Golden State Warriors last week 2
While the Clippers and Cavaliers took a nose dive this week, things were far more stable for the Warriors. The double overtime loss to the Rockets put an end to their winning streak, but the team has been on a roll. The Warriors are first in offensive efficiency and ninth in defensive efficiency. While the competition tries to work things out, they are clearly the best team at the moment.
San Antonio Spurs
last week 3
The Spurs were not immune to the day of the upsets. November 29th marked the second time in league history that every team on the schedule lost to the team with the worse record. Aside from the loss to Orlando, the Spurs have managed to keep on rolling.
last week 1
I wrestled with whether or not to put the Clippers over the Cavaliers, but the Clippers have looked shaky lately and the Cavs were falling from higher. LeBron James is averaging almost seven turnovers a game over their losing streak and that lack of focus has seeped into the defensive effort of the team. As James said, “the honeymoon stage is over.”
last week 6
The Toronto Raptors have won six straight games, albeit against weaker competition. DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson and the rest of the role players have finally joined the show and the Raptors look like the team many predicted them to be.
last week 4
The Clippers have lost 4 of their last 6 and outside of their statement win over the Cavaliers, haven’t looked sharp as of late. Blowing a 15-point lead to the Pacers a week after losing to them without Paul George is not an encouraging sign for a team with high hopes.
last week 8
The Rockets came away with a double overtime win against the Warriors, then followed it up with an impressive road win the following night in Denver. The Rockets appear poised to surprise some people with a strong regular season.
last week 9
The Celtics have been taking care of some of the league’s have-nots recently. With wins over the Sixers, Kings, and Heat. Although their losses to the Pistons and Spurs show this team still has a ways to go before they are a legitimate force in the league.
last week 5
The Bulls enjoyed a Cavs win sandwich between two slices of bad losses. Their losses to the Lakers and Mavericks were as discouraging as their win against the Cavs was encouraging. Everybody has their eyes on the Bulls to see whether or not their strong start is for real.
last week 7
The Conley-less Grizzlies lost to the Raptors, but followed that up with wins against the Magic and Lakers. Every win without Conley must be cherished, as the team will need to battle to remain in playoff position without their team leader.
Oklahoma City Thunder
last week 14
The Thunder have breezed through a soft portion of their schedule, recording five straight wins in the process. In related news, Russell Westbrook has five straight triple-doubles.
last week not ranked
The Bucks are the largest climber on this list. After a week of inconsistent play, the Bucks leaped up the standings with four straight wins. While two came against the Nets, they manhandled the Cavaliers at home and Giannis Antetokounmpo is showing that the wait for him to obtain star status appears to be over.
last week 10
The Hornets have faltered recently, going .500 over the past week. Their loss to the Timberwolves should be extra disappointing, when the Hornets have made their mark as an experienced, well-prepared team that should handle younger opposition. But the play of Kemba Walker makes them a threat every single night.
last week 12
The Jazz have won five of their last six games, with the streak broken up by a one-point loss to the Miami Heat. The team is clearly different with George Hill in the lineup, although a sprained toe has kept him out of their last two contests.
New York Knicks
last week 15
The Knicks swept the home-and-home against the Timberwolves and handled the Kings at The Garden. It might not sound like much, but these are the type of weeks they need to make the playoffs.
last week not ranked
The Pacers appear to be hitting their stride, beating the Clippers at home without Paul George, then on the road with their superstar. They did suffer a blowout loss to the Blazers without George, but things appear to be turning around in Indiana.
Portland Trail Blazers
last week 18
Wins over the Pacers and Heat have the Blazers on the right side of .500 once again. Unless this team figures out defense or hits a hot streak, expect them to continue to dance with mediocrity.
last week not ranked
Their loss to the Magic put an end to their three-game winning streak, but Detroit has won five of the last seven and are adjusting well to life without Reggie Jackson. Once he returns, we will be able to properly evaluate this team.
Los Angeles Lakers
last week 16
Without D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young, things are falling apart for the Lakers. They’ve gone 3-7 over their last 10 games and it seems unlikely that they can dig themselves out of a major hole, even when they do become healthy. The future is bright in L.A., but they may need to go through a little more pain along the way.
last week 11
The Hawks are in a tailspin. Owners of a league-worst six game losing streak and a 1-9 record over the last 10, the Hawks look like one of the league’s worst at the moment. To make matters worse, Paul Millsap has been out the last three games with a sore hip.
New Orleans Pelicans
last week 19
The team is on a two game losing streak, courtesy of the Clippers and Thunder. But the Pelicans have been .500 over their last ten games and should remain competitive as long as Holiday and Davis are in the lineup.