By Jason Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Records through Friday’s games)
▪ 1 . Golden State Warriors (26-5, last week 1):
Draymond Green with a triple double? The depth and versatility of the roster is impressive.
▪ 2 . Portland Trail Blazers (26-7, LW 2):
Some are skeptical of the Blazers’ postseason chances, but who would want to play them this spring?
▪ 3. Memphis Grizzlies (24-8, LW 6):
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.