DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Minnesota Timberwolves continue to make noise

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

1) Golden State Warriors (3-1) [1]: Let me get this straight: the Warriors are 35-9, prohibitive favorites to repeat, and they’re just now going to KD-Steph pick and rolls this year?

2) Boston Celtics (1-0) [2]: The Celtics and Sixers brought out the footballers in London last week.

3) Minnesota Timberwolves (4-0) [5]: The Wolves are on fire, playing the franchise’s best basketball in a generation, but were fine sharing the spotlight in the Twin Cities Sunday.

4) San Antonio Spurs (2-1) [4]: They are really beat up right now, but still grinding out wins.

5) Toronto Raptors (2-2) [3]: Yes, Cleveland is reeling on defense right now, but throttling the Cavs without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka was nonetheless impressive.

6) Houston Rockets (3-0) [7]: Must be nice to have a replacement point guard who averages 23 and 10.2 dimes while your MVP candidate is out for a few weeks.

7) Cleveland Cavaliers (0-3) [6]: Koby Altman is on the clock. It’s a loud, angry, relentless clock.

8) Miami Heat (3-0) [14]: Per AP, Erik Spoelstra has 12 separate winning streaks of seven games or more, the latest coming after Miami throttled Milwaukee Sunday.

9) Washington Wizards (2-1) [9]: All you need to know about the Wizards’ up and down campaign so far: they didn’t have a sweep of back-to-back games all season until beating Orlando Friday and Brooklyn Saturday — their seventh set of back-to-backs this season.

10) Milwaukee Bucks (1-3) [8]: Can Jabari Parker really fix all of this?

11) Detroit Pistons (1-2) [10]: Avery Bradley struggling with the shot (39 percent) since returning to the lineup Jan. 3, but scored 26 Saturday against Chicago.

12) Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2) [11]: Thought they’d turned the corner. I was wrong. Tired of being wrong about these guys.

13) New Orleans Pelicans (3-1) [15]: “The Grindfather” will be on the shelf a little longer than any of us would like.

14) Indiana Pacers (3-1) [NR]: In my version of Heaven, Lance Stephenson walks up to LeBron James, every day, and pokes him in the ribs with a finger. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.

15) Denver Nuggets (1-3) [12]: Gary Harris last six games: 21.8 ppg on 57.8 percent shooting.

Dropped out: Portland Trail Blazers [13]

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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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