1. Houston Rockets (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 3): The Rockets get a slight nod for the top spot over Memphis because they are actually undefeated when Dwight Howard plays.

 

2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Grizzlies host the Rockets on Monday in a big early-season showdown.

 

3. Golden State Warriors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 1): After having assist-to-turnover woes, Stephen Curry has averaged 24.5 points, 12 assists and two turnovers the past two games.

 

4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 4): Is Toronto becoming a hoops town? While the Maple Leafs were losing 6-2 at Buffalo, Canadian fans there chanted, “Let’s go Raptors!”

 

5. Washington Wizards (Record: 7-2; last week’s rank: 8): Wizards guard Bradley Beal is slated to practice Monday, six weeks after fracturing his left wrist. A return vs. the Cavs on Friday?

 

6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 6): Lost in all the Derrick Rose drama is an All-Star-caliber start from newcomer Pau Gasol, who is averaging 18 points and 10.6 rebounds.

 

7. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 12): Portland expects power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (upper respiratory illness) to face the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis on Monday.

 

8. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 13): First-year Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, who has been critical of the Rockets, returns to Houston on Saturday to face the Rockets for the first time.

 

9. Sacramento Kings (Record: 6-4; last week’s rank: 14): Rudy Gay was more interested in re-signing nowthan at the end of last season. Winning, money and love by the Kings helped.

 

10. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 5-4; last week’s rank: 9): The reigning champions face LeBron JamesWednesday in Cleveland for the first time since the NBA Finals.

 

11. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 5) DeAndre Jordan has averaged 15.5 rebounds and six blocks the past two games and leads the NBA in rebounding.

 

12. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 10): The rivalry between the Wizards and Cavaliers, who have talked trash about backcourts recently, could regain steam Friday.

 

13. New Orleans Pelicans (Record: 5-3; last week’s rank: 16) New Orleans is two games over .500 for the first time since the franchise started 2-0 in 2011-12.

 

14. Miami Heat (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 7): Forward Chris Bosh missed 15 of 17 shots against the Bucks on Sunday and has missed 37 of 49 in his past three contests.

 

15. Phoenix Suns (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 15): Phoenix is in the early stages of a six-game, 10-day road trip – its longest of the season – that covers nearly 7,000 miles.

 

16. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 5-4; last week’s rank: 20): Guard John Jenkins scored 12 points in a loss to the Cavs on Saturday in his first game since having back surgery in February.

 

17. Brooklyn Nets (Record: 4-5; last week’s rank: 11): New coach Lionel Hollins is preaching to his players that the key to winning is team play and not worrying about personal statistics.

 

18. Milwaukee Bucks (Record: 5-5; last week’s rank: 19): The Bucks earned their fifth win of the season at Miami on Sunday. They needed 26 games to get to five victories last season.

 

19. Utah Jazz (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 17): Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of Utah retiring the No. 12 jersey of John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time assists leader.

 

20. Charlotte Hornets (Record: 4-6; last week’s rank: 21): Noah Vonleh, the ninth pick in this year’s draft, was scoreless Saturday in nearly six minutes in his NBA debut at Golden State.

 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder (Record: 3-8; last week’s rank: 22): Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant shot jumpers before the Rockets game Sunday, one month after breaking his right foot.

 

22. Indiana Pacers (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 29): So who is the injury-ravaged Pacers’ leading scorer? Forward Chris Copeland, averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game.

 

23. Orlando Magic (Record: 4-7; last week’s rank: 26): Rookie forward Aaron Gordon, who fractured his left foot, is expected to see a foot specialist in Charlotte, N.C., this week for a full examination.

 

24. Detroit Pistons (Record: 3-7; last week’s rank: 24): First-year coach Stan Van Gundy, who coached the Magic from 2007-12, faces his old team Monday.

 

25. Boston Celtics (Record: 3-5; last week’s rank: 18): Kelly Olynyk is currently first among all second-year NBA players in points per game at 14.4 and third in rebounding at 6.5.

 

26. New York Knicks (Record: 3-8; last week’s rank: 25): The Knicks went two weeks without a win before snapping their seven-game losing streak Sunday against the Nuggets.

 

27. Denver Nuggets (Record: 2-7; last week’s rank: 28): One of ex-Nuggets coach George Karl’s old assistants said Karl still wants to coach and is paying close attention to Denver’s struggles.

 

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (Record: 2-7; last week’s rank: 23): The Timberwolves’ company line regarding Kevin Garnett saying he wants to buy the team: It is not for sale.

 

29. Los Angeles Lakers (Record: 1-9; last week’s rank: 27): Klay Thompson would’ve entered the draft a year earlier if the Lakers had agreed to take him in the first round, a source said. The Lakers declined.

 

30. Philadelphia 76ers (Record: 0-9; last week’s rank: 30): So when will these hapless Sixers get their first win? Forget about San Antonio on Monday, but rebuilding Boston is next up on Wednesday.

 

Story brought to you by Andre “Redd Drae” Ellis 

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