20. Detroit Pistons (13-23, Last Week: 23): The Pistons have won four of their last five games–even defeating solid teams like the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks.
19. Los Angeles Lakers (15-18, Last Week: 10): Just as fast as the Lakers broke the Top Ten last week, they fell nine spots this week. A three-game losing streak and an inability to play consistently has hurt the Lakers as of late. The Lakers do appear to be getting better–but it’s just not translating into wins yet.
18. Boston Celtics (16-17, Last Week: 22): I absolutely hate placing the Celtics above the Lakers, but at least they’re able to win games in their conference–defeating the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks in back-to-back games.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (15-15, Last Week: 16); The Wolves took a big hit as Kevin Love re-fractured his hand–the same hand that kept him out for over a month earlier this season.
16. Utah Jazz (17-18, Last Week: 18): The Utah Jazz remain bad on the road (7-14), but good at home (10-4).
15. Milwaukee Bucks (16-16, Last Week: 11): The Bucks have lost four games in a row, while Brandon Jennings has been playing up-and-down.
14. Portland Trail Blazers (18-15, Last Week: 17): The Blazers have won four of their last five games, including victories over the New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
13. Denver Nuggets (20-16, Last Week: 15): The Nuggets continue their dominance at home (11-2), while ending the Los Angeles Clippers’ 17-game winning streak, and defeating the Utah Jazz. They also showed poise on the road by beating the Lakers.
12. Brooklyn Nets (19-15, Last Week: 14): The Nets have won three in a row–including a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, in Oklahoma City.
11. Chicago Bulls (18-13, Last Week: 13): The Bulls had slid a bit, but a win over the Miami Heat in Miami during a nationally televised marquee matchup boosts the Bulls here.
Next Page: A Tight Squeeze At The Top