Just over two weeks remain in the NBA season, and the play-in teams have been all the rage. Washington, Golden State and San Antonio put together winning weeks while solidifying their spots in the play-in races. However, the real shock this week is Utah: The Jazz plummeted outside our top five after consecutive losses to Minnesota.
We also have a new team in the top 10 this week, as Atlanta put together a couple of wins without Trae Young. Could the upstart Hawks actually win a playoff series?
Let’s recap the week, and we begin with a familiar franchise.
1. Phoenix Suns (1)
Week recap: 2-2 SU/1-2-1 ATS
Phoenix might have only split its four games last week, but it was bookended with impressive wins over Philadelphia and New York, so the Suns retain the top spot. The troubling aspect of the four games was a defense that gave up 118.4 points per 100 possessions. In April the Suns are 19th in defensive efficiency, so we have to wonder if it is an anomaly or signs of a larger problem.
2. Los Angeles Clippers (4)
Week recap: 3-1 SU/2-2 ATS
The Clippers ended the week with a dud, losing to New Orleans on the road, but this team continued its impressive second half with wins in three of four without Kawhi Leonard. Despite the loss to the Pelicans, the Clippers had the second-best offensive rating of the week at 116.9 and are tied for the league lead with 19 wins since the All-Star break.