Here is The Advocate’s ranking of the top 15 teams in the NBA entering the week of Dec. 15 to Dec. 22.
Why only the top 15 teams in the NBA?
Because the bottom 15 teams in the NBA aren’t worth following.
1. Golden State Warriors (Previous week No. 1)
The Warriors are on the winning pace of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, but 72 wins is out of the question unless their interior defense improves.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (Previous week No. 2)
The more the Grizzlies win the more suitors figure to lineup for free agent Marc Gasol next summer.
3. Houston (Previous week No. 5)
Injured center Dwight Howard is back and Rockets continue to win, but they face trap games against New Orleans and Atlanta this week.
4. Portland (Previous week No. 3)
The Trailblazers figure to get San Antonio’s best shot in a game in the Alamo City on Friday, which could tell everyone how good they really are.
5. L.A. Clippers (Previous week No. 7)
The Clippers are next to last in the NBA in opponent blocked shots per game, which shows how vulnerable their interior defense can be at times.
6. Toronto (Previous week No. 4)
The Raptors are tied with Cleveland for the most wins by an Eastern Conference team against the Eastern Conference, which isn’t saying much.
7. San Antonio (Previous week No. 6)
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8. Washington (Previous week No. 8)
The Wizards are second in the NBA in fewest opponent made field goals – playing in the Eastern Conference has its perks.
9. Dallas (Previous week No. 11)
The Mavs lead the NBA in scoring (110 points per game), but if a deal was determined by them beating the best teams in the Western Conference even Mark Cuban would pass.
10. Atlanta (Previous week No. 10)
The Hawks have the third best record in the Eastern Conference, so why is everyone waiting on the clock to strike midnight on them?
11. Cleveland (Previous week No. 8)
There is no way the Cavs should have lost to the Pelicans last Friday.
12. Chicago (Previous week No. 13)
The Bulls have a forgeta-bull 4-5 record at home entering this week.
13. New Orleans (Previous week unranked)
The Pelicans have improved and are in the No. 8 spot, but the Eric Gordon injury situation is holding the team back from doing more.
14. Milwaukee (Previous week No. 4)
The Bucks are what they are – a mediocre team that benefits from playing in a week Eastern Conference.
15. Oklahoma City (Previous week unranked)
The Thunder have been lighting it up recently and should continue to climb up the Western Conference standings.