Ranking all the NBA teams, whether they want it or not. The Cavaliers and Lakers are 1-2 now, which is who everybody thinks makes the finals if the playoffs start today. Sorry Dallas.
1. Cavaliers (43-11) Win streak is up to 13, home court throughout if the playoffs started today. And they want to make a major trade and shake up things because?
2. Lakers (41-13) Wins over Utah and San Antonio without Kobe or Andrew Bynum get them moved up the ladder. But will they keep playing defense like this when everybody is back?
3. Magic (36-18) They had a loss this week to Cleveland, but can you hold that against them? They are the other contender right now.
4. Jazz (32-19) It was nice of Deron Williams to get all his bonehead plays out of the way during the All-Star game as not to drag down Utah in real games.
5. Nuggets (35-18) The most obvious thing from the All-Star game — Carmelo Anthony wanted to be MVP. Nobody puts up 11 first quarter shots otherwise, but you got to hit the late ones to get it.
6. Thunder (30-21) Winners of six in a row, that will get you moved to number six.
7. Hawks (33-18) A West Coast road trip this week should be a good test. Watching Atlanta’s athletes run with Golden State should be one of the more entertaining games of the week.
8. Suns (31-22) Trade rumors swirling about off the court could distract them on the court, where good Dallas and Memphis teams await.
9. Raptors (29-23) They are 8-1 in their last nine, and Chris Bosh has fans in Chicago and Miami drooling with his recent play. Oh yea, Toronto fans, too.
10. Spurs (30-21) Lose to the Lakers without Kobe or Bynum, then turn around and beat Denver in Denver. The Spurs remain a roller coaster.
11. Celtics (32-18) Rumors are the Celtics want to trade Ray Allen for a young star shooter. Well, duh. I want to drive a Maserati, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
12. Bucks (24-27) Why is Brandon Jennings hair so fascinating? I should not spend this much time thinking about a man’s hair.
13. Mavericks (32-20) All the talk is about Butler, and he is an upgrade, but Haywood is the real steal of this trade.
14. Blazers (31-24) Turns out it’s hard to make a trade if you’re not willing to give anything good up in return.
15. Heat (26-27) Quality win against the Hawks on the road last week. Oh, and D-Wade guy looked pretty good Sunday. They should try to keep him, he may turn into something.
16. Bobcats (26-25) The Bobcats turn it around with a couple wins. Up this week, the opposite ends of the spectrum: New Jersey (Tuesday) then Cleveland (Friday).
17. Hornets (28-25) Darren Collison continues to impress, filling in for CP3. It’s tough to judge how good offensively a player is coming out of Ben Howland’s system at UCLA.
18. Sixers (20-32) Four wins in a row without Allen Iverson, with the Green/Holiday backcourt looking good. Yea, it’s going to be fun when AI returns.
19. Rockets (27-24) Lots of trade rumors, but what this team really needs is to get Yao Ming back, and looks like that won’t be until next season.
20. Bulls (25-26) Tyrus Thomas for sale! Get your Tyrus Thomas here!
21. Grizzlies (26-25) Everybody starts raving about what a nice roster Memphis has and how the team plays together, then the Griz go and drop four in a row. Great timing, guys.
22. Kings (18-24) Tyreke Evans is starting to really pull away as rookie of the year. Will Kevin Martin be there to see the rest of his season?
23. Knicks (19-32) Charles Barkley was right — there were a lot of Knicks represented All-Star weekend, despite the team’s record.
24. Warriors (14-37) They get an easy win because the Clippers come out and try to run with them. Foolish, foolish Clippers.
25. Timberwolves (13-30) Was it warmer in Minny than it was in Dallas All-Star Weekend?
26. Clippers (21-31) Every once in a while you hear from people how LeBron James should come to the Clippers. Those are the people you should drug test.
27. Pacers (18-34) How can a team that plays at such a fast pace be so boring to watch.
28. Wizards (17-33) On paper this team should get worse, but sometimes teams and players rise up after their stars are traded.
29. Pistons (18-33) Looking around for good news for the Detroit fans… still looking hold on…
30. Nets (4-48) If ever there was a team that should get extra ping-pong balls in the lottery…