DA's Top 15 Rankings: Cleveland Cavaliers make up some ground
NBA.com Global on Nov 28, 2017 05:36 AM
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 9: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes to the basket against the Houston Rockets on NOVEMBER 9, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
(Last week’s record in parenthesis; last week’s ranking in brackets)
1) Boston Celtics (3-1) : Had to end sometime, and I got the sense last week that Brad Stevens wouldn’t be all that upset when the win streak was over.
2) Houston Rockets (2-0) : In their last 10 wins, the Rockets have won by an average of 19.9 points per game.
3) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) : Defense has picked up significantly: per NBA.com/Stats, Cavs are 10th-best (101.8) in Defensive Rating during their seven-game win streak.
4) Golden State Warriors (2-1) : Seems like the Warriors just got off the road, but they have another six-game, all over the place trip -- at the Lakers, at Orlando, at Miami, at New Orleans, at Charlotte, at Detroit -- after tonight’s game at Oracle against Sacramento.
5) San Antonio Spurs (2-1) : Crazy number from Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News: the Spurs have held opponents under 100 points a game, on average, every year for 22 straight years, and are well on pace this year to do it for a 23rd.
6) Toronto Raptors (1-2) : Raptors looking at small ball more and more, with Jonas Valanciunas playing less and less in fourth quarters.
7) Detroit Pistons (1-1) : Pistons already have five road wins this season. They had 13 last season.
8) Philadelphia 76ers (3-0) : Sixers must turn Jahlil Okafor into a productive bench piece when/if they move him. Feel a player light.
9) Milwaukee Bucks (1-2) : Gary Payton II in the starting lineup the last two games as Jason Kidd’s gone to three-guard look.
10) Portland Trail Blazers (3-1) : Blazers turned what looked like an awful road trip into a productive one with improbable back-to-back wins at Nets, Wizards.
11) Minnesota Timberwolves (2-2) : Twenty games played this season, 16 double-doubles for Karl-Anthony Towns.
12) Washington Wizards (1-2) : They have already blown five double-digit leads this season, the latest Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) against Portland, when Washington gave up a 17-point fourth-quarter edge.
13) Denver Nuggets (2-1) : Kudos and Godspeed to longtime Nuggets PR man Tim Gelt, who’s leaving the organization after 18 years for greater, greener pastures.
14) New Orleans Pelicans (3-1) [NR]: Rondo and Tony Allen get back on the floor, and the Pelicans get to stiff-arming fools.
15) New York Knicks (2-2) : Not often a team drops 28 straight on someone at this level.
Dropped out: Memphis Grizzlies 
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