1. Houston Rockets (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 3): The Rockets get a slight nod for the top spot over Memphis because they are actually undefeated when Dwight Howard plays.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Grizzlies host the Rockets on Monday in a big early-season showdown.
3. Golden State Warriors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 1): After having assist-to-turnover woes, Stephen Curry has averaged 24.5 points, 12 assists and two turnovers the past two games.
4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 4): Is Toronto becoming a hoops town? While the Maple Leafs were losing 6-2 at Buffalo, Canadian fans there chanted, “Let's go Raptors!”
5. Washington Wizards (Record: 7-2; last week’s rank: 8): Wizards guard Bradley Beal is slated to practice Monday, six weeks after fracturing his left wrist. A return vs. the Cavs on Friday?
6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 6): Lost in all the Derrick Rose drama is an All-Star-caliber start from newcomer Pau Gasol, who is averaging 18 points and 10.6 rebounds.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 12): Portland expects power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (upper respiratory illness) to face the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis on Monday.
8. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 13): First-year Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, who has been critical of the Rockets, returns to Houston on Saturday to face the Rockets for the first time.
9. Sacramento Kings (Record: 6-4; last week’s rank: 14): Rudy Gay was more interested in re-signing now than at the end of last season. Winning, money and love by the Kings helped.
10. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 5-4; last week’s rank: 9): The reigning champions face LeBron James Wednesday in Cleveland for the first time since the NBA Finals.
11. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 5) DeAndre Jordan has averaged 15.5 rebounds and six blocks the past two games and leads the NBA in rebounding.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 10): The rivalry between the Wizards and Cavaliers, who have talked trash about backcourts recently, could regain steam Friday.
13. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 16) New Orleans is two games over .500 for the first time since the franchise started 2-0 in 2011-12.
14. Miami Heat (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 7): Forward Chris Bosh missed 15 of 17 shots against the Bucks on Sunday and has missed 37 of 49 in his past three contests.
15. Phoenix Suns (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 15): Phoenix is in the early stages of a six-game, 10-day road trip – its longest of the season – that covers nearly 7,000 miles.
16. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 5-4; last week’s rank: 20): Guard John Jenkins scored 12 points in a loss to the Cavs on Saturday in his first game since having back surgery in February.
17. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 4-5; last week’s rank: 11): New coach Lionel Hollins is preaching to his players that the key to winning is team play and not worrying about personal statistics.
18. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 19): The Bucks earned their fifth win of the season at Miami on Sunday. They needed 26 games to get to five victories last season.
19. Utah Jazz (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 17): Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of Utah retiring the No. 12 jersey of John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time assists leader.
20. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 4-6; last week’s rank: 21): Noah Vonleh, the ninth pick in this year’s draft, was scoreless Saturday in nearly six minutes in his NBA debut at Golden State.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 3-8; last week’s rank: 22): Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant shot jumpers before the Rockets game Sunday, one month after breaking his right foot.
22. Indiana Pacers (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 29): So who is the injury-ravaged Pacers’ leading scorer? Forward Chris Copeland, averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game.
23. Orlando Magic (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 26): Rookie forward Aaron Gordon, who fractured his left foot, is expected to see a foot specialist in Charlotte, N.C., this week for a full examination.
24. Detroit Pistons (Record: 3-7; last week’s rank: 24): First-year coach Stan Van Gundy, who coached the Magic from 2007-12, faces his old team Monday.
25. Boston Celtics (Record: 3-5; last week’s rank: 18): Kelly Olynyk is currently first among all second-year NBA players in points per game at 14.4 and third in rebounding at 6.5.
26. New York Knicks (Record: 3-8; last week’s rank: 25): The Knicks went two weeks without a win before snapping their seven-game losing streak Sunday against the Nuggets.
27. Denver Nuggets (Record: 2-7; last week’s rank: 28): One of ex-Nuggets coach George Karl’s old assistants said Karl still wants to coach and is paying close attention to Denver’s struggles.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 2-7; last week’s rank: 23): The Timberwolves’ company line regarding Kevin Garnett saying he wants to buy the team: It is not for sale.
29. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 1-9; last week’s rank: 27): Klay Thompson would’ve entered the draft a year earlier if the Lakers had agreed to take him in the first round, a source said. The Lakers declined.
30. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 0-9; last week’s rank: 30): So when will these hapless Sixers get their first win? Forget about San Antonio on Monday, but rebuilding Boston is next up on Wednesday.
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