10. Boston Celtics (27-23): The Celtics have rallied in the wake of Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury, having won seven games in a row, including victories over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers.
9. Chicago Bulls (30-20): The Bulls have performed well in Derrick Rose’s absence, but are eagerly anticipating his return.
8. Indiana Pacers (31-20): The Pacers have won five of their last six games, but the Pacers too are anticipating the return of their best player–Danny Granger–who is expected to return on Wednesday.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (32-18): Memphis is 3-2 since the Rudy Gay trade, but his departure is largely viewed as a move in the opposite direction for a Grizzlies team that had appeared poised to make some noise in the playoffs.
6. New York Knicks (32-17): The Knicks have won six of eight games recently, riding the scoring of Carmelo Anthony and the rebounding of Tyson Chandler.
5. Denver Nuggets (33-19): The Nuggets had won nine games in a row before falling to the Boston Celtics in overtime on Sunday.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (36-17): The Clippers appeared lost at times without Chris Paul, but Paul returned to the lineup on Friday. The Clippers lost that game to the Miami Heat in a blowout, but responded with a big victory over the Knicks in New York. The Clippers have just one more game on the road before their eight-game “Grammy Trip” comes to an end.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (39-12): The Thunder have won four games in a row led by none other than Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
2. Miami Heat (34-14): The Heat have won five games in a row, including victories over the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat look poised to reach the NBA Finals once again, and have been winning marquee matchups all season.
1. San Antonio Spurs (40-12): The Spurs have played extremely well all season, have depth and are witnessing one of Tony Parker’s best, if not his best, seasons in the league. Having won 12 of their last 13 games, the Spurs are somehow still flying under the radar, and many still doubt the Spurs’ ability to go far in the playoffs. However, the Spurs appear to be the “real deal” this season and have an excellent chance at getting to the NBA Finals.