Here is The Advocate’s ranking of the Top 15 teams in the NBA for the week of Dec. 22-29.
Why the top 15? Because the bottom 15 teams in the NBA aren’t worth following.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
1. Golden State (Previous week No. 1)
The Warriors finally lost another game, as expected, but they have a Pacific Division showdown with the Clippers sandwiched between games with the Lakers and Timberwolves this week.
2. Portland (Previous week No. 4)
The Pelicans learned the hard way on Saturday that the Trailblazers are tough to beat when they make shots, but, of course, you can say that about every team in the NBA.
3. Memphis (Previous week No. 2)
The Grizzlies have a three-game losing streak as of Monday, but it shouldn’t be anything to worry about for now.
4. Houston (Previous week No. 3)
The Rockets play at Memphis and San Antonio this week with Dwight Howard not quite up to par, so don’t be shocked if they lose two in a row.
5. Dallas (Previous week No. 9)
Trading for Rondo was a “Shark Tank” type deal, but how long before he clashes with his new coach?
6. LA Clippers (Previous week No. 5)
The Dallas trade was yet another illustration of how the Clippers may be the Kings of LA, but they won’t be kings of the NBA.
7. San Antonio (Previous week No. 7)
The game of the week for the Spurs is not Christmas against OKC, but the next day at New Orleans.
8. Toronto (Previous week No. 6)
It’s tough to drop the Raptors after an 8-2 week, but right now these are the only “Headlines” they are good for with the Western Conference dominating.
9. Atlanta (Previous week No. 10)
The Hawks continue to win, but don’t be fooled.
10. Washington (Previous week No. 8)
The Wizards are better than the Hawks any day of the week, but this is a weekly poll.
11. Chicago (Previous week No. 12)
The Bulls have won 7 of their last 10 and are slowly coming around, and the Windy City needs a spark with the forget-a-bull Bears’ season coming to an end.
12. Cleveland (Previous week No. 11)
The Cavs have four easy games this week, but knowing them they will find a way to lose one of them.
13. New Orleans (Previous week No. 13)
The inconsistent Pelicans are getting better, but the player movement in the Western Conference could force them to make a move soon.
14. Oklahoma City (Previous week No. 15)
It’s only a matter of time before the Thunder rolls past the Pelicans into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
15. Phoenix (Previous week unranked)
The Suns have been a consistent .500 team all season long.