DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Spurs, Rockets, Grizzlies all falter a bit

David Aldridge

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) Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) [1]: Tyronn Lue puts Iman Shumpert in the starting lineup at the two in place of DeAndre Liggins.

2) Golden State Warriors (2-0) [4]: Only team in the league with an average margin of victory in double digits (12.05 per game).

3) San Antonio Spurs (1-2) [2]: Is this where we mention that, despite the Rockets’ recent incredible run and streak, and James Harden’s MVP-caliber season thus far, the Spurs are still in first place over Houston in the Southwest Division?

4) Houston Rockets (2-2) [3]: Sounds like Clint Capela is really close to returning — maybe this week — and when he does, coach Mike D’Antoni’s gonna have to make a tough call, ‘cause Nene and Montrezl Harrell have both been outstanding in his absence.

5) Toronto Raptors (3-0) [6]: Number one in the league in offensive rating as of today.

6) Boston Celtics (2-1) [5]: Isaiah Thomas not completely responsible for Celtics’ humming offense, but he sure does tilt the floor when he’s out there.

7) LA Clippers (2-0) [7]: Defense back on track after awful end to calendar 2016.

8) Atlanta Hawks (2-1) [9]: Not surprised to hear, as ESPN.com reported, that the Hawks are looking at signing Gary Neal. Just don’t have enough shooting anymore.

9) Utah Jazz (3-0) [10]: Doing all of this so far this season with Derrick Favors just beginning to round into form.

10) Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) [11]: OKC has been okay (10-11) on the road, but still looking for signature road win over a Western Conference contender.

11) Memphis Grizzlies (1-2) [8]: Is there another team in the league with two wins apiece this season over Golden State, Houston and Utah, and single victories over the Clippers and Thunder? Pretty sure that’s a no.

12) Washington Wizards (2-1) [13]: Wizards displaying knack for coming from behind; Saturday’s win over Philly was the 10th time this season they’ve trailed by 10 or more points in a game and rallied to win.

13) Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) [14]: Jabari Parker held to eight points Sunday by Hawks after scoring 20-plus points in four straight games.

14) Charlotte Hornets (0-2) [12]: Maybe they’re missing Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee more than we thought they would.

15) Chicago Bulls (2-3) [15]: Confounding on an almost nightly basis.


Packers/Steelers (1-0): Aaron Rodgers. Le’Veon Bell. Mason Crosby. Chris Boswell. Have Divisional Playoff games for the ages in leading your teams to their respective conference title games next week after road wins at Dallas and Kansas City on Sunday.


Los Angeles Lakers (0-4): Finding new and creative ways to lose, which is what you expect from a young team.

More Morning Tip: Rondo, Bulls try to make it work | NBA legends get second life with new 3-on-3 league | Q&A with Brandon Ingram

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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