Marcus Smart is playing the best basketball of his young career right now with the CeGetty Images

1. Golden State Warriors (44-4) Last week: 1 - The Warriors are still rolling, despite a big scare from the 76ers of all teams. This weekend they'll really be put to the test - but at home - against a hot Thunder squad. They'll still be expected to improve their 22-0 record at home.

2. San Antonio Spurs (40-8) Last week: 2 - After the Spurs lost to the Warriors last Monday to begin their week, they lost to the Cavs on Saturday to end it. Tough . . . but both losses came on the road and without Tim Duncan. We'll give them a pass. With Duncan, their defense is top notch.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (37-13) Last week: 3 - They've won 11 out of their last 12 games and haven't showed signs of slowing down - though the Warriors might have something to say about that on Saturday. This should make for a fun game.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (35-12) Last week: 4 - After dropping their first game with Ty Lue as head coach, the Cavaliers have ripped off five straight wins, including impressive ones against the Pistons, Spurs, and Pacers.


5. Toronto Raptors (32-16) Last week: 5 - The Raptors had their 11-game winning streak snapped Monday night in Denver, a game the Raptors might kick themselves about later this season as they chase the Cavs. It's not the start of a six-game trip they were hoping for.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (32-16) Last week: 6 - Sorry, but just because Blake Griffin punched someone doesn't mean Doc Rivers is going to trade him. And if the Clips keep winning, he's definitely not going to trade him.

7. Miami Heat (27-21) Last week: 8 - After going five games without scoring 90 points, the Heat have eclipsed 100 points over their last three games, all wins. They went and beat the Hawks by 18 points, too.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (29-20) Last week: 10 - Good for the Griz, who have turned their season around after a rocky start. They've won eight of their last nine, though just one (Detroit) was against a playoff team. February doesn't look too difficult either.

9. Atlanta Hawks (28-22) Last week: 7 - The rumor mill is swirling around this Hawks team, with Jeff Teague and Al Horford reportedly getting interest across the league. Teague has a year left, and Horford will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Big decisions for the Hawks.

10. Boston Celtics (27-22) Last week: 13 - The Celtics had their five-game winning streak snapped in Orlando, in what has to be considered a bad loss after blowing a 14-point lead. Still, you've got like what you see out of them these days. Isaiah Thomas definitely deserved that All-Star nod.

11. Dallas Mavericks (28-23) Last week: 11 - The Mavs went 2-2 last week, but they beat the Nets and Suns and lost by double-digits to the Warriors and Hawks. You wouldn't call that a successful week by their standards. In fact, they haven't beaten many good teams lately.

12. Chicago Bulls (26-21) Last week: 9 - We can't put too much stock into a win over the lowly Lakers. It's the blowout loss to the Clippers and OT loss to the Jazz that stick out more. And there are still four more games to go on this road trip.

13. Detroit Pistons (26-23) Last week: 12 - The Pistons find themselves hanging on to one of the final playoff spots in the East. But they've showed the ability to stage comebacks with their backs against the wall this season, so perhaps there's some more of that to come involving the standings.

14. Houston Rockets (25-25) Last week: 14 - As expected, the Spurs dismantled the Rockets last week - but by 31 point? Yeesh. That was followed by two more Rockets losses to the Thunder and Wiz. And now Dwight Howard is suspended a game for swiping at an official's arm. Frustration levels high in Houston.

15. Indiana Pacers (25-23) Last week: 15 - What's going on with Paul George these days? After averaging 29.5 points in November, the Pacers star is hovering around 21.5 points since. He's coming off a 3-for-15 performance in a loss to the Cavs and seems to have lost some confidence.

16. Sacramento Kings (21-27) Last week: 16 - The Kings had a very quick taste of what life in the Top 8 of the Western Conference was like, but quickly lost four straight games and now find themselves back to 10th place. A win over the Bucks without DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) on Monday was big.

17. Utah Jazz (21-25) Last week: 20 - Nice little three-game winning streak for the Jazz, who are now 3-1 since Derrick Favors' return to the court after missing 16 straight games with back issues. Favors told reporters that changing the way he sleeps helped alleviate the pain.

18. Portland Trail Blazers (23-26) Last week: 21 - So Damian Lillard didn't make the All-Star team this year. Was he snubbed? Some believe so. He thinks he should be there. But if he carries this team to the playoffs, he'll really make his case.

19. New York Knicks (23-27) Last week: 17 - The Knicks lost five of their last six heading into Tuesday's game against the Celtics. One area they can absolutely improve on is their points off turnovers, where they average just 12.6 per game - dead last in the NBA.

20. Charlotte Hornets (23-25) Last week: 18 - The Hornets can do pretty much whatever the heck they want this week and not many people will take notice. There's a football team nearby preparing for a pretty big game… That said, they're currently two games out of a playoff spot.

21. Washington Wizards (21-25) Last week: 19 - Hand it to the Wiz for going into Houston over the weekend and pulling out a 123-122 win. On Wednesday, we get John Wall vs. Stephen Curry in D.C., which hopefully will be competitive. Not getting our hopes up, though.

22. New Orleans Pelicans (18-29) Last week: 24 - The Grizzlies beat the Pelicans for the second time in eight games, but otherwise New Orleans has been pretty good. In fact, their 7-3 record over the last 10 games is tied for 6th best in the West.

23. Orlando Magic (21-26) Last week: 22 - If it wasn't for a fourth-quarter implosion by the Celtics, this team would be riding a 10-game losing streak, and 14 losses in their last 15 games. Unfortunately for them, that win was followed by a road trip through San Antonio (loss) and Oklahoma City. Then a home-and-home against the Hawks. Yeesh.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (20-30) Last week: 23 - We're 50 games through the season, and well, the Bucks are still a disappointing bunch, having lost five of six. With Jason Kidd, without Jason Kidd, it doesn't really seem to matter.

25. Denver Nuggets (19-30) Last week: 25 -There may not be a ton of bright spots for the Nuggets this season, but they had one in Monday night's win over the scorching-hot Raptors. Rookie big man Nikola Jokic finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, both career-highs. He's becoming a big part of that team very early in his career.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-35) Last Week: 26 - T-Wolves fans are reminded at the beginning of every month why they're able to put up the losses. Karl-Anthony Towns, for the third straight month, was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month. Yup, he's a keeper.

27. Brooklyn Nets (12-37) Last week: 27 - Brooklyn Nets? More like Brooklyn Nots. These guys have not won many games lately, dropping 14 of their last 16. You just know owner Mikhail Prokhorov will shake things up somehow.

28. Philadelphia 76ers (7-41) Last week: 30 - Credit where it's due: the Sixers are playing much more competitive basketball these days. They almost pulled off a miracle comeback against the Warriors last week, and are 3-4 over their last seven games.

29. Phoenix Suns (14-35) Last week: 29 - Just over a month after firing two assistant coaches, the Suns fired head coach Jeff Hornacek. If the players really didn't like Hornacek as a head coach, they got their wish now. Let's see if they can respond with any signs of life whatsoever.

30. Los Angeles Lakers (9-41) Last week: 28 - Another 0-for week for the Lakers, a team that has now lost 10 in a row, which ties a franchise-worst. I wanted to give Byron Scott the benefit of the doubt because he has to deal with the Kobe Show, but he's understandably feeling the heat now.

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