DA's Morning Tip
DA's Top 15 Rankings: Bulls, Hawks, Thunder all make their move
David Aldridge gives you the preseason edition of which teams are the Top 15 squads in the NBA at this moment.
(last week’s record in parenthesis; previous ranking in brackets)
1) San Antonio Spurs (4-0) : Early. Early. But damn impressive.
2) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) : Looks like the Cavs have started something in Northeast Ohio.
3)LA Clippers (2-0) : Re-creating their three-guard lineup that was so effective for them off the bench this season, with Raymond Felton taking over for Pablo Prigioni alongside Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers.
4) Golden State Warriors: (2-1) : Dubs will be fine. But they are a skinny team. That won’t matter most of the season, but when/if they get deeper into the playoffs, it’s a vulnerability.
5) Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0) [NR]: Very, very potent so far offensively, averaging 108 in its first three games.
6) Atlanta Hawks (2-0) : Tim Hardaway, Jr., out of the gate fast after an injury-plagued first season with the Hawks, who continue to be among the best in the league at player development/improvement.
7) Boston Celtics (2-1) : Have to get more personally involved with their work on the glass.
8) Portland Trail Blazers (2-1) : Blazers looking for Evan Turner to get Damian Lillard off the ball a little more this season.
9) Memphis Grizzlies (2-1) : Marc Gasol on minutes limit at start of the season.
10) Detroit Pistons (2-1) : Pistons will take 4 of 8 from the foul line from Andre Drummond right now in every game this season, if you don’t mind.
11) Charlotte Hornets (2-1) : I’m not very bright and I admit that, but I think the Hornets will have to ultimately shoot better behind the arc than their current .299 clip.
12) Chicago Bulls [NR] (2-0): Ball is moving, guys are open, shots are easy out of the gate for Fred Hoiberg’s bunch.
13) Houston Rockets (2-1) : 2015 first-round pick Sam Dekker healthy after injury-plagued rookie season, making plays off the bench for Mike D’Antoni.
14) Toronto Raptors (1-1) : Plugging in at power forward with Jared Sullinger out a couple of months following surgery, but eventually, Dwane Casey will likely have to call on Patrick Patterson off the bench.
15) Sacramento Kings (2-1) [NR]: Boogie beasting (30 points, 9.7 boards, 52 percent shooting) with strong support from Rudy Gay (22 points, 51 percent shooting).
Dropped out: Indiana (1-2) , Utah (1-2) , Dallas (0-3) .
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Cleveland Indians (3-2): One win away from their first World Series title since 1948, which would be the most impressive thing ever—except the team they’re a win from defeating hasn’t won one since 1908.
TEAM OF THE WEAK
New Orleans (0-3): Don’t think Alvin Gentry is in trouble yet, but you can see the outskirts of Trouble down the road. He’s in the suburbs of Trouble. Better get some gas because the next road stop isn’t until after Trouble, if you get my meaning.
More Morning Tip: Spurs keep chugging along | Assessing contract extensions for 2013 picks | Q&A with Draymond Green
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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