||Los Angeles Lakers
||11 - 1
Lakers are still perfect on the road in five tries. Their next three
are at home where they're 6-1. Some positive shooting numbers - the
big-men tandem of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom are shooting a combined 52.2% from the field. Conversely, the four Laker guards (Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar) are hitting just 41.8%.
||13 - 2
have 10 of their next 14 at home. Although some of their opponents will
be tough (Orlando, Portland, New Orleans, Utah, etc), Boston should be
able to keep their position atop the East - and possibly catch the
||10 - 3
York anxiety aside, the Cavaliers are fielding a strong team in the
present day to support their star forward LeBron James. Perfect at
home, the Cavs three road losses were against the Celtics, Hornets and
Pistons. Looking ahead, the schedule is very favorable over the next
couple of weeks.
||9 - 4
||The loss at home to the Houston Rockets
was disappointing but the Magic have been very solid so far this
season. At 4-1 on the road, Orlando has eight away games in their next
||9 - 5
guard Chauncey Billups continues to steady the Nuggets. Other than the
letdown in LA against the Lakers, Denver has been rock solid. Between
the Jazz, Blazers and Nuggets - the run for the Northwest Division
Title should be competitive all season.
||9 - 5
Jazz are expecting to get point guard Deron Williams back - so they can
start their season in earnest. They've done well without him at home
(6-0). Williams struggled through two road games, coming back too early
from the sprained ankle. Overall Utah is just 3-5 away from home.
||9 - 5
is expecting to get forward Shane Battier back soon (foot) but
guard/forward Tracy McGrady's status continues to fluctuate (knee). The
Rockets are winning games but as always health hangs over the head of
what is a very promising team.
||9 - 5
has actually won at a higher percentage on the road (71.4%, 5-2) than
at home (57.1%, 4-3). Some of that has to do with the schedule as the
Suns have already hosted teams like the Hornets, Blazers, Rockets,
Pistons and Lakers. Their road schedule has been far more forgiving.
||8 - 5
beating the Lakers a week ago, the Pistons looked like they were poised
to challenge the Celtics. Instead they've taken a step back including
an embarrassing showing against the Timberwolves in Detroit.
||8 - 5
Josh Smith appears to be a week away from returning (sprained ankle).
The team has struggled as of late, winning just two of their last seven
games. While Smith averages just 12 points a night, he's an integral
part of their defensive attack (2.5 blocks a game).
||New Orleans Hornets
||7 - 5
perfect remedy for the struggling Hornets was the home and home against
the Thunder. Armed with a two-game win streak, they visit the evolving
Clippers before facing the Nuggets and Blazers on back-to-back nights
on the road. This is a key stretch for New Orleans to recapture some of
last year's dominance.
||Portland Trail Blazers
||8 - 6
team in the league as played as often as the Blazers have on the road.
Although they have a losing record (4-6) through that stretch, they are
perfect at the Rose Garden (4-0). After three in row in Portland, the
Blazers continue with six of seven games away before a good straight
month mostly at home.
||San Antonio Spurs
||6 - 6
.500 ball is about all Coach Gregg Popovich can ask considering the
team is without two of their three best players (guards Tony Parker and
Manu Ginobili). In the meantime, guard Roger Mason is proving to be an
excellent addition to the roster. Ginobili is getting closer to a
return and Parker is expected back mid-December.
||7 - 6
Sixers have finally climbed above .500. Forward Elton Brand has
overtaken teammate, forward Thaddeus Young as the team's leading scorer
(at 16.5 points a night). Where Philadelphia needs to improve immensely
is on the road (just 2-4).
||7 - 6
HEAT are another team that plays well only at home. That's certainly a
concern as Miami hits the road after hosting the Rockets Monday - five
straight including visits to Portland, Phoenix and Utah.
||6 - 7
is getting a career year from forward Chris Bosh but guard play
(outside of Jose Calderon) has been disappointing. Also in question is
center Jermaine O'Neal's status (knee). That's an expensive problem if
he's out for any significant length of time.
||New York Knicks
||7 - 6
Knicks were actually pretty good and finally fun to watch under Coach
Mike D'Antoni. After dumping guard Jamal Crawford and forward Zach
Randolph for future considerations (read LeBron James), can the
newcomers (guard Cuttino Mobley and forwards Tim Thomas and Al
Harrington) keep New York competitive.
||New Jersey Nets
||6 - 6
Nets were supposed to be a bottom feeder this year but 12 games in and
they're at .500. Defying convention, New Jersey is an early winner on
the road (3-2) but just 3-4 at home. Will that hold up this week as
they visit the Lakers, Kings, Jazz and Suns in two sets of
||6 - 7
||The Mavericks are climbing.
After winning just one of their first five at American Airlines Center,
Dallas will have a chance to improve significantly with eight of their
next at home. Riding a four game win streak, the Mavericks should be
able to crack the top eight in the West before long.
||7 - 8
their win on Saturday over the Bobcats, the Bucks have already won more
than half the total number of road games they won all of last season
(seven). Even with guard Michael Redd (ankle), the Bucks have remained
somewhat competitive winning 3-3 at home and 4-5 on the road. The next
three will be tough visits to Orland, Atlanta and Detroit.
||6 - 8
has a great home record (5-2) but the road has not been kind (1-6).
They've lost three of their first four on their annual circus trip.
Their next three are in Utah, San Antonio and Philadelphia. Rookie
guard Derrick Rose who admitted surprise recently at how natural the
transition to the pros as been, is the early favorite for Rookie of the
||5 - 7
Pacers are going to need a better home record (4-3) if they're going to
be terrible on the road (1-4). Indiana remains the only team in the
East outside of the top eight with a positive point differential (2.0
points a game). The Pacers are scoring 99.7 a night while yielding 97.7.
||Golden State Warriors
||5 - 8
Don Nelson had already taken forward Al Harrington out of the rotation
- so in essence the team doesn't give up much on the court to acquire
guard Jamal Crawford. The former Knick should help the Warriors
offensively (already scoring 103.5 points a night) but he's not known
to be much of a defender - and Golden State gives up 104.8.
||5 - 10
Kings continue to be one of the more exciting "bad" teams in the
league. They have a lot of young prospects and compete - but they don't
win a lot of games. They should improve when guard Kevin Martin returns
||4 - 9
a relatively strong start, the Grizzlies have lost six of seven.
Memphis could use a win but may have to wait until Saturday when they
host the Thunder. Leading up to Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies play the
Spurs (twice) and Jazz.
||3 - 9
a desolate stretch of eight straight losses, the Wolves beat the Sixers
and then destroy the Pistons in Detroit (by 26 points). At just 3-9,
have they finally figured something out?
||3 - 9
Bobcats are 3-9 after a home-heavy stretch. They've played fewer road
games than any team in the league (0-3) which does not bode well for
their future this season.
||Los Angeles Clippers
||2 - 11
Clippers were running in place. Now they'll either run in place with
incoming forward Zach Randolph or they'll figure out a way to recover
from a disastrous start. With guard Ricky Davis struggling and rookie
Eric Gordon still learning - do the Clippers have enough at two-guard?
||1 - 10
Eddie Jordan is the casualty, which is really too bad considering he's
never been dealt a healthy squad. At just 1-10, it's disappointing but
||Oklahoma City Thunder
||1 - 13
PJ Carlesimo gets the axe as the Thunder regress (just 1-13). Can
interim Coach Scott Brooks find a way to get a few respectable wins out
of his young club?