Mark Heisler's NBA rankings

Baltimore Sun

Last week's rank in parentheses

Records through Friday

1. Cavaliers 28-10 (1): This is hard to believe, but if it lasts, LeBron James will have back-to-back MVPs.

2. Lakers 28-8 (2): Not the same without healthy Pau Gasol or right index finger for Kobe Bryant.

3. Celtics 25-9 (4): Showing how worried they are about age injuries, Doc Rivers benches limping Kevin Garnett.

4. Nuggets 23-13 (10): Don't ever leave again: Went 3-5 without Chauncey Billups, beat Cavaliers in his return.

5. Magic 24-12 (3): Everyone who said they would miss Hedo Turkoglu finally right as they go 0-4.

6. Mavericks 25-11 (7): Slumping Dirk Nowitzki ("I was a decoy for a month") has 26 in victory at San Antonio.

7. Suns 23-14 (5): Oops: With 37 of last 52 at home where they started 10-0, went 4-4 there.

8. Spurs 21-13 (6): 17-6 run would be impressive if they hadn't gone 2-6 vs. winning teams.

9. Hawks 23-12 (8): Got Josh Smith to stop taking 3s, but he's still not their missing post player.

10. Thunder 19-16 (11): Jeff Green, who has passive rep, puts up 6-6-18-12-8-6-20 in last seven.

11. Trail Blazers 23-15 (12): Lakers arrive in nick of time after 0-2 run, Nate McMillan-Andre Miller argument.

12. Grizzlies 18-17 (14): Still going: 17-9 since 1-8 start, won at Phoenix, Portland.

13. Rockets 20-16 (9): Losing steam, trying to deal for Chris Bosh, knowing he can walk this summer.

14. Raptors 19-18 (16): Good news: Jose Calderon back. Better news: Went 10-5 with Jarrett Jack starting.

15. Jazz 19-17 (13): Will Larry Miller heirs dump Carlos Boozer to save money if this is all there is?

16. Heat 18-16 (15): At crossroads, just won at Phoenix to start five-game West Coast trip.

17. Hornets 18-16 (19): Must not know they're history: At 13-16, won five in a row.

18. Clippers 16-18 (18): Victory over Lakers alerts world that had forgotten they existed.

19. Knicks 15-20 (22): Laughingstock days over: 14-11 since their 1-9 start.

20. Bucks 15-18 (20): Went 3-0 after 4-15 nose dive. Better yet, still No. 7 in East birdbath.

21. Bobcats 15-19 (21): New one even for him: Larry Brown says he has to have a backup power forward.

22. Kings 14-21 (17): Lame duck GM Geoff Petrie gets new deal after spectacular job turning them around.

23. Warriors 11-24 (29): They push Monta Ellis as All-Star, vow not to trade him before then.

24. Bulls 14-20 (23): Team Ostrich has head in sand, hoping to avoid firing Vinny Del Negro now.

25. Pistons 11-23 (25): Charlie (Big Tweet) Villanueva averages 17 in November, 12 in December.

26. Wizards 12-22 (26): Showing real problem, management still hoping to avoid breaking them up.

27. 76ers 10-25 (24): Anyone want Andre Iguodala? Elton Brand? Anyone but Louis Williams?

28. Timberwolves 7-27 (27): After 3-19 start, 5-10 with Kevin Love, the Human Double-Double, starting.

29. Pacers 11-24 (28): Danny Granger return finally puts whole team on floor - in loss to Timberwolves.

30. Nets 3-33 (30): Still on 7-75 pace. Weren't they supposed to win a few with Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian?

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
55°