Written by: Jared Hammer – Staff Writing Intern (@jjjhammer)
1: Golden State Warriors – L10: 9-1 – The Warriors remain at the top of the NBA’s league standings with their record of 34-6. They had a pretty easy week beating the Kings, Heat, and Pistons. Last night’s game was the big one we’d all been waiting for though. The second and final meeting of the Dubs and Cavs wasn’t exactly the grudge match we were hoping for.
2: San Antonio Spurs – L10: 7-3 – The Spurs grab the number 2 spot, despite a bad week which saw losses come at the hands of the Suns and Bucks. And both at home. The Rockets are just a half game behind them now.
3: Houston Rockets – L10: 7-3 – The Rockets squandered the opportunity to overtake the Spur this week, after a loss to the Timberwolves, and blowing a lead to eventually lose to the Grizzlies as well. Luckily for them, they ended their week with a trip to Brooklyn. Nothing like playing the Nets (The biggest slump busters in the Association) to get things back on track.
4: Cleveland Cavaliers – L10: 6-4 – The Cavaliers continue to battle injuries and juggle their starters to make up for it. Lebron and the Cavs suffered two disappointing losses to the Jazz and Blazers, but remain comfortably out in front in the East. Big week ahead for the Cavs who were clobbered by the Warriors and will also have to play the Spurs later.
5: Los Angeles Clippers – L10: 7-3 – The Clippers are currently sporting the league’s biggest win streak at 7 games. They’ll be finishing up their 5-game home stand this week, before hitting the road for 5.
6: Toronto Raptors – L10: 6-4 – The Raptors beat up on the Atlantic Division this week. Pouring in a franchise high 132 points against the Nets (seriously, slump busters), then followed that up by taking care of the Knicks in 3 quarters. They also beat a Celtics team creeping up on them in the standings.
7: Utah Jazz – L10: 7-3 – The Jazz won all three of their games last week, including an impressive win over the Cavs. Holding Lebron and Co. to 92 points, then the Pistons to just 77 a few nights later.
8: Boston Celtics – L10: 7-3 – The Celtics are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. They may have had their 4-game win streak snapped by the Raptors, but they shook it off and tallied two more wins to end the week. One thing fairly worrying is that they’ve allowed over 100 points in their last 13 games.
9: Oklahoma City Thunder – L10: 4-6 – Russell Westbrook recorded his 20th triple double of the season, as the Thunder finished off a busy week against the Kings. The Thunder held the Bulls and Grizzlies to under 100 points, but had a bad outing against the Timberwolves losing 96-86.
10: Memphis Grizzlies – L10: 5-5 – The Grizzlies have been up and down over the past few games. Their notable wins over the Warriors, Jazz, and Rockets are overshadowed by losses to the Bulls and Thunder. This week’s slate is looking a little easier for the Grizz.
11: Atlanta Hawks – L10: 8-2 – The Hawks had their 7-game win streak snapped by the Celtics this week. Improved play of late seems to have led to the Hawks taking Paul Millsap off the trading block. At least for now anyway. Over the next stretch the Hawks will be playing a lot of sub .500 Eastern Conference teams and have a chance to build up a cushion for that 4th seed.
12: Washington Wizards – L10: 7-3 – The Wiz continue to trend upwards. They’re beating the teams they’re supposed to (wins this week over the 76ers and bulls) but they fell to the Celtics in a heated affair.
13: Milwaukee Bucks – L10: 5-5 – The Bucks are still working on their consistency, and it hasn’t helped their record winning 2 or 3 straight but following that up with the same string of losses. With that being said, if you can beat the Spurs IN San Antonio, there’s cause for celebration.
14: Indiana Pacers – L10: 7-3 – The Pacers played just one game this week, and it was across the pond in London against the Nuggets. It was certainly a game they’d like to soon forget, as they gave up 140 points. Aside from that blemish, the Pacers are starting to play a lot better, and had won 5 in a row before their loss at the O2 Arena.
15: Chicago Bulls – L10: 5-5 – The Bulls are a strange team. They beat two of the West’s hottest teams in the Grizzlies and Pelicans, but then lost to both the Knicks and Wizards. Their offense has been struggling, averaging just 99 points over their last 5 games.
16: Charlotte Hornets – L10: 3-7 – The Hornets have lost 4 straight, and things don’t get any easier as they’ll be playing the Celtics and Raptors this week. With this recent stretch they’ve fallen back to .500 and find themselves battling for a playoff spot.
17: Detroit Pistons – L10: 4-6 – After losses to the Warriors and Jazz, the Pistons were happy to finish off their 6-game road trip with a win against the Lakers. They’re be back in Motor City for the rest of this week.
18: Portland Trail Blazers – L10: 4-6 – It’s really been the tale for the Blazers all season. Sometimes we get greatness, other times mediocrity. They held LBJ and the Cavs to just 86 points, then allowed the Magic (one of the worst offensive teams) to score 115 on them.
19: New Orleans Pelicans – L10: 5-5 – The Pelicans have been pleasantly surprising over the last bit. We’ve even heard the word “playoff” mentioned in the same sentence as them. This might be the week for that playoff push as they’ll only be matched up with Eastern Conference teams sporting bad records for the next three.
20: Denver Nuggets – L10: 5-5 – Just like the Pacers, the Nuggets played only one game this week. Fans in London got their money’s worth too as the Nuggets hit 140 points (I’m not sure they had free corndog night). And that was without an overtime. They’re now back from their trip across seas, and will quickly be tested with a back to back.
21: Orlando Magic – L10: 2-8 – So far, the Magic have just one win on their tough 6 game Western road trip, and that was against the Blazers as mentioned. The hardest part seems to be out of the way though with losses in Utah, and both teams in LA. They’ll finish the trip up this week with games in Denver and New Orleans.
22: Sacramento Kings – L10: 2-8 – The Kings have given up 120 points in back to back games now. Granted they were against the Cavs and Thunder, but giving up 120 isn’t going to help a team that thinks it has a chance of achieving their goal of making the playoffs.
23: New York Knicks – L10: 3-7 – The tire fire in the Big Apple continues to burn bright. The Knicks were blown out by the Raptors, and they suffered a buzzer beating loss to the 76ers earlier as well. Carmelo Anthony’s name has been brought up in trade rumours now, making Derrick Rose’s no show on Monday a distant memory.
24: Minnesota Timberwolves – L10: 4-6 – The young and growing T-Wolves continue to make people scratch their heads. The Wolves beat both the Rockets and Thunder this past week, but followed up those performances with a loss to the Mavericks. Next up is the Spurs and Clippers. We’ll see what version of this team we get on gameday.
25: Philadelphia 76ers – L10: 7-3 – The 76ers had themselves a good week. Squeaking out a win against the Knicks, and beating a struggling Hornets team, before losing to Milwaukee. That loss snapped their 3-game win streak. How many times in the last 3 years have you heard someone say “76ers WIN streak”?
26: Dallas Mavericks – L10: 5-5 – The Mavs started, and ended their week playing the Timberwolves. They seemed to have figured a few things out, and aren’t struggling as badly. They only play one team that is over .500 in their next 5, and may be able to get some momentum rolling.
27: Phoenix Suns – L10: 4-6 – Just as you thought the Suns were going to have one of the worst weeks in the league, they go out and upset the Spurs. Unlike the Mavs, the Suns will play just one sub .500 team in their next 5. But maybe this win against the Spurs will put a scare into a few teams.
28: Los Angeles Lakers – L10: 3-7 – Lakers fans had a tough week, losing all 4 of the games they played. In fact, the only reason the Lakers are ahead of the Heat is because they came out on top a few earlier.
29: Miami Heat – L10: 2-8 – The Heat have had a miserable stretch, winning just one of their last ten. They’re back home though now for a decent stretch. Hopefully they can string something together. If not a win, then at least a few good possessions.
30: Brooklyn Nets – L10: 0-10 – Ten straight L’s. Nothing has gone right for this team. Celtics fans rejoice! When this team finished dead last they’ll once again lose their pick to Boston, delaying their rebuild for another few years.