. Dallas can really get back on track this week with 3 very easy match ups against Golden State (twice) and Minnesota.
8.San Antionio spurs (29-18)- The Spurs move back up a couple of spots after going 2-1 with convincing wins against Atlanta and Memphis. A win vs. the Nuggets really could have moved them up, but they can make up for it with big wins against Portland and the Lakers this week.
9. Boston Celtics (30-16)- Boston has pretty much fallen apart (well, for their current standards at least). Just when things couldnt get any worse after three straight losses to Orlando, Atlanta, and the Lakers, the Celtics lose Paul Pierce to an injury. This team is just too old, and from what I’m reading their going to try to do something about it by possibly trading Ray Allen.
10. Phoenix Suns (29-21)- Back in the top 10 is Phoenix. They played a great week of basketball, going 3-0 with wins vs. Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. It’s amazing what a three game win streak will do for a team because I haven’t heard very much about Amare leaving in the past week.
11. Memphis Grizzlies (26-21)- Memphis took a little step back but I still see them as a legit playoff team, especially after their huge win vs. the Lakers. Wins vs. Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix would get them back in to the top 10 with ease.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (26-21)- The Thunder went 2-0 for the week, and look to make it 3-0 tonight vs. the Hawks. Durant became the 2nd top scorer in hte league last week, and will look to overtake Carmelo this week.
13. Toronto Raptors (26-22)- Winners of 5 straight, I really wanted to bump them up but with the strong play of the Thunder, Memphis, and Phoenix I just couldn’t because I believe they are all better teams. They should be able to continu their great play though, with matchups against the Pacers, Nets, and Kings.
14. Chicago Bulls (23-22)- Also winners of 5 straight, the great play of Derrick Rose has earned him an All Star nod. I still can’t tell where this team is at, and still am not sold that they are a playoff team. But if any young player is capable of leading a mediocre team in the East it’s Rose (just watch last year’s playoff run vs. the Celtics).
15. New Orleans Hornets (26-22)- The Hornets have played pretty well as of late, winning 6 of their last 10. The loss to the Suns hurt, but they can make up for it with a big win vs. the Thunder.
16. Charlotte Bobcats (24-23)- Once again sitting at 16 are the Bobcats. Congratulations to Gerald Wallace on his first All Star selection, he really deserves it as his accelerated play has revived Charlotte. Can they find a way to top the Lakers Wednesday night?