15. Houston Rockets (13): Since starting the season off 0-5 they’ve been able to hover around the .500 mark, but with 10 of their next 12 games against teams with winning records, it will be quite difficult for Houston to maintain their steady level of play.
14. Portland Trail Blazers (16): Brandon Roy might be shelved for the season, but this Blazers team seems to always find a way to persevere through injuries. If LaMarcus Aldridge continues to play at an all-star level (19.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.35 BPG and 1.06 SPG) Portland still has a shot at the playoffs. However, if they falter and miss the playoffs, don’t be surprised to see Head Coach Nate McMillan get the boot.
13. New Orleans Hornets (12): If you didn’t see Trevor Ariza’s smash on Washington’s JaVale McGee, then your missing out on what will probably be the highlight of the Hornets’ season, who continue to struggle after starting out 11-1.
12. New York Knicks (10): An unfavorable schedule has showed New York that they still have a ways to go before they are among the East’s elite, but with a 4.5 game lead over next place Indiana, Stoudemire and the Knicks don’t have much to worry about – as long as they don’t fall flat in a tough upcoming four-game road trip.
11. Atlanta Hawks (11): Blake Griffin ate up their interior (31 points and 15 rebounds) but a 37-point fourth quarter propelled the Hawks to a solid come-from-behind win.