10. Golden State Warriors (23-13, Last Week: 5): The Warriors have slid a bit recently, losing three of their last four games–albeit to tough opponents.
9. Denver Nuggets (23-16, Last Week: 13): The Nuggets are currently in the midst of a five-game winning streak.
8. Indiana Pacers (23-15, Last Week: 10): The Pacers are continuing to get better, and have won four of their last five games, including victories over the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.
7. Brooklyn Nets (22-15, Last Week: 12): The Nets have gotten their swagger back–winning six games straight.
6. Miami Heat (24-11, Last Week: 4): The Heat started off a six-game road trip by losing games to the Pacers and Trail Blazers, before defeating the Kings handedly on Saturday. Trips to Utah, Golden State, and Los Angeles (Lakers) will round out the rest of the trip.
5. New York Knicks (24-13, Last Week: 6): The Knicks lost three games in a row to tough Eastern Conference playoff contenders–the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls–before defeating the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.
4. San Antonio Spurs (29-11, Last Week: 2): Losses against the New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies drop the Spurs a couple slots here.
3. Memphis Grizzlies (24-11, Last Week: 7): Having won four of their last five games, victories over the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs propel the Grizzlies into the Top Three this week. They did suffer a drubbing by the Dallas Mavericks most recently, however.
1 (Tied). Los Angeles Clippers (28-9, Last Week: 1): The Clippers are still one of the hottest and most dominant teams in the league, but managed to lose to the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The loss doesn’t constitute a fall from the top, though.
1 (Tied). Oklahoma City Thunder (29-8, Last Week: 2): Similar to the Clippers, the Thunder managed to drop a game they should have absolutely dominated; losing to the league-worst Washington Wizards last Monday before collecting three wins in a row following that.
There is virtually no difference when it comes to which team is dominating the league more, between the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams are excellent at home (Clippers: 18-4, Thunder: 18-3), on the road (Clippers: 10-5, Thunder: 11-5), and have similar points differentials when beating opponents (Clippers: +8.4, Thunder: +9.1).
This week, there is a rare tie at the top of the rankings. Perhaps a showdown on January 22 will provide some insight into which team is actually better.