DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Lay of the land as NBA season nears

NBA.com Staff

David Aldridge gives you the preseason edition of which teams are the Top 15 squads in the NBA at this moment.

Cleveland Cavaliers (defending champions’ prerogative): Rookie Kay Felder has been up and down, but has a roster spot pretty much on lock.

Golden State Warriors: Withholding judgment until the games are for real, but … man. Early signs are amazing.

LA Clippers: On this era’s tombstone, the epitaph will no doubt read, “their kingdom for a small forward.”

Toronto Raptors: Jared Sullinger starts at the four; Dwane Casey thinks Patrick Patterson is too important coming off the bench.

San Antonio Spurs: Dewayne Dedmon is going to help the Spurs a lot this season.

Indiana Pacers: We’re bullish on the Pacers. Very bullish.

Boston Celtics: Avery Bradley looks ready to go alongside Isaiah Thomas.

Portland Trail Blazers: Coach Terry Stotts still hasn’t named the permanent starter at small forward, with Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner and Maurice Harkless all vying to get the gig.

Utah Jazz: Sexy pick Jazz has been strafed by preseason injuries.

Memphis Grizzlies: We’re not encouraged by the uncertainty about Chandler Parsons’ knee, and his availability for the season opener.

Detroit Pistons: Put me down as pro-downtown arena for the Pistons. I would not miss, at all, the 31-mile drive from the Detroit airport to Auburn Hills.

Charlotte Hornets: Where will Steve Clifford find enough offense?

Dallas Mavericks: Someone other than J.J. Barea is going to have to be a contributor off the bench this season.

Houston Rockets: You see what the Rockets could potentially be offensively if they can somehow keep their core guys healthy.

Atlanta Hawks: Did you have any idea that the Hawks have the second-longest streak of consecutive playoff seasons in the NBA at nine? I didn’t, either. (San Antonio, of course, is first, with 19 straight postseason trips and counting.)

More Morning Tip: Cavs ready to defend title | Kings get royal upgrade with Golden 1 Center | Q&A with Kyle Lowry

Longtime NBA reporter and columnist David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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