10. Portland Trail Blazers (10): The Blazers are extremely deep, but they are still are one big man away from being contenders in the Western Conference. It’s not a knock on Aldridge at all – he’s been more than fantastic this season. However, he needs some help, and Marcus Camby’s near-dead corpse isn’t enough size to help the Blazers hang with the best of the West.
9. Denver Nuggets (8): Who would have thought, that, after trading Carmelo Anthony AND Chauncey Billups, that the Nuggets would actually be a better team? I’m guessing none of you. But it makes sense, though, as they have finally escaped the turmoil, they know their future is sans Melo and they know that they just have to keep playing.
8. Orlando Magic (9): Jameer’s injured, but that might not be such a bad thing for the Magic. Gilbert Arenas should be the starter, and when he gets his chance, the Magic are going to really get going.
7. Boston Celtics (6): The Cs are a meager 11-7 since shipping out Kendrick Perkins. With the Bulls rising and the Lakers returning to the status of the 2011 title favorites, it’s hard to believe that the Celtics aren’t regretting their deadline move.
6. Miami Heat (7): It’s scary when any team has three players combine for 94 points and 33 rebounds in a single game, but when the other nine guys on the team are only responsible for 27 points and 15 rebounds, that’s a problem. Until the make some new additions or other players start stepping up, it’s going to be the same two-man story for the Miami Heat.
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