20. Boston Celtics (21-23, Last Week: 18): The Celtics had lost six games in a row before defeating the Miami Heat on Sunday morning. However, the victory was bittersweet as the Celts learned that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season, and for much of next season.
19. Portland Trail Blazers (22-22, Last Week: 20): The Blazers had an up-and-down week last week; losing to the Wizards, defeating the Indiana Pacers, and then splitting back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
18. New Orleans Hornets (15-29, Last Week: 17): The Hornets went 2-2 last week. They’ll face the Lakers on Tuesday.
17. Houston Rockets (24-22, Last Week: 21): The Rockets followed up an eight-game losing streak with a 3-1 week since our last rankings.
16. Dallas Mavericks (19-25, Last Week: 15): The Mavs went 2-1 last week, as Elton Brand has seen an uptick in minutes lately.
15. Atlanta Hawks (25-19, Last Week: 14): The Hawks won three games in a row before falling to the Knicks on Sunday.
14. Milwaukee Bucks (23-19, Last Week: 13): Milwaukee has won four of five games; Ersan Ilyasova has been a huge part of that as he’s averaging 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds over the Bucks’ last four games.
13. Utah Jazz (24-20, Last Week: 12): The Jazz have won five of six games–their only loss coming at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in a 102-84 loss.
12. Los Angeles Lakers (19-25, Last Week: 16): I’m giving the Lakers the benefit of the doubt here, and shifting them above other teams that are doing well. Although they split four games last week (2-2), they defeated a quality Utah Jazz team and one of the top teams in the league–the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers appear to have finally turned the corner. They wish they were the 12th-best team in the league record-wise, though, as they’re still a few games behind the 8th seed in the West.
11. Indiana Pacers (26-18, Last Week: 8): The Pacers went 1-2 on the road last week, with their last stop on the road set for Denver.
Next Page: Spurs Take Back Number One Spot