The Sweet 16
1. Boston 32-6. After back-to-back losses, there was talk of moving the Celtics from the top notch on the list. But the Celtics rebounded against the Blazers and Sixers, and really don't have a tough game until January 31 when Dallas comes to town.
Opponents this week: @NY Knicks, Toronto, Minnesota, @Orlando
2. Phoenix 29-12. Suns move up to the 2nd spot thanks to 3 straight victories and some unrest below them. If they add Damon Stoudamire to back up Steve Nash, they could be even tougher, though Swole thinks they still need another big man to win it all.
Opponents this week: @Milwaukee, @Minnesota, @Cleveland, @Chicago
3. New Orleans 27-12. Face it people, this team isnt going anywhere. And if Chris Paul and David West keep up their play, they may even win their division.
Opponents this week: Milwaukee, Portland, LA Clippers, @San Antonio
4. Dallas 27-12. A quiet week for the Mavs as they only played 2 games. The schedule gets tougher though, they have to play the Lakers, Nuggets and Celtics in the next 2 weeks.
Opponents this week: @Washington, @Charlotte, LA Lakers, Denver
5. Detroit 29-12. Boy is this team stuck in the January doldrums. The whole team looks tired and the bench play has been terrible. But we all know its just a phase and they will turn it around, probably after the all star break.
Opponents this week: @Orlando, @Philadelphia, Orlando
6. San Antonio 25-13. Something just doesnt seem right with the Spurs. Maybe they are just coasting right now, because they know its such a long season, but this team never used to lose a game like they did Thursday night against the Cavs.
Opponents this week: @Charlotte, LA Lakers, @Miami, New Orleans
7. Denver 24-15. KG is my boy and all, but Marcus Camby is playing just as good and no one ever hears about it. If he stays healthy all year and keeps playing like this, he better get some MVP consideration.
Opponents this week: @LA Lakers, Atlanta, New Jersey, @Dallas
8. LA Lakers 26-12. Went 1-1 their first week without Bynum, but they have a brutal week of games, and now Trevor Ariza is hurt too. Time for Kobe to play like an MVP.
Opponents this week: Denver, @San Antonio, @ Dallas, Cleveland
9. Orlando 25-17. Two nice home wins last week. The two games against the Pistons this week will be a good test to see where this team is right now, and how much of a threat they could possibly be in the playoffs.
Opponents this week: Detroit, @Memphis, @Detroit, Boston
10. Portland 24-16. Went 2-2 this week on their road trip. If they can split their last 2 games on the road, then they are in good shape to get some wins on an upcoming homestand.
Opponents this week: @Atlanta, @New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta
11. Golden State 25-17. Baron Davis led the Warriors to a 3-1 week on the road. He is playing like one of the top 5 players in the entire league right now, and Swole thinks this team is even better than the squad that took out the Mavs in the playoffs last year.
Opponents this week: Minnesota, New Jersey, NY Knicks
12. Utah 23-18. The Jazz ran into the Linas Kleiza revelation on Thursday night in Denver, but overall still had a 2-1 week. If this team can play enough defense against the best of the west, they can beat anyone.
Opponents this week: @LA Clippers, Sacramento, @Houston
13. Washington 21-17. The Wiz is playing better without Gilbert Arenas than anyone though they could, Young Swole included. The way they are playing, they are going to be no lower than a 5 seed in the EC Playoffs.
Opponents this week: Dallas, @Cleveland, Memphis, @Milwaukee
14. Cleveland 21-18. Another huge week for King James, and little help from anyone else. Beating San Antonio was impressive, now they have to build on that victory and keep playing that well.
Opponents this week: @Miami, Washington, Phoenix, @LA Lakers
15. Toronto 22-19. An inconsistent week for the Rap Show. Losing to the Sixers is inexcusable for this team, must step it up in Boston on Wednesday to show Swole they still belong on this list.
Opponents this week: @Boston, Milwaukee
16. Houston 21-19. The Rock Show beat the Spurs on Saturday night, and also got T-Mac back. He has to stay healthy if the Rockets want to try and move into playoff contention, without him they simply do not have enough to get there.
Opponents this week: Seattle, @Seattle, @Portland, Utah
Young Swole's Baller of the Week
His Swoleness thought long and hard about giving the award to Baron Davis or Lebron James, but he could simply not ignore the week Gerald Wallace had. His weekly averages were 29pts, 7.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and only 2 turnovers per game. This dude better make the all-star team, he has been straight up ballin this year.
Young Swole's Jackass of the week
This week's award goes to Ben Wallace. Apparently Big Ben was the one mad at Joakim Noah, all because Noah was stealing some of his rebounding opportunities. This guy sure does talk a lot of shit for someone who has done nothing in Chicago other than steal money and live off a past reputation. Maybe its time for Big Ben to take a look in the mirror, realize he needs a fucking haircut, and then also come to grips with the fact that the only difference between him and Bo Outlaw is that he makes a lot more money that he hasn't earned.
5 Games to watch this week
1. Denver @ LA Lakers, Monday 1030pm. A good test for the Lakers to see how they match up against the big and strong Nuggets.
2. LA Lakers @ San Antonio, Tuesday 8pm. The second of a brutal B2B for the Lakers. Will the Spurs break out of their rut and start again to play the basketball we have become so accustomed to?
3. Minnesota @ Boston, Friday 7pm. I wonder how the Big Ticket feels about this one. Swole predicts their is a 100 percent chance the Celtics win by at least 20.
4. New Orleans @ San Antonio, Saturday 8pm. The Hornets are acting like a team that wants to be a title contender. This game in San Antonio will be a good measuring stick to see exactly where CP3 and the rest of his boys match up against the best in the west.
5. Boston @ Orlando, Sunday 330pm. Another up and coming team gets to test itself against one of the premier squads in the NBA. Dwight Howard versus Kevin Garnett is about as good as an individual matchup you will find in this league, get dat popcorn ready O-Town.