DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Sizzling Boston Celtics make big move up

David Aldridge

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

1) Golden State Warriors (3-0) [1]: I’ve always said this: Steve Kerr, for being a great coach, a terrific human, a brilliant TV analyst and a magnificent quote, has quite the potty mouth. (For the irony deficient: I’m kidding.)

2) Boston Celtics (4-0) [5]: Defense is on fleek: eight straight wins, allowing just 90.3 points per game during streak.

3) Houston Rockets (3-1) [2]: The average NBA team shot 27 3-pointers a game last season. After 39 triple attempts on Sunday, the Rockets are averaging 44.5 3-pointers per game so far this season.

4) San Antonio Spurs (2-2) [3]: This is 40.


5) Cleveland Cleveland (1-2) [4]: Speaking briefly with Isaiah Thomas as he left the Cavs’ locker room Friday, and after watching him work out and get some shots up before Cleveland’s game with the Wizards, I have the impression that he’ll be back on the court before the January timeframe the team put up before the season.

6) LA Clippers (1-3) [6]: Danilo Gallinari says he can “barely walk” on a bruised left hip he says was initially injured a week ago and which forced him out of Sunday’s loss to Miami.

7) Detroit Pistons (2-1) [10]: Make hay while the sun shines: after three at home this week, Pistons play nine of their following 11 on the road.

8) Memphis Grizzlies (1-3) [8]: Rookie Dillon Brooks the latest member of the “wait, who’s starting for the Grizz now?” club.

9) Toronto Raptors (2-2) [9]: Pascal Siakam earning more minutes.

10) Minnesota Timberwolves (4-0) [15]: The last time the Wolves won five games in a row, Barack Obama was 10 days away from being sworn in to his first term as president.

11) Milwaukee Bucks (0-3) [7]: For the Bucks to win night in and out, they have to turn opponents over and get stops and get out in transition. This morning, they’re 20th in the league in fast break points and 25th in takeaways. Not near good enough.

12) Portland Trail Blazers (2-2) [13]: Evan Turner playing with major confidence off the bench.

13) Washington Wizards (1-2) [11]: Actually sanguine about the Wizards’ so-so start, because the Wizards can’t possibly be this indifferent about defense and lax about bringing energy all season.

14) Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2) [12]: Did you have the Thunder No. 1 in the league (per NBA.com/Stats) in steals per game, No. 1 in deflections per game and No. 2 in Defensive Rating coming into the season? No, me neither.

15) Orlando Magic (2-2) [14]: Elfrid Payton close to returning, which will provide coach Frank Vogel with a tough call: D.J. Augustin and Shelvin Mack have been solid at the point so far.

* * *

MORE MORNING TIP: Young Lakers see bright future | What’s next for Okafor, Sixers? | Your questions on Detroit’s start, Cavs’ woes | Q&A: C.J. McCollum

* * *

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.

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