1. Los Angeles Lakers: The Champ is sure that the Lakers are glad that Pau Gasol’s injury hasn’t kept him out until Christmas. Sure the Suns have more road wins, but a 19 point rout by the Lakers earns them the top spot this week, again. A good early home schedule and wins against teams like the pathetic Nets leave LA looking good early.
2. Phoenix Suns: The Pacific Division certainly looks good this year. First team to 14 wins? Impressive. With Steve Nash dishing out double digit assist nights and the team scoring in triple figures, the Suns are winning ball games.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Lights out shooting against the Top-10 Dallas Mavericks cancels out the ugly loss despite a late comeback against the Charlotte Bobcats. Undefeated when the team scores 100, the Cavaliers are slowly clicking.
4. Orlando Magic: Jason Williams is back? Ok. It seems like there’s always a Magic scorer to step up, rather it be the departed Courtney Lee or Rafer Alston, to Anthony Johnson or even JJ Redick. But I guess thats what happens when you have a team of scorers.
5. Atlanta Hawks: Looked cold in the loss to Orlando as well as Detroit. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith? Who’s the alpha dog on this team? I feel that this is a team still finding its identity, however the team is still really young.
6. Boston Celtics: Still slumping, but pulling W’s out of close games. Like the great Austin Carr once said “Championship teams win ball games,” we’ll see.
7. Dallas Mavericks: Losses to a red-hot Cleveland team and a high octane Warriors team give the Mavs a bit of trouble in the rankings this week. Erick Dampier is back in the starting lineup, is that a good thing?
8. Denver Nuggets: A loss to the Wolves?
9. Portland Trailblazers: Greg Oden thrives while the team hobbles along, losses to Memphis and Golden State do not help the Blazer cause. Hopefully things will click and guys like Outlaw and Batum can recover from injury soon.
10. Houston Rockets: And here’s the scrappy Rockets finally cracking the Champ’s top ten. No T-Mac, No Problem. Carl Landry and Aaron Brooks have carried the load just fine for the Yao-less Rockets.
Missing from Last Week:
Milwaukee Bucks: Have we seen the last of the Bucks in this list for the season? possibly. Have we seen the last of Jennings, nope.