The Sweet 16
1. New Orleans 31-12. Its time to give this team its props. They have the best record in the West, they've won 8 in a row and just demolished the Spurs by 24 in Cow Country. People may still be skeptical, but why can't they win the West this year?
Opponents this week: Denver, Golden State, @Sacramento
2. Boston 34-8. The Celts still have the best record in the league, but they aren't playing like the best team anymore. They barely beat the hapless T'Wolves on Friday and couldn't beat the Magic without KG. Is this a bump in the road, or have we seen the best already of the men in green?
Opponents this week: @Miami, Dallas
3. Phoenix 32-13. The Suns survived pretty well without Grant Hill and posted a big win over King James on Friday in Cleveland. Now they get a chance to exact revenge on the reeling Spurs this week, think the Valley of the Sun will be ready for that one?
Opponents this week: Atlanta, San Antonio
4. Detroit 31-13. The Swole One liked what he saw out of the 'Stons this week. Losing in Orlando is no big crime, and they turned around and thumped them at home three nights later, proving they are still the second big dog in the Eastern Conference.
Opponents this week: @Indiana, LA Lakers, Dallas
5. Dallas 30-13. Swole has been wondering for weeks now how good this Mavs team really is. Well he's about to find out this week, they face the top 2 teams in the East in a span of three days and just lost Devin Harris to an ankle injury.
Opponents this week: @Memphis, @Detroit, @Boston
6. San Antonio 28-14. Something seems wrong with the Spurs. When was the last time anyone went into their house and crushed them by 24? Now they start the 9 game rodeo trip, which means they will either come together as they so often do, or they could be in the bottom half of the WC playoff standings at the All-Star break.
Opponents this week: @Utah, @Seattle, @Phoenix
7. Orlando 28-18. Swole is going to give props to this team for going 2-1 against the Pistons and Celtics last week. To do it in the playoffs though, they need a big time point guard. Hello Jason Kidd?
Opponents this week: Miami, @Philadelphia, @Indiana
8. Denver 26-17. Losing Carmelo hurt, but the Nugs are still tops in their division. If they can tread water until Melo returns they should be fine going forward because they have the most talent in the Northwest.
Opponents this week: @New Orleans, @Memphis, Charlotte
9. Utah 26-18. Don't look now but here come the Jazz. They've gone 8-2 in their last 10 and have shown signs of stepping it up on the defensive end.
Opponents this week: San Antonio, NY Knicks, @Washington, @Memphis
10. Golden State 27-18. Andris Biedrins ripped down 26 rebounds last night against the Knicks. Not coincidently, Eddy Curry at 26 hot dogs on the bench while Biedrins was on his rebounding rampage.
Opponents this week: @Houston, @New Orleans, Charlotte
11. LA Lakers 27-15. Yesterday's loss to the Cavs was not a good sign. As competitive as the west is, the Lake Show cannot let games like that slip away and still expect to make the playoffs, regardless of when Bynum comes back.
Opponents this week: NY Knicks, @Detroit, @Toronto, @Washington
12. Portland 26-19. The Blazers keep on hanging around in the WC. We'll see how much longer they can keep it up, but if they are this close to 1st place at the ASB it would be an incredible achievement.
Opponents this week: Cleveland, New York
13. Cleveland 24-19. LeBron pretty much told Kobe yesterday that this is his league from now on. If he ever got a good teammate to play with, this team would be instant title contenders.
Opponents this week: @Portland, @Seattle, LA Clippers
14. Toronto 24-19. Huge victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night. That was the kind of win that the Raptors needed to give them the confidence that they can hang with the Eastern Conference's elite.
Opponents this week: @Washington, Washington, LA Lakers
15. Washington 23-19. A tough week for the Wiz, who seem to be wearing down a little right now. Two big games against the Rap Show this week to see where they stand up in the Eastern Conference pecking order.
Opponents this week: Toronto, @Toronto, Utah, LA Lakers
16. Houston 24-20. Yeah they are 4 games over .500, and yeah they have T-Mac and Yao healthy. But losing at home to the Jazz further convinces His Swoleness that this team doesnt have what it takes to even make the playoffs this year.
Opponents this week: Golden State, @Indiana, @Milwaukee
Young Swole's Baller of the Week
LeBron walked into the House of the Mamba and pretty much tore Kobe's heart out. Putting up 41 points with little help from anyone else shows everyone just how damn good this guy already is, and how sick he's going to be in a few years.
Young Swole's Jackass of the Week
Gerald Green can't get consistent playing time on the worst team in the NBA. So what does he do, he demands to be traded. If you can't cut it on the sorry ass Timberwolves then the only place you should be asked to be traded to is the NBDL. I knew he only had half a hand, i didn't know Green also only had half a brain. Young Swole is hoping McHale cuts Green and fills his roster spot with recently reinstated Chris "Birdman" Anderson.
5 Games to watch this week
1. Toronto @ Washington, Tuesday. Washington faces four teams with winning records this week, and this may be the easiest game of the bunch. Bosh against Jamison is a good enough matchup to risk getting carjacked in DC for.
2. Golden State @ New Orleans, Wednesday. The most exciting team in the league faces up against the league's biggest suprise. Baron Davis versus Chris Paul gives Young Swole goosebumps (no homo).
3. LA Lakers @ Detroit, Thursday. The Lakers head east for a 9 game road trip at a crucial point in their season. If they can go 5-4 on this trip, things just might be OK. It will be tough to get a W in Motown though, the Pistons own the Lake Show in the D.
4. Dallas @ Boston, Thursday. Two teams with suddenly a lot to prove. Is Dallas a serious title contender? Has Boston already peaked? The arena will probably be empty for this as most Boston residents will be busy jerking off to pictures of Tom Brady's ankle cast.
5. San Antonio @ Phoenix, Thursday. The Suns have played 26 of their 45 games on the road. With a bunch of home games coming up, nothing would jump-start their second half better than to exact some revenge on the Spurs in what has become the best rivalry in the NBA.