DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Toronto Raptors starting to make some noise

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

1) Boston Celtics (3-0) [2]: The Celtics are also 8-1 on the road this season, as impressive as anything else they’re doing so far.

2) Golden State Warriors (3-1) [1]: Kevon Looney starting to become a regular part of the rotation.

3) Houston Rockets (2-1) [3]: CP3’s return really put a crimp in the Rockets’ offense, huh?

4) San Antonio Spurs (2-1) [4]: LaMarcus Aldridge trying to do his part with Kawhi Leonard still out: 24.3 points, 8 rebounds average last week.

5) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) [6]: A Jose Calderon sighting!

6) Toronto Raptors (4-0) [8]: Quality back-to-back wins at Houston, New Orleans, in which the Raptors’ rejiggered offense averaged 127.

7) Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) [9]: Bucks had been giving up 93.7 points per game in Eric Bledsoe’s first four appearances — all wins — before Dallas put 111 on them Saturday to end the streak.

8) Detroit Pistons (1-2) [5]: Reggie Jackson with some big plays in Sunday’s win over Minnesota — the Pistons’ sixth straight against Minnesota.

9) Minnesota Timberwolves (3-1) [12]: Defensive buds beginning to take root? Wolves have held six of last nine opponents under 100 points.

10) Washington Wizards (2-2) [10]: John Wall dealing with all manner of aches and pains, but fluid on the knee is not good.

11) Portland Trail Blazers (2-1) [15]: Blazers better have big suitcases: 18 of their next 27 through mid-January are on the road.

12) Philadelphia 76ers (2-1) [NR]: This is spot on: Robert Covington is a much better example of “The Process” working than Joel Embiid.

13) Denver Nuggets (1-2) [13]: Mike Malone playing some small ball with Mason Plumlee at center.

14) New York Knicks (1-2) [14]: Odd that the Knicks kept Ramon Sessions, who is out of the rotation at present, rather than Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who was waived last week to make room for the returning Joakim Noah.

15) Memphis Grizzlies (0-3) [7]: No one seems to know when Mike Conley’s going to be back. Those are ominous words for the Grizz.

Dropped Out: Orlando Magic [11]

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MORE MORNING TIP: Celtics’ defense gets sharper | New tribute to Sager’s life | Your questions on Sixers & more | Q&A Idan Ravin

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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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