By Jason Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Records through Friday’s games)
Draymond Green with a triple double? The depth and versatility of the roster is impressive.
Some are skeptical of the Blazers’ postseason chances, but who would want to play them this spring?
Zach Randolph has missed the last six games, but Memphis has managed to win the last three.
▪ 4. Atlanta Hawks (24-8, LW 7):
Did anyone predict the Hawks would be leading the Eastern Conference the first weekend of 2015?
▪ 5. Dallas Mavericks (24-10, LW 8):
Since being traded to Dallas, Rajon Rondo has looked like the player who was an All-Star in Boston.
▪ 6. Toronto Raptors (24-9, LW 5):
DeMar DeRozan is close to returning to the lineup, which could make the Raptors the team to beat in the East.
▪ 7. Houston Rockets (22-10, LW 3):
MVP candidate James Harden leads the NBA in scoring.
▪ 8. Chicago Bulls (23-10, LW 9):
By the end of the season, the Bulls might be the best team in the East.
▪ 9. Los Angeles Clippers (22-11 LW 10):
Don’t be surprised if the Clippers make a move to upgrade at small forward before the trading deadline.
▪ 10. Washington Wizards: (22-10, LW 4):
The Hawks will make it tough on the Wizards, who figured to be favorite to win the Southeast Division.
▪ 11. Phoenix Suns (19-16, LW 12):
Won six in a row with Alex Len starting at center before falling to New Orleans.
▪ 12. San Antonio Spurs (20-14, LW 13):
Spurs are 3-7 in their last 10 but still are good enough to be in the top-eight in the West.
▪ 13. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-14, LW 11):
LeBron James sitting out could be what Kevin Love needs to establish himself offensively.
▪ 14. New Orleans Pelicans (17-16, LW 14):
Ryan Anderson is a candidate to win NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
▪ 15 . Oklahoma City Thunder (17-17, LW 15):
Finally at .500, but the Thunder believes now is not the time to worry about playoff seeding.
▪ 16 . Milwaukee Bucks (17-17, LW 16):
Looks like another season of off-court concerns for center Larry Sanders.
▪ 17. Brooklyn Nets (16-16, LW 18):
Mason Plumlee is playing well as the starting center.
▪ 18. Kings (14-19, LW 20):
Sacramento is searching for the defensive identity it had earlier in the season.
▪ 19 . Miami Heat (14-19, LW 17):
Scoring and rebounding continue to be struggles for the Heat.
▪ 20. Denver Nuggets (13-20, LW 19):
Nuggets aren’t enjoying a big homecourt advantage with a 9-8 record.
▪ 21. Indiana Pacers (13-21, LW 26):
The Pacers might have enough to sneak into the playoffs in the East.
▪ 22. Boston Celtics (11-19, LW 21):
Evan Turner has started at point guard to take pressure off rookie Marcus Smart.
▪ 23. Orlando Magic (13-23, LW 22):
Rookie Elfrid Payton leads the team in assists without being a full-time starter.
▪ 24. Utah Jazz (11-22, LW 24):
Alec Burks (shoulder surgery) is out for the season.
▪ 25. Los Angeles Lakers (10-23, LW 25):
Kobe Bryant’s playing time could remain reduced.
▪ 26. Detroit Pistons (9-23, LW 27):
With Josh Smith gone, the Pistons might be able to entice Greg Monroe not to leave as a free agent in the offseason.
▪ 27. Charlotte Hornets (10-24, LW 23):
Losing Al Jefferson for a month to injury will make rebounding from a bad start even tougher.
▪ 28. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-26, LW 28):
On a 10-game losing streak, but could start getting some of their injured players back soon.
▪ 29. New York Knicks (5-30, LW 29):
J.R. Smith returned to the lineup from injury, but Carmelo Anthony is now resting his sore knee.
▪ 30. Philadelphia 76ers (4-27, LW 30):
The plan to finish with the worst record in the league could be ruined by the Knicks.