DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: No big changes at the top

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) LA Clippers (3-1) [1]: Six-game eastern swing beckons after tonight’s game at Staples with the Raptors.

2) Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1) [2]: Kevin Love having one of the quietest 20 and 10 (actually, 11) seasons in recent memory so far.

3) Golden State Warriors (3-0) [3]: This is … I just can’t … I’m at a loss for words.

4) San Antonio Spurs (3-0) [4]: Gregg Popovich passes Larry Brown for seventh place on the all-time coaches’ victories list Friday, with his 1,099th win with the Spurs.

5) Atlanta Hawks (2-2) [5]: They still work, work, work for good shots, and then make them — second in the league in field goal percentage entering play Sunday.

6) Charlotte Hornets (2-1) [7]: Doing well without a well-defined bench.

7) Memphis Grizzlies (4-0) [NR]: Wait: Marc Gasol is serious about this 3-point thing?

8) Boston Celtics (2-2) [10]: Saturday’s win in Detroit started a stretch of 13 of the next 19 on the road, culminating in New York against the Knicks on Christmas Day.

9) Houston Rockets (3-1) [13]: James Harden’s 12th career triple-double, against Portland last Thursday, leaves him two behind Hakeem Olajuwon’s club record.

10) Toronto Raptors (1-3) [6]: Why, no, I can’t begin to explain how the Raptors have lost four straight games over two seasons to the Kings — who are 35-57 against the rest of the league during that stretch.

11) Utah Jazz (0-4) [8]: Five-man lineup with Dante Exum at the point in place of the injured George Hill — and with Hood, Hayward, Lyles and Gobert — has only played four games together. But in 30 minutes on the floor, its defensive rating before Sunday’s game with the Nuggets was a ridiculous 79.1 points per 100 possessions.

12) Chicago Bulls (2-2) [12]: They don’t shoot it great, but they get after it on the glass.

13) Portland Trail Blazers (1-3) [9]: Their defense is currently no en casa (28th in the league in points allowed, 112.2 per game).

14) Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) [11]: Thunder running out of guards after backup Semaj Christon’s injury over the weekend.

15) (1-2) Los Angeles Lakers [14]: That’s a pretty potent bench Luke Walton rolls out, starting with Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr.

Dropped out: Milwaukee [15]

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Golden State (3-0): Since losing at Staples to the Lakers Nov. 4, Warriors have won seven straight, including four in a row on the road by an average margin of 12.3 points per game.

TEAM OF THE WEAK

Dallas (0-4): Mavs have only broken 100 points twice in 12 games, are an NBA-worst 2-12 and have lost five straight overall. Next seven: at San Antonio, Clippers, at Cleveland, New Orleans, San Antonio, at Charlotte, Chicago, Charlotte. Ugh.

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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