20. Houston Rockets (4-6): James Harden is averaging a remarkable 26.0 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds with his new team. However, the Rockets are still lacking a piece or two for a chance at a playoff run.
19. Utah Jazz (5-6): The Jazz haven’t defeated a team over .500 yet this season.
18. Charlotte Bobcats (4-4): The Bobcats appear much improved behind the improvement of second-year point guard, Kemba Walker. Walker is averaging 18.8 points and 5.5 assists. Unfortunately, the Bobcats are still the Bobcats.
17. Atlanta Hawks (4-4): The Hawks have actually done better on the road (3-2) than at home (1-2) so far.
16. Golden State Warriors (5-5): The Warriors have balanced scoring this season with all of their starters averaging over 10 points a game, and four players averaging over 15 points.
15. Chicago Bulls (5-5): Without Derrick Rose and a host of key role players who were let go over the offseason, the Bulls are hanging in there.
14. Portland Trail Blazers (5-5): The Blazers got off to a rough start, but have since won three in a row.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-4): Despite being without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio all season due to injuries, the Timberwolves have put together a winning record. They may not score much (91.8 points per game), but they don’t let their opponents score, either, as they hold opposing teams to an average of just 90.4 points.
12. Boston Celtics (6-5): You’ve got me twisted if you thought I was going to put the Celtics above the Lakers in a close race, despite the better record. There’s some justification here, though, as the Celtics got blown out by 20 points against the lowly Detroit Pistons.
11. Los Angeles Lakers (5-5): We don’t want to blow the bubble up too much here, so the Lakers are still not in the top ten..yet. However, the Lakers have won four of five games since firing Mike Brown, and are starting to put up some major points; however, the wins have all come on their home floor. The defense needs to improve, and it will be interesting to see how they play on the road and against elite teams. The Lakers are still awaiting the debut of Mike D’Antoni as the head coach, and will look to continue improving.
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