10 Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers kept above playoff water, 9-6, while Blake Griffin was out. Griffin came back Sunday after missing 15 games from surgery to remove a staph infection is his right elbow. There was some rust, but Griffin still contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists in a two-point home loss to Houston. Too bad he couldn’t shoot free throws for DeAndre Jordan, 1-8. Hack-a-Jordan will continue indefinitely with those type of numbers as painful as it is for basketball fans to watch.
9 Washington Wizards
Three wins in a row in a perfect week for the Wizards, who got to see old friend Andre Miller on Saturday when they rallied from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit to win by 16, a 37-point swing. Miller was scapegoated during the Wizards epic slide, sent-off for Ramon Sessions who has had worse numbers than Miller. John Wall has played better of late after admitting the Wizards slide belonged on his shoulders. That is a little unfair to Wall, but if the Wizards are going to resurface as a real contender in the Eastern Conference they will need Wall at his best to do it.
8 Dallas Mavericks
Bizarre week for the Mavs who lost to Cleveland by 33 then beat the Clippers by 30. Here’s to hoping Dallas doesn’t see the Cavs in the finals, although Dirk and company have beaten LeBron once before. Chandler Parsons was not on that Mavs team, but he has been a boon for this one. Parsons is back after missing seven games with a sprained ankle and has found his shooting touch quickly, 15- 24, in his last two games. Dallas went 3-4 without Parsons. They need a high level Parsons to have a fighting chance.
7 Memphis Grizzlies
The record says the Grizzlies are at the top of the Western Conference while there play in the second half screams first round exit, now 7-6 since the break. The offense has been spotty, especially this week in losses to both Boston and Washington where they scored 92 and 87 respectively. Here are four reasons while the Grizzlies have been struggling. Four more games this week highlight by a road tilt with Dallas.
6 Portland Trailblazers
Wes Matthews going out for the year with an achilles injury was supposed to be the end for the Blazers. That has not been the case. Arron Afflalo has helped minimize the loss impact for the Blazers, now 3-1 since the Matthews injury and 6-1 in March. Portland has four-games left on the road trip before they come home next Tuesday night to face Golden State.
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