1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 5-1; last week’s rank: 1): The Warriors are winning sloppily, averaging 22.5 turnovers per game with just one contest with less than 20.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Grizzlies have allowed less than 95 points per game in six straight contests. The streak should continue against the Lakers on Tuesday.
3. Houston Rockets (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 3): Ex-NBA big man Josh Powell is committed to his new player development coaching job with the Rockets and has turned down job offers to play overseas.
4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 11): Dwane Casey needs three wins to pass Lenny Wilkens (113) and become No. 2 on Toronto’s coaching wins list. Sam Mitchell is first with 156.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 4-2; last week’s rank: 7) While forward Blake Griffin’s jumper has improved, he has yet to reach double figures in rebounds and had one board Wednesday against the Warriors.
6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 5-2; last week’s rank: 6): Injuries are still haunting Derrick Rose, who is questionable for Monday’s game against Detroit and has missed the past two contests.
7. Miami Heat (Record: 5-2; last week’s rank: 9): Newcomer Luol Deng had not scored more than 20 points in a game for the Heat before exploding for 30 in a win over Dallas on Sunday.
8. Washington Wizards (Record: 5-2; last week’s rank: 14): Bradley Beal is wearing a splint on his surgically repaired wrist, but he is shooting and could be back by month’s end.
9. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 2-3; last week’s rank: 4): The reigning champs have dropped two straight games and have a tough road back-to-back starting tonight against the Clippers followed by the Warriors.
10. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 2-3; last week’s rank: 5): Cleveland has already dealt with adversity with tough losses, chemistry issues and Dion Waiters’ “big misunderstanding.”
11. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 4-2; last week’s rank: 19): Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic’s 22 points against Orlando on Sunday are the most by a rookie this season. This rookie class is starting slowly.
12. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 4-3; last week’s rank: 10): Describing his twin brother/Nets center whom he faces Saturday, Brook Lopez playfully told the New York Post, “Robin is an idiot.”
13. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 4-3; last week’s rank: 8): Newcomer Chandler Parsons is off to a tough start, averaging 13.6 points on 39.1 percent shooting.
14. Sacramento Kings (Record: 5-2; last week’s rank: 17): An excellent start lost some momentum with a loss Sunday to the injury-plagued Thunder, who were without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
15. Phoenix Suns (Record: 4-3; last week’s rank: 13): The Suns are a hard team to figure out. They beat Golden State and San Antonio but lost to Utah and Sacramento.
16. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 3-2; last week’s rank: 12) Perhaps an early MVP candidate matchup when New Orleans’ Anthony Davis plays against Cleveland’s LeBron James on Monday.
17. Utah Jazz (Record: 3-4; last week’s rank: 21): Keep an eye on rookie guard Dante Exum, who has played well the past two games, averaging 10 points, five assists and 2.5 rebounds.
18. Boston Celtics (Record: 3-3; last week’s rank: 22): Tradition in sports is always better left alone. Such is the case with the hard-on-the-eyes gray uniforms the Celtics unveiled last week.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 3-4; last week’s rank: 26): Guard Brandon Knight is quietly off to a fantastic start, averaging 17.6 points, 7.3 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
20. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 2-3; last week’s rank: 16): Rookie forward Adrien Payne, the 15th pick in this year’s draft, has yet to play this season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
21. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 3-4; last week’s rank: 20): Newcomer Lance Stephenson is cold offensively, shooting just 30.6 percent from the field and 8.3 percent from 3-point range.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 2-5; last week’s rank: 23): The injury-ravaged Thunder got a much-needed scoring boost with the return of Jeremy Lamb (back), who is averaging 17 points in two games.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 2-4; last week’s rank: 25): With Ricky Rubio out indefinitely because of a bad ankle sprain, the T-Wolves have turned to veteran point guard Maurice Williams.
24. Detroit Pistons (Record: 2-4; last week’s rank: 28): Detroit, which is shooting 40 percent as a team, is playing its next four games on the road and has dropped 21 of its last 23 away.
25. New York Knicks (Record: 2-5; last week’s rank: 15): Ex-Knick Ernie Vandeweghe, who passed away Sunday, used to take late trains and planes to meet the team after medical school classes.
26. Orlando Magic (Record: 2-5; last week’s rank: 29): Nikola Vucevic is putting up numbers like Dwight Howard used to in Orlando with averages of 18.6 points and 12.3 rebounds.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 1-5; last week’s rank: 27): Kobe Bryant returns Tuesday to Memphis, where he broke his kneecap Dec. 17 in what turned out to be his final game of the 2013-14 season.
28. Denver Nuggets (Record: 1-5; last week’s rank: 18): Denver has lost five straight games and its leading scorer is Ty Lawson at a mere 13.6 points per contest. Yes, 13.6.
29. Indiana Pacers (Record: 1-6; last week’s rank: 24): The injured Pacers matched their worst start in 11 years; the worst start in team history is a 1-11 mark during the 1988-89 season.
30. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 0-7; last week’s rank: 30): With the Lakers earning their first win Sunday against Charlotte, the rebuilding Sixers are now the only winless NBA team left.
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