▪ 1 . Golden State Warriors (23-5, last week 1):
Christmas week was tough on the Warriors, with losses to the Lakers and the Clippers.
▪ 2 . Portland Trail Blazers (24-7, LW 3):
Wesley Matthews is on pace to match his 16.4 points per game last season, which was a career high.
▪ 3. Houston Rockets (21-7, LW 4):
Rockets add Josh Smith as they try to win the West.
▪ 4. Washington Wizards: (20-8, LW 6):
After the first round of voting, John Wall is on course to be a starter in the All-Star Game.
▪ 5 . Toronto Raptors (22-7, LW 7):
Kyle Lowry’s scoring (20 ppg) and assists (7.7 apg) are at career-high levels for the second consecutive season.
▪ 6. Memphis Grizzlies (21-8, LW 2):
A four-game losing streak includes and overtime loss to the Rockets on Friday night.
▪ 7. Atlanta Hawks (21-8, LW 8):
Having Al Horford healthy this season makes a big difference.
▪ 8 . Dallas Mavericks (21-10, LW 5):
The first major in-season upgrade is by the Mavs, who traded for point guard Rajon Rondo.
▪ 9 . Chicago Bulls (20-9, LW 10):
Health is improving, aiding their five-game winning streak.
▪ 10 . Los Angeles Clippers (20-10 LW 9):
Had struggled, but found enough to beat the Warriors, who have become a chief rival.
▪ 11. Cleveland Cavaliers (18-11, LW 13):
Losing Anderson Varejao for the season (torn Achilles’) leaves a major hole to fill if the Cavs want to contend for a title.
▪ 12. Phoenix Suns (17-14, LW 16):
5-0 since moving second-year center Alex Len into the starting lineup.
▪ 13. San Antonio Spurs (18-13, LW 11):
Could the last two postseason runs have the Spurs a little tired?
▪ 14. New Orleans Pelicans (15-14, LW 14):
Pelicans are learning even as they improve; cracking the Top 8 in the West is not easy.
▪ 15 . Oklahoma City Thunder (15-16, LW 12):
While Kevin Durant recovers from a sprained ankle, Russell Westbrook has continued to dominate.
▪ 16 . Milwaukee Bucks (15-15, LW 15):
Milwaukee won 15 games all of last season.
▪ 17 . Miami Heat (14-16, LW 19):
Still waiting on Chris Bosh (calf) to return to the lineup with hopes of rising up the standings in the East.
▪ 18. Brooklyn Nets (13-15, LW 21):
Three-game winning streak moves the Nets into eighth in the East.
▪ 19. Denver Nuggets (13-17 LW 17):
Guard Ty Lawson is having a good season, but the West is loaded with great point guards.
▪ 20 . Kings (12-17, LW 18):
Losers of seven of their past eight as defense has become a problem lately.
▪ 21. Boston Celtics (10-17, LW 20):
Will Jeff Green still be a Celtic by the end of the season, or will he be dealt to a contender?
▪ 22. Orlando Magic (11-21, LW 22):
Scoring is a struggle, even with some talented young players.
▪ 23. Charlotte Hornets (10-20, LW 26):
Finally showing signs that last season was not a fluke?
▪ 24. Utah Jazz (9-20, LW 24):
Will Rudy Gobert’s play cause the Jazz to consider not re-signing Enes Kanter?
▪ 25. Los Angeles Lakers (9-21, LW 23):
Kobe Bryant has rested the past three games and the Lakers have dropped two in a row since upsetting the Warriors.
▪ 26. Indiana Pacers (10-20, LW 25):
George Hill is back, but the Pacers still have no way of replacing Paul George’s production.
▪ 27. Detroit Pistons (6-23, 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.
▪ 28. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-23 LW 28):
If Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic had been healthy most of the season, the Wolves would not be this bad.
▪ 29. New York Knicks (5-26, LW 29):
Could first-year coach Derek Fisher have picked a tougher way to start his post-playing career?
▪ 30. Philadelphia 76ers (4-24, LW 30):
Philly doubled its win total for the season with back-to-back wins before a lopsided loss at Portland.