1. San Antonio Spurs (6-1) – What is there not to be impressed about? Tim Duncan dominates without scoring, and Ginobili and Parker look like all-stars yet again.
2. Boston Celtics (5-0) -I’ll take one on the chin here. Thus far I have underestimated the Celtics, and KG looks like he’s in for an MVP run.
3. Houston Rockets (6-1) -They are the Spurs lone loss, and they looked good doing it with both Yao and McGrady pouring in big games.
4. Phoenix Suns (5-2) -Questions abound! Is Amare healthy? And are they interested in playing defense this season?
5. Detroit Pistons (5-1) – Losing to the Bulls hurt, but dominating a road trip like they have is reward enough.
6. Dallas Mavericks (4-2) – The Mavericks look okay, but barely beating Golden State sure smelled a lot like April, didn’t it?
7. Utah Jazz (5-2) – With Deron Williams averaging a double-double in points and assist, I’m not sure the Jazz aren’t moving up in elite status.
8. Charlotte Hornets (5-2) – Chris Paul and Hornets came out 4-0, and if Peja keeps shooting the ball like he has been, they won’t deviate from that record too much.
9. Orlando Magic (5-2) – They were on top of the East after 20 games last year. The difference this season is that Rashard Lewis should help them stay closer to that end of the conference than the other end.
10. Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) – Kobe has been on fire this season, and he has little help. The return of Odom should make the Lakers a competitor in the West. That is if Kobe is in LA all season.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3) – Lebron sparked this team with a 40+ point performance against the Knicks, and has had the Cavs looking good ever since.
12. Toronto Raptors (4-3) – A complete dismantling of New Jersey was unexpected, but then again, we let it surprise us last year too.
13. New Jersey Nets (4-2) – Vince Carter’s ankle injury may hurt the Nets for a while. And even before that, their big 3 didn’t match-up well with Boston’s.
14. Los Angeles Clippers (4-2) – What in the world? Everyone had them written off with Brand out for the season. But they are playing better than they did last year. Can they maintain it? Well, that’s the $32,000 question.
15. Denver Nuggets (4-3) – I drank the Kool-Aid Stephen A. Smith was making when he said the Nuggets are a championship contender with a healthy Kenyon Martin. He doesn’t look healthy yet though, and I’m not past regurgitating Kool-Aid.
16. Portland Trailblazers (3-3) – LaMarcus looks good this season, and he’ll be a better option on offense than Greg Oden would have been this season for sure.
17. Indiana Pacers (3-3) – Jermaine O’Neal is clearly ailing at this point in his career, but a .500 start to the Pacers’ season is more than expected.
18. Charlotte Bobcats (3-3) – The loss of Ramyond Felton is devastating, especially when Jeff McInnis is their backup. The Bobcats won’t stay this high in the rankings if Felton doesn’t hurry back from injury.
19. New York Knicks (2-3) – Looked promising after their first 3 games, but after giving up 4th quarter leads against the Magic and the Heat, the Knicks are back to their old ways.
20. Atlanta Hawks (2-4) – Some people thought this would be a turnaround season for the Hawks, and wins over the Suns and Mavs could be signs of that. But call me skeptic when it comes to buying into an Atlanta sports franchise. Buying into Fat Burger, that’s a whole other story!
21. Milwaukee Bucks (2-4) – Yi vs. Yao was a huge moneymaker for the NBA in China. Unfortunately for the Bucks, they haven’t made in ground in terms of wins.
22. Miami Heat (1-5) – To say the least, this has been an inauspicious start to the Heat season. But Shaq looked good against the Knicks…but then again, it was the Knicks.
23. Chicago Bulls (1-5) – They got their first win against the Pistons of all teams, which means that this team can still play ball. Maybe the death of Kobe talks has brought life to the youngsters.
24. Washington Wizards (1-5) – Gilbert Arenas has not quite looked like himself, and if he continues to shoot 35% from the field, he won’t ever be himself.
26. Sacramento Kings (2-4) – The Kings are ranked below the 1 win teams because their two wins came against the Sonics and the Wolves. ‘Nough said.
27. Memphis Grizzlies (1-4) – The Grizzlies looked confused on offense and have one too many chefs in the kitchen with a 3 point guard rotation.
28. Golden State Warriors (0-5) – While they have yet to win a game, they have been quite close, and the losses have come to legitimate competition.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves (0-5) – No Kevin Garnett = no wins? Surprise. Surprise.
30. Seattle SuperSonics (0-7) – We can’t give Durant the Rookie of the Year award on the worst team, can we? But if we don’t give them the ROY award, they might not win anything this season.