DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics can't gain ground

David Aldridge reveals which teams, to him, are the Top 15 squads in the NBA at this moment.

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

1) Golden State Warriors (3-0) [3]: Since March 2, when he made just one 3-pointer in 11 attempts against the Bulls, Klay Thompson is shooting 77 of 168 (44 percent) behind the arc.

2) San Antonio Spurs (1-2) [1]: Right now, don’t have the look of a team that can beat the Warriors four times. But: they’re 4-0 against the Warriors and Cavs this season. Can’t count the Spurs out.

3) Houston Rockets (2-1) [2]: Ryan Anderson (ankle) back on the floor, after missing two weeks.

4) Cleveland Cavaliers (2-2) [4]: Left the door open for the Celtics after inexplicable back-to-back losses over the weekend to Atlanta. Now need to win both games against desperate Miami tonight and Toronto Wednesday — though there’s incentive for the Raptors to, um, not be disappointed with a loss to the Cavs, as it could help them avoid potentially seeing Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

5) Boston Celtics (1-2) [5]: Disappointing performance at home against the Cavs on Wednesday.

6) Toronto Raptors (2-1) [7]: DeMar DeRozan sets a club record for 30-point games in a season with his 31st on Friday against the Heat, breaking a tie with Vince Carter, who had 30 30-point games for the Raptors in 2000-01.

7) Utah Jazz (2-1) [8]: Got to, got to, got to have George Hill (groin) back and healthy for the first round against Chris Paul and the Clippers if the Jazz are to win that series.

8) LA Clippers (2-0) [9]: Maybe the Clips do better when no one is touting them as favorites; they’ve won five straight and nine of their last 11 with almost no one paying attention.

9) Washington Wizards (2-1) [6]: Their hopes for a long playoff run may well rest on their second-year, 21-year-old forward Kelly Oubre, Jr., and how he measures up to the heat of the postseason. They desperately need his defense on the floor.

10) Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) [10]: Lost in the RussMania: McBuckets getting more run, showing signs of shooting life.

11) Atlanta Hawks (3-0) [11]: Hawks make playoffs for 10th consecutive season, second-longest streak in the league (the Spurs have been in the postseason an incredible 20 years in a row).

12) Milwaukee Bucks (1-2) [12]: In going 19-9 down the stretch, the Bucks are back in the playoffs for the second time in three seasons under Jason Kidd.

13) Indiana Pacers (3-0) [14]: Finally — and just in the nick of time — the Pacers put a win streak together to solidify their playoff standing.

14) Memphis Grizzlies (1-3) [13]: The Grizzlies have gone out in the first round six times in their nine franchise playoff appearances.

15) Miami Heat (2-1) [15]: Still alive after big win in Washington on Saturday, but still need help to get in.


Atlanta (3-0): Paul Millsap’s return gives the Hawks justifiable hope they can play with anyone in the postseason.


Philadelphia (0-3): Nobody’s mad at the Sixers; they’re out of bodies, and they’ve done more than enough this season to get the Illadelph interested in the local basketball franchise again.

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 and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.