|#20 Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs|
Manu Ginobili has lead his team to the best start in Spurs history. Now can they outlast the other powers in the west like the Dallas Mavericks or the Los Angeles Lakers?
1. San Antonio Spurs (23-3)
Even in overtime, the Spurs outlasted the Memphis Grizzlies, and got a huge scoring output from PG Tony Parker. They look like the best team in the NBA.
2. Boston Celtics (22-4)
Boston is on a 13 game winning streak, but with Rajon Rondo out of the lineup for a while, they could drop a few games. Still, they are the most complete team in the league and are favored to win the east.
3. Miami Heat (21-8)
The NBA's hottest team, Miami is finally meshing as a team. Dwayne Wade has re-surged, Lebron is focused, and Bosh is contributing.
4. Dallas Mavericks (21-5)
One of the best defensive teams in the league, the Mavericks are being help out mightily by Tyson Chandler.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (21-7)
With a healthy Bynum, Pau Gasol will be much happier guarding 4s and with KB24 on the court, LA should go on a roll soon.
6. Chicago Bulls (16-9)
While Boozer is back, Noah will be sidelined for a minimum of 2 months. Derrick Rose has improved his three point shooting and the Bulls have been great against the west.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (19-9)
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are one of the NBA's best duos, but the have a great supporting cast as well.
8. Utah Jazz (19-9)
Deron Williams has led his team to an 19-9 start, but the rest of the team has to score efficiently.
9. Atlanta Hawks (17-12)
Joe Johnson is coming off of elbow surgery, so the other 4 starters and the bench will have to take on some of the scoring load.
10. Orlando Magic (16-10)
Looking to become legit contenders in the east, Orlando made two big trades on Saturday, sending Rashard Lewis to the Wizards in exchange for Gilbert Arenas. Also they send Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat and a 2011 1st round pick to the Suns for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark.
11. New York Knicks (16-12)
Amar'e Stoudemire had a streak of 8 games of 30+ points going. But before the Knicks become a true contender in the east, they have to beat teams like Boston and Miami.
12. Denver Nuggets (16-10)
Carmelo and New York seems like it will eventually happen but until then, he is putting the team on his back and makes the Nuggets contenders.
13. New Orleans Hornets (16-11)
New Orleans is 5-10 in their last 15 games. Offensively, they have to score points and can't rely on Chris Paul to take over.
14. Phoenix Suns (13-13)
Phoenix acquired Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat from Orlando and traded Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark on Saturday.
15. Portland Trailblazers (14-14)
The most injury riddled team in the NBA is resilient, and Wesley Matthews has filled in for Brandon Roy nicely.
16. Indianapolis Pacers (12-14)
The Pacers strength is defense, and they have capable shooters. Finishing close to .500 could land them the #6 seed in the conference.
17. Houston Rockets (12-15)
Houston could go on a streak soon, and they have the players to do it. As of now, they are 12-10 after an 0-5 start.
18. Memphis Grizzlies (12-16)
Memphis has some big wins over great teams but can't seem to get to .500. In a west filled with good teams they could be on the outside looking in for another year.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (10-15)
Even at 5 games below .500, Milwaukee is still destined to make the playoffs.
20. Philadelphia 76ers (11-16)
Doug Collins has his team on a roll and following a tough home loss vs. LAL, they 8-3 after their miserable 3-13 start.
21. Toronto Raptors (10-18)
The only thing consistent about the Raptors is the scoring of Barginani and the explosiveness of DeMar DeRozan aka "DeMonster".
22. Golden State Warriors (9-17)
After a 6-3 start it is obvious that they missed David Lee when the schedule started to get tough. They need a healthy Stephen Curry as well.
23. Charlotte Bobcats (9-17)
With Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler enjoying success elsewhere, the Bobcats are exploring the trade value of their two best players, Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace.
24. Detroit Pistons (9-19)
Detroit just doesn't intend to show up in any game they play this season. However, Ben Gordon hit a game-tying three to send it to OT and they won at home. Is this a sign of good things to come?
25. Washington Wizards (6-19)
Washington finally trades Gilbert Arenas, by acquiring forward Rashard Lewis from the Magic.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-22)
The best part of T-Wolves basketball is Kevin Love averaging 15 rebounds per game without Al Jefferson, and Michael Beasley improving. But when will they start to win?
27. New Jersey Nets (8-20)
Maybe trading Terrence Williams to the Rockets and acquiring Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers will make a difference.
28. Los Angeles Clippers (7-21)
Despite a 7-21 record, I still believe the Clippers are one of the most talented team in the NBA. Most of that talented happens to come from potential Rookie of the Year Blake Griffen.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-19)
The Cavs snapped a 10 game losing streak at home against the Knicks, but Mo Williams needs someone to help him share the scoring load.
30. Sacramento Kings (5-20)
It won't get much better for the struggling Kings. 1-10 in their last 11.