(Last week’s record in parenthesis; April 16 ranking in brackets)
1) Houston Rockets (2-1) : For those who still may not realize how important Clint Capela is to the Rockets ... just watch Game 4 against the Jazz again. I thought Rudy Gobert’s presence would neutralize Capela in this series; I had it exactly backwards.
2) Golden State Warriors (2-1) : Quinn Cook is going to stay in the rotation, it says here.
3) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) : Kevin Love’s offensive rebirth makes the Cavs a completely different animal going forward -- and they are going forward.
4) Toronto Raptors (0-3) : Gonna be a tough next couple of weeks in the 416. Losing in the playoffs when you expect a long, long run is extremely difficult to overcome emotionally.
5) Boston Celtics (3-0) : Let’s all stop with the fiction that Jayson Tatum is a “rookie” playing in his “first NBA playoffs” and has “never done this before in his life.” Right.
6) Philadelphia 76ers (0-3) : Don’t overreact to this, Sixers Nation. You have a great -- great -- young nucleus that is only going to get better, and is going to attract impact players the next few years.
7) Utah Jazz (1-2) : Just plum run out of point guards.
8) New Orleans Pelicans : Rajon Rondo has found a home, and neither he nor the Pelicans should waste any time this summer getting him signed to a long-term deal that’s fair to both sides.
9) Indiana Pacers : Season complete.
10) Oklahoma City Thunder : Season complete.
11) San Antonio Spurs : Season complete.
12) Miami Heat : Season complete.
13) Milwaukee Bucks : Season complete. The search for the next head coach will include Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, and that’s a good thing for everyone.
14) Minnesota Timberwolves : Season complete. Now the Wolves have to decide if they’ll give Jimmy Butler the max deal he’s seeking this summer.
15) Portland Trail Blazers : Season complete. And good on the Blazers for not taking the easy, knee-jerk way out by tarring Terry Stotts for their first-round playoff loss to the Pelicans.
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