DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Minnesota Timberwolves on up-and-up

David Aldridge

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

1) Golden State (3-1) [2]: I can’t unsee Nick Young sitting on Santa’s lap.

2) Houston (1-2) [1]: CP3 has missed a couple of games, but losing Clint Capela and Luc Mbah a Moute has hurt just as much, especially at the defensive end (125 per allowed the last two pre-Christmas games).

3) Cleveland (1-1) [3]: Kevin Love has just been sensational this season, and should get full credit for his work in the hole while Tristan Thompson was out.

4) Boston (2-2) [4]: Celtics a pedestrian .500 in last 10 games entering their Christmas Day game with Washington.

5) Toronto (3-0) [5]: After this week’s games at Dallas and Oklahoma City, the Raptors are essentially done with travel — they’ve already completed both of their West Coast trips, with just one road game left this season against a Western Conference team — at Minnesota in January.

6) San Antonio (3-1) [6]: Spurs continue to plug-n-play: Joffrey Lauvergne steps in to start at center for the ailing Pau Gasol.

7) Minnesota (3-0) [8]: Won 20th game of the season Saturday. Won 31 all last season.

8) Milwaukee (2-1) [7]: Malcolm Brogdon scoring 12 off the bench per game since Eric Bledsoe took over the starting point guard spot.

9) Denver (2-2) [9]: Not too many teams pull off the back-to-back daily double at Portland and Golden State. Impressive.

10) Detroit (1-1) [10]: Four of five since seven-game losing streak.

11) Washington (2-1) [11]: Team Bipolar at it again: boatraced in Brookyn Friday, losing by 35; invincible the next night against Orlando, leading by 24 in the first half en route to a 27-point laugher.

12) Indiana (2-1) [12]: Assuming Kyrie Irving, John Wall and DeMar DeRozan are All-Star locks, seems to me Victor Oladipo is solidly ahead of Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker and others for the fourth Eastern Conference guard spot.

13) Oklahoma City (4-0) [NR]: Carmelo blinked. And the Thunder have taken off.

14) New Orleans (2-1) [15]: When they don’t kick the ball all over the place, the Pelicans are tough to defend. But they (ital)do(endital) kick the ball all over the place.

15) Portland (1-3) [13]: This is…uh…it’s…um…well…ah….

Dropped out: New York [14]

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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.

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

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