DA's Top 15 Rankings: Cleveland Cavaliers make up some ground

NBA.com Global on Nov 28, 2017 05:36 AM
DA's Top 15 Rankings: Cavaliers make up some ground
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) [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) [3]: In their last 10 wins, the Rockets have won by an average of 19.9 points per game.

3) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0) [5]: 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) [2]: 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) [4]: 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) [6]: Raptors looking at small ball more and more, with Jonas Valanciunas playing less and less in fourth quarters.

7) Detroit Pistons (1-1) [8]: Pistons already have five road wins this season. They had 13 last season.

8) Philadelphia 76ers (3-0) [12]: Sixers must turn Jahlil Okafor into a productive bench piece when/if they move him. Feel a player light.

9) Milwaukee Bucks (1-2) [7]: 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) [11]: 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) [9]: Twenty games played this season, 16 double-doubles for Karl-Anthony Towns.

12) Washington Wizards (1-2) [10]: 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) [13]: 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) [14]: Not often a team drops 28 straight on someone at this level.

Dropped out: Memphis Grizzlies [15]

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.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

Latest News