Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:50 am
1.- Boston Celtics.- The scary thing is that I don't think KG is playing his best bball of the season yet.
2.- San Antonio Spurs.- They went 2-2 without Duncan. Now that he's back, they're back on track.
3.- Phoenix Suns.- Troubles in paradise?. Nash has been talking lately about lack of effort by some of his teammates... Still, they're the third best team to me. I'd love to have that kind of concerns.
4.- Detroit Pistons.- They're 8-2 in december and playing like a top team in the east.
5.- Dallas Mavericks.- Dirk is not exactly playing like the MVP, but they have won some quality games lately. They have 8 of their next 10 at home, which never hurts.
6.- Orlando Magic.- As well as they're playing on the road, as dominant as Dwight has been... I still don't think they have enough to be a true contender in the east. I mean, which contender can you see losing at home against Atlanta and Memphis?.
7.- New Orleans Hornets.- They're winning quality games this year, like the other day against the Suns. And with Stojakovic out of the lineup...
8.- LA Lakers.- Kobe demanded help this summer... and he has found it in Bynum, who's averaging 14, 12 and 3 blocks during the last 4 games.
9.- Golden State Warriors.- We're winning big games again. But now the schedule becomes a true test for the team, with 8 of the next 10 on the road (that stretch started with the Detroit game, tho).
10.- Portland Trail Blazers.- Brandon Roy is playing at all star level and the rest of the team (specially Travis Outlaw) have stepped up their game to help the team get some impressive wins. They have won the last 8, including some impressive wins against Golden State, two against Utah (one on the road) and against New Orleans.
11.- Toronto Raptors.- Ok, so they can't win against Boston. So what?. They're winning the games they're supposed to win, and that's enough for them to sneak into the east playoffs, and probably to reach the second round. Bosh is starting to play like everybody expected, Calderon had 107 assists and 15 turnovers over the previous 10 games til the last game against Boston and the role players are playing those roles perfectly (Delfino, Moon, Humphries...) That's what I call a bball team. Also, here's hoping for TJ Ford's quick recovery.
12.- Denver Nuggets.- Still able to beat anybody. Still able to lose to anybody.
13.- Washington Wizards.- They're having a remarkable season, considering they're without Arenas and Antonio Daniels.
14.- Utah Jazz.- At some point they have to start winning again on the road. Even with Okur out, they shouldn't be losing that much. Not with Deron and Boozer healthy.
15.- Indiana Pacers.- Jim O'Brien is doing a great job with that team. And once Jermaine O'Neal gets up to speed, they should be even better.
16.- Houston Rockets.- The deep Rockets that were touted as a contender in preseason (me included), suddenly look like the same two-man team they've been since trading for T-Mac. That's not the way to win big in the playoffs.
17.- Cleveland Cavaliers.- With Lebron healthy again and Varejao and Hughes back on the team, they have nowhere to go but up.
18.- Atlanta Hawks.- Their young kids are starting to deliver, and that shows on their record.
19.- Chicago Bulls.- Still not the team everybody expected, but at least they're winning games again. They're starting to see the Hinrich they expected, but Ben Wallace is still MIA.
20.- Sacramento Kings.- What a big season John Salmons is having... The Kings won't make the playoffs, but they're not an easy game for anybody.
21.- New Jersey Nets.- Still talented, still losing too much (twice against the Knicks!!!). They're 3-7 in december. If they keep losing, I think we'll see changes... and soon.
22.- Philadelphia 76ers.- The Sixers are not a good team, but they're smart enough to know it and try to play hard each game. That gives them a chance to win against most teams. With 12 of their next 16 on the road, it won't be easy to keep winning.
23.- Milwaukee Bucks.- Good team at home. 2-11 on the road. 'Nuff said.
24.- Miami Heat.- They have to start winning at some point. Wade, Ricky Davis, Shaq, Zo, Haslem... There's no reason for this team to not make the playoffs. Still, they keep piling Ls...
25.- LA Clippers.- Fun team to watch. And Kaman is having a big season. Sadly, they don't have a backcourt worth playing in the NBA.
26.- Charlotte Bobcats.- They have to be disappointed with J-Rich. Hopefully, the trade for Mohammed will get some help for Okafor inside.
27.- Memphis Grizzlies.- This is now Rudy Gay's team. Navarro is playing well, tho, but if Gasol is traded, he won't be back next year.
28.- Seattle Supersonics.- The season is going as they expected when they traded Allen. Lots of Ls and lots of minutes for their young kids. It was a smart decision.
29.- New York Knicks.- What a mess... And they thought that the trade for Zach Randolph would make them an east contender...
30.- Minnesota Timberwolves.- They basically traded KG for Al Jefferson. At this point, they better realize that's what happened.