1. Chicago Bulls (54-29)
The Bulls have nearly locked up the top spot in the East and currently sit tied with the Lakers for home court, in a possible finals matchup.
Derrick Rose’s MVP campaign got another supporter this week when LeBron James praised him by stating, “What he’s done for that team, with all the injuries they have and them being first in the Eastern Conference — they’re playing some really good basketball.”
2. L.A. Lakers (53-20)
This spot should really be numbered “1A” because the Lakers have been playing great as of late with seven wins in a row, and are establishing themselves as the true favorites in the West, despite the Spurs’ superior record.
Kobe has rattled off a couple of 35+ point performances, once again showing the league he still has the ability to take over the game at any moment.
3. Dallas Mavericks (53-21)
The Mavs, like the Lakers, are playing great basketball. Jason Kidd came up clutch in their game against Cleveland last Sunday, a game they seemed destined to lose.
The Mavericks have the potential to overtake the Lakers if Los Angeles chooses to rest their players, however Dallas could do the same. Ultimately for Dallas it comes down to whether or not they can get it done in the playoffs.
4. O.C. Thunder (50-24)
The Thunder have benefited tremendously from the Kendrick Perkins trade and have gone 9-1 in their last 10.
Russell Westbrook continues to improve his game, Durant has established himself as a superstar and a potential rematch against the Lakers in the playoffs is an exciting prospect.
5. San Antonio Spurs (57-17) / Boston Celtics (51-22)
These are two teams trending in the same direction with eerily similar situations. Both are veteran teams who will be entering the playoffs not playing their best basketball, but most analysts say they have the ability to turn it up a notch in the playoffs.
Boston entered the playoffs last year with a 27-27 record in their last 54. This year might be different with the revolving door that is their center position, but for both teams no one should be near the “panic button.”