Yes, the Pacers finally lost a game. But they still hold on to the top spot for this week.
It wasn’t an easy call to knock the Indiana Pacers from the top spot, even though they suffered their first loss of the season.
But it’s also impossible to ignore the San Antonio Spurs, who are on a nine-game winning streak and have knocked off the likes of Golden State and Memphis along the way.
Tony Parker and Co. continue to play team basketball on both ends of the court without the fanfare.
(All records and stats are through Friday).
1. San Antonio Spurs (11-1, Last week 2): Still the best team in the West, even if you find them boring.
2. Indiana Pacers (11-1, LW No. 1): Suffered their first loss of the season, but rebounded by Paul George’s solid play.
3. Miami Heat (9-3, LW 3): LeBron James has been brilliant while Dwyane Wade takes time to rest his knees.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (11-2, LW 6): Are the Blazers really this good? They’re on a nine-game winning streak.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-3, LW 7): The Clippers-Warriors back-to-back set ended with two losses, including a loss at the buzzer in Oakland.
6. Los Angeles Clippers (8-5, LW 4): If the entire roster matches the intensity of Chris Paul, this team is tough to beat.
7. Golden State Warriors (6-3, LW 5): Injuries are piling up for a team that has questions about its depth.
8. Dallas Mavericks (9-4, LW 11): Winners of four in a row, including a big rally against Houston.
9. Houston Rockets (8-5, LW 8): One of the most fun teams to watch on offense, but not exactly a defensive force.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-6, LW 9): Kevin Love’s play reminds us all what T-Wolves lost with his injuries last season.
11. Memphis Grizzlies (7-6, LW 12): Marc Gasol’s knee injury puts a lot of pressure on Mike Conley and Zach Randolph.
12. Atlanta Hawks (8-5, LW 16): Hawks are a balanced team that shares the ball well, plays hard on defense.
13. Chicago Bulls (6-5, LW 10): Another Derrick Rose knee injury ends any hopes of winning the East.
14. Phoenix Suns: (6-6, LW 14): Holding it together while Eric Bledsoe recovers from a shin bruise.
15. Philadelphia 76ers (6-8, LW 13): Spencer Hawes continues to play well at center.
16. Charlotte Bobcats: (6-7, LW 15): Bobcats are the worst scoring team in the league but fourth in points allowed.
17. Los Angeles Lakers (6-7, LW 21): Surviving on scrappy play and team ball as Kobe Bryant works his way back form injury.
18. New Orleans Pelicans (6-6, LW 27): Ryan Anderson’s return has contributed to three consecutive wins.
19. Denver Nuggets (5-6, LW 20): J.J. Hickson has been a consistent rebounder for the Nuggets.
20. Toronto Raptors (6-7, LW 23): Could eventually benefit from Brooklyn’s struggles and surprise the Atlantic Division.
21. Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 17): Holding on to the eighth spot in a weak Eastern Conference.
22. Sacramento Kings (4-7, LW 29): Won consecutive games for the first time this season.
23. New York Knicks (3-8, LW 19): Carmelo Anthony is doing all he can and it’s not enough.
24. Detroit Pistons (4-8, LW 24): Could Andre Drummond eventually make Greg Monroe expendable?
25. Washington Wizards (4-8, LW 25): At some point the talent has to turn into a possible playoff team.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-9, LW 28): Four of the Cavs’ top-5 scorers are guards. Tristan Thompson is the only big scoring for Cleveland.
27. Brooklyn Nets: (3-9, LW 18): Nets have been a high-priced disappointment thus far.
28. Boston Celtics (4-10 LW 22): After a brief spell of good play, the Celtics have dropped their last six games.
29. Milwaukee Bucks (2-9, LW 26): Losing streak is up to seven games as team looks poised for a high draft pick.
30. Utah Jazz (1-13, LW 30): Rookie point guard Trey Burke is back from injury but Jazz are still losing consistently.