DA's Morning Tip
DA's Top 15 Rankings: Rockets, Warriors take flight
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  (2-0): Warriors don’t leave the state of California again until Jan. 20 in Houston.
2) Cleveland Cavaliers  (2-1): Really need to fill that backup point spot they thought Mo Williams would fill this season.
3) San Antonio Spurs  (2-1): Tony Parker showing a little more oomph lately (18.3 points per game, .516 shooting over his last four games).
4) Houston Rockets  (4-0): Montrezl Harrell, getting more minutes with Clint Capela out, is the latest beneficiary of playing alongside James Harden this season.
5) Toronto Raptors  (2-2): So appropriate that DeMar DeRozan passes Chris Bosh as the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer on a mid-range floater.
6) Memphis Grizzlies  (2-2): After making 17 threes Saturday against the Kings, the Grizzlies have made 317 threes in 36 games this season; they made 504 3-pointers all of last season.
7) Boston Celtics  (2-1): Celtics play so hard and they have a lot of character and toughness. But they need one more legit big if they’re going to truly go toe to toe with the Cavs in May.
8) Utah Jazz  (3-0): George Hill returns … for a minute.
9) Oklahoma City Thunder  (2-1): Domantas Sabonis percolating right along at 39.8 percent on 3-pointers.
10) LA Clippers  (0-4): Just don’t have any healthy bodies right now.
11) Charlotte Hornets  (2-2): After latest loss to the Cavs Saturday, the Hornets are 1-8 against Cleveland since LeBron’s return.
12) Atlanta Hawks  (3-1): Hawks finally end 11-game losing streak to the Spurs with OT win Sunday at Philips.
13) Washington Wizards [NR] (3-0): On December 1, Wizards reserves were 28th in the league in net rating (-11.3) and 29th in defensive rating (109 points allowed per 100 possessions). In December, the bench tied for seventh in the league last month in offensive rating, at 108.2 points/100, reducing its net rating deficit to -4.6.
14) Milwaukee Bucks  (2-2): Bucks getting solid contributions off the bench from rookie Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell.
15) New York Knicks  (0-3): Knicks perimeter D has collapsed; opponents shooting 46.2 percent (54-117) on threes during four-game losing streak.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Washington (3-0): John Wall (27.7 points, 13 assists, 50 percent shooting from the floor) outstanding; Wizards have won eight straight at Verizon Center, their longest home win streak in two years.
TEAM OF THE WEAK
LA Clippers (0-4): Trying to play the long game, being careful bringing Chris Paul back from a hamstring injury while Blake Griffin recovers from arthroscopic surgery. And that’s the smart move for a team that’s only about the playoffs. But in the short term…yeccch.
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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 and follow him on Twitter.
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