The Celtics took care of business last week against the Knicks but stumbled the neGetty Images

1. Golden State Warriors (56-6) Last week: 1 - We'll give 'em a pass for the stinker against the Lakers. And sure enough one game later they were back to celebrating Steph Curry's shots before they even left his hand. Looking at you, Andrew Bogut.

2. San Antonio Spurs (53-10) Last week: 2 - Their eight-game losing streak is over courtesy of the Pacers, which is a shame because they could have gained a game on the Warriors. Even so, they're about as safe as you can be in the No. 2 spot.

3. Toronto Raptors (41-20) Last week: 3 - In what has to be one of the biggest shockers of the NBA season, the Houston Rockets came back from 15 down in the third quarter to beat the Raptors. Still plenty of reasons to be high on the Raptors.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (44-18) Last week: 4 - The Cavs had a nice win over the Celtics, but then dropped a game to the Grizzlies who were missing four starters. That had LeBron James saying they weren't ready for the playoffs. Translation: They aren't ready for the Raptors.


5. Oklahoma City Thunder (43-20) Last week: 5 - We can probably all agree that the Thunder are good, but not good enough to beat the Warriors, Spurs, and maybe even Clippers. The question is, will Kevin Durant want to keep at them after this season?

6. Boston Celtics (38-26) Last week: 6 - The Cavs snapped their five-game winning streak, but the Celtics are still playing strong basketball. The question: Can they keep their emotions in check when the playoffs come? They need to find the right balance.

7. Los Angeles Clippers (41-21) Last week: 7 - You've got to like what the Clippers have been doing post-All-Star Break. Wins over the Spurs, Thunder, and Mavericks - all without Blake Griffin - have them in a good place.

8. Atlanta Hawks (35-28) Last week: 9 - Have the Hawks become the under-the-radar team in the East? Maybe. They went from a team that was almost blown up at the trade deadline to one that's starting to put it together. Tough first round opponent.

9. Portland Trail Blazers (33-31) Last week: 8 - The Blazers appear to be coming back down to earth, having lost the last three games of their road trip after winning the first three. The road only gets harder with a trip to Golden State on Friday.

10. Indiana Pacers (34-30) Last week: 10 - After a 1-4 stretch, the Pacers have won three of four, including a very impressive win over the Spurs on Monday. Now get this: They don't play again until Saturday in Dallas. That's quite the break this late in the season.

11. Miami Heat (37-26) Last week: 12 - The Heat are riding a five-game winning streak, but their wins aren't exactly against the cream of the crop: 76ers (twice) Suns, Bulls, and Knicks. Still, it's good to rack up wins without Chris Bosh right now.

12. Memphis Grizzlies (38-25) Last week: 13 - Reason No. 173 why I won't try to figure out the Grizzlies: They lose to the Suns at home and then in the next game beat the Cavs on the road.

13. Charlotte Hornets (34-28) Last week: 16 - The Hornets are 10-2 over their last 12 games, including four straight wins. More good news? They've got five straight home games and seven of their next eight.

14. Dallas Mavericks (33-31) Last week: 11 - The Mavericks have lost three straight and that has some people doubting they can roll with the West's best. But Dirk Nowitzki is just focused on making the playoffs first - that isn't a guarantee.

15. Detroit Pistons (32-31) Last week: 14 - After a bad loss to the Knicks on Saturday, the Pistons rebounded with a 20-point win over the Blazers the next day. The consistency still isn't there, but you'd think they'd have enough to overtake the Bulls in the playoffs.

16. Utah Jazz (29-33) Last week: 15 - The Jazz might still be on the outside looking in, but they're jus three games behind the No. 6 seed Mavericks with plenty of time remaining in the season. They have the talent to make a push.

17. Washington Wizards (30-32) Last week: 17 - It's now or never for the Wizards who have lost two straight, as it looks like just one playoff spot will be up for grabs down the stretch. It'll be between them, the Pistons, and the Bulls.

18. Chicago Bulls (32-30) Last week: 18 - The Bulls are doing everything they can to keep their heads above water. Jimmy Butler is back, which is hugely important. But do they have enough in the tank to hold off the Pistons and Wizards?

19. Houston Rockets (31-32) Last week: 19 - Credit where it's due: To come back from 15 points down in the third quarter and beat the Raptors is pretty impressive. Or is it more frustrating? This team went to the Western Conference Finals last year and is now fighting for a playoff spot.

20. Orlando Magic (27-35) Last week: 20 - The playoffs aren't happening for the Magic this season. A 2-15 stretch for all of January and the beginning of February just did them in.

21. Denver Nuggets (25-38) Last week: 23 - The Nuggets were a Brook Lopez tip-in from being 3-0 over the last week, but they had a nice win over the Mavericks in which Kenneth Faried dropped a 25 and 20 stat line.

22. Sacramento Kings (25-37) Last week: 21 - Just as we thought, the Kings are struggling on this tough stretch of games. They've lost to the Spurs twice, Clippers, Thunder, and Grizzlies. The Cavaliers are next.

23. Milwaukee Bucks (26-38) Last week: 22 - On Sunday, Giannis Antetokounmpo raced the length of the court and threw down a ferocious dunk on Serge Ibaka. Bucks fans should just replay that over and over again until the season ends.

24. New Orleans Pelicans (24-38) Last week: 24 - The Pelicans are officially looking towards the future. That's good, because their present stinks. They've gotta build a better team around Anthony Davis… and keep it healthy.

25. New York Knicks (26-38) Last week: 25 - Carmelo Anthony thinks he can recruit players to the Knicks and plans on taking part in free agent pitches this offseason. Big city, superstar player, offense nobody seems to want to play in. Tough sell.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (20-44) Last Week: 26 - The Wolves shot a franchise-record 68.4-percent against the Nets on Saturday. Karl-Anthony Towns was 14-for-18, Andrew Wiggins was 10-for-14 and Zach laVine was 9-for-12. That's pretty.

27. Brooklyn Nets (18-45) Last week: 27 - Markel Brown is finally getting some playing time. The second-year guard has 23 points and 21 points over this last two games.

28. Phoenix Suns (17-46) Last week: 30 - Alright, Suns. Two straight wins will get you out of the basement. It's good to see Devin Booker getting some burn and making the most of it.

29. Los Angeles Lakers (13-51) Last week: 29 - They somehow, some way just beat the Golden State Warriors, and that's probably going to be Kobe's last best win of his career.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-55) Last week: 28 - The 76ers find themselves in a very, very familiar spot again. They are who we thought they were!

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