DA's Top 15 Rankings: Raptors move into No. 2 spot
TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 11: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors is seen before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 11, 2018 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
(Last week’s record in parenthesis; last week’s ranking in brackets)
1) Houston Rockets (4-0) : Per NBA.com/Stats: Rockets are 36-2 this season when leading after three quarters.
2) Toronto Raptors (3-0) : Dwane Casey wins his 300th career game in the Raptors’ matinee rout of Charlotte Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
3) Golden State Warriors (2-1) : I get that Andre Iguodala may be saving himself for the playoffs. But since Dec. 1, he’s made just eight three-pointers since Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time) and is shooting 17.8 percent (8-of-45) from there.
4) San Antonio Spurs (1-1) : All-Star Break coming just in time for the banged-up Spurs.
5) Boston Celtics (1-3) : Sunday (Monday, PHL time) was just one game, and the Celtics are allowed a stinker every now and then, given how well they’ve played most of the season so far. But it’s gonna sting, in an especially acute way, if the Celtics, after all the great moves they made to remake their team last summer, still get poleaxed by a different group of Cavaliers in the playoffs.
6) Cleveland Cavaliers (3-1) : It’s hard to recall, in the last 30 years, a contending team that basically started over in the middle of the season, with an essentially new roster.
7) Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) : Hit 30-win mark last Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), a whole month ahead of when the Bucks got their 30th last season (March 8).
8) Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1) : Is there a Grindfather in the Thunder’s immediate future?
9) Washington Wizards (2-2) : Looking at 10-day deals for guards after both Tomas Satoransky and Tim Frazier got banged up Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Chicago, with Frazier needing nasal surgery. Not likely to bring in Derrick Rose, though.
10) Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) : Only Toronto has a better win percentage at home (.852, 23-4) than the Wolves’ current .793 (23-6, with 13 straight wins at Target Center).
11) Indiana Pacers (2-1) : Bojan Bogdanovic has taken it up a notch to start February: averaging 19.8 points in first five games this month, shooting 53.4 percent -- and 51.7 percent (15 of 29) on 3-pointers.
12) Philadelphia 76ers (3-0) : Marco Belinelli certainly fills the area of need at Wells Fargo Center.
13) Denver Nuggets (2-1) [NR]: When Podcasts Attack, Part I.
14) Portland Trail Blazers (2-2) : Nine-game home win streak ended by Utah Sunday night (Monday, PHL time).
15) Miami Heat (1-2) : Three straight on the road -- Toronto, Philly, New Orleans -- straddling All-Star, before playing seven of the following eight at home. The 11 combined may well tell the tale of the Heat’s season.
Dropped out: New Orleans Pelicans (13)
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