THE SWEET 161. Boston. 30-5. A rough week for the men in green after last Saturday's triumphant win in Detroit. Despite 2 weak losses, Boston still has by far the best record in the league and should get 3 wins this week.
Opponents this week: Washington, Portland, Philly
2. Detroit. 28-10. The East's other big team lost an awful game to the Knicks, but they players admitted they had nothing left in the tank after taking on 3 premier opponents in 5 days. Opponents this week: Toronto, Sacramento, @Chicago
3. Dallas. 26-11. Mavs have quietly won 7 straight, and are moving up in the West thanks to major injuries to their main rivals. Mavs play a lot of Eastern Conference teams in the next few weeks and could really go on a run.
Opponents this week: @Sacramento, Seattle
4. San Antonio. 24-11. Spurs have been mediocre lately, mostly because of injuries to their big 3. Now all are playing again, so expect them to find their groove again soon.
Opponents this week: Philly, Cleveland, @Houston
5. Phoenix. 26-11. Suns won 3 out of 4 last week even without Grant Hill, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion in some of the games. Maybe the injuries will force more bench players to get involved, especially Boris Diaw.
Opponents this week: @LA Clippers, @ LA Lakers, Minnesota, New Jersey
6. Denver. 22-13. A team really starting to find its identity. If they can find consistent point guard play, the Nugs could really make a push for the NBA finals in a wide open Western Conference.
Opponents this week: @Charlotte, @Atlanta, Utah, Minnesota
7. New Orleans. 25-12. Hornets have won 10 and their last 12 and play 7 of their next games at home. Could they possibly have the West's best record at the end of this stretch?
Opponents this week: Seattle, Charlotte
8. LA Lakers. 25-11. If Andrew Bynum wasn't going to be out for the next 8 weeks, this team would probably be in the top 3. They have been playing the best hoops in the NBA the past month.
Opponents this week: @Seattle, Phoenix
9. Portland. 22-13. In the midst of a huge eastern road trip. Its imperative for the Blazers to survive this trip without losing the position they've worked so hard to achieve
Opponents this week: @New Jersey, @Boston, @Miami, @Orlando
10. Orlando. 23-16 The Magic Bus really needs Jameer Nelson to play like he did the first month of the season. They can look awful if they point guard play isnt productive.
Opponents this week: Chicago, @Charlotte, Portland
11. Golden State. 22-16. Another western squad on a big east coast trip. Monta Ellis is really beginning to step up his game which could make a huge difference for the Warriors in their playoff push.
Opponents this week: @Minnesota, @Indiana, @Chicago, @Milwaukee
12. Utah. 21-17. Jazz getting back into the groove, having won 5 of their last 6. Thursday's night game against Denver is a huge battle to see who will win the Northwest Division
Opponents this week: Milwaukee, @Denver, LA Clippers
13. Toronto. 20-17. Raptors got pounded at home by 16 to the Pistons 2 weeks ago, lets see if they can play any better Monday night in the Palace.
Opponents this week: @Detroit, Sacramento, Atlanta, @Philly
14. Cleveland. 19-18. Lebron was caught driving his ride 101 mph this weekend. He didn't get a ticket because he told the cops he was trying to get away from Damon Jones.
Opponents this week: @Memphis, @San Antonio
15. New Jersey. 18-18. The Nets finally seem to be rounding into form, about 2 months after everyone thought they would. Jason Kidd still keeps fucking around and getting triple doubles.
Opponents this week: Portland, NY Knicks, @LA Clippers, @Phoenix
16. Washington. 19-16. The Wiz is still surviving admirably without Gilbert Arenas. Win over Boston on Saturday could be a huge confidence builder going forward.
Opponents this week: @Boston, @NY Knicks, NY Knicks
Young Swole's Player of the Week
Chris Bosh not only makes the best commercials since Charles Barkley pimped it for Right Guard, but he's also showing that he deserves to be a big part of the Eastern Conference All-Star team with his play as of late. Bosh averaged over 30 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Raptors to a 3-0 record for the week.
Young Swole's Jackass of the Week
To the TV executive at ESPN who decided that America still wants to see the Miami Heat play twice a week. Young Swole would rather watch The Sound of Music, in German, than watch this god-awful team play. Its not like we were forced to watch the Bulls play once they turned awful, so why should the Heat be on television when they've lost 8 straight games and have a worse record than the New York Knicks?
5 Big Games this week
1. Utah at Denver, Thursday. Both teams playing good basketball in the west play for divisional supremacy as well as playoff positioning.
2. Phoenix at LA Lakers, Thursday. The Lakers have dominated the Suns in their two meetings so far this season. Thursday night's game will be a good test to see how the Lakers will play without Bynum in the middle.
3. Toronto at Detroit, Monday. Chris Bosh and Rasheed Wallace match up in a battle of 2 of the best power forwards in the league today. Can the Pistons bounce back from their awful performance in New York last night?
4. Portland at Orlando, Saturday. Two of the most exciting, up and coming teams in the league face off in central florida. Brandon Roy and Dwight Howard will probably be matching up in the finals before too long.
5. Golden State at Indiana. A hidden gem for all the NBA fans like Young Swole who love to watch teams who run and gun all night long. Early Prediction, Warriors 131-127.