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The Clippers have won 14 games in a row. They're the hottest team in the league.
1. Miami Heat (20-6)
Miami doesn't have the best record in basketball. But right now, it's hard to find a better team around the NBA. LeBron James is LeBron James, and the supporting cast is stronger than it's ever been.
2. Los Angeles Clippers (22-6)
The team with the best record in the NBA is in Los Angeles. Only this time, it's the Clippers and not the Lakers. Chris Paul has this team playing together, and the Clippers may have the deepest bench in the league. This is the hottest team in basketball.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-6)
Up to this point of the season, Oklahoma City has fared pretty well following following the James Harden trade. The Thunder have won eight of their last 10 and appear poised for another deep postseason run.
4. New York Knicks (21-8)
The Knicks have cooled down a bit after an impressive start to the season. But I guess they're still more "hot" than "not." This is one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, and right now, they look like the Miami Heat's most legitimate competition.
5. San Antonio Spurs (22-8)
They're the same ol' Spurs. And no, that's not an old age joke. San Antonio has been as consistent as any team in the Western Conference this season.
6. Memphis Grizzlies (18-8)
Memphis is on the fence of being hot or not—the Grizzlies are 18-8 on the season but they're just 5-5 in their last 10. We'll call this team "lukewarm," but the Grizzlies are still dominant against teams without established post players.
7. Golden State Warriors (19-10)
The Warriors have been a pleasant surprise this season. They've won seven of their last 10 games, and this team has a handful of capable scorers on the roster. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, but the Warriors have been great early in the 2012 season.
9. Los Angeles Lakers (14-15)
The Lakers' early season struggles have been well-documented. But lately, the Lakers have started to turn things around. They're finally healthy and the team is playing well. The arrow is pointing up.
10. Indiana Pacers (16-12)
Despite playing without Danny Granger, the Pacers have held their own so far in 2012. They've been steady all season and remain a contender to win the Central Division.
11. Houston Rockets (16-12)
These new-look Rockets have been the cause for some newfound success in Houston. The Jeremy Lin to James Harden connection is working, and the Rockets could be poised for a playoff run.
12. Milwaukee Bucks (15-12)
The Bucks are a hard team to predict. They beat the Celtics, then lose to the Cavaliers. But through it all, the Bucks remain a dangerous team in the Central. They're not "hot," but they're not "not."
14. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-13)
The Timberwolves are keeping their head above water as the team continues to mesh together and get healthy. But when Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are at their best, the Wolves are dangerous.
17. Denver Nuggets (16-14)
These Denver Nuggets are the typical Denver Nuggets. They're a fast-paced, talented team that struggles on the defensive end. It's a tough road ahead because the Northwest Division is one of the deepest in basketball.
18. Portland Trail Blazers (14-13)
Portland is just above the .500-mark in the Northwest Division. They have the pieces in place to crack the postseason in the Western Conference, but the Blazers will need to get hot sooner rather than later.
19. Utah Jazz (15-15)
Denver, Portland and Utah are all in the same boat right now. They're borderline playoff teams playing in the same division.
26. Toronto Raptors (9-20)
The Toronto Raptors aren't a very good team, but they're actually pretty hot right now. Sure, the Spurs beat them by 20 on Wednesday night, but prior to that, the Raptors had won their previous five games.