By Jason Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Records through Friday)
1. Atlanta Hawks (42-9, last week 1):
Best team in the league continued its run of beating the West by toppling Golden State.
2. Golden State Warriors (39-9, LW 2):
Is there a serious argument that the Splash Brothers aren’t the best backcourt in the NBA?
3. Memphis Grizzlies (37-13, LW 3):
Adding Jeff Green has been a boost and makes Memphis a legitimate championship threat.
4. Houston Rockets (35-15, LW 4):
Teams are throwing every kind of defense at James Harden, but the Rockets keep winning.
5. Toronto Raptors (34-17, LW 5):
Reports have general manager Masai Ujiri still looking at deals to upgrade the roster.
6. Dallas Mavericks (34-18, LW 8):
With Rajon Rondo out, J.J. Barea is in the starting lineup, and there have been Raymond Felton sightings on the court, too.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (34-16, LW 9):
Damian Lillard is shooting 5 of 40 in his last five games from three-point range.
8. San Antonio Spurs (32-18, LW 10):
Kawhi Leonard reminded the Heat how good he is with 24 points in a win Friday.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers (31-21, LW 11):
Looking like a team that can win the East these days thanks to good in-season deals.
10. Los Angeles Clippers (33-18 LW 6):
Coming off some embarrassing losses as their inability to consistently beat good teams continues.
11. Washington Wizards (31-20, LW 7):
Coach Randy Wittman has not liked his team’s selfish play during its five-game losing streak.
12. Phoenix Suns (29-23, LW 12):
The pressure is increasing to hold onto the eighth spot in the West.
13. Chicago Bulls (30-20, LW 13):
Dropped three straight with Cleveland running them down in the Central Division.
14. New Orleans Pelicans (27-23, LW 14):
Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans have the Pelicans on the cusp of the top eight in the West.
15. Milwaukee Bucks (27-23, LW 15):
Three wins away from doubling last season’s victory total.
16. Oklahoma City Thunder (25-25, LW 16):
Kevin Durant is back after missing two games, so is that winning streak everyone expects on the way soon?
17. Charlotte Hornets (22-27, LW 17):
Steve Clifford has gotten the Hornets back on track despite injuries.
18. Brooklyn Nets (21-28, LW 20):
Team still hasn’t found its rhythm but can still make the playoffs.
19. Detroit Pistons (20-31, LW 19):
D.J. Augustin has filled in well for the injured Brandon Jennings.
20. Miami Heat (21-29, LW 19):
A year ago it was about the Big 3. It’s down to just Chris Bosh these days.
21. Boston Celtics (19-30, LW 23):
Wasn’t Tayshaun Prince supposed to have been bought out awhile ago?
22. Indiana Pacers (19-32, LW 24):
They’ve struggled but Pacers had enough to end Cleveland’s 12-game winning streak.
23. Denver Nuggets (19-32, LW 21):
Have to wonder if more players will be traded as Nuggets are floundering.
24. Utah Jazz (17-33, LW 23):
Trey Burke is adjusting to life as a reserve with rookie Dante Exum now starting at point guard.
25. Kings (17-31, LW 25):
Losing 10 of the last 11 games have the Kings exploring a second coaching change this season.
26. Orlando Magic (16-37, LW 26):
Jacque Vaughn and most of his coaching staff were fired as Magic is seen as underachiever.
27. New York Knicks (10-40, LW 28):
Knicks are 5-5 in their last 10 to double their win total.
28. Los Angeles Lakers (13-37, LW 27):
Like most bad teams, Lakers have trouble holding onto leads late in games.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves (10-40, LW 30):
Winners of their last two as health improves.
30. Philadelphia 76ers (11-40, LW 29):
Their minus-11.2 differential is the worst in the NBA.