December 3, 2023

Milwaukee Bucks1. Milwaukee Bucks

2019-2020 Record: 53-12 Previous Rank: 1

The Bucks are on pace to finish with top five in margin of victory. Getting down to the wire, we should see a few rest days here and there as they continue to put room between them and the rest of the league.

Los Angeles Lakers2. Los Angeles Lakers

2019-2020 Record 49-14 Previous Rank: 2

The Lakers continue to take care of business, going 9-1 in the last ten games. They are also playing strong defense in that span as well and rank inside the top five this season in defensive rating.

Toronto Raptors

3. Toronto Raptors

2019-2020 Record: 46-18 Previous Rank: 3

Toronto needs to get healthy here, but have dealt with adversity all year long. They continue to play well and are top ten in defensive rating and offensive rating.

Los Angeles Clippers

4. LA Clippers

2019-2020 Record 44-20 Previous Rank: 5

It is weird to think the Clippers are not the talking point right now, as they have been playing slightly above .500 in the last few weeks. Struggling a bit on the road has been their issue.

Boston Celtics5. Boston Celtics

2019-2020 Record 43-21 Previous Rank: 4

Boston has had some issues of late in closing out games and also being in close games in the fourth. Not what you want to see from a playoff team down the stretch.

Denver Nuggets

6. Denver Nuggets

2019-2020 Record 43-22 Previous Rank: 7

The Nuggets would like to lock up the two seed, but Houston and the Clippers are right there. They are a better home team, and that would help come playoff time.

Houston Rockets

7. Houston Rockets

2019-2020 Record: 40-24 Previous Rank: 6

Houston is on a losing streak, and have really struggled from the field of late. Going do or die with the shooting in a small-ball lineup, these stretches will certainly be there.

Miami Heat

8. Miami Heat

2019-2020 Record 41-23 Previous Rank: 7

Miami has been in a bit of a tailspin, and have had some bad losses. Every team will go through this throughout the year, so not too worried here as they are still one of the better teams int he east.

Utah Jazz

9. Utah Jazz

2019-2020 Record 41-23 Previous Rank: 9

While the Jazz have a game every now and then that makes you question how good they really are, they are still sitting just a few games out of the two seed in the West.

Oklahoma City Thunder

10. Oklahoma City Thunder

2019-2020 Record 40-24 Previous Rank: 10

Oklahoma City is 7-3 in their last ten games, and continue to play excellent basketball. They are top ten in defensive rating, and Chris Paul has gotten better as the season has gone on.

11. Philadelphia 76ers

2019-2020 Record 39-26 Previous Rank: 11

There is a lot of uncertainty around the 76ers right now, as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are both out. Luckily this is a deeper team that can handle it over the next few weeks.

Dallas Mavericks

12. Dallas Mavericks

2019-2020 Record 40-27 Previous Rank: 12

Dallas continues to keep pace with what they have been doing all year long, and Kristaps Porzingis is starting to look like his old self again. With the Mavs back at full health they will dive right into the new playoff race.

Indiana Pacers

13. Indiana Pacers

2019-2020 Record 39-26 Previous Rank: 13

Injuries have limited the Pacers over the last few weeks, making it tough to find some consistency. That being said, this is still a solid defensive team, but need to find more on the offensive end.

New Orleans Pelicans

14. New Orleans Pelicans

2019-2020 Record 28-36 Previous Rank: 14

The second half has been a surge for the Pelicans as Zion Williamson has pushed this starting five up a level. They are just a few games out and will be looking to make a move with a few weeks left.

Orlando Magic

15. Orlando Magic

2019-2020 Record 30-35 Previous Rank: 15

The offense continues to struggle, ranking 26th in offensive rating, but defensively they keep themselves in games. Orlando is heading to a playoff spot, and have a decent remaining schedule.

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