Well, with the playoffs coming fast, it is time to seperate the contenders from the pretenders. I'll start with the West and the Phoenix Suns. The Suns went from being a contender to a pretender in my mind. The Shaq trade is really hurting them as they are not able to spread the defense like they used to be able to do. Now, the Dallas Mavericks, I'm not entirely convinced they have what it takes to be a contender right now either, right now they are on the bubble of being a pretender. The Houston Rockets went from being pretenders to contenders very quickly, winning a franchise high 16 games in a row. The top teams in the West right now are the Spurs, Lakers, Hornets, and Jazz, all of which have championship caliber teams. Although I think the Hornets will need a little more experience before they make it to the big one.
There is one team that could shake up the East a bit that not alot of people are giving credit to, and that is the Orlando Magic. They hold two wins over the Celtics the season already. Another team that could be trouble to the top teams in the East is the Toronto Raptors, they are very young and are stacked with talent.