DA's Top 15 Rankings: Pacers rise, Timberwolves tumble
NBA.com Global on Feb 27, 2018 08:45 AM
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Victor Oladipo #4 of Team LeBron goes up for the dunk against Team Curry during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
(Last week’s record in parenthesis; last week’s ranking in brackets)
1) Houston Rockets (2-0) : Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) win in Denver starts a brutal stretch for the Rockets: 10-of-13 on the road, including tilts at Utah, the stubborn Clippers, Milwaukee, Toronto, OKC, New Orleans, Minnesota and Portland -- where the Blazers have won 10 of their last 11 -- between now and March 20 (Mar. 21, PHL time).
2) Golden State Warriors (2-0) : Next technical will mean a one-game suspension for Draymond Green, who got his 16th Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) against Oklahoma City. (Editor's note: that technical foul has since been rescinded)
3) Toronto Raptors (0-1) : Honk if you had Jonas Valanciunas shooting 48 percent (20-of-42) on three-pointers this late in the season.
4) San Antonio Spurs (1-1) : Very UnSpursian 2-4 Rodeo Trip. But, they now get nine of the next 12 at home, where they’re 22-6.
5) Boston Celtics (2-1) : With Marcus Smart back after 11 games, you can expect the Celtics’ since-he’s-been-gone-defensive slide to stop.
6) Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) : Like night and day in the Q.
7) Milwaukee Bucks (2-0) : No one on earth is caught unaware by this, right?
8) Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1) : Zaza Pachulia Night at Chesapeake Arena postponed indefinitely.
9) Washington Wizards (2-1) : Wizards petitioning the league to only play top 10 teams the rest of the season.
10) Indiana Pacers (1-0) : Glenn Robinson III’s return after missing all season following ankle surgery could be a huge boost for the Pacers down the stretch.
11) Philadelphia 76ers (2-1) : Even in-shape All-Stars get hangry from time to time.
12) Minnesota Timberwolves (0-2) : Wolves, and Jimmy Butler, got very lucky that he “just” suffered meniscal damage.
13) Denver Nuggets (1-1) : Among five-man units with more than 200 minutes together, per NBA.com/Stats, only one -- Houston’s quintet of Harden, Gordon, Ariza, Anderson and Capela -- has a better offensive rating than the Nuggets’ Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Wilson Chandler and Nikola Jokic.
14) Portland Trail Blazers (2-0) : Dolla Dame Lillard averaging a cool 39.4 per on 51.2 percent shooting (62-of-121) in last five.
15) New Orleans Pelicans (2-0) [NR]: They are 5-4 since DeMarcus Cousins went out for the year. Small sample size, but they’re showing a lot of fight and heart so far.
Dropped out: Miami Heat 
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.