1. San Antonio Spurs (12-1)
The Spurs are the hottest team in the league right now. They have been playing the best basketball I’ve seen in years. The big 3 are healthy and Richard Jefferson is playing up to his potential. Not to mention, Tony Parker is playing the best basketball in his career. Their 12-1 start (11 straight) is the best in Spurs’ franchise history. The biggest surprise? Spurs are top five in the league in points scored. Who would have thought that?
Next game:@MIN (Wed)
2. Los Angeles Lakers (12-2)
Kobe and Co. are off to a fast start as they continue to thrash opponents. Pau Gasol is making a case for best power forward in the NBA and Kobe is still showing us why he is the best player on this planet. Look of the Lakers to keep playing at a high-level even without Andrew Bynum.
Next game:CHI (Tues), @UTAH (Fri)
3. Boston Celtics (10-4)
The Celtics are back to business as they continue to play good defense and smart basketball. The big 3 are led by Rajon Rando who happens to be playing out of his mind right now. He continues to be the Celtics’ main playmaker. With all this talk about the Heat, the Celtics aren’t going to back down to kindly.
Next game:NJ (Wed)
4. New Orleans Hornets (11-2)
Chris Paul is beginning to look like his old self again. The Hornets will go as far as Paul takes them. He has lead his team to an 11-2 start and his supporting cast have been impressive thus far. David West, Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli have been playing good basketball so far. Will they be able to keep up the hot start in the competitive Southwest Division?
Next game:@UTAH (Wed)
5. Orlando Magic (9-4)
Superman Dwight has been dominating the paint all season and don’t look for him to stop. His presence alone will always give the Magic upside. His supporting cast isn’t too shabby as well. The Magic obviously have NBA Finals’ talent on the roster as we all saw a couple years ago. As long as Howard continues to dominate the paint, the Magic could make a deep run.
Next game:MIA (Wed)
6. Utah Jazz (10-5)
Utah has shown their resiliency as they have multiple come from behind victories when facing double digit deficits. Deron Williams is making his case for best point guard in the league. They haven’t missed Carlos Boozer yet, as Al Jefferson has filled in smoothly. Even Andrei Kirilenko has been playing fantastic. The Jazz will always be a dangerous team with Williams and Jerry Sloan.
Next game:NO (Wed)
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (10-4)
Durantula is playing like his All-Star self but the play of Russell Westbrook has been huge. He is playing All-NBA basketball right now. If Westbrook can keep up his stellar play, who knows what the Thunder are capable of.
Next game:DAL (Wed)
8. Dallas Mavericks (8-4)
Even though the Mavs are under the radar this season they continue to play good basketball. They bring back pretty much the same team as last season. Dirk Nowitzki is continuing to play at a high-level which has given the Mavs an impressive start. Everyone shouldn’t overlook the Mavs. They have the talent to make some noise in the West. Their only problem is execution.
Next game:DET (Tues), @OKC (Wed)
9. Chicago Bulls (7-4)
Chicago has shown me a little something, as they have been racking up W’s without their All-Star power forward. Derrick Rose is continuing to do his thing. Luol Deng on the other hand has been a surprise. He is quietly having a career season. The Bulls could creep up on the Heat, Celtics and Magic once Boozer gets healthy.
Next game:@LAL (Tues), @PHX (Wed)
10. Miami Heat (8-6)
The Heat are still a work-in-progress as they have struggled in a few early games, but they still have the capabilities of turning the table. Chris Bosh seems to have gotten lost within the offense. Look for him to work his way back to his old self. Once he gets it going they could be even scarier. Bosh needs to step up his game as the Heat have been lacking a presence in the paint so far in the season. Miami’s depth should improve once Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem return from injuries. Regardless, I don’t think anyone wants to play Wade, James and Bosh in a seven game series.
Next game:@ORL (Wed)