NBA Top 10 Teams

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The NBA has had some teams fading as of late and some teams playing really well. The NBA All-Star Break is still over a month away and so is the trade deadline. Who are the Top 10 teams in the NBA at the moment?

10. Portland Trail Blazers: With the Los Angeles Lakers (21-17) fading over the past week, the Trail Blazers are back in this week's Top 10 with a 22-16 record. Portland is currently the number five seed in the west with a 22-16 record. They have won their last seven-out-of-10 games. The Portland Trail Blazers play as a cohesive unit. Damian Lillard is the leader on this team. He is averaging 26.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.8 APG, and 0.9 SPG so far this season.

9. Boston Celtics: The Celtics play well in one game and then they don't look so good in another. This is why Boston is only in the number five spot in the east with a 22-15 record. They are a Top 10 team in the NBA because of how talented they are. Gordon Hayward has struggled this season, but he scored 35 points in a 113-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at home. At some point, this team will go on a run and be feared in the Eastern Conference.

8. Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers went 3-1 on their road trip. Joel Embiid was outstanding. He scored 42 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, in a 132-127 win on the road on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns. Embiid is one of the favorites for MVP right now. He is averaging 26.9 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.9 BPG, and 0.6 SPG so far this season. Ben Simmons isn't shooting many outside shots still, but he is still making an major impact for this team. Simmons scored 29 points, grabbed three rebounds, and recorded six assists against Phoenix. He is averaging 16.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 7.9 APG, 0.8 BPG, and 1.3 SPG. This team will need to make another trade by the trade deadline. Philadelphia sits in fourth in the east with a 25-14 record. They will play at home on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Philadelphia 76ers will have a home-and-home with the Washington Wizards next Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

7. Houston Rockets: James Harden continues to carry the Rockets on his back and it is resulting in wins right now for this basketball team. Houston sits in the fourth spot in the west with a 21-15 record. Despite their struggles to begin the season, they are just 3.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the number one spot. The NBA season is a marathon and not a sprint. Chris Paul will be back at some point from his injury and it will be a plus for this team.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook has been struggling lately in games for the Thunder. Paul George has helped Westbrook in a major way this season. George scored 37 points in Oklahoma City's 107-100 win on the road on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. The defense continues to crank it up it clutch moments. Steven Adams is a very underrated player. He is averaging 15.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.3 BPG, and 1.2 SPG so far this season. The Oklahoma City Thunder sit in the third spot in the west with a 24-13 record. They have a big game on the road on Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

5. Indiana Pacers: The Pacers continue to play unselfish basketball. They know how to win at home and on the road. Indiana is one of the few teams in the NBA that has won at least 11 games at home and on the road. Their record so far this season is 25-12. They are currently the number three seed in the east. The Indiana Pacers will have a huge road game on Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors. Victor Oladipo is averaging 19.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.5 APG, 0.2 BPG, and 2.1 SPG so far this season.

4. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors sit in the number two spot in the west with a 25-13 record. What is ironic is if they were in the east, Golden State would be the number four seed right now, but the west from top to bottom is a lot better than the east. The Golden State Warriors are very talented, but they have just not played well at various moments this season. Golden State will play in a big game at home on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets. After this game, the schedule will ease up a little bit for them.

3. Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets have the best record in the Western Conference at 24-11. Denver might have the best backcourt in the game right now. Jamal Murray and Gary Harris continue to play at a high level and they don't get enough appreciation. Nikola Jokic recorded another triple-double in a 115-108 win at home against the New York Knicks on New Years Day. Jokic will probably be in the All-Star Game again this season.

2. Toronto Raptors: The Raptors will be on the road on Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs (21-17). This will be the first time that Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green return to San Antonio since being traded this past summer. They both have made an impact for Toronto this season. Their record is 28-11 and they are just 0.5 games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the number one spot in the east. The Toronto Raptors is one of the deepest teams in the NBA.

1. Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo and his supporting cast is the reason why the Bucks have the best record in the NBA at 26-10. This team has under achieved for the past several years and they are finally living up to their potential. Milwaukee has a really good chance to reach the NBA Finals this season. Mike Budenholzer will be one of the favorites to win coach of the year. The Milwaukee Bucks will host the Toronto Raptors at home in a big game on Saturday night. Milwaukee beat them earlier in the season. This is another chance to for them to make a statement.