10. Brooklyn Nets (7-4)
A couple of blowout losses aside (most recently to Chicago), the Brooklyn Nets are still playing well despite missing 27 points per night from Kyrie Irving. In one of the better stories of the season, former Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge has been absolutely on fire from the field.
While Spurs fans grew tired of the over-use of mid-range shots in San Antonio for the past couple of seasons, Aldridge is bringing a whole new meaning to the word automatic. Through Monday's loss to the Bulls, he's made 27 of his 36 shots from that area for a 75% mark. That kind of efficiency on that many shots is simply unheard of.
Patty Mills is also doing well in a supporting role in Brooklyn, scoring 10.1 points per game on a career-high 47.4% shooting from downtown.
I expect the Nets to eventually flip-flop their higher than expected defensive rating (9th) and lower than expected offensive rating (19th) as the season goes on, but as long as they have Kevin Durant and James Harden, this team should remain one of the title favorites
Next for Brooklyn: Magic, Pelicans, Thunder
9. Phoenix Suns (6-3)
After losing three of their first four, the Phoenix Suns have gotten into a groove and came out victorious in their last five games. Somehow, they're still winning games despite not being near the top 10 in either offensive (16th) or defensive (18th) ratings.
The brilliance of Devin Booker and further improvement of Mikal Bridges has helped Phoenix get back to their winning ways, which is a much-needed distraction from the ongoing investigation into owner Robert Sarver and the culture around the organization.
While Phoenix is lighting the nets on fire in the early going (47.5%, second in the NBA), they're also allowing opponents to shoot 38.7% from beyond the arc, the second-worst mark in the league. I don't expect the latter to stay true for much longer. The top 10 might seem a little high, but I have to reward them for winning their last five.
Next for Phoenix: Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, Rockets