NBA Top 10 Teams

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The NBA Christmas Day games very exciting. There was some drama as the Los Angeles Lakers took down the Golden State Warriors on the road, the Boston Celtics took down the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Houston Rockets upset the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. With that in mind, who are the current Top 10 teams in the NBA?

10. Houston Rockets: The Rockets have won their past seven-out-of-eight games. James Harden scored 41 points on Christmas Day against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 113-109 at home. He has had seven 40-point or more performances this season. Harden needs to continue playing at a high level with Chris Paul out of the lineup. Clint Capela also scored 16 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in that game. He is also an important piece to this team. A home game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night will be a perfect measuring stick to see where this team is a. Houston's record so far this season is 18-15. They are currently the seventh seed in the west.

9. Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving exploded for 40 points in the Celtics 121-114 win in overtime on Christmas Day at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the only one that made big plays in that game. Boston was lucky they found a way to win. Had they lost the game, the talks would have been what is wrong with this team? Jayson Tatum is the only other player on this team that is making plays on both ends of the floor for this team right now. The Boston Celtics currently sit in fifth in the east with a 20-13 record.

8. Philadelphia 76ers: There was no excuse for the 76ers to lose on the road against the Celtics. Joel Embiid balled with 34 points and 16 rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 24 points in the game. He or Embiid should have gotten the final shot in regulation. Instead, it was J.J. Reddick. Ben Simmons took one jumper in the game and he made it. Simmons needs to take more in order for the defense to respect his game. This team has a lot of talent, but they don't have a lot of depth. Philadelphia's record so far this season is 22-13. They are currently the number four seed in the east.

7. Los Angeles Lakers: A lot of people expected the Lakers to get rolled against the Golden State Warriors in prime time on Christmas Day, but the opposite happened. Los Angeles stomped them 127-101. Their role players are a lot better than we imagined. Seven players scored in double figures in the game. Lebron James scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds before he left the game in the third-quarter with a groin injury. James said he felt a pop and the MRI came back negative. He is day-to-day and Lebron James will not play on Thursday night on the road against the Sacramento Kings. Ivica Zubac scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Rajon Rondo scored 15 points and recorded 11 assists. He will be out of Thursday's game with a sprained ring finger. Their record so far this season is 20-14 and they currently sit in fourth in the west. The Los Angeles Lakers might be a better team than we thought they were.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder had a lead at the half against the Houston Rockets on the road, but they lost the game 113-109. Russell Westbrook flirted with another triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and four steals. He didn't make big shots with the game on the line. Paul George scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in that game. He is the player you want with the ball when the game is on the line. This team does not have enough shooters. Oklahoma City is one of the best teams in the west because of their defense. They currently sit in the three seed in the west with a 21-12 record. The Oklahoma City Thunder are just one game back of the Golden State Warriors for the number one seed in the west.

5. Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets haven't played with the same juice as of late. Denver is 13-3 at home so far this season, but they are just 8-8 on the road. They currently sit in the number two seed in the west. The Denver Nuggets have one of the best back courts in the NBA in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris Jr. Nikola Jokic is also one of the best players in the NBA. Denver has an easy stretch of games coming up.

4. Indiana Pacers: The Pacers might be one of the most unselfish teams in the NBA. Victor Oladipo is one of the leaders inside this locker room. He is averaging 20 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.3 APG, and 1.7 SPG so far this season. Indiana sits in third place in the east. Their record so far this season is 23-12. The Indiana Pacers are both good at home and on the road. They are a dark horse team to win the east. Indiana is only one game back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the number two seed and they are 2.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed.

3. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors were clobbered at home against the Los Angeles Lakers 127-101. Even with all the concerns this team has faced during the 2018-2019 season, Golden State still has the best talent in the NBA and they are also the number one seed at the moment in the west with a 23-12. They have a home-and-home with the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night and Saturday night. Klay Thompson only scored five points and Draymond Green only scored four points against Los Angeles. They have been struggling from the field as of late. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant continue to be the top two scoring options for this team. The Golden State Warriors will need DeMarcus Cousins at some point. They also need some depth.

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo shined in his Christmas Day debut with 30 points and 14 rebounds, in a 109-95 win on the road against the New York Knicks. They will play each other again on Thursday night in Milwaukee. Malcolm Brogdon has been a nice number two option for the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season. He is averaging 15.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 0.6 SPG so far this season. They currently sit in the number two seed in the east with a 23-10 record. The Bucks are 1.5 games back for the number one seed in the east.

1. Toronto Raptors: The Raptors have been the best team in the NBA so far this season. Their record is 26-10. Toronto can win games at home and on the road. They are mentally tough. Kawhi Leonard is one of the favorites to win the MVP award right now. He helped his case by scoring 30 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and recording two assists in a 106-104 on the road against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. He is averaging 26.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.6 BPG, and 1.8 SPG so far this season. Toronto also has one of the best benches in the NBA and Nick Nurse might be the coach of the year as well right now.