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David Aldridge

David Aldridge TNT Analyst

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Dec 11, 2017 9:54 AM ET

Jimmy Butler is averaging 24.2 ppg over his last six games.

(Last week’s record in parenthesis; last week’s ranking in brackets)

1) Houston Rockets (2-0) [1]: Kylo Ren wishes the First Order had the firepower of the Rockets.

2) Boston Celtics (3-1) [2]: Friday’s last-second loss in San Antonio was the Celtics' first this season to a Western Conference team after winning their first eight in a row.

 
The Spurs edged past the Celtics on Friday night.

3) Golden State Warriors (3-0) [4]: Perfect (6-0) road trip, the last couple without Steph, and now the Dubs are home for 10 of their next 11 games, with the only roadie at the Lakers a week from tonight for Kobe’s jersey(s) retirement.

4) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-1) [3]: Jae Crowder still looking for his shot: 16 of 50 (32 percent) in his last eight games -- though he did go 7 of 12 in Saturday’s win over the 76ers.

5) San Antonio Spurs (4-0) [5]: How insane is Manu Ginobili?

6) Toronto Raptors (3-0) [6]: Has anyone noticed, as great as the Celtics have played out of the gate, that the Raptors are just two games behind them in the loss column after winning six in a row?

7) Milwaukee Bucks (3-1) [9]: Khris Middleton (19 of 34 on threes last seven games) taking advantage of spacing created by Eric Bledsoe and "The Greek Freak."

8) Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1) [11]: Jimmy Butler last six games: 24.2 ppg on 53.1 percent (52 of 98) shooting.

9) Denver Nuggets (1-3) [10]: Nuggets struggling to finish, obviously, without Millsap, Jokic.

10) Washington Wizards (2-2) [12]: They are .500 without John Wall, who should be back in the lineup sometime this week.

11) Indiana Pacers (4-0) [NR]: Victor Oladipo is All-Star nice at the moment, playing out of his mind.

12) Philadelphia 76ers (0-4) [8]: Markelle Fultz no longer has pain in his shoulder, but it’s still going to be at least three more weeks before he gets back on the court.

13) Detroit Pistons (0-4) [7]: Pistons said they’d know more about themselves after this brutal stretch of games. And, they do. Back to the drawing board.

14) New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) [15]: The Pelicans’ bench leads all reserve units in three-point shooting (.413).

15) Portland Trail Blazers (0-3) [13]: Defense is AWOL, and until that gets fixed, the Blazers aren’t going anywhere.

Dropped out: Utah [14]

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MORE MORNING TIP:  Adventures of a fired coach | Seattle's hopes for NBA return brighten a bit | Q&A: Joel Embiid

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Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here andfollow him on Twitter.

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