It’s been just about two weeks since the NBA tipped off.
10.) Portland Trail Blazers
We hinted in our season preview that this may be the season that Damian Lillard takes the next step towards (possibly) the MVP trophy, and so far, he’s proven us right. Dame is averaging an absurd 34 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists on a super-efficient 52% from the field.
His numbers are likely to come back down to earth as the season progresses, but with CJ McCollum to pick up the slack in the backcourt, Portland should be a consistent feature in these top ten lists.
9.) Utah Jazz
The Jazz have gone along just fine without Gordon Hayward, and should only improve upon his return.
#8.) Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte is quietly sitting in the #2 seed of the Eastern Conference.
Kemba Walker is putting up a career high 25 a night, and Nik Batum is chipping in his usual 14, making the Hornets look a real threat out of the East thus far.
#7.) Boston Celtics
We predicted Boston as the 2-seed in our season preview, and while that’s still a real possibility, a few kinks have to be worked out.
The big area of concern: Al Horford. The C’s dropped big money on Big Al in the offseason, but hasn’t quite gelled with the first unit so far. But if they’re able to work it out, Boston may (still) be the biggest threat to Cleveland in the East.
#6.) Toronto Raptors
As good as Damian Lillard has been for Portland, DeMar Derozan has been just as good, if not (probably) better for Toronto.
DeMar is averaging 35 points and 5 boards on an uncharacteristically efficient 55% from the floor. This regular season is shaping up to be another successful one for Toronto, but now may be the best shot they’ve had at getting over the hump of Cleveland.
#5.) Oklahoma City Thunder
After an offseason of turmoil for the Thunder, they’re right where you’d expect them to be had KD stayed: atop the Western Conference.
Russell Westbrook off on the right foot in terms of MVP trophy, averaging 33 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds, and OKC were only an embarrassing loss to GSW away from (possibly) cracking the top-three.
#4.) Golden State Warriors
This Warriors team has been a hybrid of the 2013 Lakers “Dream Team” and the 2013 Heat Dream Team. A clunker on opening night was followed by a four game winning streak where they were all the bit as impressive as they looked on paper.
But the winning streak was followed by another dud, this time at the hands of the inexperienced Lakers. But for the most part, KD and Steph have done their bit, it’s just the supporting cast (i.e. Klay Thompson) that are providing reason for concern.
#3.) San Antonio Spurs
Apart from Pau Gasol looking a poor Tim Duncan replacement, everything has gone to script in San Antonio.
Kawhi Leonard is continuing to take strides towards superstardom, and they sit in the West’s 3rd seed.
#2.) Los Angeles Clippers
This may be the Clip’s last shot at this thing, and they’re certainly playing like it. Chris Paul is playing like his usual self, and Blake Griffin is providing the missing spark from last season.
#1.) Cleveland Cavaliers
The only undefeated team left in the league is, you guessed it, Cleveland. LeBron is averaging damn near a triple double, Kyrie is putting up 24 a night, and Kevin Love is finally finding his own on offense.
With the big three in-sync, and an unmoved supported cast, expect Cleveland to top this list quite a bit as the season progresses.