10. Memphis Grizzlies (36-30)
The emerging Grizzlies look to make a late playoff push, but they will face a huge test as 9 of their final 16 games will be against potential playoff teams.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-23)
The Thunder have given up over a hundred points in four consecutive games. Where’s the defense! They could use Perkins right about now.
8. Miami Heat (43-21)
The lack of a point guard and bench have really exposed this team. Perhaps a win against LA can turn everything around?
7. Orlando Magic (41-24)
Orlando wraps up the season with 11 of the final 17 games on the road. The Magic could run into some trouble since they have been average on the road this season.
6. Portland Trailblazers (37-27)
With the addition of Gerald Wallace and Brandon Roy’s return from injury, the Blazers just got that much scarier.
5. Dallas Mavericks (46-18)
The Mavs allowed the Hornets to go on an 8-0 in the final minute to blow a 7-point lead. Soft is right.
4. Boston Celtics (46-16)
Am I the only one who thinks the Perkins trade made the Celtics worse?
3. San Antonio Spurs (52-12)
Despite getting spanked by the Lakers at home, at least Tony Parker is back from his calf injury.
2. Chicago Bulls (45-18)
Murph told me the other day that any team that starts Keith Bogans (or Rasual Butler) at the two-guard has no business playing in an NBA Finals. Despite Rose’s heroics, I believe that statement.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (46-19)
The Lakers have turned it on since the All-Star break, finally looking like the defending champs. They are currently riding an eight game win streak, and during that streak, they have only allowed 100-points once, and that game happened to go into overtime.