DA's Morning Tip
DA's Top 15 Rankings: LeBron James keeps Cleveland Cavaliers humming along
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) : Ian Clark and JaVale McGee, series-enders. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season?
2) Cleveland Cavaliers (4-0) : As of Friday, Roget’s Thesaurus officially ran out of adjectives to describe LeBron James.
3) San Antonio Spurs (2-2) : There’s a reason I really thought the Spurs should have gone after Mike Conley last summer.
4) Houston Rockets (3-1) : Rockets winning grimy vs. Thunder is a good sign for them if they advance.
5) Boston Celtics (2-2) : Continued prayers to Isaiah Thomas and his family.
6) Toronto Raptors (2-2) : Was wondering when Raptors would unleash the athleticism of Norman Powell into a series dominated by athletes.
7) Utah Jazz (2-2) : Don’t think the Jazz can win two out of three over the Clips without a healthy Gordon Hayward.
8) LA Clippers (2-2) : Its all on Chris Paul now.
9) Washington Wizards (2-1) : Bradley Beal is as good a thermometer for Wizards play as anyone: when active on D, and bouncy offensively, the Wiz are tough. When he’s smooth jazz, they’re bad.
10) Oklahoma City Thunder (1-3) : Big respect for Andre Roberson, despite missing those free throws Sunday; he’s doing yeoman work in this series, making James Harden work for just about everything on the floor.
11) Atlanta Hawks (1-1) : Hawks’ immediate future as a franchise directly tied to Dennis Schroeder’s mental/emotional development.
12) Memphis Grizzlies (2-2) : A team has never been more representative of the city in which it plays.
13) Milwaukee Bucks (2-2) : Greg Monroe having a heck of a series so far for the Bucks, on top of a strong season. He’ll get a nice payday this summer.
14) Indiana Pacers (0-4) : The Paul George Watch officially begins.
15) Portland Trail Blazers (0-3) [NR]: This season will end soon for the Blazers, but their future is extremely bright.
Dropped out: Miami 
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Cleveland (4-0): If they’re not all the way back, they’re getting close. And, now, they get a week off before facing either Milwaukee or Toronto in the second round.
TEAM OF THE WEAK
Indiana (0-4): The Pacers won five straight to get to the playoffs, and they sure had long stretches where they played the Cavaliers even. But you can’t blow a 26-point lead at home in the playoffs. You just can’t. And the implications of that collapse may be long-lasting.
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.
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