1. Dallas Mavericks (17-4)
The Mavs are riding a ten-game win streak with key road wins in San Antonio, Utah, Denver and Oklahoma City. Surprisingly, their defense has been one of the main reasons why the Mavs are winning tough games – added in with a little dose of Dirk.
2. Boston Celtics (17-4)
A resurrected Kevin Garnett has given this team a huge boost as he has collected a double-double in four games during their current eight-game win streak. The Celtics continue to take care of business with their number one ranked defense. A scary thought? Kendrick Perkins isn’t even back yet…
3. San Antonio Spurs (18-3)
The Spurs’ high-paced offense has been the difference maker to their franchise-best start as they average almost 109 points per game, good for third best in the league. Statistically, their defensive is ranked 7th overall, but are allowing the fewest points per 100 possessions since the 2007-2008 season. This team is poised for another run as long as their key players remain healthy.
4. Los Angeles Lakers (16-6)
What panic? The Lakers have now won three straight after dropping four in a row. Random fact: Out of all of Phil Jackson’s 11 championship teams, none of them have ever lost four in a row.
5. Miami Heat (15-8)
LeBron, Wade and Bosh are slowly finding their rhythm as their win-streak has now stretched to six. They haven’t just been winning games, but they have been destroying teams. During their six-game win streak, they have won by an average margin of nearly 15 points. This is one team you don’t want to get rolling.
6. Utah Jazz (16-7)
Even though the Jazz dropped tough matchups to the Mavs and the Heat, Deron Williams is continuing to play at a high-level. With upcoming games against the Magic and a rematch against the Mavs, we’ll see how good this team really is without the spacing from Mehmet Okur.
7. Orlando Magic (15-6)
A stomach virus forced Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Mickael Pietrus and J.J. Redick out resulting in a loss against the Bucks. That is excusable, but the loss to the Hawks isn’t, as their starters were only able to tally a dismal 74 points. This team continues to live and die by the three.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (15-8)
Where is the defense? The Thunder have given up an average of 108 points in the last five games and 105 points for the season. This is quite disappointing for a team that was most improved defensively last season.
9. Chicago Bulls (12-8)
With Carlos Boozer finally returning, look for the Bulls to slowly improve.
10. New Orleans Hornets (14-7)
It seems as if the Hornets have cooled down losing six out of their last ten. The Hornets are 3-6 since acquiring Jarrett Jack from the Raptors. It’s beginning to look like the losing culture in Toronto is rubbing off on the Hornets.