DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Rockets, Warriors take flight

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) Golden State Warriors [3] (2-0): Warriors don’t leave the state of California again until Jan. 20 in Houston.

2) Cleveland Cavaliers [2] (2-1): Really need to fill that backup point spot they thought Mo Williams would fill this season.

3) San Antonio Spurs [1] (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 [6] (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 [4] (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 [7] (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 [8] (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 [10] (3-0): George Hill returns … for a minute.

9) Oklahoma City Thunder [9] (2-1): Domantas Sabonis percolating right along at 39.8 percent on 3-pointers.

10) LA Clippers [5] (0-4): Just don’t have any healthy bodies right now.

11) Charlotte Hornets [11] (2-2): After latest loss to the Cavs Saturday, the Hornets are 1-8 against Cleveland since LeBron’s return.

12) Atlanta Hawks [12] (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 [14] (2-2): Bucks getting solid contributions off the bench from rookie Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell.

15) New York Knicks [13] (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.

More Morning Tip: Top 10 NBA storylines from 2016 | Liggins makes most of second chance in NBA | Q&A with Isaiah Thomas

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.

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

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