DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Cleveland Cavaliers reap benefits of resurgent Kevin Love

(Last week’s record in parenthesis; April 16 ranking in brackets)

1) Houston Rockets (2-1) [1]: For those who still may not realize how important Clint Capela is to the Rockets … just watch Game 4 against the Jazz again. I thought Rudy Gobert’s presence would neutralize Capela in this series; I had it exactly backwards.

2) Golden State Warriors (2-1) [3]: Quinn Cook is going to stay in the rotation, it says here.

3) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) [4]: Kevin Love’s offensive rebirth makes the Cavs a completely different animal going forward — and they are going forward.

4) Toronto Raptors (0-3) [2]: Gonna be a tough next couple of weeks in the 416. Losing in the playoffs when you expect a long, long run is extremely difficult to overcome emotionally.

5) Boston Celtics (3-0) [6]: Let’s all stop with the fiction that Jayson Tatum is a “rookie” playing in his “first NBA playoffs” and has “never done this before in his life.” Right.

6) Philadelphia 76ers (0-3) [5]: Don’t overreact to this, Sixers Nation. You have a great — great — young nucleus that is only going to get better, and is going to attract impact players the next few years.

7) Utah Jazz (1-2) [7]: Just plum run out of point guards.

8) New Orleans Pelicans [8]: Rajon Rondo has found a home, and neither he nor the Pelicans should waste any time this summer getting him signed to a long-term deal that’s fair to both sides.

9) Indiana Pacers [9]: Season complete.

10) Oklahoma City Thunder [10]: Season complete.

11) San Antonio Spurs [11]: Season complete.

12) Miami Heat [12]: Season complete.

13) Milwaukee Bucks [13]: Season complete. The search for the next head coach will include Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

14) Minnesota Timberwolves [14]: Season complete. Now the Wolves have to decide if they’ll give Jimmy Butler the max deal he’s seeking this summer.

15) Portland Trail Blazers [15]: Season complete. And good on the Blazers for not taking the easy, knee-jerk way out by tarring Terry Stotts for their first-round playoff loss to the Pelicans.

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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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